Going Green in Equine: The Benefits of Timber Frame Construction

Going Green in Equine: The Benefits of Timber Frame Construction

At B&D Builders, we create legacy structures built to pass from generation to generation, becoming part of a family’s story. They speak to the family’s relationship with the land, of their life’s work — whether a horse barn, equestrian facility, or luxury home. And in all steps of our building process, we’re concerned with the future, ever focused on construction choices that have a long-lasting impact.

So it is with our environment. The world we’re passing on to our grandchildren — and their grandchildren — might be vastly different if we don’t adhere to sustainable and environmentally sound practices today. To create a better tomorrow, we believe in using eco-friendly materials whenever possible. By doing so, we feel we honor the landscape upon which our structures are built.

Green Is the New Blue

In our primary building sector, equestrian lifestyle, environmental concerns are more prevalent than ever. Horse farm owners, showground designers, event planners, and decision makers are making green initiatives a priority. Grassroots movements like Green Is the New Blue have drawn considerable attention to what can be done within the sport and lifestyle, and have our support.

Green Is the New Blue is a nonprofit working to address environmental sustainability issues in the equestrian world. Just a few of their initiatives include:

  • #BringYourOwn, which asks equine participants to bring and use their own reusable water bottles to cut back on single-use plastic.
  • Living Jump, urging the use of native plants in course design and farm landscaping to help sustain pollinators and other insects, such as spiders, to control fly populations.
  • Promoting sustainability as a career path, with a searchable college database on their website.

Sustainable Timber Framing

In advancing sustainability measures for our projects, B&D is a proud proponent of timber. For thousands of years, timber frame structures have provided strength, flexibility, and biophilic benefits — that feeling of peace and connection with nature you get when spending time within a timber structure.

Timber also acts as a carbon sink, trapping greenhouse gasses in its fibers while the tree is growing and continuing to keep it sequestered when used as a beam or panel in a structure.

Although timber is having a resurgence as a “new” eco-friendly way of building, we know timber construction from the agrarian heritage we share with our forefathers. We grew up around horses, barns, and honest work, and we were never far from timber frame farm buildings.

Because of this upbringing, we believe what’s best for our natural world is using what nature has provided. And we believe in doing a job right, or not at all. We don’t cut corners to save a few dollars when the impact it may have could last forever.

Additional Timber Frame Benefits

The process of manufacturing timber framing requires less energy compared to other building materials like steel or concrete, keeping even more carbon out of the atmosphere.

We hand select our timbers and carefully design our CNC machine cuts for maximum efficiency and minimal waste. Leftover scraps are ground into sawdust to serve as bedding for the farms that surround our Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, workshop like a vibrant green quilt.

Using cross-laminated timber, or CLT, further strengthens a build while enabling speedier construction. Boards are layered at right angles and bonded together off-site, then used for load-bearing structures, including walls, floors, and roofs. Building these components at our workshop means there is little to no waste on the jobsite, and because timber weighs less than steel, transportation costs and fuel usage are lowered.

Building Sustainably for Generations to Come

Sustainability is at the heart of our love for timber frame construction. Its benefits easily make timber the most eco-friendly building material — and we think it’s the most beautiful as well. Initiatives like Green Is the New Blue are making a huge impact in the equestrian lifestyle sector, and we join them in supporting a more sustainable future for the horse community.

Before you start your next project, contact B&D Builders to explore your options for making it as “green” as possible.  Together, we can make a positive impact on equestrian life — and our planet.