One house in Yamhill County, Oregon may possibly be the most environment-friendly home in the world. Christine Walsh from Jetson Green described the various features of the Karuna House that allowed it to earn at least three international certificates for “green construction”, from its large solar arrays to its foam-insulated walls, which were complemented by its choice of siding:
The preference for cedar siding is understandable: not only is cedar a naturally-occurring material that is harvested in forests, it is also completely biodegradable. As such, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see cedar siding installations and repairs as regular services offered by siding contractors in the US. In particular, All County Exteriors, a reputable contractor that deals with roofs, windows, and siding in Monmouth County, NJ, offers foam-insulated cedar siding- similar to those used by the Karuna House- as a standard product to their clients.
Cedar is even the material of choice for clients who specifically requested for wood siding, which can be fulfilled by using other wood products like pine. Cedar wood is arguably one of the most durable and reliable among the lot since it resists moisture, rot, and pests more reliably than other types of wood. People also generally prefer the aesthetics of cedar than, say, hardwood or oak since it contains unadulterated and consistent grain patterns.
Of course, the choice of wood is hardly relevant when maintenance is brought into question because even cedar wood requires periodic treatments and resealing; likely every three to five years. There is also the fact that wood is very combustible, which means that cedar siding needs to have a high fire-rating as much as possible. The New Jersey Building Code specifically requires wood products to have a flame index of 25 or lower and show no visible signs of continuous combustion when set aflame for at least 20 minutes before they can be declared “fire-retardant”.
Thankfully, any siding contractor in Monmouth County, NJ, or even in Ocean County or elsewhere, know these things by heart; especially if a client of theirs wants to build a “green” house as well.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Karuna House Becomes the World’s Greenest House, Jetson Green, December 9, 2013)