Cordwood Masonry Construction Completion
Organized by: Kim Barham
Our construction of a 4200+ square foot, cordwood masonry timber frame home began in 2004. Though the exterior has been completed, much of the interior work is still to be done. To learn more about the building progress (which is extensive), visit our blog (https://barhamsbuilding.wordpress.com/). We continue to seek and utilize sustainable methods toward the completion of the project. The sustainable, environmentally friendly and energy efficient cordwood masonry construction of this home is enhanced with solar, passive solar, two wings with living roofs (planted with sedum), a masonry fireplace, radiant heat, etc. Most of the construction has been done by ourselves (Kim and Roberta) with occasional help from friends and professional hires to complete specialized tasks. We plan to utilize funds collected to continue toward completion of inside construction. The bathroom is framed and finished except for cabinets. The kitchen, laundry, bedrooms, bathrooms and other rooms need to be developed; furnished with appliances, cabinets, flooring, storage, electricity, plumbing, stairs, etc. The 80 partially wooded acres are also home to a one-acre site of Certified Organic Aronia berries. Aronia, also known as the black chokeberry, is a deciduous shrub native to North America. Harvested in late summer, berries are juicy with an astringent dry taste, but can be used in many healthy food dishes. In May, 2010 the USDA Database for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC - a measure of a fruit’s antioxidant level) listed the Aronia berry as having the highest level of ANY fruit. More information can be found at http://midwestaronia.org. We expect the site may become one used to demonstrate cordwood masonry construction as well as the other energy efficient aspects of the building to further the education and understanding of sustainable and environmentally friendly building practices. Our Aronia planting and harvests have been accessed as educational resources for those wanting to experience and learn more about pursuing healthy food and lifestyles. Experience the serenity and the fresh healthiness of a rural setting on mowed trails that lead you around the property to watch wildlife, discover seasonal foliage changes, and/or harvest wild berries, apples, watercress and nuts in the warmer months; cross country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter. The home has been featured in the 2015 Continental Cordwood Conference Papers, invited to participate in the Midwest Renewable Energy Association solar tour and is located in the picturesque and historic Driftless Region of Southwestern Wisconsin, surrounded by wildlife, quaint and historic small towns, and close to the popular Yellowstone State Park. Breath the fresh clean air, visit local farms and small-town eateries, experience local cuisine and attractions.