Whole trees and parts of whole trees (naturally curved branches and wood) have 150% the strength of milled wood, are 100 times more abundant than millable old-growth forests, have similar weight to strength ratio as steel in compression and twice the strength of steel in tension, require almost no processing, and utilize wood that would otherwise go to waste such as tree trimmings left over from logging operations. This type of wood is often available for free and way more beautiful than milled wood.
“The effect is astonishing: by using the natural shape of trees rather than milling them into dimensional lumber, the resulting architecture becomes organic and lifelike as if it were a living, breathing and growing structure – though correspondingly more difficult to construct, each custom branch and trunk needing to fit somehow in with the rest.
Aside from the breath-taking eco-aesthetic of his whole-tree houses and homes, Roald Gunderson‘s work has a number of benefits for the environment as well as a client’s pocketbook. Time, energy and money are saved by skipping the normal steps of processing raw wood into standard wooden structural sizes. Also, less carbon is released into the air and the naturally curved wood branches are stronger than their straight-and-narrow counterparts.”