Writer Nan Chase jokes that her intriguing new house is the first 21st century all-bark bungalow built in Asheville…”but it won’t be the last.” She and her husband have recently moved into the poplar bark two-story near Charlotte Street and found the structure “like a fort” for its extra-durable bark construction. They also find that heating bills are nearly non-existent because of the insulating power of bark. Bark shingles are also among the greenest building material available: the bark is salvaged by hand during commercial timber operations, and never needs paint or stain.
The house grew out of a partnership with a Spruce Pine, N.C., company called Highland Craftsmen, manufacturers of chemical-free poplar bark shingles, which have a life-span estimated at 80 years so more. Nan and Highland Craftsmen co-owner Chris McCurry set out to tell a national audience about the history and re-emergence of bark architecture. Their new book, Bark House Style: Sustainable Designs from Nature, will be published this Sept. 1 by Gibbs Smith, and is available at Accent on Books, 854 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville North Carolina.
*Taken from the www.ABandRE.com newsletter