Isocell Cellulose Insulation Magazine
The Isoceller Article on Bensonwood
An American Dream
Bensonwood featured in Germany's The Isoceller, The Isocell Magazine
The U.S. Homebuilding Industry
To Germans, the U.S. homebuilding industry is known for “Pappendeckelhauser” or “cardboard homes,” but Bensonwood is seen to be changing this and helping to set a higher standard. If you’ve watched the Ask This Old House episode or seen some of our panel factory photos and videos, you may have noticed that Bensonwood has two Isocell insulation machines in our panel manufacturing lines. The Germany-headquartered machine manufacturer recently featured Bensonwood in their bi-annual publication and made some interesting comparisons between the German and U.S. home building industries.
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U.S vs. Germany Homebuilding
- Fully automated home building is commonplace in Germany but is only just gaining traction in the United States.
- Code-built homes in the United States are of much poorer quality than code-built homes in Germany, where they require a higher standard of quality and energy performance.
- The construction trades are part of a formalized education process in Germany, resulting in a qualified pool of workers with a broad skill set.
- The United States is facing a shortage of skilled construction workers, a problem that worsened after the economic depression in 2007-2009 because many tradespeople left the industry and never came back.
The article also looks at the evolution of wood-based construction in the U.S. compared to Germany, where wood is the building material of choice for the majority of new homes. During the rapid industrial expansion of the United States, there was a glut of poorly built homes using wood. At the same time, forests were being clear-cut because the U.S. lacked sustainable forestry practices. Wood for the housing industry became associated with cheap construction and a threat to the environment. In response, there was an introduction of new materials into the market, and they became mainstream. We are happy to report that at Bensonwood, we use sustainably harvested wood materials. We are also a registered handler for FSC Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) wood and are committed to high-performance healthier homes for both humanity and our planet.