Build with logs in Europe
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Build with logs in Europe


Nearly 3000 years ago, in the loneliness and immensity of european forests, men started using logs,to build their houses, with the trees they had just felled,with axes made out of bronze whose skill they had just acquired. Different log building techniques emerged all over Europe, reflecting the tradition,culture and skills of each region. In France some areas, the southern Alps for instance, still show a few very log buildings called "fuste", an old french word meaning log house. 

In the village of Biskupin, in Poland, a whole village of log houses and log fortifications has been discovered dating back to 8OO b.c. Formerly, the logs were stacked, interlocking one each other and notched together. The space between two logs was chinked, filled with moss, straw,mud, wool...But laterly,somewhere in northern Europe, probably in Karelia, men invented a log fitting technique avoiding chinking between logs. It consisted in scribing each log with a tool made of iron, similar to a pair of dividers, and adjust it ,reproducing the form of the log below . It is known as the european chinkless scribe fit log technique. 


Archeological investigations on our continent seem to show that log houses built with whole trees, stacked and notched, can be found regardless of time and place .It is a way of building found in cold as well as mountaineous, wooded or pionneer coutries. In most european regions, as a result of agriculture and later on , industrial development, lands were day after day deforested and with the lack of trees, log building craft tradition became a lost and forgotten inheritance. 

In North America ,where almost virgin forests were abundant, the settling of european emigrants went with a revival of log building technique which are now parts of the North American pionneer and frontier traditions. Although,in the new world as well, industrialization moved building techniques away from the handmade log building craft. In spite of that, a new kind of pioneering appeared 30 years ago : fascination for log building; it was impulsed by the canadian Allan Mackie and his students in British columbia; they started teaching how to build handcrafted log building by hand but with modern tools, thus actively promoting and renewing log construction craft business all over the world. 

Europe is now also concerned by the happy come back of one of the oldest building method on earth, renewed by a generation of log builders. Since the beginning of this century, a large reforestation program has been launched all over Europe, and for instance in France . These forest stands are now producing a large quantity of coniferous logs , which enables a new development of the log building craft industry. People must not only dream about living in a real wooden house made of natural logs , with their knots, their fibers, their curves , their soft and peaceful colours... they must make their dream become reality. New craftmen must now learn and get skilled in log building ; they shall build tomorrow the most natural,healthy an economic houses , made with a renewable raw material, and thus storing tons of carbon in excess in the atmosphere. 

The French Association Bois Sacre TCB

BSTCB is a french non-profit Association; its purposes are to inform and teach the public about handcrafted techniques of log building in relation with the european log housing traditions. The Association organises in France and neighbour countries, information meetings, training sessions in natural log construction , and publisheseducational material in french language 

We have also log building tools (scriber, gouge and twibill). 

BSTCB was founded in 1990 by Marie F and Thierry Houdart.

Marie is skilled in log building design and housing history; Thierry has been a professionnal log builder in France since 1980 (les Bois de le Combe Noire).

They have decided to inform and teach about handcrafted log building techniques and european log traditions to make people share their passion for log houses and encourage young people to build their own log home and create their own job. Thus, they hope to contribute to promote a revival of traditional log construction in Europe. 
Thierry Houdart is a member of the The International Log Builders Association (I.L.B.A.)


The International LOG BUILDER'S Association (I.L.B.A)