Online auctions are an easy way to browse for a dream residence without the use of your four-wheel gas guzzler, but the recent sale of a particular mobile home is far from your ordinary listing. A lucky Australian bidder just won the ownership of a portable, yet grandiose, “log” cabin – literally made to emulate an enormous log. The auction winner paid AU$14,000 (just over 12k USD) for what is essentially a trailer measuring just over 42 feet in length that provides over 450sq ft of living space. The auction listing explains that the log is mobile – sitting on a truck bed equipped with wheels and brakes for easy towing – but that left us wondering about the unit’s green credentials, and exactly where did a huge log on wheels come from in the first place?
Entrepreneur Alan Jennison acquired the “mobile treehouse” in 2007 from Forestry Tasmania who used it to promote tourism. Beyond being used for promoting the beautiful Tasmanian island, off the coast of Australia, Jennison imagines that “it could also make a great home, cubby for the kids, artist’s studio, shed — the list is really endless.” The log is outfitted with light fixtures, electric hook ups, and sliding glass door showcases, so it could also be used as part of a museum, a personal library, or just a private den for relaxing.
This trailer might make you feel childlike, and could easily boost your imagination, but just because it is shaped like a tree trunk, doesn’t make it sustainable architecture. It is not actually made from a single cored out tree trunk, but rather is constructed from curved marine ply covered with insulating expanded foam and layered with fiberglass on the outside. Yikes! That sandwich of materials would not be the best solution for eco-friendly weather proofing. The log also does not have any windows or plumbing hook-up, so it is not green AND not livable.
The fact that it is not move-in ready, could give the home hope, and we hope that the new chooses to use earth-friendly materials in any renovations. Luckily there are now plenty of options for building materials that have less impact, and can be used to outfit this over-scaled and extremely quirky mobile home.