When searching for a green exterior cladding material, you may consider a corrugated, recycled, or composite material.  But if you're really looking to wear environmentalism on your sleeve, natural bark is gaining popularity these days.  The best bark shingles can last 75 years and contain no chemicals.  Recently, Nan Chase, co-author of Bark House Style, recently contributed an interesting article to The Christian Science Monitor about using bark shingles on her new home in Asheville, North Carolina. 


Chase explains that bark shingles are made from the tulip tree bark waste of timber operations that would otherwise get burned, mulched, or left to rot.  The material has good acoustic properties and insulates well, too. 

Moreover, bark shingles require less maintenance than, for example, cedar shingles.  But they're going to cost more. 

Chase also advises purchasers to look for shingles made from sustainably harvested forests and hire a contractor that's been trained to install the shingles. 

If you're looking for installation information, make sure to read this article by Chris McMurry, co-owner of Highland Craftsman Inc., a company that manufactures bark shingles, "Bark siding is the ultimate green-building material."  Read more about bark shingles at:

[+] Bark Houses are built with nature's shingles by CSMonitor.

Bark-shingle-exterior Bark-shingle-corner-detail


Photo credits: Nan Chase (top); Bark House (rest).