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Aitkin FSC Home - Aitkin, MN


















This demonstration home, completed in Feburary of 2007, is located on a heavily wooded plot of land in Aitkin, Minnesota. Aitkin County is a community that is economically supported by the lumber and paper industry, and was among the first in the nation to have its forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The home demonstrates FSC-certified lumber, focusing on local forest products and participating local vendors. The shell was constructed from locally-manufactured prefabricated panels. The home also features in-floor radiant heating, natural lighting, and other energy-efficient building practices to ensure it will be inexpensive to operate.


The FSC-demonstration home is 1,300 square feet, and one and a half stories. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and was aimed at being affordable for someone in the local community to purchase.


Download the two page Project Summary


Download the thirty six page Project Report


Download the FSC Home Floor Plan and Elevations


Project Accomplishments

  • Demonstrates the use of green, “affordable” housing as an economic development tool.
  • Demonstrates the use of a variety of local FSC-certified wood products.
  • Provides education on green building to the community.
  • Utilizes as many local vendors as possible in order to provide education on green building practices for future use, and to give said vendors an edge in their rural building market.
  • Uses as many local products and materials as possible, especially FSC-certified lumber, to support the community economy, pave new avenues for suppliers, and minimize material transportation costs.
  • Managed so that it may be easily replicated locally.



Green Design Elements


  • FSC-certified lumber and materials
  • Locally sourced materials
  • Local vendors
  • In-floor radiant heating
  • Low-VOC paints and adhesives
  • Prefabricated panels instead of stick frame
  • Passive solar heating/cooling
  • Existing trees left on site
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Low-flow water fixtures



Project Contacts


Kathryn Fernholz, Exective Director, Dovetail Partners, 612-333-0430,

Ross Wagner, Aitkin County Economic Development, 218-927-7305,

Eric Hovland, Hovland Lumber, 320-679-2800,

Greg Nolan, Snowy Pines Reforestation, 320-594-6317,

Neil Stecker, Builder, Custom Creations, 218-426-4067,

Robert Krause, Headwaters Forestry Cooperative, 320-732-3664

Northern Air Plumbing & Heating, Aitkin, MN, 218-927-6828