Big Bear Hideaway is Green Built

Panda and Welcome Den

Designed with a commitment to conservation and built primarily of local materials by local craftsmen, the Big Bear Hideaway is a testimony to ‘Green’ construction and uncompromising structural integrity. The logs, the massive timbers, the mill work and the framing and planking were processed locally after being sustainably harvested from the Northern Highland State Forest (NHSF) and the Vilas County Forest. This local value added processing has enhanced the local economy by adding untold value to the renewable wood resources used in construction. Most furniture was similarly crafted. The only non local wood used is the process was southern yellow pine required in the permanent wood foundations and premium western Red Cedar shakes for the roofs.

The buildings were located within gaps created after harvesting the over mature jack pine and aspen and retaining the longer lived red and white pine. The towering pines provide natural shade and cooling to the grounds and buildings and enhance the aesthetics of the complex. Complimented by passive solar design where practical, and by special levels of insulation in the roofs and foundations, the heat and hot water are provided by wood grown locally on the FSC certified NHSF within short distance to the facility. Thus saving transportation fuel and adding to the local economy.

The numerous tons of stone were gathered from woods roads in the area, garnered from quarries in north central Wis. or recycled from older structures. The practice of sustainable forest management, now fully recognized as FSC and SFI certification, was practiced in the early 90’s in the initial preparation for this complex highlighting environmental and social justice.

The Big Bear Hideaway construction highlights the history of the regions forests with a great optimism toward the future of the northwoods environment.


SCORE: 134 Points