Double Wall Cordwood

In the mid-70’s Cliff Shockey of Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada decided to build and energy efficient home of cordwood, but since he lived where the temps would go down to -50, he decided to build “double wall.”

Photo credit Cliff Shockey  Vancouver Island Western Cedar with copyright

This double wall cordwood home is on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

He built a post and beam framework and laid up 8″ of cordwood on the outside. Then he put 12″ of stiff fiberglass insulation (there are many insulation choices) and then another 8″ of interior cordwood. He had 20″ of wall with an R-value approaching R-50.  Cliff won the Harrowsmith award for Energy Efficiency in 1997.  His design continues to inspire folks to this very day.

Cliff Shockey harrowsmith award

The back cover of Cliff’s Double Wall Technique book.

A number of folks thought this was a good idea and decided to build double wall and try and improve on Cliff’s design.

Clint and Cindy Cannon's beautiful double wall cordwood and strawbale home in Canada.

Clint and Cindy Cannon’s beautiful double wall cordwood and strawbale home in Canada.

Clint & Cindy Cannon of Austin, Manitoba built a beautiful double wall and strawbale (balewall). They speak glowingly of 10 winters of lower heating bills with their home overlooking Antelope Valley.

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Bruce & Nancy Kilgore’s beautiful double wall cordwood home in upstate New York.


Bruce & Nancy Kilgore built a trapazoidal structure in upstate New York with double wall. Where Cliff went all the way with his mortar, Bruce and Nancy used 3″ of mortar, 2″ of sawdust insulation and 3″ of mortar on each side of their double wall creation.

Greg and Clare are building a wonderfully unique double wall home near Houghton, Michigan. They are using Lime Putty Mortar and blown in foam for a higher R-value.

Greg and Clare nerdwood.com4 with copyright

Greg & Clare’s double wall home near Houghton, Michigan.

Grant & Kiera Nicholson have a gorgeous double wall cordwood home in Owen Sound, Ontario. They experimented with a slip form technique for speeding up the cordwood process and now use the main room of the house as a music and recording studio.

Grant Nicholson new photos janc2012  BEST ONE with copyright

Grant & Keira Nicholson’s gorgeous double wall home in Owen Sound, Ontario.

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Here is the non-energy nose-bleed foundation that Grant constructed.

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This is just a beautiful-as-can-be arched door at the Nicholson’s double wall cordwood home.   Grant runs a design business and can be reached at 

Alan Stankevitz’s double wall beauty near LaCrescent, Minnesota is an excellent example of double wall with renewable energy.  Alan is almost at a break even point when it comes to energy used and energy produced. You can learn more about Alan at by going to the Journal.

Alan Stankevitz panorama

Alan’s double wall creation in SE Minnesota.

All of these stories are written about in the Cordwood Conference Papers 2005 and/or 2011. The attention to detail and the sweat equity of each project is significant and profound and needs to be seen to be believed.

The only Double Wall book on the market has been written by Cliff Shockey and is available in ebook, print and CD format at the Online Cordwood Bookstore at 

Cliff Shockey Cover 2007 small pixelsIf you have any questions or wish to learn more please “follow” this blog and/or email me at

Interested in the latest literature on cordwood?  Click on the book cover to be taken to my cordwood construction website and online bookstore.

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Happy Trails,

Richard Flatau

Merrill, Wisconsin, USA


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