SUSTAINABILITY – WHY USE WOOD?
When we choose sustainably and responsibly harvested timber over other materials, we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and their consequent carbon emissions. Aluminium, steel, concrete & plastic are not produced from renewable sources. Timber is sustainable, carbon sequestering and natural. It can be used to increase a buildings ‘life cycle assessment’, has minimal embodied energy (the finished product actually stores carbon) and the ability to change appearance by re painting/staining as trends change. – There is no better product!
Timber is recyclable, biodegradable, insulating and hypoallergenic. Plus it will bring a feeling of comfort and warmth to your project. The by-products can be used for carbon neutral energy sources or fertilizers and (providing that we replace what we harvest) is the only truly sustainable building material we have.
Of course, many of these environmental factors are well known, but here is some practical information you may not be aware of.
- Sustainable timber helps beat climate change. According to the IPCC, “a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit“. Source.
- Swapping timber for concrete and steel in construction (whether large or small buildings) will greatly reduce carbon emissions caused by the building industry – Source.
- A hardwood timber staircase with a protective coating will have the greatest life cycle assessment of any type of staircase.
- Hardwood has a great Life Cycle Analysis which results in one of the best Environmental Product Declarations possible. Use this to obtain more Green Star credits.
- Wood is ‘better than carbon neutral’ because of stored carbon during photosynthesis.
- A working hardwood forest is better for the climate than the alternative Carbon Stocks and Flows in Native Hardwood
- Timber is good for our health – Source.
- The by-products of sustainable timber can be used as carbon neutral energy alternatives to fossil fuels. Source.
- Timber has predictable char patterns when exposed to fire which hold some structural properties as they burn. This can make timber favorable over metals that may collapse when exposed to heat – Source.