The Benefits of Using WoodPosted: April 8, 2016
Source: Make it Wood
Timber is the only major building material that helps tackle climate change. As trees grow they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When the tree is responsibly harvested the carbon is locked in the wood and remains there for the life of any products made with that timber.
Responsibly sourced wood is a renewable, beautiful building material, which helps tackle climate change. It is also durable, versatile and can be cost-effective.
The production and processing of wood uses much less energy than most other building materials, giving wood products a significantly lower carbon footprint. Wood can be used to substitute for materials that require larger amounts of fossil fuels to be produced. In addition, wood products store the carbon that the growing trees have removed from the air.
There are many advantages of using wood as a building material including:
The right wood helps tackle climate change
To effectively tackle climate change we must remove carbon from the atmosphere as well as reduce new carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Wood manages to achieve both of these.
The right wood stores carbon
Trees and wood products have a unique ability to store carbon. As trees grow, they take carbon out of the atmosphere. When the trees are harvested and used to make wood products, the carbon remains stored in the wood for the life of the product. 50% of the dry weight of wood is carbon.
Wood is good for health and well being
Exposure to wooden furniture and fittings has real and measurable health and well being benefits. It helps lower heart rate and stress responses and encourages greater interaction between people.
The right wood produces less carbon dioxide
The production and processing of wood is highly energy efficient, giving wood products a very low carbon footprint. Wood can often be used in place of materials like steel, aluminium, concrete or plastics that require large amounts of energy to produce.
The right wood is renewable
Responsibly sourced wood is renewable. Forests will regrow to provide a wide range of other benefits such as further carbon storage, oxygen generation and forest habitat.
Using wood can increase forest cover
The growing demand for responsibly sourced wood products that store carbon can be met with an increase in well-managed forests and plantations on marginal or cleared land.
Wood is durable
Wood is a durable material for both homes and commercial buildings. When properly looked after it can last hundreds of years. Modern wood preservatives enhance natural durability.
Wood is structurally very strong
Wood is very strong structurally. A comparison with steel and concrete shows that radiata pine structural timber, for example, has a strength for weight ratio 20 percent higher than structural steel and four to five times better than non reinforced concrete in compression.
Wood is a natural insulator
Wood itself is a natural insulator due to air pockets within its cellular structure. As an insulator wood is 15 times better than masonry, 400 times better than steel, and 1,770 times better than aluminum.
Wood is fast and efficient to build with
Wood construction is fast and efficient. Wooden buildings can be built year-round in most climates.
Wood is cheaper
Comparative studies of the economics of different wall framing systems indicate that, in terms of direct building expenses, timber frames are consistently the most cost-effective solution.
Wood is naturally beautiful
Wood is naturally beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
Wood provides local green jobs
Because woodwork is often done on site or pre-fabricated locally or regionally, choosing wood means supporting local jobs for carpenters and craftspeople.