We believe in timber as a building material, as it offers a number of construction benefits for us, the supplier, and you, the end customer. Here is why.
It’s a lightweight, strong material with great insulation properties. Not only is timber cheaper and easier to build from than comparable materials such as metal and concrete, but it’s also better for the environment.
Steel and concrete consume between 12 and 20% more energy, release between 15 and 29% more greenhouse gases, and generate between 10 and 12% more pollutants into the air than wood. They also produce between 300 and 225% more water pollutants.
In this article, we explore the sustainability of timber.
Creating timber from felled trees requires considerably less production energy than what is needed to produce bricks, concrete or sheet metal. The production of wood simply involves growth, harvest, transport, manufacture and construction. It can also be produced in larger quantities in less time. This makes wood less harmful to the environment.
Timber Is An Excellent Insulator
Timber is an excellent natural insulator, as it has a cellular structure, which creates air pockets. This slows the conductivity of heat. It means less energy is required to heat, and then maintain temperature, in a building made from it. In metal or concrete garages, heat can escape easily.
The wood used in the production of our timber garages is partly made from carbon drawn from the atmosphere. This carbon would otherwise be adding to the greenhouse effect. Using timber in buildings, stores the carbon for as long as the building stands or the timber is used.
A cubic metre of wood contains about a tonne of CO2. According to a report commissioned by the government, between 15% and 28% of new homes built in the UK every year use timber frame construction, withholding over one million tonnes of CO2 a year. Chopping wood can restore the balance in the Earth’s carbon cycle and slow down the release of CO2 into the atmosphere, curbing climate change.
According to a study published in the Forest Products Journal, concrete emits 25 to 31% more greenhouse emissions than wood.
Unlike metal or concrete, timber is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways for many different purposes. For example, you can’t really make a door or window frame out of concrete, but timber can be used for many fixtures and fittings, making purchasing costs lower. It’s also light and can be sculpted from simple equipment, reducing the need for more energy in the production phase.
Timber is a renewable product that can be re-used in a different form once its original purpose is no longer needed. You can easily dismantle timber garages and use the raw materials for something else, like making furniture or a smaller shed.
On the other hand, concrete can’t be repurposed and the dust resulting from both construction and demolition can have negative effects on people’s health and the environment.
Forestry Commissions ensure that the production, conservation and recreation of timber is managed sustainably. Managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) usually plant two to three trees for every tree felled. This is very important, because young trees absorb more C02, which contrasts the carbon emissions of older trees.
Timber Is Easier To Transport
Being lightweight and quick to produce, wood requires less transport fuel. Getting concrete to a building site, for example, requires many more truck deliveries than wood, as it weighs so much more. A timber construction weighs 20% of a concrete building.
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