With recent emphasis on changing our habits to be more 'environmentlly conscious' we have to ask the question, is timber environmentally friendly?
We have all read the horror stories surrounding deforestation and how that can decimate the wildlife and the land itself with long-lasting impact and many areas unable to recover, but with responsible management of forests we can actually have a positive impact on the climate.
Trees absorb more carbon dioxide as young growing trees. As they age, grow and mature the absorption rate decreases. So by harvesting the mature trees and planting young trees you maintain the highest rate of absorption.
Did you know: One cubic meter of wood absorbs one tonne of carbon dioxide.
But what about using it in buildings?
Currently, timber framed houses account for 27% of all new builds in the UK.
It is a safe material to handle, it's non-toxic and does not break down into environmentally damaging materials. It's more naturally insulating so less central heating is required. It allows for off site manufacture of elements which reduces the amount of waste produced.
It can also be safer than steel structures in cases of fire. Steel distorts and fails quickly under heat, making roof collapse a real danger early on in a fire situation. Timber beams will slowly burn without giving way for a long time.