Timber offers designers a unique combination of aesthetic, environmental and practical advantages.
Aesthetic advantages include:
- Timber is a natural material, warm and comforting.
- It is attractive in grain and colour.
- Wide availability of styles, textures and finish options encourages design innovation.
- Easily rejuvenated or redecorated.
Environmental advantages include:
- Timber is a renewable resource.
- Source certification schemes ensure its sustainability.
- Low carbon footprint - requires less energy to produce than any other construction material.
- Growing trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Using wood stimulates the expansion of managed forests to absorb more of this global warming gas.
- Major potential for re-use or recycling at end of life.
Practical advantages include:
- It is a strong yet lightweight material although some of the denser hardwoods can be heavy.
- It offers protective and decorative design functions.
- Wide choice of softwoods, hardwoods and modified woods to suit all budgets.
- Performance of low durability species is easily enhanced by preservative treatment, wood modification, flame retardants.
- Surface finishes can be applied to add to or alter the appearance and give added protection.
- Outstanding thermal and sound insulation properties.
- Suitable for both new build and renovation projects.
- Ease of repair
- Dry installation means external envelope is quicker to install
- Elimination of heavy masonry outer walls reduces size and cost of foundations.
- Cladding panels may be factory pre-fabricated complete with insulation and breather membrane.
As climate change and CO2 reduction assumes growing importance in building design, timber provides the ideal cost effective solution. Specifying timber has major environmental benefits over other materials.
To find out more, visit the Wood for Good website and learn more about how to tackle climate change by using wood. You will also find a 'Lifecycle database' on the Wood for Good website.