The Benefits of Wood
There are many benefits of using responsibly sourced wood.
Whether you’re planning the build of your new home or a professional working in large-scale development, consider the significant environmental and health benefits of building with responsibly sourced wood as part of the solution to climate change. The reason wood can play a big part in helping tackle climate change is because timber is one of the few natural, 100% renewable building materials.
Responsibly sourced wood is the only renewable building material available; it is naturally grown and removes CO2 from the atmosphere. Wood products then store the carbon that the growing trees have removed from the air (about 50% of the dry weight of wood is carbon).
The production and processing of wood uses much less energy – called embodied 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.
Embodied carbon emissions in the construction sector account for over 23 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. The production and processing of timber uses much less energy than most other, more carbon intensive building materials such as steel and concrete. As a general rule, if we can replace a cubic metre of concrete with a cubic metre of timber, about a tonne (1000 kilograms) of CO2 emissions will be avoided.
Creating a Greener Future with The Ultimate Renewable™
Choosing timber in design and construction can help tackle climate change in several ways. One of the most important is that wood stores carbon.
As trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide. When the trees are sustainably harvested and used to make wood products, the carbon remains stored in the wood for the life of the product. About 50% of the dry weight of wood is carbon.
Timber is a Natural Insulator
Timber is a natural insulator due to the air pockets within its cellular structure. As an insulator wood is 15 times better than masonry and concrete, 400 times better than steel, and 1,770 times better than aluminium. This helps to reduce the cost of heating and cooling a building
Strong & Durable
Timber is one of the world’s top performing construction materials. Tried and tested over centuries, it’s inherent beauty, strength and durability has seen it remain one of the most popular building materials to this day.
Wood is Good
For Health & Wellbeing
Research has identified that the increased use of wood has measurable physiological and psychological health benefits. We now know that workers are less stressed and more productive, students learn better, patients heal faster, and people are generally happier and calmer in spaces that contain natural elements like wood.
Reduced blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels
Improvements to a person’s emotional state and level of self-expression
Improved air quality through humidity moderation
Wood is Naturally Beautiful
Wood is naturally beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. It is available in a large range of colours, grains and textures making wood visually attractive. Wood is also a very tactile product, making it nice to touch, dependent on the finish.
Research by Planet Ark has identified the positive associations that wood induces in people, where an overwhelming 96 per cent of Australians agreed that wood is ‘visually appealing’ and ‘has a natural look and feel’. Eight out of ten people also thought that wood is versatile, recyclable, renewable and long lasting.
Wood Encouragement Policies (WEP)
Western Australia has now joined Tasmania to become the second state government in Australia to adopt a state-wide Wood Encouragement Policy (WEP). In addition, there are two local government authorities (LGAs) and sixteen local councils that have also adopted a WEP. The adoption of similar policies around the world is growing steadily, including Canada, Japan, France, Finland, Netherlands and the UK, who are all encouraging the use of natural, timber-based products in construction.
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