Timber and the environment

Wood for beginners:


• Timber is a renewable raw material.

• Trees absorb carbon dioxide during growth (carbon sequestration). One cubic metre of wood absorbs one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2)

Image courtesy of the Sierra Business Council

• The embodied energy (including carbon sequestration) invested in the cultivation, logging, manufacturing transport and erection is usually lower than for non-renewable raw materials.

Graph courtesy of Hazelwood & HIll

• Using timber stimulates the expansion of managed forests to absorb CO2

• Using schemes such as FSC, managed forests support biodiversity and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. The UK is the biggest importer of FSC certified timber.

• Using UK grown timber reduces embodied energy and contributes to the local culture and economy. - Milling logs has a comparatively low environmental impact.

• Timber is a very safe material to handle. It is non-toxic and does not break down into environmentally damaging materials.

• Cladding can be reused (if carefully disassembled), recycled and downcycled. It is biodegradable and can ultimately serve as a fuel source.

• Untreated hardwood timber using heartwood can obtain a service life of between 40 – 60 years

Movie: The Story of FSC