Timber Makes For Environmental Plus

Anybody who’s caught half an episode a show like Grand Designs knows how great timber buildings can be in terms of architecture and stablility.

Thing is there’s been a lot of mixed press as to just how sustainable and green timber is as a building product. You can’t go anywhere near a building yard at your local garden centre without hearing about forestry regualtions but lately there’s been talk about how timber buildings aren’t that beneficial to the environment. Apparently when trees are converted for building purposes the CO2 is trapped and stored.

Now, though, a bit of good news. Using timber for large-scale commercial buildings is beneficial for the environment. The energy use over a 60-year life cycles of buildings constructed with concrete, steel, timber and ‘timber-plus’ has shown that the ‘timber-plus’ offers the lowest environmental impact.

Using timber for a building’s structure and fit-out produces 4,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivelent comparred to timber’s 5,454 tonnes and the close-to 7,000 tonnes produced by a steel built commercial building.

While this is probably massive news to those in the building trade or with an ultra-fine eye for eco details, to me it means two things. Firstly that at least these things are being considered and secondly that I can still watch Grand Designs and enjoy the timber buildings without worrying about how “green” it makes a building.

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