In today’s climate, it’s really important to be environmentally conscious wherever we can. Using a natural material like timber is a great opportunity to reduce our impact on the environment. In fact, choosing to build with timber frame or SIPs (structural insulated panels) can actually lower your carbon footprint.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability simply means the ability to exist constantly. When applied to natural resources, it includes the avoidance of their unsustainable depletion, i.e., using up more than can be planted or grown. Not all natural resources are sustainable; they must be managed properly. For example, overfishing depletes fish populations faster than they can naturally reproduce, so ensuring resources are sustainable relies heavily upon considerate management.
All timber used at Potton originates from sustainable forests, where more trees are planted than cut down, whilst maintaining no damage to the surrounding environment. Our wood experiences an independent chain of custody, which means it is checked at every stage of processing, meeting the certification standards.
Furthermore, increasing demand for timber, means an increase in demand for sustainable forests. Creating value and demand for timber is one of the best ways to prevent deforestation. As it means they are not being cleared for alternative industries, such as agriculture.
To put it simply, we all know that carbon emissions are bad for the environment. Using timber based products from sustainable forests can be a good choice when comparing your building materials, because:
- Timber has the ability to take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen
- Timber can store carbon for long periods of time. As long as the wood is not burned or doesn’t rot, the carbon remains locked in.
- The carbon released through the harvesting of sustainably managed forests is offset by the replanting process. Taking further carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Embodied energy is associated with the energy required for the manufacture of different construction materials. Timber has one of the lowest embodied energy sums compared to materials such as concrete steel or aluminium. This is because timber requires minimal processing and very little energy with the curing and cutting required for timber materials.
What Does it All Mean?
Timber frame construction has one of the lowest CO2 costs of any commercial building method. Compared to steel and concrete, the methods used to produce, harvest and transport timber in sustainably managed forests are the least harmful to the environment.
At Potton all our timber products are legally sourced from well managed forests in accordance with the UK Timber Regulations.