5 Reasons Why Choosing Wood for Your Next Construction Project is About More Than Just Aesthetics

5 Reasons Why Choosing Wood for Your Next Construction Project is About More Than Just Aesthetics

Gone are the days when building green was just a fad… we now know it’s a necessity! So, as we strive to reduce our environmental impact, the materials that we choose in construction play a crucial role. When it comes to eco-friendly options, it should come as no surprise that wood stands out as a champion, offering a wealth of environmental benefits compared to traditional building materials like concrete and steel.

We know that wooden constructions can offer advantages physically and mentally and exposure to natural elements like wood can reduce stress and promote feelings of well-being. However, it doesn’t stop there! We are going to take you through some reasons why wood is the greener and healthier choice for your next building project, and why you should consider supporting Woodford Timber Products in our journey to build fencing, decking, gates, outdoor buildings etc. in a more sustainable way.

  1. The Secret Life of Trees: The Carbon Capturers

Trees are a naturally renewable resource. With responsible forestry practices, (including selective harvesting, reforestation programs and sustainable management practices) trees can be replanted and regrown, ensuring a steady supply.

These trees, through the natural process of photosynthesis, absorb the CO2 or greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere, playing an important role in mitigating climate change. In fact, “a typical mature tree can absorb around 22kg carbon dioxide per year.” (CPRE) This CO2 is then converted into organic material, effectively storing the carbon within the tree itself.

By using wood in construction, you are, therefore, locking away that carbon, helping to mitigate environmental dangers like climate change, as the CO2 becomes trapped in the building materials. It is almost as if we are taking the CO2 out of circulation and storing it safely away for the lifespan of the structure.

“Could we realistically return to wood as our primary building material? It’s not only realistic, it’s imperative. It has to happen. In architecture you always go back to the sketch: the sketch is climate change.” (Tim Smedley)

  1. Trees vs Steel and Concrete

One of the most significant environmental benefits of wood in construction is its ‘low embodied energy.’ “The embodied energy of a building is a calculation of all the energy used to produce the materials that make up the building. It includes the energy used in mining, manufacturing and transporting the materials, as well as the services in the economy that support these processes.” (Your Home, 2020) This is down to a number of factors:

  1. Lumber production primarily involves sawing and drying, which uses significantly less energy than the high-heat processes involved in steel and concrete production.
  2. Wood is often lighter than other building materials, leading to reduced energy consumption in transportation.
  3. Many sawmills, including ours, are using renewable energy sources like biomass or solar power to fuel some of their operations, further reducing the embodied energy of wood products.

  1. Your Built in Thermostat:

Wood is a natural insulator, helping to regulate the temperature within a building. This can lead to reduced energy consumption for heating and cooling, lowering your carbon footprint and utility bills.

Wood is a naturally porous material which means that it contains tiny air pockets throughout its structure. These air pockets act as insulators, resisting the flow of heat. In the winter, they help trap warm air inside to keep your home cosy. Astonishingly, in the summer, these air pockets prevent hot outside air from entering, maintaining a cooler indoor temperature. Wood also has a low thermal conductivity, meaning it conducts heat slowly. This ensures a more stable indoor temperature, minimising heat transfer and reducing the need for constant heating or cooling. When wood is used for all parts of the building, including walls, roofs, and floors, it forms a well-insulated building envelope, the physical barrier separating the inside from the outside environment.

  1. Breathe Easy with Wood

While our homes should always feel like our safe place, we know that some building materials can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can negatively impact indoor air quality and lead to future health problems. It is therefore important to consider using wood instead. Here’s why:

  1. Wood naturally emits fewer VOCs than many other building materials like synthetic carpets, adhesives, and some paints. Having a healthier indoor environment with fewer airborne pollutants means that you are reducing your chances of triggering respiratory problems, allergies, and developing headaches.
  2. Wood is described as a ‘hygroscopic material’, meaning it can absorb and release moisture from the air. Mold and mildew thrive in damp conditions, and so wood’s ability to manage moisture helps to prevent their growth, further promoting a healthier indoor environment.
  3. Studies have linked exposure to VOCs from building materials with ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ (SBS), a collection of symptoms including headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. By opting for wood, you can help create a healthier indoor environment and potentially reduce the risk of experiencing SBS symptoms.

  1. The Second Life of Wood :

Wood’s story doesn’t end when the building does. Unlike many materials that end up in landfills, wood has impressive end-of-life options.

  1. Untreated wood can be composted. This natural process breaks down the wood into nutrient-rich soil amendments. This compost can then be used to nurture new plant life, creating a closed-loop system and enriching our gardens.
  2. Like other recyclable materials, wood can also be used for wood chips and mulch, engineered wood products and fuelwood and biomass energy products.

Having the ability to compost and recycle wood creates a circular economy, minimising waste and maximising resource efficiency!

So What More is There to Say?

By choosing wood for your construction project, you’re not just building a structure, you’re making a conscious decision to invest in the health of our planet. Wood offers a sustainable, energy-efficient, and healthy building solution that can help us create a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Here at Woodford Timber Products, we don’t simply believe it is important to consider the sustainable impacts, but vital. We hope that our eco-friendly practices are building a greener future, one structure at a time!

So why not stop by and let us help you bring your vision to life?
For more information visit our website: www.woodford.ie
Or call us on: +33 (0) 49 433 3133
Or email us on: enquiries@woodford.ie

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Comment (1)

  • StevenTrege Reply

    Thanks a bunch for setting up this educational & yet engaging webpage. I’m eagerly anticipate to the info once that opportunity comes up on its own! Many thanks again for that open to the public!

    29th June 2024 at 4:05 pm

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