Awe-inspiring facts about timber you need to know

December 22, 2016

Get to know all the awe-inspiring facts about timber you need to know in this article by tailormadetimber.

Wood and trees are unbeatable! Just look at some of their key attributes and how we can all benefit from its increased and responsible use.

  • Timber is the ultimate sustainable building material. Substituting a cubic metre of timber for other building materials can save almost two tonnes of CO2.
  • As trees grow, they help reduce climate change by absorbing CO2 and storing it away. They clean the atmosphere of pollutants and help create the oxygen we breathe.
  • Harvesting trees as they mature allows much of their carbon to be stored throughout the life of the resulting wood products, while at the same time giving the industry an incentive to plant new trees in their place.
  • Wood is carbon neutral because trees absorb CO2 as they grow. In fact, because of the carbon sink effect of the forests, wood from sustainably managed forests can actually be better than carbon neutral. If you use enough wood, a whole building can be carbon neutral - or even better.
  • Trees absorb one tonne of carbon dioxide for every cubic metre's growth. They also produce the oxygen we breathe - almost three quarters of a tonne of oxygen for every cubic metre's growth.
  • Within the European timber industry more trees are being planted than harvested. The average annual increase of European forests amounts to around 0.5 million hectares a year.
  • Wood has the lowest embodied energy of any mainstream building material. A tonne of brick requires four times the amount of energy to produce sawn softwood - concrete five times, glass six times, steel 24 times and aluminium 126 times.
  • 3 tonnes of CO2 can be saved by using timber frame from the 20 tonne CO2 footprint of a typical 3 bedroom detached house. Increasing the timber content, including softwood cladding, can reduce the footprint to 2.4 tonnes - a total reduction of 17.6 tonnes CO2.
  • Wood houses reduce energy consumption because of their thermal efficiency. Wood has the best thermal insulation properties of any mainstream construction material - 5 times better than concrete, 10 times better than brick and 350 times better than steel.
  • Timber can be given a highly effective preservative protection to greatly extend its service life. These industrially applied treatments help to ensure sure we make the most of timber.