When human beings first came out of caves and started building homes, it was inevitable that they would be attracted to wood as a top choice. There are good reasons for this. Even though over the years we have tried other building materials, the reality is that wood is proving to be the best choice even when viewed from the prism of environmental conservation.
In this article, we look at the environmental benefits of using wood in buildings.
One of the factors that make wood so great to use is that it requires very minimal processing in order to get it ready for use in construction projects. Compare wood with steel for example. Steel has to be processed, smelted, and refashioned in large steel processing factories. Many of these approaches are very energy-intensive, meaning that large amounts of greenhouse gases are emitted into the air. Wood on the other hand is easier to prepare and even handle.
The other advantage of wood when it comes to greenhouse gases is the fact that wood tends to retain its carbon content over the lifespan of the product. This further contributes to lowering emissions into the air.
One of the critical factors when it comes to modern homes is insulation. In particular, homeowners are concerned about how well their homes can retain energy. In this case, wood poses an excellent material when it comes to top-notch insulation. Wood is a poor conductor of heat, which means that it is able to prevent heat from escaping outside or from getting into the house. The net result is that wood-built homes are more energy-efficient and this translates to lower costs for their owners.
Easy to Work with
Another advantage of wood is that it lends itself to being used in many different ways when it comes to construction. A good example is a growing trend of using prefabricated homes. This means that homes are constructed off-site (such as in a factory) and they are installed on-site. This reduces the amount of time that is used in construction (as the process is not affected by weather) and also means that materials are used a lot more efficiently. Wood lends itself to such construction approaches as it is light and easy to use. This means a wider range of architectural designs as well as lower transportation costs.
While in the past there were concerns about timber production, these have largely abated as the industry adopts more efficient methods of mass-producing timber. Using modern technology, scientists are able to sustainably produce timber that meets very exact specifications. This takes the pressure off our natural forests while at the same time significantly reducing wastage. The fact that the industry is increasingly adopting strict certification regulations means that it is becoming easier to track down sources of timber.