Did you know that planting trees to harvest for hardwood timber is actually a fantastic way to fight climate change and work towards a more sustainable future? It can help to protect our environment through sustainable forest practices and carbon storage. In recent years, larger buildings and construction projects have been utilising timber. This had been used as an alternative to other building materials. In this blog post, we thought we would tell you a bit more about how the hardwood timber you purchase from Timber 2 U Direct is making a difference to our world.
Carbon in Timber
It is no secret that forests absorb carbon dioxide. This helps to reduce global warming and stop our planet from dying. The trees within our forests can absorb a large amount of carbon dioxide and store it as carbon. This makes the world’s forests some of the largest land based carbon storage. If we wish to continue this, we need to ensure the preservation and restoration of forests. We can, however, continue to help the environment by cutting them down. The carbon is kept in the trunk of trees and sometimes, it can be stored for hundreds of years. Even after a tree has been felled, the hardwood timber that comes from the tree will still contain this carbon. Using this timber in construction can reduce the carbon footprint of a building and can work towards eliminating the construction industries’ impact on the environment.
How is Carbon Stored in Hardwood Timber?
The trees in our world absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. This is done using a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts carbon into glucose and store it in their cells or it is transformed into energy via respiration. Any of the unused glucose will be stored as starch in the living cells within the trunk and the roots. Over time, this living layer will turn into non-living heartwood, which is where the carbon is stored. The only way the carbon gets released is by decaying or burning. Anything these trees get used for, whether it’s paper or construction, the carbon will stay in the end product.
There is a mounting pressure for the construction industry, and even every day DIYers, to move towards a more sustainable approach. The favoured change amongst many is through the use of alternative building materials. This is because the creation of cement and concrete contributes to 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The iron and steel industry adds another 5% to this. When concrete is manufactured, it is thought that half a tonne of CO2 is emitted every 1 tonne. For every 1 tonne of steel manufactured, 2 tonnes of CO2 is emitted.
Hardwood timber has been integrated into construction for many years, however, it has become increasingly popular when it comes to building larger projects. This is because it’s a renewable material that can reduce carbon emissions.
For hundreds of years, timber has been used within construction. More recently we have seen it being used for large structures. This is down to the production of mass timber. Mass timber involves attaching pieces of hardwood timber together to form panels or beams. The result is strong, fire-resistant, lightweight, and aesthetically pleasing timber structures.
One advantage of using this type of timber, whether it be in large structures or within DIY projects, is that the timber that is used can be any level of quality. It doesn’t matter if it’s weak or younger, it can still be used. This means the older trees can be left intact. Instead, the younger regenerative growth from the thinning process can be used to provide timber. Using wood in urban areas such as London, turns the city into a carbon sink and avoids the higher carbon emissions from other building materials. Contrary to popular belief, the wood structures are more fire resistant than steel frames. In fact, steel frames are usually provided with mass timber cladding to protect them from fire.
Deforestation is one of the key factors in climate change and loss of species. There is a global acknowledgment and dedication to stopping this happening, and to promote healthy and sustainable forestry practices. With the demand for softwood and hardwood timber rising, the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) was set up to ensure timber can truly be renewable and will contribute to a better future rather than hinder it. The FSC are committed to replacing any trees that are felled, protecting forests from excessive harvesting, and preserving the ecosystems and species. This council also work towards helping the local community benefit for the forest by providing employment opportunities. They also aim to ensure that any timber is fully traceable throughout the supply chain.
Here at Timber 2 U Direct, the majority of our hardwood timber comes from FSC certified forests from around the world and in the UK. We are continually looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the world around us and ensure the future generations can still enjoy and benefit from our world’s forests.
Hardwood Timber on A Smaller Scale
You might not be planning to build the equivalent of the Olympic velodrome in London, but when it comes to DIY projects and upgrading your home, choosing a sustainable building material is always the best option. Timber 2 U Direct have a range of made to measure soft and hardwood timber available for your every need. We can also provide this made to measure service in profiled products. This includes profiled timber for decorative and interior projects, windows and doors, and exterior projects. To further reduce your carbon footprint and ours, we have multiple warehouses across the UK. We can deliver your order to your door step from the closest warehouse to you.
If you are looking to start a new sustainable DIY project for your home, why not purchase some hardwood timber from us today? If you have any questions, get in touch with our friendly team today or call us on 0115 993 1111 – we would love to hear from you!