Once again, we’re here to tell you how great wood is. This time, the focus is on sustainability. Radnor Oak prides itself on being a sustainable business in its practices and methods. For example, we always make sure to only purchase materials from suppliers and sawmills that share our passion for protecting the environment. Our timber is also sourced from sustainably managed forests – more trees planted than harvested. It’s important that we maintain these ideals in our practices as an oak framing company, but what can using wood do for the environment?
Carbon emissions in the construction sector make up a large proportion of total greenhouse gas emissions, which is why it is so important that we try to reduce that impact. Responsibly sourced wood is the only renewable building material available; it is made naturally and removes CO₂ from the atmosphere – pretty cool right. This isn’t the only reason that timber is the most renewable material for building, oak and timber framed buildings also have a much lower carbon footprint than other mainstream construction materials because they require much less processing. Now, back to the carbon thing. Timber can actually be called a carbon negative material because when the trees absorb all that carbon, they also store it up, lock it in and throw away the key. Trees do such a good job of this that carbon makes up about 50% of dry wood weight.
So, what else makes wood as a building material so sustainable? Oak framed buildings, when done right, are built to last, and when I say ‘last, I really mean ‘last’. Radnor Oak buildings are designed with durability in mind and are constructed to stand for hundreds of years. Another benefit is that, even after these centuries of use, timber buildings can easily be adapted, deconstructed and reused, meaning they can also continue to store carbon. What’s more, the actual manufacturing of timber buildings has numerous benefits to the environment, such as much quicker construction time, lower labour costs and reduced waste.
Let’s circle back to that word ‘renewable’. By sourcing wood responsibly, forests and plantations will continue to regrow and do all those good things for the planet we talked about like store carbon, generate oxygen and provide forest habitats.
Okay gather round, this is one we’re all going to want to hear. Wood is a natural insulator, meaning it is much better than other common construction materials at keeping the heat in our buildings. As a result of this improved temperature control, buildings built using wood require less energy to heat and cool, meaning…reduced energy bills. As if that wasn’t enough, timber is also hygroscopic, which means that it is able to exchange moisture with the surrounding air which provides a sort of buffer against changes in humidity and temperature.
These are just a few of the reasons that using wood in construction can benefit our planet and why we, as manufacturers of oak framed buildings, care so deeply about protecting our environment through what we do.