The benefits of using wood
Wood is a unique product of nature with a combination of practical, aesthetic and environmental benefits that set it apart from other construction materials:
- it’s lightweight, easy to work with infinite structural and decorative uses;
- it has a high strength to weight ratio – 16 times lighter than steel and 5 times lighter than concrete on a strength for strength basis;
- it has outstanding thermal and sound insulation properties;
- its natural mechanical properties and low coefficient of expansion give it residual strength - it will not buckle or collapse as easily as steel in a fire;
- in a fire, wood produces a charred outer layer that insulates the un-burnt core, reducing the rate at which flame spreads;
- wood is the only renewable construction material and source certification schemes ensure its long term sustainability;
- wood has a low carbon footprint - requiring less energy to produce than any other construction material;
- Growing trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Using wood stimulates the expansion of managed forests to absorb more of this global warming gas.
- Major potential for re-use or recycling at end of life
- As climate change factors and CO2 reduction assumes growing importance in building design, wood offers an ideal cost effective solution. Using more wood will actually benefit the environments more so than using other materials.