Environment

For those who are aware of and concerned with our impact upon the environment, you’ll be pleased to know that using plantation grown timber (as we do) is not only environmentally friendly, but helps reduce your carbon footprint.

We’ve provided some details below about the environmental impact of building with timber, and if you’d like further details, just ask.

“One of the best ways to address climate change is to use more wood, not less. Wood is simply the most abundant, biodegradable and renewable material on the planet.”

Dr Patrick Moore, founding member of Greenpeace

“Timber is the only renewable material for construction in the world.”

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban

Sustainable products

Plantation grown pine is a renewable resource. Treated to withstand fungal and white ant attack, it’s the result of years of research and development, and is designed specifically for outdoor use. Our treated pine products are guaranteed for a full 25 years*. In most cases, our treated pine will outlast traditional hardwood timbers.

Global warming

The periodic gradual warming of the earth’s atmosphere is a natural process, however, its impact is accelerated by human activity boosting the input of particular gases into the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide. Trees and carbon dioxide are linked since during their times of active growth, as part of photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and ‘sequester’ (store or fix) it in woody tissue – thus reducing the greenhouse effect.

Carbon released and stored in the manufacture of building materials:

Material

Carbon released
(kg/t)

Carbon released
(kg/m3)

Carbon stored
(kg/m3)

Sawn timber

30

15

250

Steel

700

5,300

0

Concrete

50

120

0

Aluminum

8,700

22,000

0

Energy used in manufacturing

Most energy consumed in association with building materials is used during the processes of manufacture. Table 2 shows that manufacturing rough sawn timber uses vastly less fossil fuel energy per unit volume than steel, concrete or aluminium.

Fossil fuel energy used in the manufacture of building materials:

Material

Fossil fuel energy (MJ/kg)

Fossil fuel energy (MJ/m3)

Sawn timber

1.5

750

Steel

35

266,000

Concrete

2

4,800

Aluminum

435

1,100,000

Source: Presented in Ferguson, I., La Fontaine, B., Vinden, P., Bren, L., Hateley, R. and Hermesec,B. 1996, ‘Environmental Properties of Timber’, Research Paper commissioned by the Forest & Wood Products Research & Development Corporation.

*25 year guarantee applies to treated timber products supplied by Softwoods, details are available upon request. Other products are covered by their respective manufacturer guarantees.