Timber is a unique material. World Environment Day is Tuesday, June 5, a day of awareness raising about shared responsibility for conservation and environmental improvement. 30% of CO2 emissions, the main causes of climate change, come from buildings. In our country “the brick” has left us a vast stock of poor quality housing whose construction criteria related to sustainability have been omitted. The wooden chalet for sale in France are a good example of buildings that look to the future.
Climate change and timber under construction
In a model of sustainable construction, more respectful of the environment, the wood resumes its role of foreground. If steel was the material of 19th century architecture and 20th century concrete, wood was the material of the 21st century. Natural resource, renewable, reusable and biodegradable, optimal in a circular economy, wood offers a set of environmental benefits that differentiate it from others and make it unique.
Climate change warns us that we can not continue with a pernicious construction system, so demanding in energy and emitting greenhouse gases. In this sense, wood requires much less energy in the process of transformation – from the raw material to the building material. For example, in the five-storey building built by Habitat in the Gracia district of Barcelona, CO2 emissions from the manufacture of the timber structure were five times lower than if they had been made of concrete.
Wood is also the only building material that continues to absorb and store CO2 from the atmosphere throughout the life of the building. Something very important, especially in urban environments where the concentration of emissions is high. Therefore, to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere: avoid emissions or eliminate and store them, wood is the only material that combines both capabilities.
The use of wood for construction also ensures, through responsible, controlled and economically viable management, the preservation of forests and sinks of natural carbon dioxide. The sustainable use of forest resources is the only guarantee of their survival.
Young trees planted to obtain wood absorb more CO2 than mature trees, which eventually die and rot, returning their storage of CO2 to the atmosphere, while most of the CO2 from trees cut in a forest well managed remains stored throughout the life of the product.
Wood is one of the building materials best insulated from cold in winter and heat in summer. It is an ideal material to meet the demanding standards of low energy consumption. If energy consumption is lower, we will pollute the environment less.