Timber is one of the oldest and most prized materials used in construction throughout the decades and for good reason. With a number of different types of timber, including the finishes, the strength of the wood and the suitability of the timber to be used in a number of construction techniques, there is simply nothing like timber to make a shed, home or furniture an amazing finished product that shows all the characteristics of nature and the crafts-person who created it.
Timber is generally classified into two different categories of hardwood and softwood. It may seem like there are more types of timber than these two categories, but when you find out about the structural use of the timber and the possibilities of its use in construction, you will understand how the two different types of wood can have a drastic impact on the type of construction work you would expect to use them for, and their usability for such implementation.
Hardwood VS Softwood
Whilst you might expect a wood such as Balsa to be placed into the softwood category, it is actually in the hardwood category, not due to it being the strongest wood material out there, but because the category classification is based on the reproductive nature of trees.
Trees are reproduced via seeds and not all seeds structures are the same. Hardwood timbers are obtained from trees that produce seeds with an outer casing known as angiosperms, whilst softwood timber trees produce seeds that are called gymnosperms. Gymnosperms seeds fall to the ground to germinate in a local group or a wider area.
There are numerous types of timber that are perfect for construction, both hardwood and softwood are used in all sorts of places, from joists to window frames, doors and other interior decoration. But the environmental benefits of using timber in construction are a huge bonus that not only helps the environment, but also makes timber construction fantastic for your budget.
The environmental benefits of using timber
Trees grow naturally and use only the resources around them to create their dense, strong and useful qualities as opposed to mining for metals and using a resource-hogging method of constructing steel frames and metal girders.
Many timbers used in construction projects are sourced locally, which benefits the local environment., This paired with a plantation project which aims to plant more than one tree for every tree felled offers a great advantage in creating a sustainable resource of construction materials for future generations.
Crafting metal girders and other metal and brick construction materials needs refinement to bring them to their final product. This refinement takes a lot of energy and produces large quantities of carbon dioxide into the environment. Timber on the other hand comes from a sustainable source and actually combats this carbon dioxide in the environment, being one of the sources of energy for the forests. Not only that, using timber for buildings is one of the best choice while contributing many other environmental benefits.
Recyclable timber as an energy source
Timber can be recycled into a number of different things, including extra energy. Whilst the timber industry uses large quantities of wood to create standardized sized timber blocks, the off-cuts and chippings can be used to provide wood burning stoves fuel, which means taking into account and making use of every single part of the tree for added efficiency.
Timber will continue to be used in new and innovative ways by the designers and architects of the future. Already we are seeing zero-carbon homes or carbon-neutral home construction taking place and this is partly down to building materials such as timber.
As a planet with only a limited amount of resources, surely choosing timber as a low cost alternative, an energy-efficient material, recyclable and environmentally friendly, sustainable building material, is the best choice for your next project.