Timber is the world’s most sustainable construction material. Substituting wood for other materials used in buildings and bridges could prevent 14 – 31% of global carbon emissions.
If the cement industry was a country, it would be the world’s third largest carbon emitter, accounting for around 8% of global carbon emissions.
If we built 200,00 homes from timber it would store around 4 million tonnes of CO2 a year. No wonder timber is seen as the prime construction material for a sustainable future.
Timber products also require fewer fossil fuels for their production and are more energy efficient than bricks, concrete AND steel. Timber offsite construction can reduce energy bills by up to 90%.
The combination of timber’s environmental credentials and performance characteristics offers the best solution for low-carbon sustainable construction and building management.
England needs to build 340,000 new homes a year over the next 12 years to accommodate its population.
A study by the University of Cambridge shows if all new English homes were constructed from timber, we could capture and offset the carbon footprints of around 850,000 people for 10 years.
As part of the APPG for Timber Industries, we’ve launched an inquiry on how timber can help solve the housing and climate crisis.
Prefabricated timber means its construction is relatively quiet. This is beneficial when building near homes and offices.
Wood can be pre-engineered off site and delivered ready to erect into a form or structure, reducing the amount of deliveries.
Offsite construction can reduce waste by 90% and can reduce the risk of onsite worker injury by up to 80%.
For example, the HoHo building required only 111 component delivers. An equivalent concrete structure would need 700.
Building with wood is energy efficient with thermal insulation and can offer up to 90% reduction in heating bills.
Timber is considered to be vulnerable to fire because we know that it burns. But the important thing to understand about wood in fire is that it behaves predictably.
At temperatures of around 300°C, wood ignites and the burned wood chars at a predictable speed, forming an insulating layer that slows down the rise in temperature in the remaining timber.
Beyond 300°C, other construction materials, such as steel, can lose strength and their performance in a fire can become unpredictable.
Due to timber’s light weight, flexible and strong nature, wooden structures can meet or exceed even the most demanding seismic design requirements.
Timber has shown a good seismic response in earthquake-prone countries, such as the USA, New Zealand and Japan.