Why timber is the most sustainable building material for your next project

Marketing Executive

In this blog, Marketing Assistant Amy Conboy explores the many benefits of using timber to help create a more sustainable future in the built environment.

Timber is the only truly sustainable material

Timber is a fully renewable resource with important natural carbon capture properties and low embodied energy, making it one of the most sustainable building materials available. Co2 emissions are a significant contributor to global warming and timber plays a vital role in addressing this problem since trees capture Co2 from the atmosphere as they grow, which is then locked in and stored indefinitely. Every m3 wood stores 0.9 tons of Co2. Using wood can help reduce carbon used in construction, both through the carbon captured and stored in the wood and displacing emissions by avoiding using alternative energy-intensive materials, such as concrete or steel. Timber takes less energy to produce than any other material and homegrown timber, such as our Scotlarch®, is one of the lowest embodied carbon materials available in the UK.

Every m3 wood stores 0.9 tons of Co2

Scotlarch® Cladding in profile RW014 (92 x 25mm) | Atlas Studio - a sustainable timber choice
Scotlarch® Cladding in profile RW014 (92 x 25mm) | Atlas Studio
Thermopine® Cladding (150 x 25mm) boards factory coated in RAL9005 and Thermopine® Decking RW214 profile, fixed with SenoFix® system
Thermopine® Cladding (150 x 25mm) boards factory coated in RAL9005 and Thermopine® Decking RW214 profile, fixed with SenoFix® system

The correct fixings increase timber’s sustainability

How timber is fixed is fundamental to its long-term performance in terms of appearance and durability, ensuring its sustainability. Russwood are partnered with Austrian timber fixing engineers, SIHGA, to offer a range of high-performance fixing systems which encourage sufficient ventilation and minimise moisture trapping resulting in enhanced performance of all our timber products.  Innovative fixing methods increase the longevity and durability of timber and enable cladding and decking boards to be easily replaced and reused, creating a circular economy.

Environmentally friendly battening system reduces on-site waste

Russwood’s Battening System, manufactured from Thermopine®, a thermally treated timber for enhanced stability and durability, offers an environmentally friendly, engineer-assessed, method of fixing timber cladding. It simplifies and speeds up installation as well as reducing on-site wastage for contractors. Performance of the battening system is enhanced using Kompefix® ventilation strips creating a gap between the battens and the facade, which allows the timber to dry quicker, helping it look better and last longer.

KompeFix® ventilation strips
KompeFix® ventilation strips
SILA Select® Cladding 42 x 20mm fixed with Grade 304 Ring Shank Nails demonstrating a retrofit as a sustainable renovation option
SILA Select® Cladding 42 x 20mm fixed with Grade 304 Ring Shank Nails

Retrofit’s are a sustainable way to update your home

Opting to renovate your home with a retrofit, rather than demolition and rebuilding, is an inspiring, sustainable way to save on embodied carbon. Using timber to add an extension to a property not only offsets carbon emissions but can also complement the existing building and create a striking aesthetic, like this project by Architect Scott Batty. Retrofitting creates an opportunity to future-proof your home so that it uses less energy to heat and has less impact on the environment for future generations. Russwood’s timber cladding has been used on a number of retrofit projects in recent years, you can see some inspiring examples in our blog.

Sustainability at Russwood

As one of our core company values, sustainability is ingrained in everything we do, which is why all our timber is FSC® or PEFC™ certified. This means the timber is sustainably sourced from well-managed forests. We have a responsibility to our customers, employees, and company stakeholders to operate as sustainably as possible from our Highland sawmill by only using materials from renewable sources and recycled or recyclable materials where possible, avoiding the wastage of materials, water, and energy throughout the business. We are committed to finding innovative ways to further minimize our impact on the environment and increase the longevity of our timber. Put simply, Russwood exists to help create a more beautiful, sustainable future in the built environment.

If you are thinking about specifying timber in your next project please don’t hesitate to get in touch with either our architect liaison team or our cladding sales team who will be more than happy to help.

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