Sustainability has become very important to consumers and contractors in the last several years. At the same time, what is involved in sustainable material selection is far more complicated than most people realize. There is not one set of standards that determines what is and isn't sustainable, and when it comes to sustainable woods, determining what woods are sustainable can be challenging. Knowing what to consider when trying to choose sustainable wood is important.
Contractors who prioritize sustainability also use the patented LignoLoc® Wooden Nail System made by BECK, the first collated nail made of wood, as well as Cross-Laminated Timber Panels. These panels offer a beautiful and functional solution for building projects and come in various types, including beerier wall panels, non-load-loading wall panels (dividers), and LCLT wall systems (LignoLoc® Cross Laminated Timber panels) which are CLT panels mechanically fastened using LignoLoc® wood nails and no glue. Discovering the innovative applications of sustainable woods like these can lead to a deeper understanding of their benefits and possibilities in construction.
What Is Sustainable Wood?
Sustainable wood can be used for construction, hardscaping, or furniture production without negatively affecting the environment. Sustainable woods come from forests where trees are being felled and replanted without negatively affecting the local environment. Often, sustainable wood comes from companies that prioritize replanting and replacing trees in an environmentally responsible way. Buying sustainable wood is important for animal species that rely on trees for their habitat, human society, and the health of the planet generally.
What Makes Wood Sustainable?
Compared to other types of building materials, wood is very sustainable. Here's why:
- Wood can be reused and recycled. Old wood furniture can be reused in many ways. Wood can also be recycled or broken up into pulp and combined with other things to create engineered wood and similar materials.
- Wood is biodegradable. Wood can be broken down over time and returned to the earth much more easily than materials like plastic.
- Wood locks in carbon. Trees absorb carbon and lock it in. When you cut down a tree, the carbon continues to be locked away in the wood if it remains in the solid wood state.
Which Types of Wood Are Most Sustainable?
Reclaimed wood is one of the best and most sustainable wood types because it involves the harvesting of no new trees. Reclaimed wood can come from old doors and furniture, old barns, and other wood structures. It has a natural rustic quality that appeals to many consumers and can add an interesting character to structures and furniture.
Aside from reclaimed wood, the most sustainable types of wood are often those that are fast-growing and relatively easy to replace. However, there are many factors to consider when trying to gauge a particular wood's sustainability. Some examples of sustainable woods include:
- Mango hardwood is fast-growing. Mango trees can only produce mangos for so long. When they are finished, they are cut down and can be turned into practical, serviceable wood.
- Ash is also a relatively sustainable wood that is fast-growing and easily adapted to many soil types. Ash is also known to sequester a large amount of carbon.
- White oak. White oak is a very long-lasting product. If properly certified, white oak is very sustainable.
- Black cherry. Black cherry is highly durable and fast-growing, so it's replaced quickly once cut down.
- Hard maple. Hard maple is very common, so collection of hard maple has less impact on the environment than some other species types.
- Eastern red cedar. Eastern red cedar is grown in many regions of the U.S., so it's easy to source it locally. It's also long-lasting and durable.
How Can You Tell If a Wood Is Sustainable?
If you're prioritizing sustainable wood for your construction business, buy wood that is FSC-certified. FSC certification comes from the Forest Stewardship Council. It is considered the gold standard for sustainable wood certification. If a product that you're purchasing is FSC certified, then you can be sure that the wood you're buying is ethically sourced.
For contractors and builders committed to sustainability, using LignoLoc® Cross-Laminated Timber Panels (LCLT) offer an innovative, glue and metal-free solution with exceptional elasticity during construction. This empowers LignoLoc® panels to distribute loads effectively within floor connections. Complementing this, LCLT can be created seamlessly with the BECK LignoLoc® Wooden Nail Systems and CLT panels for eco-friendly timber construction. To explore the myriad advantages of these panels, click below.