When it comes from a responsibly managed forest, wood is one of the most sustainable building materials
No other building product is more environmental than wood. From the growing of the tree to the disposal of the wood products, wood has a minimal environmental footprint. Non-renewable products such as steel, aluminum and concrete use up to 250% more fossil fuel energy from the production to the disposal vs. wood.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies consider the environmental impacts of materials over their entire life cycle, from extraction or harvest of raw materials through manufacturing, transportation, installation, use, maintenance and disposal or recycling. On Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies, windows score A+. In BRE’s Climate Change indicator, wooden windows score A+. This is particularly impressive, given that all other window materials are rated D.
But how to use wood responsably?
Trees are highly efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The process where trees absorb carbon dioxide from the environment is known as the ‘carbon sink’ effect. When trees reach maturity, their ability to carry out carbon sink is diminished. At around the age of 80, trees begin to decay. Methane is then emitted into the atmosphere by ageing trees.
When trees reach this age, they are ripe for harvesting. Some companies such as Bebington Glazing are committed to sourcing wood from aged trees that are no longer able to efficiently absorb carbon dioxide from the environment. Bebington Glazing supplies wooden windows that are completely sustainable, and they obtain certificates to prove this fact. They guarantee that trees used to build our wooden windows are replaced with new trees.
If you maintain your windows, you will prolong the life of your windows. This further improves the carbon store effect of wooden windows. When you come to replace your windows, you should then donate the wood to an organisation that’s able to use the wood for biomass fuel.
The land is freed up to plant new trees that are more efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide. Thus, sustainable forest management actually helps to protect the environment by improving carbon sink.
This science has caused some to describe wood products as being ‘carbon negative’. Investing in wooden windows actually means that you are helping to improve the environment, rather than hurt it.
Homebuilders and remodelers that want to make educated decisions about the materials they use.
Why support Us
Not many people realise that wooden windows can be carbon negative. I wrote this post to educate people on how they can help the environment by choosing wooden products where possible.