Could you imagine the hype if timber was a new invention?  It would be hailed as the product that could help the world address climate change as it is truly the Ultimate Renewable building material.

Timber has been used for thousands of years as it was a product readily available and was easy to use (the Horyuji Temple still standing today at Nara in Japan was built in 594AD, over 1,400 years ago), however, with the focus on environmentally friendly building materials growing, it is now being recognised for what it does naturally, storing carbon in some cases for life.

Unlike other building materials, when timber framing is manufactured today, the sustainable plantations used are replanted for tomorrow and that is why timber is the ultimate framing material.

Over the years we have seen large events promote their environmental credentials, however, the French have taken it to a new level as they aim for environmental excellence in the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games, where they are pursuing a lower carbon footprint than the London Games of 2016.

How are they doing this? They are going back to the building materials they know and love which of course is certified plantation timber.

In fact, the French Government have announced plans for a sustainability law that will ensure all new public buildings are built from at least 50 per cent timber or other natural materials which will be implemented by 2022.

So how can Australian’s tackle climate change?

The biggest financial investment the average Australian will make in their lifetime is their home, but did you know, one of the biggest environmental investment the average Australian could make is also their home.

Here are a few simple facts from WoodSolutions to back up this claim:

Environmental Advantage: Low embodied energy: Wood has the lowest embodied energy of all common building materials. This is a measure of the energy (usually produced by greenhouse gas-emitting generators) that is used to convert the wood in trees to framing timber.

Environmental advantage: Stores carbon from atmosphere: Choosing wood removes greenhouse gases such as CO2 from the air and at the same time emits oxygen that we breathe. Approximately half the dry weight of wood is carbon, absorbed from the atmosphere by a growing tree. Using timber in buildings stores the carbon for as long as the building exists, or the timber is reused or recycled.

Fabricators make it easy with new Carbon Calculator.

FTMA Australia along with MiTek, Multinail & Pryda recognised the importance of building environmentally friendly buildings. This is something our members and customers do every day; they manufacture timber structural products for the housing industry which stores carbon for the life of the product and helps address climate change.

Builders choose timber framing as it is proven and popular, strong, stable, and fast to assemble. These are just a few of the benefits, but with the new environmental age, we felt it was important for builders to understand exactly how much carbon is stored in the structural components.

It was agreed by all that a carbon calculator would be developed and added to the software. Only timber included in structural works generated by the NPM software – roof trusses, floor trusses and wall frames are included in the calculator.

We know that 50% of the dry weight of timber is carbon, that has been removed from the atmosphere. Unlike other building products, we didn’t want to over exaggerate the environmental benefits, as there is no need. Our calculation is the weight of timber material (volume by relevant density dependent on each element) included in the structural components x 0.42, rounded down to the nearest 10kg.

So, if anything, we are underestimating the amount of carbon stored and, in every quote, or layout such as this example by Universal Trusses in Canberra (below) clearly states the Structural Timber products supplied in this building stores approximately 610 kg of carbon.

We don’t need to use spin, we just use facts and if your builder cares about the future and the world’s environment, then they too will become Carbon Warriors, building houses that store carbon for life.

Now the average Australian Family can make the biggest environmental investment in their lifetime by choosing Timber Framing. The Ultimate Renewable.

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