In a world grappling with the enormity of climate change, timber has emerged as the herald of hope. The reason? Timber is a natural, renewable, and sustainable material that helps sequester carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the primary greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.
When timber is used in construction, it continues its role as a carbon store, effectively locking away the CO2 it absorbed during its growth phase. This process helps in reducing the overall carbon footprint of the building industry. In comparison to conventional building materials like concrete and steel, timber requires less energy in production, resulting in lower CO2 emissions.
Moreover, as timber is harvested, it makes way for new trees to be planted, creating a continuous cycle of growth, harvest, and replanting. This cycle contributes to a healthy, thriving forest ecosystem that serves as a robust carbon sink, underlining timber’s pivotal role in the fight against climate change.
So, in a world striving to find sustainable solutions, timber stands tall, not just as a material, but as a symbol of hope and resilience. It showcases that in the fight against climate change, every tree, every board, and every timber frame counts. It’s a story that highlights the harmonious relationship between human advancement and environmental stewardship, rooted in the simple, powerful act of growing and utilizing trees.
The story of timber’s role in carbon storage continues well past the point of its harvesting and its use in construction. Timber’s ability to sequester carbon dioxide doesn’t stop when a tree is cut down. In fact, it’s only just beginning.
When timber is used to create durable goods like furniture or building frames, it continues to function as a carbon bank, storing the carbon it absorbed throughout its life. This is because the carbon contained in the timber is effectively locked away, preventing its release back into the atmosphere.
Even as the timber ages, it does not release its carbon. Whether it’s a timber frame holding up a century-old home or a piece of wooden furniture passed down through generations, as long as the wood remains unburned and undecayed, it will continue to store that carbon indefinitely.
In this way, timber frames in buildings aren’t just architectural elements; they are life-long carbon storage devices. They underline the unique and enduring role of timber in our quest to mitigate climate change, illustrating that the sustainable use of wood can create not just buildings, but lasting legacies of carbon sequestration.
To put this into perspective, the average timber-framed home, storing 7.65 tonnes of CO2, equates to some impressive environmental equivalents. For instance, this is roughly the same amount of CO2 produced by driving a standard passenger vehicle for approximately 29,000 kilometers. In the Australian context, that’s akin to driving from Sydney to Perth and back, almost three times!
So, choosing timber for home construction isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; it’s a decision that could offset a substantial portion of your annual carbon emissions, and that’s a significant step towards fighting climate change.
We need every fabricator to reach out to their State & Federal Members of Parliament and share these amazing facts. All social housing in Australia MUST be built with timber frames and trusses, if we are to truly create a greener future.
We have the contact details for all fabricators members of parliament, so if you need contact details, please email email@example.com.
IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.
WoodSolutions. (n.d.). The environment, sustainability & recycling. Forest and Wood Products Australia Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.woodsolutions.com.au/environment-sustainability-recycling