Top Timber Tips
Author: Jess McCallum
Research shows that seven out of ten people say they are 'more likely' to choose wood from sustainably managed forests over other building materials when building or renovating. That's great news for many reasons; wood looks fantastic; adds character to your home; and is packed with environmental benefits. Using certified wood for building or renovating locks carbon on the surface of the planet rather than in the atmosphere where it contributes to climate change.
So to give your next project the best head start, we've put together our top tips for choosing good wood and how to bring it to life. It really is easy.
1. Do your research
Different types of wood have different properties, strengths, durability, colours and more. Before starting on your project spend some time researching wood types and styles to find the best fit for your project.
Check out the Wood Solutions website for information on which species are best used where, then create a shortlist to discuss with your builder as they will be able to provide further direction and expertise.
2. Choose recycled or certified wood
Once you know what type of wood you'd like to use, make sure you source recycled or certified wood. By choosing wood that is recycled or independently certified by schemes such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), you can ensure it comes from a responsible source. This means that areas of forests rich in wildlife and significant heritage value stay protected.
Visit the Make It Wood website to find out exactly what to look for.
3. Ask Your Builder
Ask your builder to source the most appropriate sustainable options for your project. All FSC certified and recycled wood should come with an official Chain of Custody, which means the source of timber can be traced back to its point of origin and it has come from a responsibly managed forest.
Using responsibly sourced wood is a great choice. If possible, make sure all the parts of your project are sustainable. For example, if you are putting wood in your bathroom, ensure the taps, showerheads and other water-using appliances are fitted with water saving flow regulators.
It's possible that your builder may not be as-up-to date as you'd like so you may need to do a bit of educating. Refer them to the Wood Solutions website if necessary. Remember, any education you provide will make it easier in the future for other renovators to find responsibly sourced wood.
4. Wood can save you money in the long term
When costing the project, keep in mind that wood itself is a natural insulator due to air pockets within its cellular structure, so it may save on energy costs of heating and cooling in the long term. Wood has been used for thousands of years and is resistant to heat, frost, corrosion and pollution, making it durable and long lasting. The only factor that needs to be controlled is exposure to weathering, which your builder will be able to advise on.
Visit MakeItWood.org to find out more.
Timber Design Awards - Call For Entries
Why not enter your project for the Australian Timber Design Awards? This year, Planet Ark's Make It Wood campaign is proud to be sponsoring the Sustainability Award which recognises the contribution wood makes to creating a sustainable design project. The award acknowledges overall sustainability outcomes like energy and water efficiency, native plantings and waste reduction, too, as well as measures that ensure a sustainable building outcome through the use of wood.
Visit the Australian Timber Design Awards website to enter, or be inspired by previous winners and entrants.