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T I M B E R  D E C K  B E N E F I T S

i n n o v a t i o n      s u s t a i n a b i l i t y      e n e r g y      c o m f o r t

In 2018 the IPCC stated that the world needs to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 if it is to meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. This deadline was part of the Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at COP26 in 2021. The Pact stresses that “limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions.”
Timber is the perfect low carbon material; trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow and lock it up as carbon in the forest and in timber products.

The world is in the midst of a housing crisis, with an overall mass migration to cities. The UN predicts that 66% of the world’s population will be resident in urban areas by 2050. In order to deal with this flow of people, we need to address the way new buildings are delivered in our cities. Higher density, lower carbon, mid-to-high-rise developments provide a solution.
The products made from the felled timber store carbon within their fabric while they are in use. So using timber not only reduces the direct emissions related to construction, reducing the need for carbon intensive materials such as steel and concrete, but the buildings themselves become a new carbon store, with carbon sequestered within their structures.
Timber is the only building material certified as sustainable. Timber is the building material of the 21st century.

Currently, one third of the Earth’s land area is covered by forest, which equates to around 4 billion hectares. An individual forest’s characteristics and make-up are determined by the latitudinal location and climate. The three distinct types of forest include: boreal, temperate further south, and tropical and subtropical near to the equator.
Trees absorb CO2 rapidly during growth with the rate declining as the tree reaches maturity. At that Point the amount of CO2 absorbed through photosynthesis is equal to that lost through respiration and decay. In order to reliably and efficiently use trees and forestry for CDR*, a sustainable and long-term use for the timber is required - so that mature trees are felled and new trees are planted. This maintains the overall carbon pool of the forest and yields new material. Harvesting timber from sustainably managed forests, where replanting maintains or increases timber numbers, increases their capacity as a carbon sink. 
Timber from sustainably-managed forests is naturally renewable. Forests are legally obliged to plant more trees than are harvested.

*CDR - carbon dioxide removal (CDR)

In a post pandemic world, environments for people to work and live that promote health and well-being has never been more important to developers and building users. A healthy environment that prioritises daylight, space, ventilation, comfort, acoustics, and biophilia can boost productivity and levels of user satisfaction within residential and office spaces. 
In 2015, Planet Ark Environmental Foundation, an Australian not-for-profit environmental organisation, published a review of studies analysing the health and well-being benefits of wooden. The review identified that the increased use of wood has measurable physiological and psychological health benefits. Exposing timber ambience could lead to reducing the blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels of inhabitants. Studies also show that living and working in a wooden ambiance can improve a person’s emotional state.
Companies with timber ambiences report higher levels of staff retention, greater levels of productivity and lower levels of sickness. The use of wood has a beneficial effect on air quality through moderating levels of humidity. The timber absorbs moisture in humid conditions and releases moisture in dry conditions, through a process known as Hygric Buffering. Wood does not become electrically charged, which inhibits the raising of dust, reducing allergens and increasing the quality of life for those suffering with respiratory problems.
“We know that workers are less stressed and more productive, students learn better, patients heal faster, and people are generally happier and calmer in indoor areas which contain wooden elements,” states David Rowlinson, Make It Wood Programme Manager at Planet Ark.


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