Can Timber Frame Construction Help with Climate Change?

With a renewed focus on the environment, green initiatives, and reversing climate change, building with more thought and sustainability will be important in the coming years. While this may be a challenge for some architects and builders who have been comfortable building with materials like steel and concrete, it is exciting for those who already work with heavy timber and mass timber, because they have known all along the benefits of this type of building material.

Let Us Explain…

There are many reasons building with timber is considered β€œgreen” and helps keep climate change at bay β€” whether it be traditional heavy timber or innovative mass timber. For one, timber structures are more energy efficient than conventionally built structures because they utilize SIPs (structural insulated panels). These panels are adhered around the structure, as opposed to stick-built structures, where insulation goes in between each structural element. Building with timber is also green because the timbers are prefabricated to specifications and then easily assembled on-site, reducing waste.

The biggest green benefit of building with timber, however, is that it cuts down on carbon emissions. Trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the environment. Unlike building materials like steel, which emit quite a bit of carbon dioxide just during the production process, the timber derived from trees stores carbon dioxide even after it is harvested, fabricated, and used for construction. That carbon remains in the timber for the lifetime of the structure. So, not only does timber absorb excess carbon during its lifetime, but it also does NOT emit carbon while being processed and used in the structure built from it.

But is Timber Construction Sustainable?

Building with timber is also a very sustainable practice. Timber is a renewable resource, and, if sourced from responsibly managed forests, it cuts down on deforestation and aids in proper forestry management. Mid-Atlantic Timberframes sources and harvests all of our timber from the United States. For every tree our supplier cuts down, they plant ten. Forestry has come a long way in the last fifty years. Foresters are no longer permanently removing large swaths of trees, but are renewing them for future generations and future use. This benefits humans and animals, which, in turn, benefits the environment and climate too.

Interested in Learning More?

Between forestry management and lowering carbon dioxide emissions, timber construction is the perfect way to build sustainably and stave off climate change. For more information on how to build using sustainable timber, contact Mid-Atlantic Timberframes today!

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