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Sustainability and Style: The Eco-Benefits of Oak Timber Structures - Oak Timber Structures

Expertly Crafted Oak Structures
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News: Sustainability and Style: The Environmental Benefits of Oak Timber Structures

14/08/2023

It's no secret that we love oak here at Oak Timber Structures! From the elegance of the grain to the timeless colours, not forgetting the fact it's insanely strong and requires little maintenance. But is using oak good for the environment?

Yes! Oak is super eco-friendly for construction. First off, it’s a renewable resource. Oak also absorbs CO2 and even retains the harmful gas after felled. As a natural insulator, oak frames and cladding help reduce the reliance on gas heating. Its healthy lifespan also contributes to waste reduction. Moreover, when timber is sourced from well managed forests, there's no deforestation.

Truth is, it’s a misconception that using oak is unhealthy for the environment. So let’s set the record straight. Read on to learn what we do at Oak Timber Structures to make sure our practices benefit the environment. Because in the right hands, oak is a sustainable construction material.

Renewability

Let's start by saying the oak used in all our products are properly sourced. What does this mean? Simply put, the oak will be harvested and renewed as to not diminish the level of oak trees in the forest. So, what do we do at Oak Timber Structures to make sure oak is sustainable?

It’s important to us where we source our oak. After all, oak is only a renewable resource when harvested from responsibly managed forests. With this in mind, we’re very selective and make sure we only use well-managed European forests.

Such controlled forests don’t cause deforestation. They'll make sure they plant new trees after felling old ones. So you can rest assured that your oak structure hasn’t come at the cost of damaging the ecosystem or causing deforestation.

Oak trees love CO2

Let's dive deeper. Why is zero deforestation important? By maintaining the number of oak trees, the oak we use for your structure won't harm the earth's CO2 levels.

Trees absorb CO2 throughout their life. Oak trees, like any other trees, undergo photosynthesis. In this process, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air to produce glucose and release oxygen as a byproduct.

On top of that, CO2 remains in the fibres of the tree even post fell. So, the CO2 remains out of the atmosphere even when your oak structure is constructed.

What's more, according to climate.gov, CO2 is 50% higher than before the Industrial Revolution. Hence why it's important for us to know that for every tree we use, more trees are grown, so we know that our oak products aren't at the detriment to CO2 levels.

Balancing quality and distance

Did you notice we stipulated sustainable European forests? See, we only import our oak from Northern Europe. There are a few reasons for our stance on this.

There's no denying we take the quality of our oak very seriously and that’s a huge contributing factor. If you're familiar with us as a company, you'll know we only use QPA and QP1 grade oak, the best construction quality oak available! So for starters, where we source our timber has to supply the best quality oak.

But, the geographical location is also important to us so we can get the oak on-site without shipping it from the other side of the world. Needless to say, the short trip is much more environmentally friendly compared to importing cheaper wood from further afield.

Handmade with care

We make everything bespoke here at Oak Timber Structures. We wouldn't have it any other way! After all, we love creating one-of-a-kind high-quality oak products for you.

To make everything from scratch, we rely heavily on handcrafting our products using traditional joinery techniques. Of course, we use some machinery to help us cut and plane the oak, for example. But our bespoke approach is more reliant on the skill of our staff rather than production machines. By reducing the usage of industrial machinery, we further decrease our carbon footprint.

Oak is strong

We're well-versed in the strength of oak. You can read more about its durability and strength in the article 'Is Oak The Best Timber For A Garden Structure?'. To surmise, it's both durable due to its density, and strong with impressive load-bearing qualities. It's also naturally water resistant and defiant against rot to boot.

What do these qualities have to do with sustainability? That’ll be the lifespan! Oak trusses and any other of our products are a long-term investment. Meaning that you won’t need to replace oak any time soon compared to cheaper materials with a lesser lifespan. This means using oak also minimises waste.

Combating the cost of living

Did you know your gas boiler can pollute the environment? To what extent may come as a surprise. As reported by nesta.org.uk, the average UK gas boiler emits greenhouse gases to the tune of 2.2 tons of CO2 per year. That's the equivalent of taking seven flights between London and New York!

So how do you reduce your carbon footprint? Moreover, how do you reduce your gas boiler usage? When used in buildings, oak has excellent insulation properties. Better than both brick and steel. Oak frames and cladding won't only look the part, but they’ll also keep heat during cold weather and provide natural cooling during hot weather. This trait diminishes the necessity for excessive heating or cooling. There you have it... lower energy consumption so less environmental impact and a reduction in the gas bill too!

Is using oak environmentally friendly?

Felling trees to use in an oak structure doesn't sound environmentally friendly. Yet, from the reduced need for gas heating to the replanting of trees, it turns out oak is an environmentally friendly building material. In fact, one of the best!

We go the extra mile by sourcing our oak from well-managed sustainable forests. Truth is, it'd break our hearts if we knew we were the cause of deforestation. Because not only do we love oak but it's also our lifeblood! It just wouldn't make sense for us to use unsustainable practices.

Want to know what we turn sustainable wood into? Then take a look at our product line and browse our website https://oaktimberstructures.co.uk/. If you’ve got any questions you want to ask? Whether it be about our sustainability practices or otherwise, call us for a chat at 01889 597283 or email us at contact@oaktimberstructures.co.uk