|Natural resources fuel the building industry, and many of the materials used deplete those resources at an accelerating rate. The world is becoming more conscious of how human actions can impact the planet. The best emerging choice is wood, a sustainable resource. With proper management, wood can supply our needs for generations while new young forests absorb more carbon dioxide and release more oxygen than old forest reserves.
Pan abode draws from these reserves and also with the implementation of new Pan Abode Building systems, many of our products are engineered to utilize smaller pieces of wood applied together to make a stronger, more efficient building member. Drastically reducing wood waste.
We build with a variety of materials, from traditional products such as steel, wood, concrete and masonry to more modern alternatives such as plastics and composites. Assessing the environmental impact of each of these materials requires a look at the full life of the product, from its extraction to manufacturing through its use in service to disposal. At every step, each of these products can impact our environment. Out of all of these materials, wood emerges as the most environmentally responsible choice available today. Wood's natural attributes make it uniquely suited to both the performance and environmental demands for modern building materials.
Wood is the only naturally renewable building material produced today and its existence alone generates many good things for the environment. For example, a young forest produces 1.1 tons of oxygen and absorbs 1.47 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of wood fiber, which stores the carbon. A typical 2,400 square foot wood house represents 28.5 tons of stored carbon dioxide, or the rough equivalent of seven years' of emissions from a small automobile.
As a natural material, wood is safe to handle and use, is biodegradable and can be recycled easily. Wood is converted into thousands of products, from lumber, panels and paper to shoe polish, liquid soaps and cologne.
Forest harvesting and renewability....
There is a popular misconception that America's forests are disappearing and that we are running out of trees. The facts, however, show just the opposite.
Forest growth in the U.S. has exceeded harvest continually since the 1940s. According to the Forest Service , the U.S. forest inventory has actually increased by 39 percent since 1952.
The U.S. is the leader in reforesting, planting some 2 billion new trees a year. The forest products industry is responsible for 41 percent of all replanted forest acreage. Thanks to these efforts, there are 10 million more acres of forestland in the U.S. today that there were 15 years ago.
The forest products industry does more than just plant and harvest trees. As foresters, wood products companies follow rigorous standards and forest practices to protect the trees, soil, air, water and wildlife.
It all comes back to choices. If we are to join the growing number of responsible people who advocate the sustainable and wise use of our natural resources, we must measure our choices between one building material and another. We must look at all aspects of each material, from extracting to manufacturing to final use, and consider the variety of impacts such actions can have on our planet.
By nearly any measure, wood offers the best choice among building materials for most uses. It is strong, light, durable and safe to handle. It uses less energy over its lifetime, generates little pollution and is biodegradable for disposal. It is naturally renewable and there are ways to assure that the wood we use is being produced sustainably and responsibly.
We have the ability to take anything we want from this earth. But we also have the responsibility to take it wisely and give back what we can.
We all have choices. In building materials, there is only one clear choice: wood.
For more info on this topic, please visit wwpa.org Western Woods Product Association website. Special thanx to WWPA for providing the data for this article.