Wood products are no longer a thing of the past. In fact, many say this renewable resource is the future of the building products industry. This is not only due to product innovations but also new research highlighting the environmental, physiological, and economic benefits of using wood products. The timber products industry is paving the way and quickly becoming a choice material for residential construction and large-scale commercial design. So, why is wood making such a comeback? Here are just a few reasons why wood products are the way of the future.
MASS TIMBER PRODUCTION
Product innovation plays a significant role in the future of wood products. Because there is such a strong push for sustainable building materials, the evolution of wood products has happened relatively quickly. Mass timber, such as Glue-Lams and Cross Laminated Timbers (CLT), have emerged on the market as sustainable alternatives to steel and concrete with similar durability.
Many engineers and architects are now finding ways to utilize mass timber for commercial and large-scale buildings. In fact, many building designs now incorporate mass timber with steel or concrete to achieve a low carbon building design that can reach the sizes and heights of standard high rises and warehouses. This type of design is known as hybrid construction. Hybrid designs that incorporate mass timber create environmentally friendly buildings at a lower cost and less time spent on the job site.
Sherwood Lumber is passionate about the environment and advocating for the timber products industry being a sustainable and responsible entity. Research has shown time and time again that wood products not only help the health of our forests but also create the potential for achieving a circular economy. According to one study, a circular economy is “based on the principle of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.”
Timber products and the timber products industry can help set the tone for achieving this circular economy. Because wood is a renewable resource that can be reused and recycled multiple times throughout the product lifecycle, it is an integral product in our attempts to achieve a circular economy. Additionally, wood also captures and sequesters carbon for the entire lifecycle of the product, making it a low-carbon alternative to many other building products.
Forest health is also one of the top priorities for the timber products industry. The timber products industry and healthy forests go hand-in-hand and depend on one another to stay economically viable. Proper forest management, such as regular mechanical treatments, is an excellent way to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, insect infestations, and disease outbreaks. Not to mention the fact that managed forests help keep our air and water clean and our communities safe.
Proper forest management also helps to ensure that forests will continue to be economically viable for years to come. Since wood products are one of the only renewable building materials, this is a major bonus when considering how to ensure that our forests last for years and years to come.
BIOPHILIC DESIGN AND WELL-BEING
In addition to forest health, wood products also have a lasting effect on our own health and well-being. This is due to the biophilic properties of wood, which play on our innate desire to be in nature. The biophilic properties of wood positively affect people’s stress response, productivity, heart rates, and concentration levels.
In order to reap the benefits of these biophilic properties, builders have been finding new ways to incorporate wood products into both residential and commercial buildings. By using products such as mass timber and finish products such as tongue and groove paneling, exposed posts and beams, and wood flooring, we can create sustainable buildings that also benefit the health and well-being of those that inhabit them.
There’s no denying that wood products are trending again, and for a good reason! Not only do wood products add beauty and sophistication to projects, but they are also a great sustainable option. Sherwood Lumber is the chosen source for sustainable, unique finish products such as flooring, siding, and timbers. Contact us today to get a quote on one of our beautiful circle sawn products!