When using other materials like concrete and stone in construction you can't help but wonder about the environmental aspects of deriving them. Both have to be mined which, if done according to environmental norms, can have a significantly less impact than if they were to be sourced though non-eco-friendly methods. However, the fact that they must be mined and processed means that plenty of energy must be utilized, huge quantities of water are needed, and the pollution from plants can destroy water bodies and leach into soil.
With wood, the only processes required are felling and treating it to withstand infestation by insects and rot caused by water. It's an inherently green material and even its processing and treatment does not yield massive amounts of pollution or require a large supply of energy.
Today, wood costs more than what our forefathers would have paid. The demand is exceedingly high thanks to booming construction and despite the utilization of concrete, engineered wood and stone. It will also continue to be in demand whether in virgin form or reclaimed because there's just no other material that offers the same benefits.
Unlike other building materials, wood is versatile. It can be crafted according to design requirements and is cheaper to work on, has a lot of aesthetic appeal which pushes up the value of a house (if properly maintained) and is also the primary component of engineered wood which is itself enjoying huge popularity.
In cold regions where concrete and stone provide no thermal benefits, wood remains the only choice. The addition of cladding and drywall helps turn wood-based structures into fire-retardant and fire-resistant buildings despite the proneness of wood to fire damage.
Once it outlives its usefulness in a structure, wood can be recycled into a variety of products for numerous applications. An emerging class of the population with green aspirations prefers to salvage old timber for constructing new houses, effectively lengthening the life of wood. And with more people opting to settle down in smaller houses that same wood can be used to construct tiny houses and even micro houses together with recycled steel, particle board and engineered wood.
Flooring, beams, window frames, banisters, posts and moldings are some of the components catered by wood. All-wood houses can be constructed but are expensive which is why most opt to use it in select applications. An added advantage is that you can choose to use a range of wood types including imported timber. Not only does it turn a structure into an extremely appealing work of art but it can increase the listing price in case you decide to sell.
There are over 5,000 types of wood in the world, each with distinct thermal, acoustic and mechanical properties. This means there's a type for every need and even every budget. So whether it's a cabin you want to build or interiors filled with wooden components, you will find one that matches all requirements and preferences in almost every part of the world.