By Cheyenne Wells
Twenty-first century homebuilders are confronted with new challenges as we face the impact that our homes have on our environment.
Today we have to ask ourselves how good for my health and well-being are the building materials of my new home? How big is the carbon footprint of my new home? Instead of building in opposition to nature, isn’t there a way to build with nature? To tackle these questions, consider the fact that better home building is about each and every one of us and how we relate to the other life-forms that share our planet.
Unlike buildings of brick, concrete and other synthetics, every eco timber home sustains life. Timber is a constantly renewed resource. For every tree that an eco-timber home uses, another three trees are planted by a company’s suppliers in sustainable forests. Timber growth is measurable in cubic metres. For every new cubic metre of timber, a ton of our planet’s excess carbon dioxide is absorbed and re-released as life-giving oxygen.
By building a timber home you are not only making a difference to our environment, but also saving money in the long run, as wood is a natural insulator, saving on the high electrical consumption demand of appliances like heaters and air conditioners. For long-lasting durability, wood is unbeatable. Unlike synthetics, wood adapts to natural forces by flexing and not cracking under the pressures applied by wind, water and earth. Even in the unlikely event of fire, wood defies conventional wisdom. It is, in fact, safer than synthetics, as it burns at a slower rate and is less liable to melt and suddenly collapse.
A fast-growing community of architects is starting to embrace the benefits of timber construction and its green value. The added benefits of timber construction are the reduced construction time, and the low impact on the surrounding natural environment.
The timber in every eco timber home adheres to stringent treatment and structural standards. Each eco timber home is built strictly according to South African National Standards (SANS 10082:2007) and all other South African building regulations.