Inspired by the recent 2013 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards, we embarked on a journey through architecture and design that uses wood in a captivating way.
The architects beautifully integrate the house into its surroundings, staying true to their objective—that of reinforcing the relationship between building and landscape.
Here the trees are as integral to the site as the architecture they encompass.
We love wood. Wood products are responsible for lower air and water pollution, and have a lighter carbon footprint than other commonly used building materials. Responsibly managed forests can maximize carbon storage over time, and the manufacturing of wood requires far less energy than other materials. In comparison, steel and concrete production is responsible for huge amounts of green house gas emissions, and uses, respectively, 3% and 7% of the world’s energy.
Responsibly managed forests, or responsibly produced wood, are an important component of green building. Wood is the only material with third-party certification programs in place to verify that products originate from a sustainable source.
The most common certification program in North America is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. FSC outlines critical elements of responsible production, which make up the basic principles of the program requirements.
Some of the FSC principles include:
- Compliance with laws, regulations and treaties;
-Operation under a management plan that ensures appropriate protection of flora, fauna, water quality, soil productivity, historic areas, old trees, and more;
- Upholding indigenous peoples’ rights, ownership and use of resources;
- Attention to rights of workers and to the well-being of local communities;
- Monitoring of who receives benefits from the forest, with the objective of ensuring that benefits are not drained by large corporations or others to the detriment of local peoples and communities;
- Maintaining or restoring the ecosystem, its biodiversity, resources and landscapes
Wood is cost-efficient, versatile and durable. Further, as seen in the above project by Allen + Maurer Architects Ltd., it adds unquestionable aesthetic value to any structure.
With rapid urbanization, the proliferation of cities and growing isolation from nature, there is no question that building with wood is the way to go!
For more information on locally sourced and responsibly produced wood check out:
Did you see our Part 1 post on Wood? If not, click HERE to link to it!
Researched and Written by: Julia Borowicz
Urban Studies and Human Geography
University of Toronto, Undergraduate Studies