To some, mass timber is a fairly new concept. To others, it is a well-known term in construction. Whatever it means to you, the important factor is to know how it can be used and how it is sustainable.
As defined within the National Construction Code, Mass timber is “mostly engineered timber elements that are generally 75mm or greater in thickness”. They can be solid, glue laminated, dowel laminated or nail laminated to achieve a thickness of 75mm or greater. In other words, a ‘massive’ piece of engineered timber suitable for construction.
For example, mass timber products include:
To start with, timber itself is a renewable resource. When sustainable and responsibly harvested timber is used, it reduces our dependence on materials from non-renewable sources, such as concrete and steel, which have very high levels of embodied energy.
Timber is the ultimate building material of the 21st century because:
But, what about mass timber?
Mass timber combines all of the benefits wood offers but makes them bigger and better.
The building industry currently accounts for up to 18% of Australia’s greenhouse gases. The building sector can reduce this percentage through mass timber construction by:
Take a look at this table which outlines the embodied energy of building materials. Kiln-dried sawn hardwood beats almost all other materials like cement, galvanised steel, plastics, etc.
So now you know that it is sustainable, what else does mass timber have to offer?
Wood is the only building material available that grows naturally and is renewable. It is the best possible option for builders, architects and developers to build using a sustainable resource that will help the environment by storing carbon for life. By choosing Australian grown and certified timber, you can rest assured that every tree harvested is regrown – guaranteeing sustainability, now and into the future.
‘Mass timber’ simply adds scale to the sustainability of wood.