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The ultimate renewable

Sustainability

A well-managed timber source is arguably the most environmentally friendly building product available.

Timber is the ultimate renewable. Trees capture and store carbon and are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. When we choose sustainably and responsibly harvested timber over other materials, we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and their consequent carbon emissions. 

Timber can be used to increase a buildings ‘life cycle assessment’, has minimal embodied energy and the ability to change appearance by re-painting/staining as trends change – there is no better product!

Timber by-products can be used for carbon neutral energy sources or fertilizers and (providing that we replace what we harvest) is the only truly sustainable building material we have. Aluminium, steel, concrete & plastic are not produced from renewable sources.

Calculate Carbon Sequestration

Calculate the carbon sequestration of your project and the time it takes to regrow the timber.

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Total carbon captured
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Growth rate
The figures for CO2 captured and growth rate used in this calculator were sourced from Wood Solutions, VicForests and AHEC.

Of course, many of these environmental factors are well known, but here is some practical information you may not be aware of.

  • While many people would consider ‘re growth forestry’ as being ‘plantation’, reality is that they are not because plantations are grown in a mono-culture. Re growth forestry’s purpose is to balance habitat and timber production in perpetuity – a task that plantations or mono-cultures cannot do.
  • Sustainable timber helps beat climate change. According to the IPCC, “a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit”. Source.
  • The forest and wood products industry in Australia has one of the best circular economies available. Source.
  • Swapping timber for concrete and steel in construction (whether large or small buildings) will greatly reduce carbon emissions caused by the building industry. Source.
  • When constructing a window, choosing timber instead of aluminium creates a lower ‘U’ value which translates into a more energy efficient and comfortable home. In fact, the humble single glazed timber window naturally performs better than an aluminium window of the same kind. It takes the incorporation of an expensive ‘thermal break’ to create a similar U-Value in an aluminium window. Source.
  • A hardwood timber window with a protective coating will have the greatest life cycle assessment of any type of window. Refer to this comparative life cycle assessment of window systems. This information translates to other building materials too – such as wall claddings, stairs, floors and structural components.
  • Hardwood has a great Life Cycle Analysis which results in one of the best Environmental Product Declarations possible. Use this to obtain more Green Star credits.
  • Wood is ‘better than carbon neutral’ because of stored carbon during photosynthesis. A working hardwood forest is better for the climate than the alternative Carbon Stocks and Flows in Native Hardwood
  • Timber is good for our mental health and well-being. Source.
  • The by-products of sustainable timber can be used as carbon neutral energy alternatives to fossil fuels. Source.
  • We are proudly third party audited for Australian Forest Standard (AFS), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC), the Environmental Management System ISO14001. Source. You can view ASH’s Environmental Policy here.

Sustainability

VICTORIAN ASH

On a holistic level, our Victorian Ash is one of the best options once you include carbon sequestration, life cycle analysis, harvesting and regeneration. Here are some of the facts.

 

  • 100% of our timber is sourced from regrowth forests.
  • 100% is regrown.
  • Before harvesting, all flora, fauna, silvicultural, historical and cultural aspects are surveyed, plotted and allowed for. Source.
  • The harvesting process is scientifically designed to mimic natural growth pattern of Victorian Ash species to ensure regeneration occurs within an organic cycle. Source.
  • Less than 0.05% of the forest area is harvested each year on an 80 year rotation. (Yes, that decimal point is in the right place). It is then regenerated. Source.
  • Only 6% of Victoria’s total forest area is both suitable and allocated for harvesting and regeneration on an 80 year cycle. These areas are scattered throughout the state to minimize and spread impact. Habitat trees are protected with protection zones varying in size depending on the animals requirements. 70% of the Victorian ash forests are in National Parks and reserves. Source.
  • The seed mix of each harvest is collected and re-planted in place of harvest to maintain diversity. Source.
  • Around 200,000 seeds are sown per hectare during aerial seeding. Source.
  • 100% of each log we receive is used. E.g. Off-cuts are finger jointed to make structural timber and sawdust used as a green energy solution to power our kilns. Source.
  • Up to 50% of the weight of kiln dried Victorian Ash is actually stored carbon (320kg per cubic metre approximately). This is far more helpful for life-cycle assessment and embodied energy considerations than other building materials or soft woods. Source.

Sustainability

American Oak

American Oak by ASH answers our absolute commitment to sustainable harvesting – oak forests are increasing by 39.9 million m3 ever year.

 

  • It takes 0.57 seconds to grow 1m3 of American red oak. Source.
  • Between 1953 and 2012 the volume of U.S. hardwood growing stock increased from 5.2 billion m3 to 12.0 billion m3, a gain of over 130%. Source.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, the volume of hardwood standing in the U.S. increased at a rate of 124 million m3 a year (even after harvesting and natural mortality is taken into account) – that’s about 4 m3 every second. Source.
  • 1069kg per cubic metre of American Oak is stored carbon. This is far more helpful for life-cycle assessment and embodied energy considerations than other building materials or soft woods. Source.
  • The total area of hardwood and mixed hardwood-softwood forest types in the U.S. increased from 99 million hectares in 1953 to 111 million hectares in 2012.This area increased consistently throughout the 60 year period and continued at a rate of 401,000 hectares per year between 2007 and 2012 – that’s equivalent to adding an area the size of a soccer pitch every minute. Source.
  • Owners of U.S. hardwood forests usually grow their forests on longer rotations and typically selectively harvest a few trees per hectare. Source.
  • American hardwoods are legal, sustainable and have low environmental impact. Source.

Sustainability

Jarrah

Jarrah is a renewable, sustainable resource that is entirely harvested in Western Australia.

 

  • 100% is replanted and regrown
  • The Forest Products Commission of Western Australia (FPC) sustainably develops renewable timber supplies in WA. The Commission is independently certified to AS4708:2007 and ISO 14001. Source.

Sustainability

Grey Gum

Grown, harvested and processed in Victoria, Grey Gum is the perfect example of an environmentally friendly timber.

 

  • Grey Gum sourced from VicForests is certified to the Responsible Wood Standard and is endorsed and internationally recognised by PEFC. Source.
  • Recyclable and renewable
  • 100% regrown
  • Less than 0.05% of the forest area is harvested each year on an 80 year rotation.  (Yes, that decimal point is in the right place). It is then regenerated. Source.
  • Only 6% of Victoria’s total forest area is both suitable and allocated for harvesting and regeneration on an 80 year cycle. These areas are scattered throughout the state to minimize and spread impact. 70% of the Victorian ash forests are in National Parks and reserves. Source.
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