The Rise of Mass Timber Construction: Building a Sustainable Future

With increasing pressures on governments and businesses around the world to improve sustainability, different sectors are constantly trying to evolve their operations to find better and more eco-friendly ways to work. In the UK, there is a goal of becoming net zero by 2050 and this requires every person and business to do their bit.

Some industries that have faced this challenge are the building design and construction ones as they search for more sustainable materials to make sure the work they produce isn’t harming the planet.

One material that appears to have grown in popularity for this reason is mass timber, which is seen as an eco-friendly option that could be one of the main ingredients to building a sustainable future. To find out more about mass timber and why it’s so good for architects, designers, and construction workers, read our detailed guide on it below. 

What is mass timber?

Mass timber is sometimes referred to as engineered wood and it’s a sustainable alternative to traditional construction materials. This material is made up of several layers of solid wood sheets that have been either nailed together or glued. This makes the material extremely strong and provided greater stability than other similar options. 

The reasons for its eco-friendliness include:

  • Lower carbon levels than concrete and steal 
  • Sourced from sustainably managed forests from the likes of the FSC
  • Carbon sequestration properties to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air

What are the different types of engineered wood?

Engineered wood is constantly evolving, which has led to new and exciting materials being made for the construction industry.

One of the most common types is cross-laminated timber, which is a strong, efficient, and flexible material. This material is so popular because it allows innovative building designs to come to life with construction workers able to use it in a huge range of ways. Plus, it’s fire-resistant, which should reduce the amount of fire-related incidents in the UK.

Other types you may find being used as well include:

  • Glulam
  • Laminated veneer lumber
  • Plywood
  • Kerto

The role that sustainable forest management companies play

With sustainability at the heart of mass timber production, sourcing the wood in the correct ways is vital. That’s why it’s usually sustainably sourced from forest management organisations so that they can protect ecosystems in the area where the timber comes from. 

Can mass timber be enhanced further?

The easiest way to enhance performance and durability is to bond the timber using resins. Glulam beams are made this way and ensure greater structural abilities, which should make any construction work longer lasting.