The Future is Wood!

round wood sustainable building materials Wood The Future Is Wood round woodBeing an ethically driven company, we’re immensely proud to be acting as force for change within forest conservation alongside fulfilling our passion for producing beautiful buildings.   As firm believers of being true to our values, Rotunda invests a portion of it’s profits into woodland and forest regeneration and conservation projects in the UK.  This is a subject we’re deeply passionate about.  An eco-building should be exactly that, locally sourced natural or recycled materials wherever possible and reduced chemicals and toxins.   Your eco-build should ultimately be designed and built by a company who’s main aim is to care for the environment, not just to make a profit without a purpose.

Most modular and garden buildings sold in the UK are usually clad with either Canadian or Siberian timber.   Not only is it absurd that timber is being flown half way across the world (to satisfy the UK construction industries insatiable appetite for cheap and flawless timber) it’s nowhere near as attractive as our homegrown British woods; as a consequence, our own woodlands are suffering and traditional forestry trades and crafts are dying out.   We would like to reverse this trend.

We source the majority of our timber from local UK woodlands only, we love wood to have character and love to use Larch, Douglas Fir, Oak and Sweet Chestnut from our very own country – to promote active woodland management and encourage more woodland management schemes!

The area of grown timber in the UK at 31 March 2011 was 3.08 million hectares.   As these trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and lock it away for decades, even centuries which helps reduce climate change. When timber is sawn and used for products such as fencing, pallet and construction, that carbon is ‘locked in’ for further years. When these products come to the end of their working lives then they can be burned to provide heat for homes.

  • In terms of production, wood’s competitors in the construction industry; steel, concrete, plastics – are far less energy efficient and much more polluting.
  • England has only 10% forest cover, one of the lowest in Europe. To help our climate we need to use more wood and to get planting more tree’s, quick growing one’s in particular!
  • In the U.K., we import 87% of our timber requirements, mainly from Canada, Sweden and Russia.
  • Only 10% of the 6 million m3 of sawn softwood used yearly by the U.K. construction industry is home-grown.
  • Timber is the second most widely traded commodity in the world, second only to oil

Importation of illegally felled timber is a major impediment to establishing sustainable timber industries in producer countries. The U.K. is one of the worst offenders, and knowingly supports the illegal timber trade in Indonesia, by importing large quantities of tropical plywood, door blanks and paper pulp – a trade worth around £128m.

Friends of the Earth have produced the table below:

Country Percentage of Illegally Harvested Timber Imports
UK 60%
France 50%
Belgium 60%
Germany 50%
Netherlands 50%
Italy 40%
Spain 30%
Portugal 50%
EU 50%

So, we would hope that even if you decide that a Rotunda isn’t your cup of tea, and you purchase your modular building from another supplier; please check where they’re sourcing their timber from…. it pays to support our British Woodlands!

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