1. Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Whether building or renovating, as individuals we can make choices which do make a difference to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. A principal goal for environmentally friendly building is to minimise energy consumption.

Embodied Energy is the energy used to extract and process raw materials into finished building components. This calculation includes transportation and energy used in the manufacturing process. The greater the energy needed to make a useable product, the more fossil fuels consumed, burnt and the greater the emission of ‘greenhouse gasses’ into the environment, contributing to global warming.

Timber is a superior material compared with other manufactured materials such as aluminium, steel and concrete as it uses a comparatively small amount of non-renewable energy in its extraction and manufacture.

The table below gives an indication of the embodied energy of common building materials. It is useful in highlighting the carbon emission relativity that exists between the various materials.

Table 1: Products and their effects on CO2 in the atmosphere.

Material Fossil Fuel Energy (MJ/m3) Carbon Released (kg/m3) Carbon Stored (kg/m3)
Rough Sawn timber 750 15 250
Steel 266,000 5,320 0
Concrete 4,800 120 0
Aluminium 1,100,000 22,000 0

Source: Environmental Properties of Timber; I. Ferguson, B. La Fontaine, P.Vinden, L. Bren, R. Hateley, and B. Hermesec
School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, University of Melbourne

2. WERS – Window Energy Ratings Scheme

Timber is a natural insulator. Due to the excellent thermal properties of timber, timber windows rate better than aluminium in reducing winter heat loss.

WERS (Window Energy Rating System) rates the energy impact of windows in housing. With up to 40% of a home’s energy for cooling or heating being lost or gained through the windows, improving their thermal performance reduces energy costs and helps reduce household greenhouse gas emissions.

Hampton and Larsson is a member of WERS and have an approved energy rating which provides up to 42% improvement in cooling and up to 17% improvement in heating. Click here for ratings results.

3. Wood – Naturally Better

Hampton & Larsson supports the Wood Naturally better organisation. The Wood Naturally Better website has been created to give you information about Australia's forest and wood products sector. The aim is to help everyone understand the natural advantages of wood and its positive contribution to reducing the effects of climate change.