Use of engineered timber in buildings has a positive impact on the environment: Study

“South Africa was the first African country to develop a ‘green’ building rating system and today has a number of rated green building projects” according to authors of a new life-cycle study.

The research, published in the South African Journal of Science, compares the environmental impact of different roof truss systems in South Africa. More than 70 per cent of all sawnwood in South Africa is used in buildings, especially in roof structures where light steel is a competitor. The results show that the two timber systems had overall the lowest environmental impact.

Furthermore, embodied carbon dioxide present in timber proved a significant role in the global warming potential impact and could even be further reduced if wood were used to generate energy at the end of its life.

The study concludes that there are huge advantages of using local timber products to reduce the environmental impact of the truss and building industry in South Africa.