Redwood is an excellent decking material that comes from one of the most majestic trees on the planet. In the past there have been issues surrounding the use of Redwood so it’s understandable that eco-conscious builders and homeowners would want to know how green a material it is.
The answer is – very green, especially compared to other options.
In California, where virtually all Redwood lumber comes from, the forestry industry is heavily regulated. There are strict eco standards that must be met when growing and harvesting Redwood. About 90% of the Redwood forests used for product producing is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the Forest Stewardship Council.
The last thing that Redwood producers want to do is deplete the supply and turn forests into flatlands. In addition, forestry eco standards can’t be met without using sustainable forestry methods. Landowners do so in two ways:
- Preserving old growth and focusing on new growth.
- For each mature tree that’s cut down, sapling is planted in its place.
Renewable and Recyclable
Most woods, including Redwood, have a leg up on manmade materials for two reasons. One, Redwood is a renewable resource. And two, at the end of its lifecycle Redwood decking can be recycled. The wood can be repurposed, made into wood chips, reused for other projects, etc.
The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Redwood is a good one. LCA measures the total impact a material has on the environment taking into account the resources used to create it, the pollution created by its production and its end of life impact. Redwood has a very low value as it is created by the sun and water, and it won’t be thrown in a dump after its lifecycle.
Reduces Carbon Emissions
Something else to consider is that wood removes carbon from the air and stores it in wood fibers, even after the wood is made into lumber. Redwood is very efficient at keeping carbon out of the air – up to a half ton of carbon can be stored in one Redwood deck.
What’s more, by using sustainable forestry practices Redwood’s carbon storage can be maximized. Mature trees aren’t able to take in as much carbon as the faster growing younger ones. So when a mature tree is replaced by a sapling, the carbon emission reduction is improved.
Redwood forestry has come a long way in recent years to ensure the health of the forest remains intact and that lumber is produced in the most responsible way possible. When it comes to deck building, Redwood is about as green as it gets.
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Original Source: http://timbertownaustin.com/learning-center/how-green-is-redwood