For a wood wise world

Wood is a uniquely renewable building material. New Zealand's Douglas-fir forests are managed sustainably, producing renewable supplies of excellent building materials, while encouraging biological diversity and advocating respect for our environment. Wood is the only building material that is renewable.

Wood helps fight global climate change.

Wood has the lowest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of any commonly used building material. Most people know that as trees grow, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere. That means forests help offset the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels as they literally suck carbon away to help minimise global climate change. But that's not all... the carbon is retained in the wood when it is used as a building material.

The benefits of using more wood in building is obvious.

Not only does wood absorb carbon but it is the least energy-greedy building material to manufacture. Sawn wood has the least embodied energy of all building materials, and causes substantially less in the way of CO2 emissions than steel, concrete or aluminium. The difference in the amount of carbon emitted during manufacture of these materials is dramatic:

MaterialCarbon (CO2) Emitted
Aluminium (virgin) 21600kg per m³
Steel (virgin) 9749kg per m³
Concrete (17.5 MPa) 114kg per m³
Wood (kiln dried dressed) -690kg per m³

Wood shows a negative figure because allowance has been made for the amount of carbon that remains 'locked up' in the structure of the wood throughout its use as a timber product.

Source: The Douglas-fir Association.
Embodied energy and co2 coefficients for nz building materials report (119 KB)