Whether you’re building a new building or renovating an existing one, one of the first questions that comes up is what you’re going to build it with. Exotic hardwoods are expensive but often beautiful. Other materials come with their own costs, both financial and environmental, whether you’re importing bamboo or relying on salvaged lumber. Yet the classic choices are often the best in both regards. Let’s look at the many benefits of using green oak for building.
It Is Eco-Friendly
These types of oak building are one of the most environmentally sustainable choices you could make. The oak is can be grown locally. The timber is farmed in woodlands that act as wildlife sanctuaries. The harvested trees are replaced with new seedlings, resulting in a truly sustainable resource. When you use oak from sustainable sources, the entire project is carbon neutral.
It doesn’t have to be transported very far to be processed and installed in your building. Furthermore, the oak doesn’t have to be heated and requires relatively little processing compared to other materials. It requires less energy and water to create an oak board. There’s little construction waste when you install oak boards relative to artificial building materials. This results in oak timber buildings using a third less energy to be built than conventional homes.
A side benefit of using green oak is that any waste produced can be reused in other ways. The sawdust may be utilized as cattle bedding. Small end cuts can be burned in fireplaces or sent to incinerators to be burned for fuel.
It Is Superior to Most Man-Made Materials
Dry oak matches or surpasses most man-made materials on almost every metric. It provides reasonable insulation. It helps keep the interior temperatures constant before you’ve added any other insulation, and you can add modest insulation to get an energy efficient building. It can last for years. Yet the boards don’t have to be pressure treated, chemically treated or kiln dried like other woods. This not only reduces the energy required to manufacture oak boards, but it means your home won’t release toxic chemicals into the air.
It Is the Aesthetic Choice
There are many reasons you’d want to use it in new construction. It lasts for years. The beautiful white wood gains a silver patina as it ages, but it resists mold and insects. It doesn’t require as much maintenance as other types of wood, either, from repainting to staining. Better yet, oak is naturally beautiful. This ties in to the modern trend toward authenticity and raw materials.
It Is One of the Few Options for Historic Buildings
Oak has a number of points in its favor. For some, it is the only choice, since it is one of the few choices you have when you’re working with a registered historic building. Fortunately, you’ll want to use it to build your new garage, stable or home extension. You can use it to build your new deck or commercial building, and the add-on will blend into the attached building and the general look of the area.