Building green encompasses many different aspects of the building process. It means using construction materials that come from renewable sources, that are environmentally friendly and toxic free, and that minimize waste and carbon emissions. Building green can be as simple as using recycled building products, insulating to reduce energy waste, or decreasing the size of the structure itself. There are many ways to build green that can lessen the impact on the environment.
With building green becoming more important within the construction industry, it is time that all aspects of building green be explored and utilized in new home building or remodeling. One significant product that will enhance green building is the use of engineered wood also known as engineered lumber in as many areas of the construction as possible. Engineered lumber includes, i-joists, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), rimboard and plywood.
These products are more environmentally friendly than dynamic lumber in several ways:
- Engineered lumber products can be fabricated from wood by-products produced from the traditional milling process. Engineered lumber products use smaller pieces of wood and wood chips bonded with resins to create structural and dimensionally stable building components, thereby reducing the need to harvest larger trees to achieve lumber of the same size.
- The resins used as the bonding agents in modern engineered wood products are formaldehyde-free and eco friendly.
Using these products in building green homes will not only help to reduce our impact on the environment, but when used appropriately will also save in construction costs, will provide a better structure, and have a longer lifespan than traditional lumber products.
- Some I-Joists can be ordered precut to the exact dimensions that are required for the construction project. This can save in shipping costs, as you are not paying for excess weight, and in labor costs and time at the construction site. When the construction project requires large cross section dimensions or extreme lengths, then engineered wood beams are less expensive than large beams of standard lumber.
- Engineered wood products are much less acceptable to warping or twisting than traditional lumber, so ensuring that the structure is built truer and will retain its structural integrity better than using standard dimensional lumber. When the project calls for spans of 16 feet or more, engineered wood joists and beams will make the construction easier and will result in floors and ceilings that remain level.
The construction industry is coming around to the advantages of building green, and the engineered wood product industry is leading the way with eco friendly building products. With products that include wooden I-beams, laminate veneer lumber (LVL) and composite material rimboards, all areas of construction lumber are covered with engineered wood products. The industry is continuing to improve the quality of its existing products, while it continues to search for new and innovative ways to use engineered lumber products throughout the construction process.