Timber as raw material
Timber is an important raw material and offers several advantages: it is biologically degradable and easy to recycle, ... And it is a renewable natural raw material. That is the case at least when new trees are planted instead of the chopped trees. Whoever uses local timber types, also restricts the CO2 emission of the transport. And as far as truly sustainably managed forests are concerned, the owners not only take into account the ecological needs but also the social and economic needs of the current and future generations.
Timber as a building product
Building with timber is often also cheaper because the construction is lighter and less heavy foundations are necessary. Furthermore, heating costs can turn out to be (a lot) lower because timber insulates better. And as far as fire resistance is concerned, burning timber maintains its physical and mechanical properties longer than you would think: after all, it carbonises. If you compare timber in this regard with for instance steel, we notice that steel starts to melt during fire. Every material has its own specific properties
How can you, as the consumer, know that the timber (product) that you purchase originates from illegally chopped timber, and was produced in a sustainable manner? By choosing timber with a label. Currently, there are two labels on the market in Belgium: FSC and PEFC. These are labels that are the results of a comprehensive certification system. You can read more about the protection of the forests in the section ‘biodiversity’.