When it comes to creating sustainable, eco-friendly homes, some homeowners may feel they need to turn a blind eye to beauty and appreciate the greener features that may not add to their curb appeal.
Thereâ€™s a building material available today, though, that defies that assumption: redwood.
Grown and harvested under some of the worldâ€™s most stringent environmental guidelines certified well managed and sustainable, redwood is one of natureâ€™s most versatile building products that will bring both strength and natural beauty to any design aesthetic. It is like the supermodel of softwoods.
Redwood is a sustainable building product â€“ start to finish. A Life Cycle Assessment study of redwood showed that redwood lumber is much more environmentally friendly than the production of engineered alternatives. Because redwood is all-natural, it can be recycled or repurposed after its project has reached the end of its life. Synthetic solutions such as composite decking can just end up in a landfill.
In addition, redwood trees continuously scrub carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere, converting that carbon to wood. Even better: that carbon remains stored even after a redwood tree is milled for lumber. That means the average size redwood deck holds on to a half-ton of carbon.
More than just beautiful and eco-friendly, redwood possesses an excellent strength to weight ratio and can span greater distances than plastic composite decking, making it even more economical to use. In addition, it is naturally resistant to decay, termites, and even fire. With periodic maintenance â€“ cleaning and refinishing â€“ a redwood deck will last 25 years or longer.
Redwoodâ€™s versatility means it is the perfect addition to any part of the home; more than just a decking material, redwood can be the starting point of a dramatic outdoor kitchen, pergolas, exposed timber beams, full walls of paneling, and more. The only limit is really the homeownerâ€™s imagination.
With its natural strength, universal aesthetics and sustainable roots, redwood is the perfect green touch to complete your eco-friendly home.
Charlie Jourdain is president of the California Redwood Association. Reach him at [email protected] or (888) CAL-REDWOOD.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, the California Redwood Association is one of the oldest trade associations in the lumber industry. From the very beginning, the associationâ€™s primary mission has been to promote redwood products and educate builders and consumers on the advantages of using redwood. To learn more about redwood, visit the CRA at Real Strong Redwood.