Close this search box.

How using timber instead of steel and concrete, can greatly impact the environment.

Using timber instead of steel, can greatly impact the environment when building our homes. Studies have shown that a timber-framed house stores roughly 7.5 tones of carbon. While a standard family’s steel framed house can release around 2.9 tones of carbon, into the earth’s atmosphere.


steel frame house

Lets start with steel it is a more durable material with multiple properties, some being, fire and water-resistant. it also has a higher load capacity than timber. Although, steel has the downfall of being more expensive and having higher Co2 emissions emitted during production.


It is assessed that 2 billion tons of steel is produced every year. Which then generates around 8% of global emissions. For each ton of steel produced in the conventional blast furnace, basic oxygen furnace route, between 1.5 and 3 tons of fossil carbon are released into the atmosphere. 2.


Concrete is often used as a base structure for steel and timber framed houses. The concrete is poured into the slab and foundations. Concrete is also used in high-rise and multi level buildings. The use of steel increases the load capacity, allowing for higher skyscrapers and innovation in the construction industry.


An issue with concrete is that it is also one of the biggest carbon polluters. It is calculated that each year more than 4 billion tones of concrete are produced each year. This also accounts for around 8% of global CO2 emissions. 1.The main key raw material used in Portland cement production is limestone. This releases carbon dioxide as it is heated in a cement kiln. This process accounts for over 55% of cement-related emissions.


Cement production plants are already looking at ways to reduce the carbon used to fire the kilns. This has been through the use of low carbon fuels such as biomass. It is estimated that these process could help to reduce carbon emissions by a third. The future could mean more biomass fuels and green hydrogen cement plants.



Timber Frame

The storing of carbon dioxide is done through a trees ability to process carbon with photosynthesis. Timber used in building, can store between 30-40% of the new homes Co2 emissions produced, through its lifetime. In fact, for every dry ton of timber produced, 1.8 tones of carbon dioxide are taken from the earth’s atmosphere.


A disadvantage to using timber in construction is it will over time begin to shrink, crack and even swell, if it comes into contact with moisture. If timber its not treated correctly rot and termites can destroy it. Unlike concrete and steel, timber is not water or fire resistant.


Lets look at the environmental benefits to using timber in home construction. Studies have shown that if you swap timber for steel, it is possible to cut Co2 emissions by 0.9 tons per cubic meter. This means when building a standard 3 bedroom detached house in the UK, you are reducing the carbon footprint of the house from 20 tons to about 17 tons. This is just by using a timber frame instead of a steel frame. Which from the outset doesn’t seem a great deal but if you multiple these numbers by the amount of new homes being built in the UK each year, it suddenly turns into an astonishing amount.

In conclusion, until the carbon emissions from concrete and steel production are radically reduced. Timber, although not as durable, would less impact the environment. We need governments to push manufactures to innovate the production process. We don’t see a future without steel or concrete being used in construction. So lets find a find a way to innovate the process to become environment friendly.


building site uk

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Sustainable Home

From this guide you will also find tips from the pre planning process to waste management tips. Also with helpful tips to manage and optimise the energy efficiency of the building. We can help continuously educating you on the latest sustainable building practices and technologies to make informed decisions throughout the construction process.

Read More »
Gas Meter

Gas Bill Got You Heated? Try These 4 Money Saving Tips

As the chilly UK winters approach, heating our homes becomes essential for our comfort and well being. However, rising gas costs can significantly impact our monthly bills. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to reduce gas consumption and lower your energy expenses. In this article, we will explore the top four ways to reduce your gas bill while keeping your UK home warm and cosy.

Read More »
Sustainable Cellulose,Insulation

Top 4 Sustainable Insulation Materials

Sustainable Insulation is an essential component of any UK home, providing a barrier against heat loss or gain. It is designed to trap heat inside during cold weather and prevent heat from penetrating the walls during hot weather, creating a comfortable living environment for homeowners. With insulation, homeowners can save a significant amount of money on their energy bills while reducing their carbon footprint.

Read More »
rainwater harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting in the UK: A Sustainable Solution

Rainwater harvesting is an ancient practice of collecting and storing rainwater for later use. In the UK, rainwater harvesting is estimated to save over 35,000 litres of mains water per year per household. With the increase of water bills and the risk of droughts, rainwater harvesting is becoming an important source of alternative water supply in the UK

Read More »
Solar Panels UK Homes

Shining a Light on Solar Panels: The Benefits for UK Homes

Solar panels have become an increasingly popular source of renewable energy for UK households. By harnessing the power of the sun, homeowners can significantly reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, save money on their energy bills. This will help the UK achieve its target of net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050.

Read More »
heat pump

How heat pumps are revolutionising UK homes

Learn about the benefits and challenges of using heat pumps for low-carbon heating in the UK, as the country aims to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Find out how heat pumps work, how they compare to gas boilers in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact, and what financial incentives are available to encourage their adoption

Read More »