Timber forms the primary super-structure of all our projects and whilst
much of it is home-grown, some is sourced from Scandinavia or
Europe. A recent CLT house was imported from Switzerland, the home
of arguably the best managed forests in the world where various forms
of continuous cover forestry are the norm - making much Scottish
forestry appear somewhat primitive in environmental terms. We
completely avoid tropical woods, Siberian larch and anything
manufactured out of timber in China. Britain is the largest importer of
illegally felled timber in Europe and China is said to import illegal
timber from Russia amongst many other countries.
and larch post
For timber framing we use both home-grown and Scandinavian
softwood. For exterior cladding, we use Scottish larch or spruce,
appropriately coated. For visible post and beam we mostly use homegrown
Douglas fir which we often dress and manufacture in our own
workshop. Where post and beam structure is exposed to the elements
it will be made of home-grown larch or surface treated Douglas fir.
Some of this is milled from logs on our own premises by James Nairn and some on our new Norwood bandsaw.
Recently we have been able to source Scottish hardwood flooring - ash
and sycamore - from Abbey Timber in the Borders which is both
beautiful and environmentally as good as it gets. In the near future we plan to produce our own flooring on the Logosol 4-sided planer recently installed in our new workshop.
For sheathing materials we mostly use locally made OSB by Norboard
and Panelvent from Sweden. Plywood is Scandinavian wherever
possible and we do not use any uncertified material.
With this timber strategy, we can make buildings with very low
embodied energies and low carbon dioxide emissions. Use of a lot of
timber in our designs serves also to fix large quantities of carbon
indefinitely and to promote the management and establishment of
woodland and forests. Avoidance of uncertified timber and material
from unknown sources serves to ensure that we do not contribute
unwittingly to global deforestation and socially harmful practices.