North Woods Construction Ltd

sourcing timber responsibly

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.

Douglas fir and larch post & beam

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.

home-grown hardwood

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.

low embodied energy and carbon fixation

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.