Photo: Maggie's Oldham © Alex de Rijke


Sustainable production includes assessment of the embodied CO2 of wood as it moves from forest to building site. Minimising transportation, reducing emissions from glues/lacquers during production and creating efficient production processes all play a part in creating a sustainably produced timber product.


The production of timber products can be made more ecologically sound through the adoption of eco-processing plants. These can be powered by biofuel from the stripped bark of the trees, powering processing machinery and even local communities if there is a surplus created.


Suggested Reading

Learning Resources

Module: Environmental aspects of wood

This module is a teaching aid for tutors delivering courses on the use and design of timber in engineering and architecture.


Unit: Treatments and adhesives

This unit covers the following topics: from tree to finished component; modern preservation techniques and natural durability; and adhesives. 


Magazine Articles

Building with wood in a climate emergency (2020)

Gary Newman discusses how the use of timber in construction should be increased to mitigate the effects of climate change.


CLT: not costing the earth (2018)

A ground-breaking study shows how cross-laminated timber provides a competitive alternative to concrete frames, says Alex Hyams.


Delivering sustainability: what does the construction industry want from its timber and timber product suppliers? (2017)

Sustainability is a key concern for those who work with timber. Charlie Law reviews feedback from sustainability professionals within the construction industry summarising what is being achieved and what more can be done to meet the standards required.


Timber Building Case Studies

Maggie’s Oldham

Maggie’s Oldham is a deliberate exemplar of how to create a fresh, uplifting and caring environment while eliminating the use of harmful materials. 



Biogenic materials for housing (2012)

This research summary examines various approaches to the assessment of environmental credentials of renewable building materials. The summary also highlights the numerous barriers to be overcome and poses recommendations on how to improve the use of biogenic materials in the UK in order to help the country's construction industry meet carbon targets.


Incorporating embodied energy in the BIM process, Northumbria University (2012)

This paper examines the incorporation of carbon data into the Building Information Model (BIM) process and considers option appraisals that will enable design team members to evaluate both operational and embodied CO2 emissions over the life cycle of a project.


Other sustainability sub-topics

Timber as a sustainable material 

Sustainable timber sourcing

Sustainable building design in the circular economy

Sustainable building processes

Sustainable building life

Sustainability and health

Sustainability – Home