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Building with Wood Earns Seal of Approval From Environmental Researchers

1867 Confederation Responds to Recent Yale Study with Launch of 'Wood is Good,' An Educational Tool Designed to Reinforce the Positive Benefits of Building with Wood
    BOBCAYGEON, ON, July 26, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On the heels of a new study released by Yale University, 1867 Confederation Log & Timber Frame is reinforcing the message that wood is a renewable, recyclable and responsible building material, including the launch of a new, informative wood facts page on its corporate website at:

http://www.confederationloghomes.com/our-homes/wood-house-good-house/

The comprehensive study, completed by Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the University of Washington's College of the Environment, found that using more wood and less steel and concrete in building construction has the potential to substantially reduce global carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel consumption.

"We've been educating consumers about the benefits of building with wood since our inception," said 1867 Confederation owner Rick Kinsman. "This new report from Yale validates what we've been saying all along and is helping us to dispel myths in the marketplace."

Specifically, Yale researchers found that increasing the amount of wood harvested globally each year from 20 percent to 34 percent of annual wood growth would reduce global CO2 emissions by between 14 and 31 percent, and annual global fossil fuel consumption by 12 to 19 percent. They also stated that "wood-based construction consumes much less energy than concrete or steel" and that "through efficient harvesting and product use, more CO2 is saved through the avoided emissions, materials, and wood energy than is lost from the harvested forest."

The study is a significant step forward when it comes to educating consumers, says Kinsman. Not only does it indicate that tree harvesting can safely be increased from current levels, it also shows that harmful emissions stored in trees are prevented from returning to the environment when wood is used in construction. All of which will be included on 1867 Confederation's new Wood is Good website link.

"Cutting down trees tends to evoke an emotional response in people. We have a strong tie to living things, but we don't often put other construction processes under the same microscope," he says. "This study demonstrates that, when harvested properly, wood continues to be one of the most sustainable building materials available."

Calculating the Carbon Benefit of a Log Home

A significant environmental benefit of building with wood comes from its ability to sequester carbon. When a tree is cut, the carbon it has absorbed over its lifetime is retained within the wood product for the useful life of the product and even further if it's reused/repurposed.

To help consumers measure a positive environmental benefit of building with wood, the Canadian Wood Council's (CWC's) Ontario WoodWORKS! Program recently launched a free on-line carbon calculator that can be used to estimate the total carbon benefit of a wood project. The tool indicates that a 1,600-square-foot log home constructed by 1867 Confederation sequesters 15 metric tons of carbon dioxide and avoids 31 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

"The calculation also indicates that the overall carbon benefit of a typical log home is equivalent to taking nine cars off of the road for a year and enough energy savings to operate a home for four years," notes Kinsman.

Further benefit is gained when consumers choose a wood foundation over concrete. For example, adding a wood foundation to the same 1,600-square-foot log home would sequester an additional three metric tons of carbon dioxide and avoid six further metric tons of emissions.

Wood foundations also tend to be dryer, less prone to damage from cold weather, better insulated, more economical and can be built during the winter or in hard to access locations. They also offer increased living space because drywall can be attached directly to the foundation wall studs.

"The more people think about the environmental benefits of wood, the more they are considering wood foundations," noted Kinsman, whose first 1867 Confederation log home features a wood basement that looks and performs the same today as it did three decades ago.

According to the CWC, wood outperforms steel and concrete when using Life Cycle Assessment to measure environmental impact. Most importantly, wood as a building material emits fewer greenhouse gases, releases less pollutants into the air, generates less water pollutants, produces less solid waste and embodies less energy in production.

"As significant as wood is to our past, it is going to play an even more important role in our future," says Marianne Berube, Executive Director, Ontario WoodWORKS! "Buildings that incorporate sustainably sourced wood products help reduce the carbon footprint of our built environment.

"Using wood more efficiently, and in the new ways made possible through scientific research, advanced manufacturing and computer-aided design, has ensured that today's wood buildings are not only sustainable, they're also smarter, stronger and more versatile," she adds.

1867 Confederation uses locally, sustainably harvested white pine and is part of the Ontario Wood brand. Ontario Wood is a buy local initiative of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources which enables consumers to recognize products produced in the province from trees grown in the province.

Ontarians should be proud that Ontario Wood is among the best-managed natural resources in the world. "When you see the green leaf emblem, you know that a wood product meets certain environmental standards," explains Kinsman, adding that 1867 Confederation wood comes from FSC-certified foresters only, meaning foresters adhere to harvesting guidelines and principles established by the Forest Stewardship Council.

To access the free WoodWorks Carbon Calculator to determine the carbon benefit of your own wood project, go to http://cwc.ca/resources/online-tools/. To learn more about Ontario Wood visit http://www.ontario.cawood.

About 1867 Confederation Log & Timber Frame

One of only five companies worldwide to receive the prestigious Log Home Guide Seal of Approval, 1867 Confederation Log & Timber Frame has steadily earned a strong reputation as North America's leading log home manufacturer since its inception in 1979. Today it operates an extensive dealer network which is involved in constructing residential, commercial and industrial buildings throughout the world.

Media Contact:
Mark Wessel, Bullpen PR, 705-445-2733, mwessel@bullpenpr.com


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Mark Wessel
Bullpen PR

Bobcaygeon, Ontario
Canada
Voice: 705-445-2733
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