With the focus of new construction in the United States centering around LEEDS certifications, as well as eco-friendly, green building practices, it is no wonder that many contractors are spending a great deal of time considering the materials used. A LEEDS certification ensures money is saved, buildings are more energy efficient, and most importantly, contractors are making better choices in their building materials.
For most large building projects, including schools, college dorms, malls, and hospitals, LEEDS ratings and eco-friendly measures are almost always taken into consideration. While many argue against the cutting down of trees, it is certainly true that responsibly harvesting and managing the forests is not only a green measure, but it can also ensure that there are lumber resources in the future.
For many companies which are in the business of harvesting lumber, each tree felled will be replaced with at least one seedling. However, experts encourage one mature tree harvested to be replaced with upwards of 10 seedlings. While green activists may argue that this is not a renewable solution, it is important to recognize that with any natural resource, time and cycles are of the essence. A mature tree that can be cut down should be over 30 years old. When this tree is cut down and a seedling replaces it, the cycle will continue; in another 30 years, that seedling will become mature enough to be cut down. If companies responsibly harvest the forests today, this cycle will continue, allowing plenty of lumber for years to come.
Because wood can last centuries if properly maintained, it is a long-lasting resource that also has the option of being repurposed. Currently, reclaimed wood is a growing trend in the lumber industry. When a famous or timeworn structure is torn down, the wood ends up in one of two places: decaying into the soil at a landfill or repurposed into a new, reclaimed project. The allure of reclaiming wood lands in the stories to tell. Imagine telling guests of your home that your kitchen floor is reclaimed wood from your grandparents’ farm. The story of wood passing from generation to generation and being repurposed is not only memory keeping, but also proves the benefit of using lumber.
With over 30% of the world covered by forests, it is no wonder that responsibly managing these forests is a hot topic. Many fear that cutting down entire forests runs the risk of affecting global warming by releasing carbon into the air. When mature trees are being replaced with seedlings, it ensures that there are always forests available to catch the carbon.
Because building with lumber is eco-friendly, renewable, and reclaimable, contractors need to look no further for materials to gain LEED points and ratings. The lumber industry not only benefits the economy by adding jobs, but it also benefits the environment by replacing felled trees with seedlings, a practice that is not often present when forests are cleared for farm land, agriculture, ranching, or large, new construction.
However, it is of the utmost importance for forests to be harvested and maintained responsibly in order to keep this durable, long-lasting resource renewable for years to come. J. Gibson McIlvain Company takes great pride in visiting the mills and forests that their lumber supply originates from. By researching and recognizing responsible harvesting measures, J. Gibson McIlvain is doing its part in offering a green resource for building contractors.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums. Contact a representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling (800) 638-9100.
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