Sustainable possibilities from waste timber
Authors: Skates, Henry; Underhill, Ian; Gilbert, Benoit
Plantation timber forms an integral part of the future of timber industries, but in its production, significant quantities of timber is lost as waste in the form of plantation ‘thinnings’ (plantation thinnings are the sub-standard or poor quality trees that are removed prior to trees reaching full rotational age and have no to low commercial value).
This paper reports on and promotes a more sustainable approach to the use of plantation timber and in particular the normally waste plantation ‘thinnings’. The holistic approach is achieved by developing methods not only for processing but also for the manufacture of products that utilize the plantation ‘thinnings’ for structural and architectural applications. More specifically, the paper reports on the development and testing of a number of concepts and structural and architectural prototypes and speculates on proposed applications in the construction and other industries. Topics covered include economic, social and environment benefits and the key focus – the potential uses as a sustainable construction material
Plantation timbers offer social, financial and environmental benefits if correctly managed by governments and growers. By staggering timber harvesting, an endless supply of timber is possible. Environmental benefits include the reduction of dry-land salinity, reduction in greenhouse gasses and in aiding carbon sequestration.