The Environmental Benefits of Oak Framed Buildings

Oak framed buildings aren’t just the epitome of quality and architectural perfection, they are also made from one of the most ecological natural material choices for any building project.

Here are our top five environmental benefits of oak frames:

  1. Flexibility and Strength  Green oak is particularly flexible due to its high moisture content and skilled craftsmen use this pliability to its best advantage to create stronger joints and provide more aesthetic character to the frame. As the oak ages and dries out it gets stronger and is a natural choice for supportive beams. The wood’s natural resistance to water, pests and rot gives it longevity, which is why so many listed oak frame buildings retain their original timbers.
  2. Sustainable sources At Essex Oak Frame we use only sustainably managed sources of oak from the UK and Europe. In short, a new tree is planted for every tree that is cut down or timber is coppiced from local woodland (coppicing is the woodland management technique of repeatedly felling trees at the base (or stool), and allowing them to regrow, in order to provide a sustainable supply of timber. This practice has a number of benefits over replanting, as the felled trees already have developed root systems, making regrowth quicker and less susceptible to browsing and shading).
  3. Working with oak  Compared to many construction materials, obtaining and processing oak ready for use has minimal negative impact on the environment, particularly when locally sourced. There are no dangerous by-products produced, little water is used and traditional methods of cutting, planing and working with oak involve only a small amount of machinery. Oak doesn’t require the treatment other timbers do to make it ready for use, and the whole preparation process renders very little wastage as offcuts are often used to make pegs and braces or fuel.
  4. Durability Because oak is so strong and long lasting, when it is used in conjunction with good design and traditional craftsmanship the end product can last for generations, reducing the need for further, and possibly less environmentally friendly, building work in the near future.
  5. Carbon neutral Oak, from sustainable sources, is deemed carbon neutral. Its insulation properties reduce energy consumption in homes, and construction methods require less machinery or chemical processes than alternative building materials. The CO2 trapped by the oak tree as it matures is not released back into the atmosphere even when it is sawn.    

When you combine the above with the opportunities to create the perfect oak framed space in your home whether it’s a cart lodge, extension, porch or complete new build, that will last for generations, it’s no surprise that so many people are choosing oak for their building projects. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you to realise your architectural aspirations, get in touch today.