FOR some homeowners, a deck is an extension of what makes a house a home. It can be a place to retreat to after a long, work-filled week as well as a place to spend time with family and friends.
For some, a deck can even serve as a way to express environmental values. That’s the word from the California Redwood Association (CRA).
According to the Association, when California homeowners were asked about their choice of decking material, 75 percent of those surveyed said that it’s important for their deck to be eco friendly. Ninety percent believed a deck should be recycled and reused, not dumped in a landfill.
Unfortunately, it can be confusing for builders and homeowners to know what’s sustainable and what’s not. To demonstrate that redwood may be the most environmentally friendly building material available, the CRA commissioned a life-cycle assessment. This process is commonly used to quantify the environmental footprint generated when producing and consuming products that are used in everyday life.
The result of the assessment is the finding that redwood may be considered one of the most environmentally responsible building materials available.
For instance, it is a renewable resource that is grown and harvested under the most stringent forestry regulations. Using nothing more than the energy from the sun, and the careful management of redwood forests, redwood is renewable, recyclable and cleaner to produce than composites or plastics.
In addition, when lumber is milled into decking and other products, the bark, sawdust and scrapings are collected and used to produce clean energy. Sawmills are able to use this biomass energy to power their operations and add excess electricity to the state’s power grid, taking redwood’s energy efficiency to a level that manufactured materials never reach.
With redwood, you can be environmentally conscientious without sacrificing quality or elegance. Plastics and composites rely on chemical resins and fossil fuels that release carbon and increase emissions.
Trees, however, take carbon out of the air and store it in wood fiber. It’s estimated that a redwood deck can store more than a half ton of carbon, which keeps the carbon safely out of the air, helps reduce emissions and helps to lower a homeowner’s carbon footprint.
To learn more, visit www.realstrongredwood.com.
North American Precis Syndicate