Energy saving

The energy balance of wood


What is the budget energy of wood? Well, the production of the wood involves five times less energy expenditure than the production of steel and eleven times less than that of aluminum. Even with respect to the production of cement the wood it is more ecological and has aefficiency energy highest. These features make the wood, as well as the oldest building material also the most ecological and energy efficient, certainly more than metals and synthetic materials.

As with all materials, also to work, transport and finally assemble in wood a certain amount of energy is required which affects the energy balance of the material. However, if the woodworking is not conducted according to excessive waste, the energy balance of the wood material it is always positive, as can be demonstrated through calculations which we limit ourselves to giving a trace.

Making a rough estimate, it can be said that on 1 cubic meter of wood about 75% can become timber for construction, while 25% will be discarded and used as wood to burn, that is fuel for heating or to generate new power. Why the energy balance is it positive? Why the part of wood that will be burned will return more energy than will be spent on processing and transport, without the production of irrecoverable waste related to production.

Another thing must be added: the production of CO₂ determined by the combustion of wood of waste that is transformed into energy will still be in equilibrium with the amount of CO₂ produced by the plant during its biological existence, without affecting the energy balance.

Given that the use of wood in all human activities (construction, furniture ...) has a energy balance positive and certainly better than almost all other materials, the prejudice according to which the use of wood causes the planet to become impoverished due to the felling of trees. This is not true because the forest is an inexhaustible mine of wood, as long as it is managed with intelligence.

Sweden, Europe's largest exporter of construction timber, it does not risk deforestation and on the contrary its wooded area increases. Again it can be said that the energy balance it is positive, the result of a careful policy of sustainable cultivation that accompanies planned and regulated tree cuts with replanting interventions.

Instead, what should certainly be avoided is the impoverishment of the primary forest linked to nefarious practices such as the creation of new pastures, overbuilding and the demand for exotic essences in the furniture industry; these certainly yes practices a energy balance negative. A good and necessary answer is the exclusive use of wood from controlled cultivation and cutting areas marked with the FSC or PEFSC or FOEN eco-label. If it comes to furniture there is the ICEA certification to guarantee the zero impact production process,


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