Today there is a prevailing need to move towards a new building model based on renewable materials that can be extracted from nature. This objective is in turn the commitment to responsible exploitation and consumption so as not to affect the same mistakes of the past. Many now see in the wood a possible way on which to advance in this sense and it becomes necessary the dissemination of knowledge about this material to know how to understand it, treat it and use it with respect.
The international organization FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) brings together both wood consuming and commercializing companies and representatives of environmental organizations, concerned about deforestation and environmental degradation. Its Spanish headquarters decided, at the beginning of 2017, to convene a group of companies and architects, including this study, with the aim of eliminating some of the myths associated with the use of wood in construction. After several meetings with industry leaders, a national survey was developed for architects and other professionals, and two opinion groups were organized, one for experts and the other for consumers, where we participated again.
As a result, it was decided to gather all the information in a book that would answer the questions posed by professionals and citizens. To be more informative, they decided to publish two different texts: a manual with technical prescriptions for professionals and a more informative guide for ordinary citizens. Both have been presented within the framework of the Maderalia fair, which takes place in Valencia between 6 and 9 February, and where Miguel Díaz, partner of RLA Arquitectos, has participated as a speaker at the meeting Sustainable Contract Engagement.
The aforementioned manual is structured in three different parts. The first deals with the issue of the sustainability of wood in building, taking into account its life cycle, the ecological footprint and its contribution to improving the conditions derived from climate change. The second deals with the problem of tropical woods and the use of less known commercial species. The third one includes a set of technical knowledge necessary for wood construction.
The guide begins with one of the points that most interest consumers, the economic difference between building systems. It establishes a comparison between the price of wood with other conventional elements such as concrete or steel. It also addresses the advantages of building with this material, emphasizing sustainability, and collects information on other related topics such as certification or deforestation risks.