To make an oak frame you have to fell a number of mature oak trees. You may be wondering whether this construction method can be environmentally sustainable.
There are three main reasons why using timber for building frames can be a good thing
- Trees act as a “carbon sink” by absorbing Carbon Dioxide in photosynthesis, and locking it into the cellular structure of the wood. We would expect oak framed buildings to last for many centuries before the timber decays and releases this CO2 back into the atmosphere.
- Timber has low embodied energy compared to other building materials such as concrete and steel. In other words it requires much less energy to fell, convert, and transport to where it is going to be used.
- Our oak is sourced from a small mill in Normandy, France and felled no further south than the Loire valley. French grown oak grows faster and straighter than in the UK producing structurally stronger and more stable timber. French forest cover is over 30% and their healthy forestry policy is underpinned by local ownership at community level. Reassuringly the net volume of timber gained annually is substantially more than the volume harvested. They look after their woods and their woods look after them. For details of Frederic Madeline’s sawmill where we source our oak, go to Granville Bois.
At Castle Ring we are surrounded by over 40,000 native broadleaved trees and shrubs that we have planted ourselves over the last 15 years, transforming a previously monoculture conifer plantation into a thriving woodland habitat supporting all manner of wildlife.
We also invite people to consider building frames using homegrown Douglas Fir and European Larch, grown on a local estate just over the hill, felled by local contractors, and milled within a few miles radius.