Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Wood or steel?
Autos of beauty
For today (Thursday):
I am a wood loving guy. I love to smell a saw mill. I enjoy fireplaces and outside fires. I just completed a nice fire pit for our dead falls here on our acre.
Once while in the building industry I was approached with some other builders and agreed to attend classes near Atlanta at their expense, to explain the need for and use of steel studs in our homes.
The big advantages pushed were: metal is always straight (no warping), lightweight and termite free; all very true.
It was sort of a paid vacation for us, and we had time to talk among ourselves. No one I talked with was willing to switch to metal in residential construction.
I have never been convinced that metal is better for the environment vs wood. Wood is a renewal resource and we have actually made great strides in replenishing our forests in the USA. Every metal stud takes from the non-renewable resources.
PLUS--- we carpenter-types take a lot of retraining to totally use metal saws, screws and screw guns.
In the USA replenish 42% more trees than we harvest. And that doesn’t count Rick & Jilda! The rest of the world isn’t doing so well but are doing better. I read where they are trying but still cut a third more than they renew.
All materials to create the metal stud are Non renewable natural resources. Including the oxygen used by the furnaces.
Now in cars, wood & Steel worked well in years past!
Sorry to bore you with carpenter stuff it was just on my mind as I work on the basement bathroom.
PS: Facts from the web if you want to read them.
Taken from the web:
WOOD: The U.S. has 8% of the total forests in the world, and reached a point in 1997 where growth “exceeded harvest by 42%” and we were growing forests at a rate of roughly four times faster than we were in 1920, when our chop-happiness began to level out due to environmental and recreational concerns regarding timber harvest…….
Some nonrenewable resources are used in the production of wood studs, they are the electricity and fuel for the saws.
The raw materials used to make steel framing include iron ore, limestone (or another source of calcium carbonate), coal, and zinc.
Large quantities of oxygen (separated from ambient air at the steelmaking facility) are also used, and supplemental heat comes from fuel oil or natural gas.