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Reverting to wood construction as a sustainable method

  • By Tobias Meso
  • July 14, 2022
  • 0 Comment

The most environmentally friendly building material is wood. Wood has several advantages as a raw building material, emits far less carbon dioxide than alternative building materials, and the sustainability movement and green building initiatives have been incorporated into several model building codes and national standards. Treated wood resists termite attack and microbial degradation, prolonging its useful life and enhancing the benefits of using wood even more.

Construction activity was cited as a critical source of greenhouse gas emissions during the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow last year. It was also emphasized that adopting more environmentally friendly materials, such as wood, might significantly reduce emissions. Construction product environmental performance is receiving more attention than ever. The advantages of wood for the environment in this regard are substantial. Wood is a sustainable material that stores the carbon absorbed by growing trees; it is a renewable resource.

Deep Oceans Timberyard company, a beneficiary of the Green Economy Youth Activation Program (GreYAP) project under KCIC is an enterprise in the tree treatment field for a couple of years. Helen Maina founded the enterprise located in Laikipia county, which deals with tree nurseries and the selling of treated fencing poles. The company buys trees from farmers and replaces them with two seedlings for every tree bought. “When we buy a tree from a farmer, we sell two seedlings acting as the replacement,” Said Helen.

Helen learned about KCIC through a friend who was under the Agribiz program. She decided to get deeper into the program, which she applied and got and applied enrolled. The company is now four months old since being enrolled and has already received assistance in business registration. Currently, they are being assisted with getting tree-cutting permits and certifications. The company has also received technical support in terms of marketing and branding.

The assistance received has helped the company network since it was recently invited to NTV to showcase its products. Helen highlighted how they are now making strides in opening their market and their management skills.” Since we attended the interview at NTV which KCIC facilitated, we are now well sought after and have been able to expand our client base. This has boosted our sales and in return, increasing our profits,” she said. Helen encourages the people from the Northern Frontier counties to embrace the use of treated fencing poles since they are affordable compared to regular concrete fencing poles.

Insect resistance is another benefit of the poles since insects are a severe menace to any wooden building. They easily penetrate the wood, causing it to deteriorate. The treatment aids in preventing pests and insects from harming the wood. When treated wood is utilized in construction, the rest of the building may also be protected from further insect damage. The procedure deters spiders and cockroaches from making the building their home. The more structural integrity wood possesses, the stronger it is.

Wood is more environmentally friendly since it uses less energy to create than plastic and aluminum. It drastically reduces carbon emissions. Wood can store carbon for many years, and if it is harvested sustainably, there are clear advantages to using it rather than manufactured products like plastic and metal. Although it may seem as though using wood harms the environment, the energy needed to create fossil fuels is considerably higher than the drawbacks of wood that has been collected sustainably and with minimal harm to the ecosystem.