Sustainability is at the heart of what we do at English oak buildings. We believe that building an oak frame is not only a good practical and economical choice it is a statement of your and our environmental awareness.
Freshly sawn English oak is one of the most sustainable materials that you can use to build from, its ‘embodied energy’ is much lower than most commonly used building materials. ‘Embodied energy’ is a way of quantifying the amount of energy used in a products lifecycle. This includes the energy required for raw material extraction, transport, processing, manufacture, assembly, instillation, disassembly, deconstruction and decomposition.
Oak is a naturally durable timber with a natural resistance to both insect attack and rot, making it almost maintenance free. Many other commonly used timbers and materials require toxic treatments or preservatives to give longevity.
The simple graph below shows how hardwoods – such as oak – have a considerably lower embodied energy value than other commonly used building materials.
We are very proud of how we source our timber. All the oak that we have used to build our frames for the past 20+ years has been sourced from our local sawmill. The timber that they supply is ‘Grown In Britain’ (GIB) certified, which means that it has been sustainably harvested under the scrutiny of GIB. This ‘chain of custody’ scheme ensures its provenance and promotes good woodland management. It is the only scheme that focuses 100% on British woodlands.
By choosing to support our local timber supplier we are also supporting British timber industry ensuring that standards and quality are sustained.
Designing and building oak frames is what we do best, but is important to recognise that there are other sustainability concerns; orientation of the build to take advantage of solar gain with the appropriate use of our Direct Glazing System, or the encapsulation of the oak frame, such as our Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS). Working alongside experienced architects we are confident that the design of your oak frame building will be not only beautiful but sustainable too.