The Use of Wood in Ecological Architecture: Impacts on Environment and Economy
In our search to end global warming, the forests of earth remain an important resource to understand. If we are to exploit them at an optimum level then we will need to cut them down at the same rate we grow them back. Since trees can be renewed within our lifetime properly exploiting our forests could provide a good example towards long-term strategies for protecting all the resources of earth. Although the majority of earth's forests are being rapidly cut down, especially in many underdeveloped or developing countries, reevaluating our current process for obtaining wood and properly and efficiently exploiting these resources could drastically improve our effect on global warming. Trees provide many benefits to society as well as the individual. In the construction of individual houses, in particular, wood provides an efficient and aesthetic structure, and also requires much less energy to produce and transport than many other materials. Wood allows for better insulation leading to lower heating bills in the future and wood used in the structure of houses can be fairly resistant to fire. Along with having the capability to process C02 into oxygen, trees are also able to keep the C02 inside of them when they are cut down, thus allowing us to use the trees in our houses as storage sites for C02. The majority of these benefits provided by the proper exploitation of our forests cannot be quantified in monetary terms and are therefore often not taken into consideration. Also, since the cost to utilize wood is higher than other materials, many people do not recognize the long-term benefits. Cost-Benefit Analysis is the best available method to calculate the effects of exploiting the forests for building, as this paper will demonstrate.
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