Wooden garden sheds, summer houses, garden offices tend to be very green being made from trees which constantly grow naturally extracting the goodness from the ground. And the good thing is that whilst they are growing the trees are producing oxygen for us mere mortals. A single mature leafy tree can produce enough oxygen during one season which is sufficient for 10 people for a whole year which is incredible. These trees also absorb carbon dioxide so it’s no wonder they are called the lungs of the world.
However it is important that trees are grown specifically for timber production and not just cut down with no regard to the future. In years gone by this has happened and unscrupulous businesses even cut down trees in the rain forests which harm that area and the Earth in general. This is why it is important to ensure that any wooden garden sheds or summerhouses are made from wood sourced from sustainable forests. By following these principles you can be sure that the timber used is not detrimental to the planet.
There can be conflicts between the needs of the local population and the need for timber and that is where organisations such as the Forestry Commission and The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) help to balance this conflict. By putting their name to sustainable timber production they will ensure that as trees are cut down for timber that they are replaced by new trees ensuring a continuation of supply.
When you buy your garden shed it seems like the amount of wood used wouldn’t make a difference if the wood came from just anywhere, but it does. So always ask the question before buying so that you have the confidence that your shed is made from sustainable sources. Garden shed sites such as https://www.leisurebuildings.com are suitable places to buy as their garden buildings are all made using timber from sustainable sources.
It’s also possible to make garden sheds from recycled materials, which is a good way to be eco-friendly. By using surplus materials this saves that timber going to landfill which is not good. Many years ago back in the 1970’s I actually built a garden shed from old timber floorboards from a demolition site. I also bought some floor joists which they sawed into 2×2 framing for the walls of the shed.
I must admit that my shed would not win any awards in a beauty competition but it served its purpose at the time. I even took it with me when I moved house so have quite a number of years use out of it.
The trend to be eco-friendly is a worldwide phenomenon which can only be a good thing. At an Alaskan university students are being taught to build garden sheds using a very unusual method of construction. The method used to build their sheds is called cordwood masonry which apparently is very easy and quick to learn, is friendly to the environment, and because of the method of construction each garden shed is totally unique.
Cordwood masonry involves using short lengths of timber and by combining them with sawdust and mortar this produces building blocks which can be used in building a new garden shed or outbuilding. The students in Alaska utilised old telegraph poles in making their wooden blocks which shows the versatility of this method of construction.
The students were asked about their view of this cordwood masonry and one of the comments was the fact it could be done by one person was a great advantage. It was also said that this type of construction could be learned in at little as 3 days which is amazing, I think.
The positives of this method for making garden buildings, such as sheds and outbuildings, is that the sawdust in the blocks helps as an insulator as well as in ventilation. Also because of the way it is made you will find that each block is different which give an attractive and unique end result. The use of telegraph poles for use in the garden shed had even overflowed into the Shed of the Year competition by an entry a few years ago.
It’s great to see innovative uses for timber which had been used before and that this will help with saving our trees. To me the use of telegraph poles could be used by native North Americans for totem poles, assuming they still use them.