The use of certified wood in construction is an important aspect of the current ecological forestry strategies. Our team is committed to responsible use of the material in both design and construction.
The environmental and sustainable benefits of using certified wood are diverse. By using certified wood, carpenters, builders and other actors in the construction industry ensure that the wood product used is produced in a responsible way.
Wood certification is the process by which forests and plantations are assessed according to environmental and social standards. Timber certification standards are developed by independent organizations, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). They establish criteria for sustainable forest management. Once a forest or plantation meets these criteria, it is awarded a certificate indicating that the timber coming from that area is “certified wood”.
Environmental benefits of certified wood:
- Forest and biodiversity conservation: Refers to the protection and sustainable management of forests to preserve their biological richness and the ecosystem services they provide. These can include climate regulation, soil and water conservation, and oxygen production.
- Reducing deforestation and illegal logging: Ensuring that timber used is legal and sustainable controls its use, and limits damage to climate change. This regulates the amounts of carbon and damage to forest ecosystems, as well as curbing corruption and timber smuggling.
- Sustainable use of forest resources: This is based on the management and use of forests in a way that ensures their long-term conservation and productivity. In this way, people’s economic, social and environmental needs are met. It promotes sustainable agricultural practices, prevents fires and encourages reforestation.
- Protecting the rights of local communities: This refers to the fact that the certification of wood from forests allows control over these resources and eco-systemic services. On these depend various local communities, the legal economy of the timber industry, which in turn affects legal companies and workers.
Besides, the use of certified wood can also provide economic benefits. One example is the creation of local employment and the reduction of transport costs due to the proximity of certified forests.
Sustainable building construction
In construction, certified wood is used in the full range of products and elements made of this material. Certified timber buildings are becoming increasingly popular in terms of the energy efficiency and sustainability they offer. When talking about certified wood in a building, a complex environmental process is also envisaged, as the process of using this material from its origin to its implementation in the object is taken into account. It is therefore an important practice to ensure global environmental and economic sustainability.
The energy efficiency of certified wood buildings is achieved through various strategies. One of the main advantages of timber construction is its low environmental impact compared to buildings made of other materials. Being a renewable resource, it also has a lower impact on climate change due to its low carbon content.
Also, certified wood buildings can be more energy efficient because they are a natural insulator and help maintain a stable temperature inside the building. This reduces the need for heating and cooling systems. The aim is to achieve lower energy consumption and lower energy costs for buildings, which effectively influences compliance with high energy efficiency standards.
Our philosophy on the responsible use of certified wood
From our technical department to the manufacturing workshop, we endeavour to implement the strategies of study, analysis, feasibility and maintenance of the chosen woods, both in the workshop and on site. The choice of wood is carefully made by our own carpentry officers, always under the established protocols, guaranteeing the development, construction and assembly on site of the solutions previously tested in the workshop.
Our main collaboration with professional colleagues is to advise on the choice of the wood species and its treatment according to the image you want to achieve. We cover the entire development of details that optimise the constructive design to guarantee the durability of wood in complex and unique architectural projects.
Our specialisation in timber construction and our qualified carpentry technicians, together with external collaborating companies such as certified laboratories and wood research centres, is what gives us the opportunity to offer solutions that we can guarantee over time.
Residential building Paseo de Mallorca 15
One of the buildings already constructed, of which Grupo GUBIA has been a part, is Paseo de Mallorca 15, in Mallorca, Balearic Islands. This is an exclusive seven-storey residential complex designed by the OHLAB studio, located in one of the most privileged areas of the city. With two types of wooden façade conceived under Passivhaus standards, the envelope of this building is defined. This consists of a large skin of fixed and permeable lattices that act as a solar filter for the daytime areas, a reflection of traditional Mallorcan carpentry that is used in a polyvalent and adaptive way.
The influence of the sea was the key element in the choice of heat-treated pine wood of European origin with PEFC certification. This is a wood that performs excellently outdoors due to the heat treatment applied to adapt to the environmental conditions described. As a result, contraction and expansion movements are minimized.
WAF Awards for the best use of certified wood
The choice of timber and the constructive design of more than 350 fixed and sliding panels was a major challenge. In addition, the heat treatment of each element was taken into account in their manufacture and assembly. This has been a source of pride for the work of our group, as the results have been seen in the completion of the project. Its connotation as a distinctive building is not only visual and aesthetic, but also in the responsible and efficient use of the material that covers it.
It has also won multiple awards for this distinction, including the WAF World Architecture Festival, held in December 2022. It won the award for “Best Use of Certified Timber”, sponsored by PEFC for its implementation of three key pillars: sustainability, energy efficiency and quality of materials.
Designing in accordance with Passivhaus standards is a precept that achieves maximum energy efficiency and provides a healthy and comfortable living environment. Grupo GUBIA has been a fundamental part of this strategy. We encourage you to learn more about this great project in their respective publications.