5 Most popular environment-friendly wood species

When it comes to designing a home or office, wood is the material of choice for creating plush spaces with a warm, natural feel. However, due to a perception of high prices, unsteady supply and lack of knowledge, using solid wood is becoming challenging for consumers.

As the importance of using natural materials in construction gains momentum globally, wood from sustainable sources is fast emerging as the material of the future. Indian consumers too want to conserve their tropical forests and are sensitive to the environmental damage caused by illegal logging. Therefore, there is a growing demand for certified wood to satisfy the increasing demands of this sector. Wood certifications like PEFC and FSC help consumers identify that the wood products being used are sourced from sustainably managed forests and conform to stringent standards based on exhaustive values.

A world leader in sustainable forest management and producer of high-quality solid wood is British Columbia (B.C.), Canada. Home to 10% of the world’s forests, the Canada takes extraordinary measures to manage its forests sustainably. By law all harvested areas must be regenerated.

You can get a full report on sustainable wood from our article How sustainable forestry is changing the conversation about wood

For customers looking at using high-quality wood that is environment-friendly, here are top 5 varieties for interior,outdoor and structural applications. The good news is they are now widely available in India as well.

1.Douglas fir

Great choice for structural applications, doors & windows, furniture and intricate carvings

Post and beam construction in a residential house with douglas fir beams.

Douglas fir is valued globally for its extraordinary strength-to-weight ratio. It is in great demand for building and construction and its availability in large dimensions makes it an ideal choice for post and beam construction and glue-laminated beams. It is also extensively used for manufacturing wooden doors,windows, furniture and general millwork.

Intricate carvings and contemporary designs can be effortlessly created on this wood type. In India, douglas fir is highly appreciated for solid wood doors

2.Western hemlock

When you want solid wooden doors or furniture

Foyer table in western hemlock stained to a darker glossy shade and produced by Ekbote Furniture, Pune

Western hemlock is the single most abundant tree species of British Columbia and offers a wide array of applications. Extensively used in creating furniture and doors and windows, this non-resinous species easily takes stains and finishes.

In India, solid wood furniture in western hemlock is in great demand. Clear paneling in hemlock also makes for extremely warm and inviting interiors.

3.Yellow cedar

Great choice for luxe doors and door jambs(chaukhats)

Intricately carved solid wooden door in yellow cedar on display at FII India’s office in Mumbai

Yellow cedar is a species unique to British Columbia and requires over 200 years to reach a marketable size. Yellow cedar is one of the world’s most durable woods with exceptional longevity. The fine, even texture of yellow cedar makes it ideal for carving.

In India, it has proven popular for door-frames , while a step up in grade is used in producing artisan furniture and large format sliding doors and windows

4. Western red cedar

Great for pergolas, gazebos, outdoor furniture, and specialty interior applications

Pergola made in knotty western red cedar

Western red cedar forms 8% of B.C.’s total growing stock and is one of the most valuable species commercially. An extremely attractive wood with a rich mocha colour, it has high termite and decay resistance with excellent dimensional stability. The appealing colour palette, light weight and soft texture makes it suitable for various interior applications as well. It is used in interior and exterior paneling and cladding. As it does not splinter, it is the wood of choice for decking, outdoor pergolas and gazebos.

5. Spruce-pine-fir (SPF)

Fordoor framing &pre-fabricated homes

SPF pre-fabricated home on display at 9 Wooden Homes, Bengaluru

Three softwoods comprise the principal species in the spruce-pine-fir (SPF) species group and display similar characteristics.Spruce-pine-fir’s strength, light weight, ease of handling and good working properties have made it a popular wood for framing and all types of construction.High performance combined with fine appearance makes it ideal for building wooden houses. SPF is also used in India as a superior wood for flush doorframes, furniture carcassing and modular homes.

To sum up

No matter what you need, there’s a Canadian wood species that will prove itself apt both aesthetically and performance-wise.

For more information on Canadian Wood and its availability please visit www.canadianwood.in or write in to info@canadianwood.in

FII India, funded by the government of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada represents Canadian wood in India for all its five species viz. Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Yellow Cedar, Western Red Cedar and Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF). FII works closely with architects, manufacturers, importers and real estate developers to provide technical and procurement assistance for their requirements free of any cost.

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