Environmental Benefits of Reclaimed Wood

Our sister company, Pioneer Millworks, recently tallied the impact of incorporating 2,200 sq ft of reclaimed paneling to a corporate project. The quick results: over 8 tons of waste was prevented from entering a landfill and 30 trees were saved. Below are a few highlights.

reclaimed antique barn siding turned paneling by Pioneer Millworks

Our sister company Pioneer Millworks’ reclaimed wood products are good for all of us and the planet.

From Pioneer Millworks:

“With our average material yield we would have started with about 4,000 BF of reclaimed oak boards and joists to produce 2,200 SF of finished material. (We defect for metal artifacts, rot, old joinery, and lengths under 18″. These pieces are recycled, going to our chipper to become wood pellets or to our clean-burning kiln which heats our building.)  By using 4,000 BF of reclaimed oak instead of fresh sawn oak the following environmental benefits were realized:

–  We prevented 8 tons of waste from entering a landfill which would have occupied 12.35 cubic yards of landfill space
–  Once wood waste is sent to landfills, the exposure to other types of waste may prohibit wood from breaking down. Instead, it may partially decompose and release methane gas – a type of greenhouse gas.
–  We saved approximately 30 trees (based on the Doyle scale) from being cut down
–  The 30 trees saved by recycling 4000 BF of wood can absorb as much as 945 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air each year.
–  30 trees can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to 120 people.
–  The net cooling effect of  30 young, healthy trees is equivalent to 300 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day
–  30 large trees can lift up to 3,000 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air in a day.”

reclaimed timbers for timber frame cottage

Our timber framers were careful to maintain the original hand hewn surface, mortise pockets, and peg holes in reclaimed agricultural timbers, sourced by Pioneer Millworks, for this modest cottage.

We’re working on a tally of our own to see just how many trees we save when we craft full timber frames and trusses from reclaimed timbers. We’ll be sure to share our results!