Our Dedication to Sustainable Building Materials and Practices
Using Sustainable Wood from Regrowth Forests For Our Windows and Doors
Did you know that wood has a carbon footprint that’s about 70% lower than steel and concrete? As a business committed to sustainable building, Aspect Windows uses timber to produce our hand-crafted window frames and doors. The timber that we use is responsibly sourced from regrowth forests across Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales.
We unpack our commitment to sustainability by answering some frequently asked questions—is Australian hardwood sustainable? Is Victorian ash and Tasmanian oak sustainable? And what is a regrowth forest? We’ll also take a closer look at where and why we use timber, and how we actively practise sustainability in our business.
Seven benefits of using wood and timber as a building material
Trees are more than a renewable resource; they can be recycled and are biodegradable. Using locally sourced timber products in your home, such as one of our sliding doors, or period-correct double-hung windows can have plenty of advantages:
Storage of CO²
Trees have a unique ability to store carbon. When trees are harvested, the carbon remains stored in the wood for its entire lifetime. It’s argued that because of this, wood goes beyond being carbon neutral because it does more than balance the amount of carbon released into and absorbed from the atmosphere. A large percentage of the dry weight of wood is made up of stored carbon.
Reduced carbon emissions
The process of making products from wood releases fewer greenhouse gases than manufacturing using other building materials. They have a relatively small carbon footprint, which is overall much better for the environment and our planet.
Green and renewable
Wood that is responsibly harvested is a renewable resource. As new trees are planted and forest regrowth occurs, carbon storage continues–just one of a host of other benefits found in a natural resource. Alternatives to wood, such as aluminium, concrete and steel, are not made from renewable resources and require significantly more embodied energy to create the finished products.
Increased forest cover
Forests are critical in fighting climate change and are an important part of maintaining life on planet Earth. Creating a demand for wood that is responsibly sourced can lead to more forest growth and regrowth. We can actively give back and replenish this natural resource as we make use of it.
Wood is a great insulator because of the spaces it has within its cell structure. According to Planet Ark’s ‘Make it Wood’ campaign and website, windows and doors made from wood insulate 15 times better than masonry and concrete, 400 times better than steel, and 1,770 times better than aluminium. Even a basic single-glazed timber-framed awning window outperforms an aluminium window in terms of heat loss and heat gain. Materials that are good insulators will help to reduce the overall costs of heating and cooling a building.
When comparing windows and doors made from a variety of different materials, timber can often be the more cost-effective option. They are also versatile as they can be repainted or stained to change their appearance. There’s little need to replace your windows and doors as you redecorate your home.
Health and Healing
Research suggests that being exposed to natural products, such as those made from wood and timber, has health benefits that are similar to the benefits of spending time in nature. They can make us feel less stressed and happier.
What is a regrowth forest?
Regrowth forestry is when trees are regrown to replace harvested trees. The same species of tree is replanted using seeds from the original trees or saplings that are planted. The aim of regrowth forests is to sustainably balance the natural environment and the production of timber.
We can benefit from using products like timber, which burn less energy in the manufacturing process while at the same time removing carbon from the atmosphere. The more forests we grow and regrow, the more carbon we can capture and store to help fight climate change.
Regrowth forests shouldn’t be confused with plantations. Plantations are grown in a mono-culture where the habitat once was. This means that only one species of tree is grown at a time and there is no balance between various species of trees grown and those that are harvested. Regrowth forests are specifically grown for timber production while nurturing habitat, creating an excellent balance between growing a number of species and sustainably harvesting them.
Why we use timber from sustainably grown and managed regrowth forests
At Aspect Windows, we consciously choose sustainable materials to make our products. All of our Victorian ash and Tasmanian oak timber is sourced from sustainably grown and managed regrowth forests across Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales.
There are three main benefits of using regrowth timber that is responsibly sourced in Australia:
- It benefits the local economy: Regrowth forestry creates jobs in local communities, is a source of sustainable income and reduces our reliance on imported timber.
- It’s better for our climate: Trees store carbon, and lower the amount of greenhouse gases in the air by removing carbon dioxide and purifying the air.
- Its sustainability can be guaranteed: When timber is responsibly sourced right here at home, it’s easier to monitor and ensure that correct protocols are followed. In this way, sustainable harvesting practices are guaranteed.
Where we use regrowth timber
Since 1993 we have been crafting a wide variety of timber windows and doors for Australian homes.
Regrowth timber is used for the following products:
- Windows: Awning windows, casement windows, double-hung windows, bifold windows, sashless windows, louvre windows and fixed windows
- Doors: Sliding doors, bifold doors and hinged doors
We generally use Victorian ash hardwood and Tasmanian oak timber, and blackbutt can be sourced upon request.
Victorian ash wood
Victorian ash is a top choice of wood when taking into account its life cycle, harvesting, regeneration and ability to store carbon. It is the best choice of material to build windows, doors, staircases and balustrades because it is easy to work with and doesn’t shrink much after drying.
The colour of Victorian ash ranges from pale pink to pale yellow-brown with a slightly coarse texture. Whilst Tasmanian oak may be more durable, Victorian ash wood is excellent at resisting insects.
Tasmanian oak timber
Tasmanian oak, sometimes called Tassie oak is another good quality timber for use in windows and doors. It has very similar characteristics to Victorian ash, in particular its durability and appearance. It’s also adaptable and can be used in various forms in construction, such as panelling, flooring and beams, which tends to complement window and door joinery.
Tassie oak has a beautiful, warm colour and produces an outstanding finish. It ranges from straw to reddish brown with shades of cream and pink. Young growths are lighter while older growths are darker in colour. Its variation in colour allows for easy matching with our stock of Victorian ash.
Four ways we ensure sustainability in our business
The following points demonstrate our commitment to sustainability:
- Sustainable wood options: Our customers have a choice of different species of environmentally-friendly timber species for their windows and doors. By offering renewable and sustainable options, we’re using this natural resource responsibly.
- Glazing to reduce energy consumption: Windows and doors can be double-glazed, which increases insulation. This helps reduce energy usage for indoor heating and cooling.
- Longer-lasting wood products: We encourage regular maintenance so that timber products last longer. Products with a longer lifespan will not need to be replaced as frequently. This is cost-effective over the long term and minimises waste.
- Partnering with suppliers committed to sustainable practices: We also partner with suppliers who share the same values as ours–sustainability being at the core of what we do.
Why ASH is one of our chosen suppliers of sustainable timber
Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) is a responsible timber mill and manufacturer that supplies Aspect Windows with sustainable timber. ASH has more than 30 years of industry experience and is one of the largest hardwood mills and timber manufacturers in the country.
All native Australian timber species from ASH are sourced from regrowth forests that have been certified to ensure best practice in sustainable harvesting. Waste is minimised as 100% of every log is used. The company operates six on-site manufacturing lines to add value to their timber; value that you can take advantage of in your home with beautifully crafted windows and doors.
Aspect Windows is your partner in sustainable building
Giving back to the environment is the essence of our commitment to sustainability. When we rely less on non-renewable resources and choose more renewable alternatives from sustainably grown and managed regrowth forests, we can reduce our carbon footprint and help save the planet. Our timber doors and window frames are responsibly crafted to the highest quality. Contact Aspect Windows today on 03 9768 3944 for a quote.