New and Emerging Forms of Ethical Timber

Timber is such an amazing natural resource! We build our homes with it, it provides shade for our children to play under, we carve beautiful furniture to sit around with friends and family. There is no doubt that timber is one of those resources that can be found in so many aspects of our daily lives. Which is why it’s so important to consider sustainability in this field.

The great thing about timber is that it is a renewable and recyclable natural resource.

But there are definitely some timbers that are more sustainable than others and there is a push towards using more sustainable alternatives, especially in furniture production. Timbers like oak which are hugely popular in furniture and flooring are slow-growing and often produced only for their lumbar which means they aren’t as sustainable as fast-growing alternatives.

There is a move towards using more sustainable woods in the mass production of furniture. With plenty of great alternatives out there, we are proud to curate some beautiful sustainable timbers in our collection. Check out some of the timbers our artisans work with and what makes them sustainable:

1. Sheesham wood

Sheesham wood is native to the Indian subcontinent and is also known as Indian Rosewood. The Punjab region is the largest producer of Sheesham timber in Pakistan and India.

Here are some of the characteristics of sheesham wood:

*It has beautiful irregular grain structure which is very distinctive in appearance and can be polished to a fine finish.
*The timber is strong and durable which means it maintains its shape well during handling and construction.
*Because of its strength and density, sheesham wood is also an ideal material for decorative carvings

2. Mango wood

Mango wood has been increasing in popularity in recent years – largely due to the fact that it is considered a highly sustainable timber. Obviously there is a huge demand for mango fruit and once a tree passes its prime fruiting years, in the past it would simply be cut down.

Here are some of mango wood’s characteristics:

*Densely grained hardwood with a strong structure
*Production costs of working with mango wood are comparatively low because it is a *It has an unusual grain with a fine close knit texture. This means the wood is fast and easy to finish as it does not need extensive sanding or sealing
*In furniture production, mango wood is often stained in colours similar to teak or oak
*Almost 75 million tons of mangoes are produced in India every year with heaps of the fast-growing trees cut down to make room for younger, more fruitful trees – so using mango wood helps reduce waste, improve sustainability and provide another income stream for farmers.

3. Neem wood

Neem wood is native to India and the subcontinent and is part of the mahogany family. It is also known as Nimtree or Indian Lilac. The neem tree is an evergreen and is a fast-growing tree that reaches heights of up to 20 metres and in rare cases can grow up to 40 metres tall. It is ready to cut for timber between 5-7 years.

Here are some of neem wood’s characteristics:

*It features interlocking, coarse and rough grain that makes the wood very durable
*While related to the Mahogany tree family, it is easy to work with and carve by either hand or machine
*The neem tree is known for it’s drought resistance and is often used for shade
*It has multiple other uses including traditional medicine – Siddha and Ayurvedic practitioners use neem products, espeically for treating skin disease; neem is used a natural alternative to pesticides; the oil is used in cosmetics like soap, shampoo and toothpaste; and for centuries neem twigs have been used as toothbrushes. The stick is first chewed as a toothbrush and then split and used as a tongue cleaner. Cool hey!

The Best Flashing Material For Building A Sturdy, Watertight Roof For Your Home

Choosing the right material when you are building a roof, whether from scratch or choosing an existing one for your home can be confusing. With the wide variety of materials that readily available and worthy for consideration in the market which include wood, composite shingles, slate, concrete, clay tiles and metal, it can be hard to settle on one. Additionally, you will also need to consider a variety of factors such as the quality, durability and design.

To help you choose the perfect material you can use for your home, here is a list of things you need to know.

Materials

There are of course different type of materials that are required for every roof. A flat roof will require a surface that is different from one with a steeper pitch. In these cases, slate and tiles are your best choices. To further elaborate, here are the different type of materials for your roof:

Wood – For centuries, building a roof using wood was the main choice. Even today, you will find a lot of home owners prefer using wood for roof but for some areas, fire codes forbids its use. Wooden roofs are usually made of cedar, redwood or southern pine.

Metal – Aluminum, steel, copper, and lead are the most durable type of metal roofs however, it is quite expensive. While copper/asphalts are often installed as shingles, other materials are used for seamed roofs consisting of vertical lengths of metal joined with solder.

Slate – among roofing materials, a slate has been known to be one of the most durable type. In fact, hundred-year-old slates are often recycled for reinstallation with the expectation that it will last another century. It is however, expensive and very heavy.

Installation

Like every durable roofing, whatever your choice of material may be, you will probably need flashing. Far all exterior work such as roofing and siding, flashing is an important factor that makes sure your material lasts longer. Flashing is a process of applying metal or plastic film applied in strips to areas where dissimilar materials adjoin.

An excellent flashing work will help prevent water from seeping into the gaps of your roof edges. If you wish to have a good flashing for your roof, choose one that has undergone extensive trials and tests all throughout the country to make sure that the product complement the geography of all different regions and are sure to withstand all their harshest condition.

The Benefits Of Weathering Steels

Rust kills steel, but it benefits weathering steel. Another term for weathering steel is Corten steel. The American Institute of Steel Construction refers to this type of rust as the useful corrosion. The great thing about Corten steel is that its lifecycle increases when it is exposed to the elements. Moreover, it saves a lot of money as you won’t need to paint the steel over and over again. Let’s know some great benefits of weathering steel.

Corten is Trademarked by the USS

Corten was trademarked by the widely known USS. Originally, it got the ASTM A242 standard, and is also appreciated by the latest ASTM grade for coils and sheets made of steel. This standard is known as A606. This type of steel was made with silicon, nickel, chromium, phosphorus and copper. When exposed to the elements, these ingredients allow the steel sheets to produce a fine layer of rust, which gives the impression that the steel sheets have been repainted recently.

Exposure to the elements

Traditional steel loses its strength when exposed to corrosion, but Corten gets stronger when it is exposed to the weather. The sheets form a layer of beneficial layer when they come into contact with oxygen and moisture. So, this is one of the major benefits of Corten.

The strength of the weathering steel is also very high. Plus, they require less maintenance and save you a lot of money. All of these benefits make this type of steel an ideal choice for the construction of roofs, bridges and buildings with open frames. As a matter fact, history tells us that bridges constructed with the weathering steel stand the test of time for as many as 120 years without requiring a lot of maintenance. So, these bridges don’t need to be regularly checked or inspected.

The look of the Corten is another thing that makes it so popular. Buildings constructed with this steel look reddish, just like rust. As the exposure to the elements continues, the steel starts to have a russet patina, and most people find it very beautiful. So, the rust looks beautiful and doesn’t look ugly in any way.

The Takeaway

To cut a long story short, Corten steel is popular among a large community of engineers and architects. And the reason is that it offers a lot of advantages over the traditional steel. This steel is arguably the strongest steel that is able to stand the test of time and doesn’t require a lot of regular upkeep. Moreover, buildings built with the Corten don’t need to be painted, which is a great thing for the environment as well. And the biggest of the benefits is that you save a lot of bucks, as you don’t need to pay to the professional to inspect the buildings on a regular basis.

So, these are a few benefits that shed some light on the importance of the Corten. If you are planning to order steel sheets for your upcoming construction project, do give a go to this type of steel. Hopefully, you won’t regret your decision and recommend it to your friends as well.