Living a different kind of tree change

Date: 26-Jun-12
Author: Chris Philpot

Forte 3

Most of us would like to do the right thing for the environment, but we often hear the same environmental tips over and over again. For example, we know we can save money on our energy bills, and help the environment, by switching off lights and appliances at the power point instead of leaving them on stand-by. We know we can save water and energy by spending a minute less in the shower. And we know that other easy actions, like recycling glass bottles, aluminium cans or paper, can also help. But did you know that using responsibly sourced wood is another way we can help tackle climate change?

This is because wood products store the carbon that living trees produce during photosynthesis. So when you buy a wooden table or chairs, or you renovate with wooden floorboards or window frames, you are also doing your part for the environment. The musicians amongst us can also celebrate as wooden instruments like violins, guitars and recorders also store carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere indefinitely.

But it is everyone's role to help, isn't it? The good news is that home developers are starting to do their part, by building green homes that make it easier for us to live more sustainably. The Forté apartment building in Melbourne is a great example of this. Once complete, the Forte building will make the most of natural sunlight, natural ventilation and smart metering. Energy efficient appliances and reverse cycle heating and cooling will reduce carbon emissions, and all the apartments will come with LED lights, a veggie garden, and facilities for car and bike sharing. The building will even capture rainwater to flush toilets and water gardens. And these great environmental features mean lower living costs.

What we really like about Forté is that it's built from responsibly sourced wood. In the same way we can help make a difference by buying wooden furniture, renovating in wood, or even playing a wooden musical instrument, the developer of Forté has chosen to build with carbon-storing wood. When complete, Forté will be the tallest wood apartment building in the world - at 10 storeys high, or 32.17 metres tall. By using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Forté will reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by more than 1,400 tonnes when compared to concrete and steel. That is the equivalent of removing 345 cars from our roads.

We'd love to hear how you have used wood to help store carbon in your home. Let us know at the Make It Wood Facebook page

Read more about Forté