News from the front desk: Issue 516 In our major feature from Poppy Johnston this week, we look at timber.
Could there be a more complicated material?
Its ironic that this most simple, natural and beautiful material, used since time immemorial for our building and furniture needs, is now a hotbed of political passions.
When wood started to be increasingly cited as a great material for greener buildings things were simple.
Yes, wood was good; yes, timber sequesters carbon. Yes, it feels warm and friendly and biophilic.
We even learned it changed the culture on building sites, from raucous and boombox noisy to a quiet almost respectful atmosphere. The number of workers could be counted on a couple of hands for a start, instead of the hundreds that come in and out of a conventional site, each with their own trade.
Instead of jackhammers and shouting there was quiet detailed fastenings and soft voices. Even the graffiti disappeared.
Now there are rumblings and questioning of timbers true environmental value.
This is inevitable. Like every revolutionary material, engineering solution or movement, theres a narrative arc. First theres a unity of purpose. (Like climate change action; we are all united to convince the sceptics its happening). Now as the story evolves the passion turns to what are the best solutions. Groups start to splinter (no pun intended). Competing need to be discovered, tried and tested in an open forum.
The sidelined or marginalised groups nurse emotional baggage or commercial cost and they fight back to re-assert their prominence (or dominance). Soon the critiquing becomes intense.
Soon there is new evidence to prove that timber is not as fantastic as first thought.
There are issues with carbon abatement calculations, end of life disposal, forest management and sustainability verification, importation and the carbon emissions associated with that. Some even say some of the carbon calculators are wrong. And materials are pitted against each other, ignoring that often the best solution is hybrid.
Fire engineers have also chipped in with concerns about timber because, well, it burns. But does it? The experts say it chars and that far more dangerous is a burning building is steel, which can buckle in intense heat. (Even more dangerous are fitouts made of petroleum based materials such as furnishings, curtains, and synthetic carpets that can ignite a toxic flash.
In Poppy work we even learn that trees are like people, they use a load of carbon in their early days while theyre young and growing vigorously, but as they get older they become less efficient and stop absorbing carbon so readily.
At our Building Circularity symposium late last year (see the book here) NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler pointed to the significant waste hes seen on timber sites, so where were the environmental advantages?
With timbers attraction for termites, theres another issue.
It happens that alongside Poppys feature another article has been submitted in response to building designer Dick Clarkes explosive piece a few weeks ago saying that the chemicals in timber treated for termite resistance are a ticking time bomb for the environment.
Professor Jeff Morrell director of the National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life
University of the Sunshine Coast, says Clarke is wrong. The long-lasting termite poisons of yesteryear are no longer in use.
The chemicals now used are all effective at very low levels, he says, and they have exceptionally low toxicity to humans and repel termites, providing protection for the life of the structure.
Were looking for more information on this and will cover these issues as it becomes available. And it will become available.
As Professor Morrell told us on Thursday theres a lot of research and thinking going into these issues especially with the rise of the circular economy and the drive to re-use and not trash.
Disposal of timber at its end of life is still a problem, he says, and it looks like the best solution for now is landfill in a low oxygen environment, which means the timber decays very slowly, (and therefore releases carbon very slowly).
But its probably not the only solution and hes confident better advances will soon be made.
And thats where we think we can all agree: the energy we spending now is no longer convincing sceptics that climate change is happening. That battle is done.
The big issue is how to slow it and reverse it. And thats a big complex, political hot potato.
Get set for it to invade every part of our lives in the months and years ahead. And for it to make us all uncomfortable.
But thats inevitable and we should welcome it, because its essential and totally urgent.
On timber and hot potatoes - The Fifth Estate
- Swarming termites along the Coast - WXXV News 25 - May 13th, 2021
- Sponsored | Ask David: Detecting termites in tri-cities homes, and more real estate advice - TheRecord.com - May 13th, 2021
- Mayor - News - May 2021 - City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board to Conduct Adult Mosquito Abatement T - City of New Orleans - May 13th, 2021
- Rain and storms increase Wednesday - WDSU New Orleans - May 13th, 2021
- Community demands answers as to why ceilings are leaking at the newly-renovated South Oak Cliff H.S. - WFAA.com - May 13th, 2021
- The Paradigm Shift of the ADL - The Jewish Voice - May 13th, 2021
- Detecting termites, other wood-destroying insects | News, Sports, Jobs - Warren Tribune Chronicle - April 30th, 2021
- Orkin ranks Alabama city in the top 50 for termites - AL.com - April 30th, 2021
- Termite Infestation Is Increasing, Protection Is Improving Building-Products - Building-Products.com - April 30th, 2021
- Mayor - News - April 2021 - The City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board to Conduct Adult Mosquito Abateme - City of New Orleans - April 30th, 2021
- Should treated lumber be used inside? - liherald - April 30th, 2021
- Global Termite Treatment Industry Market Report 2020, Forecast Till 2027 By Type, End-use, Geography and Player The Courier - The Courier - April 30th, 2021
- Debt, Deficits, and Bill-Backlogs Could Eat through Illinois' Revenue-Growth like Termites - River Cities Reader - April 30th, 2021
- Did you know that northern tamanduas may eat up to 9,000 insects per day? Candid Animal Cam - Mongabay.com - April 15th, 2021
- Termite Bait System Products Market will touch a new level in upcoming year | DowDuPont, BASF SE, Bayer AG, Sumitomo Chemical Co SoccerNurds -... - April 15th, 2021
- 'Farmhouse Fixer': Jonathan Knight Says Renovating Houses and Performing With NKOTB Have 1 Thing in Common - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - April 15th, 2021
- Some Animals Will Go to Social Distancing Extremes if It Means Keeping The Group Safe - ScienceAlert - March 11th, 2021
- Global Termite Bait Systems Market 2020 Research by Business Analysis, Growth Strategy and Industry Development to 2026 KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper... - March 11th, 2021
- Global Termite Control Market Potential Growth, Share, Demand and Analysis of Key Players- Research Forecasts to 2026 - Just Positivity - March 11th, 2021
- Termite Drug Market 2021 Is Booming Across the Globe by Share, Size, Growth, Segments and Forecast to 2027 | Top Players Analysis- BASF SE, Bayer... - March 11th, 2021
- Termite Control Market is Thriving Worldwide with Surprising Transition During 2021-2026 Express Keeper - Express Keeper - February 19th, 2021
- Termites and Mulch Separating Fact From Fiction - Mint Hill Times - February 19th, 2021
- Comprehensive study of Termite Control System Market 2021 New Opportunities and Global Industry Outlook The Bisouv Network - The Bisouv Network - February 19th, 2021
- Problems That Your Pest Control Company Will Help You Deal With - MassNews - February 14th, 2021
- A New Life In The Sun couple's dream of running B&B in Spain in ruins after fire - Staffordshire Live - February 14th, 2021
- Termite Control Services Market is Expected to Hit Big Revenue During 2021-2026 The Bisouv Network - The Bisouv Network - February 14th, 2021
- Termite Treatment Chemical Products Market Report 2020: Size, Trends, Competitive Analysis, Types, Applications, Manufactures And Forecast To 2027 ... - February 14th, 2021
- Global Termite Bait Systems Market by Trends, Dynamic Innovation in Technology and Key Players| Dowdupont, BASF, Bayer, Sumitomo Chemical, Syngenta,... - February 11th, 2021
- Termite Control Market is Expected to Deliver Higher Revenue in Next 5 Years The Bisouv Network - The Bisouv Network - February 7th, 2021
- Edible Insects Market Scope and Price Analysis of Top Manufacturers Profiles 2015 2027 BioFlythec, Insagri, Mealfood Europe, Thailand Unique, Kreca... - February 7th, 2021
- Signs of Termite Infestation | Mississippi State ... - February 4th, 2021
- How Do Termite Mounds Regulate Temperature? - ASME - February 4th, 2021
- Drywood Termite Control: How To Get Rid of Drywood Termites - February 4th, 2021
- Termite Signs - Infestation - Phoenix AZ | Blue Sky Pest ... - February 4th, 2021
- How to identify termites: what do termites look like? - February 4th, 2021
- How to Kill Termites in 7 Easy Steps (Expert Advice ... - February 4th, 2021
- Does homeowners insurance cover termites? - February 4th, 2021
- Selling a House with Active Termites or Past Termite ... - February 4th, 2021
- Epifamily Termitoidae - Termites - BugGuide.Net - February 4th, 2021
- What Do Termites Look Like? - WorldAtlas - February 4th, 2021
- Types of Termites in Singapore | Rentokil Pest Control - February 4th, 2021
- Isoptera 101: The Termite Life Cycle And Castes Explained - February 4th, 2021
- Termite Control: How To Get Rid of Termites | DIY Termite ... - February 4th, 2021
- What happens to termites in Alexandria during the winter? - Alexandria Times - February 4th, 2021
- UPDATE: Uncle Kentang Closes Donations for Ampang Family Living In Termite-Infested House - WORLD OF BUZZ - February 4th, 2021
- Termite Control Market Size, Top Key Players, Applications, Business Statistics, Trends and Forecast 2021-2027 The Bisouv Network - The Bisouv... - February 4th, 2021
- The fart of the larva of this insect can kill six termites - The Courier - February 1st, 2021
- Everything Required for FHA Appraisals: From Home Valuation to Termite Inspection - NextAdvisor - February 1st, 2021
- Carpenter Ants Don't Eat Wood, But You Don't Want Them In Your Home - Texas Standard - January 23rd, 2021
- 2 Exits In A Day. Unfazed Trinamool Says "Couple Of Mugs Of Water..." - NDTV - January 23rd, 2021
- Termite Control Market Size 2021 By Analysis, Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, and Forecasts to 2027 - Jumbo News - January 17th, 2021
- A month on, termite infestation still not cleared from JNU's state-of-the-art lab, claim researchers, JNUSU - EdexLive - January 9th, 2021
- Copper Azoles Market Research : Industry Overview, Market Growth,Top Performing Regions Analysis and Forecast to 2028 | Koppers Inc, Lonza, UFP... - January 9th, 2021
- Termite Control Market Trends & Forecast to 2026- Industry Analysis by Geographical Regions, Type and Application - Factory Gate - January 9th, 2021
- Jennifer Danny | Appreciating the Little Things - Santa Clarita Valley Signal - January 9th, 2021
- There's a new addition at the Miami Zoo: a baby giant anteater - WDJT - December 29th, 2020
- Termite Control Market 2020: COVID19 Impact on Industry Growth, Trends, Top Manufacturer, Regional Analysis and Forecast to 2027 - The Monitor - December 29th, 2020
- Europe pest control market Outlook and Opportunities in Grooming Regions - LionLowdown - December 29th, 2020
- The Kindreds - Boston Review - December 19th, 2020
- Facts of the Matter: Earths atmosphere is filled with a wide variety of gases - Honolulu Star-Advertiser - December 19th, 2020
- Womens inheritance rights - The Express Tribune - December 19th, 2020
- The Critical Mistake Homebuyers Are Making Right Now (and How to Avoid It) - PureWow - December 19th, 2020
- Global Termite Control Products and Services Market Detailed analysis of current Industry figures with forecasts growth by 2028 | Top Players;... - December 19th, 2020
- JNU's termite-infested lab stuck in war between two departments. Who will clear the rot now? - EdexLive - December 15th, 2020
- In the nick of time: Woman, dogs rescued from inferno by Kingsport, Church Hill men - Kingsport Times News - December 15th, 2020
- Home repair services and more with Poplar Home Waterproofing - FOX10 News - December 15th, 2020
- Around Town December 14 - The Republic - December 15th, 2020
- Termite Control Market 2020 | Know the Latest COVID19 Impact Analysis And Strategies of Key Players: , BioAdvanced, BASF, Terminix, Rentokil Initial,... - December 13th, 2020
- Letter: Cooperation is key to beating pandemic - Grand Forks Herald - December 13th, 2020
- Amazing ways insects survive the winter | Lifestyles | somerset-kentucky.com - Commonwealth Journal's History - December 12th, 2020
- Terminix Internship Named to Top 100 Best Internships in America by WayUp - GuruFocus.com - December 12th, 2020
- Termite Baiting Treatments Market Size, Historical Growth, Analysis, Opportunities and Forecast To 2026 - AlgosOnline - December 12th, 2020
- 'Echoes of the voice of God': Carpenter Gothic churches rare in Northwest Florida - The Northwest Florida Daily News - December 12th, 2020
- Joint taskforce to be established to tackle termites - FBC News - December 9th, 2020
- A gnawing problem - Midland Express Newspapers - December 9th, 2020
- We found algae-farming fish that domesticate tiny shrimp to help run their farms - The Conversation AU - December 9th, 2020
- Adam Carolla Moves To Where 'Smartest Man' On Earth (Elon Musk) Lives - UPROXX - December 9th, 2020
- Global Pest Control Market : Industry Analysis and Forecast 2019-2026 by Type, by Pest Type, by Application, by Region - The Market Feed - December 6th, 2020
- There's an ecosystem beneath your feetand it needs protection, new report says - Science Magazine - December 6th, 2020
- It is failure that breed success: Sanjay Agarwal, MD of Century Ply Boards India tells BrandSutra - Free Press Journal - December 6th, 2020