Some undeserved prejudices against using wood in product manufacturing and commercial construction arose over the last few decades with the green movement. The fact is, you needn’t worry about choosing wooden doors if you’re concerned about the environment. In fact, wood for doors and for construction in general can be a “green” choice as a building material.
A major myth is that using wood destroys forests. In general, the wood used for commercial doors and other construction is grown in tree farms and is a sustainable resource. Yes, you do have to exercise some circumspection when it comes to woods that have been harvested by unsustainable methods or in areas that have suffered environmental devastation, but it’s generally quite easy to discover which woods are renewable and which are not. Look for certification that the wood you are buying is from a sustainable forest.
Why Wood Doors Are “Green”
Most of the wood used in construction and to manufacture products is grown sustainably. For instance, doors and other structures are often made of southern yellow pine, a designation that encompasses several species, all of which are grown principally in southern tree farms. This wood is known for its durability, beauty and strength. The uses for “SYP” are many and varied, with some species preferred for new home construction, and others for utility poles, bridges, trestles, as well as to make kraft paper and other products.
Another advantage of using this kind of wood is that it needn’t end up in a landfill. Although recycled wood is the second largest component of construction and demolition debris (after concrete), it has not been recycled in great capacity. That appears to be changing, however, with greater efforts being made nationwide to expand waste wood recycling.
Building with wood can be less expensive than other materials; plus, there are no waste products, and it binds with carbon dioxide (reducing the carbon footprint). Plus, since 15 percent of its mass is water, it can be more fire resistant than steel or concrete.
For some added benefits of wood as a building material, see this article by the U.S. Green Building Council.
But concerning wooden doors specifically: when properly maintained, good quality wooden doors can last for many, many years, eliminating the need to replace them frequently so they don’t end up in a landfill.
Aesthetics of Wood
Of course the major reason builders and architects use wood is because of its beauty. A wooden entry door can be a thing of great beauty, evoking appreciation for the natural grain patterns. Wood also gives off warmth in a way that manmade materials do not. Wood promotes a feeling that we’re in a more natural setting.
So what’s the last word on wood? Feel good about using it in your entryway, and when your customers comment on your beautiful wooden doors, tell them some of the other reasons that wood is just right as a green material of the future.