Wood is a natural resource that has been available to man through history. It has provided fuel, tools and shelter. It has left traces to show its presence in many human activities. The advance of technology has provided a growing variety of wood derived products that are adapted to modern times and uses. The availability of this resource, which has always seemed inexhaustible, is now a concern for the entire world. The solution for its preservation lies in the balance between how quickly we use it up against how fast it regenerates: sustainable management of the resource.
Wood that is grown in sustainable forests, whether it is used for furniture or large-scale construction, is an environmentally friendly material. Other manufactured construction materials generate more pollution while consuming more energy and non-renewable natural resources. Additionally, wood is biodegradable, recyclable and relatively durable.
While wood has been an important construction material for millenniums, researchers keep developing innovative new construction systems and solutions to mitigate the problems of durability, and strengthen the role of wood in construction as a sustainable material. Engineered wood products are becoming a bigger part of the construction industry whether used a structural or aesthetic materials. Wood used in construction includes products such as glued laminated timber (glulam), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallam and I-joists. These engineered wood products have proved to be more environmentally friendly, and sometimes cheaper, than building materials such as steel or concrete.