A Potential Market for Sustainable Wood-Based Housing in South Africa
At the Stellenbosch University (SU) researchers discovered that South Africa possesses adequate log resource options that support a solid sustainable wood residential building market.
The study conducted, indicated that the use of wood as resources for building material can now be exported as chips and planting trees in places that have been designated for afforestation. With this, it is shown that it is possible to sustain the future residential building market over a long-term period with all houses to be built with wood, according to Dr. Phillip Crafford that works at the Stellenbosch University Department of Forest and Wood Science.
Crafford and his colleague, Dr. Brand Wessels, began an investigation on South Africa’s log resources, along with the impact of global warming based on a potential increase in the wood-based residential building market. With their successful study and initiative, the two professors’ work was published in the South African Journal of Science.
With this study, Crafford wanted to determine if local forest resources could supply the total required wood that would potentially, allow for significant growth in wood-based residential projects in South Africa.
To support their initiative, they studied the residential housing footprint, along with the potential environmental impacts of a building system big enough to support the project, and the available log resources to build wood-based buildings.
For the project to be successful, they would have to build 39,646 wood-based houses annually, which as you can imagine, requires a lot of wood, not to mention open the door to new employment opportunities to hundreds of residents. Luckily, the job opportunity initiative isn’t the only positive thing to come out of this idea. It’s sustainable wood-based housing, which means it won’t harm the environment. Current available wood chips used as the resource for wood-based housing will only be able to build 39,6546 houses annually but with the sustainable afforestation resources, 55,314 could be built constructed annually. The potential for wood chips and afforestation resources could thus, build approximately 95,000 wood-based houses, which is incredible for the sustainability of forests. It can also aid in the livelihoods of the country’s residents, as wood-based housing is considered more affordable than anything else.