Image caption: FII India office in Mumbai featuring Western red cedar panelling, SPF ceiling and photo frame made of Douglas-fir.

   Already a major trend internationally, India is now catching-up on including sustainability as a key element in new building projects. With the volume of hotel rooms to open in the following years in India (we are talking about more than 100,000), the hospitality sector will be on the forefront to adopt a sustainable architecture strategy that will be aligned with what is done abroad and responded to their client’s expectations.

Architects and designers are on the lookout for materials that imbue both an earthy aesthetic feel as well the values of sustainability and wood – a universal resource that has been one of the oldest construction materials that was used long before masonry and steel – is seeing a sure resurgence. But not any type of wood. Only wood harvested from forests that are managed responsibility offers a sustainable long term solution and Canada is leading the way in this field.

Sustainable wood is a renewable resource that can be grown again and replenished in the long term through planning. Importing wood from sustainably managed forests can greatly reduce the demand for logging of timber in India and other tropical countries. In fact, using wood sustainably is the only solution to deforestation resulting from illegal timber logging that is a rampant problem in many parts of the world and more specifically in Asia. Using our forests sustainably is the only way to save them from being destroyed.

Tropical architecture style used in a lot of resorts in India is massively using wood to give it the natural touch of outdoorsy beach type of design. Not being fireproof was a major drawback that gave rise to various other construction materials. Despite this limitation, wood continues to hold unique advantages. It is lightweight, sturdy, has low heat conductivity and can last for generations. It also retains the aesthetic values of several local architectural styles.

One of the most successful examples of sustainable wood comes from Canada, a country that manages its forests responsibly. For species harvested, trees are systematically replanted to minimize carbon footprint over a period of time. These wood species come from forests in Canada’s western most province of British Columbia that is famous for varieties of spruce, cedar, pine, birch, maple and hemlock.

The added advantage of wood from Canada is that species such as Douglas-Fir, Western Hemlock and Western Red Cedar are easy to laminate to any type of glue. Since these Canadian species are light coloured woods they are versatile enough to be stained to look like a range of dark coloured options. They also have lower densities and are much easier to work with than tropical hardwoods.

Arsha Consulting participating at the Food and Hospitality Trade Expo in Mumbai will be displaying Palmex Synthetic thatch roof solutions over a kiosk built with sustainable Canadian wood. Catch us at stall E-14. 

Elizabeth Raj | Blogger- Arsha Consulting
Image Credit: Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.

About the author

Leave A Comment