Durability classes of wood

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This page provides an overview of the different durability classes of wood. It is intented to educate the consumer on what species of wood come from what area (and so the CO² impact of the transport thereof) aswell as indicate which tree species could possibly come from illegal logging from forests/rainforests. The table below does not list all tree species, rather it just lists the most commonly sold ones.

Classes (heartwood)[edit | edit source]

Class 1 ipê, Padouk, Afzelia, teak, Itauba, teak, Cumaru, Jatobá, Moabi, Opepe, Greenheart, Makoré
Class 2 European oak, white oak, European chestnut, red cedar, yellow cedar, Bankirai, Merbau, Bubinga, Bongossi, Mahogany
Class 3 pitch pine, Larch, Douglas Fir
Class 4 fir, spruce, elm, red oak, yellow Meranti
Class 5 birch, beech, ash, large-leaved Linden, white Meranti[1]

Service life[edit | edit source]

The service life of the tree species depends on many factors:

  • is the wood fire treated and/or impregnated ?
  • is the wood fully exposed, partly exposed or shielded from the elements ? Depending on this:
    • class 1 wood lasts for 25 years fully exposed, over 50 years when partly exposed and and over 50 years when shielded from the elements
    • class 2 wood lasts for 15 to 25 years fully exposed, 30 years when partly exposed and and over 50 years when shielded from the elements
    • class 3 wood lasts for 8-15 years fully exposed, 15 years when partly exposed and and over 50 years when shielded from the elements
    • class 4 wood lasts for <5 years fully exposed, over 5 to 8 years when partly exposed and and over 50 years when shielded from the elements[2]

Origins of the wood species[edit | edit source]

  • Padoek, and afzelia come from the African continent[3]
  • Ipé, itauba, cumaru, jatoba come from the American continent (South America)[4]
  • Teak; merbau come from the Asian continent[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Tree species in durability classes
  2. timbers_users_guide_01.pdf
  3. Where precisely ?
  4. Where precisely ?
  5. Where precisely ?

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Wood: see treatment methods of native tree species

External links[edit | edit source]