BCF Shake Mill


Trees are a renewable resource so the use of wood building products is an environmentally sound choice. Most alternative building products, and so-called "wood substitutes" rely on nonrenewable resources such as petrochemicals and ores. These raw materials will not grow back and unlike wood, substitutes remove non-replenishable natural resources from Mother Nature. Wood is also non-toxic, energy efficient to produce, and eminently recyclable and biodegradable, unlike the substitute products.

When one takes into account the cost of harvesting trees, transporting them to the mill and manufacturing them into building products, it is still much more cost effective and environmentally sound than producing a competing product.

Wester Red Cedar

Thermal resistance and energy efficiency of wood products are far superior according to the testing results. Not only are these wood construction homes aesthetically pleasing, they are also more energy efficient as wooden homes don't lose heat as quickly as metal framed, cinder block built or brick buildings do. Cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, wood is the best choice.

Where does cedar come from?
Western red cedar grows best in moist areas, seldom occurs in pure stands, and is a highly shade-tolerant species. It often outlives its neighbors Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock and Douglas-fir, often attaining 1,000 or more years. Some trees have been dated at 3,000 years of age.

Is this an old-growth product?
Certi-labelâ„¢ shakes and shingles are made from responsibly managed timber stands. Member mills take pride in the fact the industry follows forest practices that will ensure healthy forests for our children's future. 75% of the forest that was in coastal British Columbia at the time when Captain James Cook sailed into Nootka Harbor, is still in existence.

Red Cedar

"Old growth" is a term that is misused by nearly all stakeholder groups. What is defined as "old" to one group, may not be considered "old" to another interest group. There is no consistent industry definition and those wanting to use the term should approach it with great caution to ensure a conversation's integrity.

The cedar shake and shingle industry does use the quality of fiber necessary to achieve edge grain/vertical grain products in demand by world markets. Forest stands will be logged for the next century, by which time trees planted by this generation will have become older and likely fit the description of "old growth" coined by at least a few stakeholders. It is also important to note that cedar shakes and shingles, in particular, are made from wood fiber which might otherwise be left on the forest floor. The remnants of manufacturing shakes and shingles are turned into pulp, fuel and other by-products. Nothing is wasted.

Why is wood better than the alternatives?
Wood is one of the very few renewable resources amongst all the other building materials available on the market today. So-called "wood substitutes" are mined or pumped from the earth, and they won't be replaced. In addition, the energy that is used, and the pollution that is created in the manufacturing of these alternative products, is a much more serious issue than wood harvesting has ever been.

The forest industry replaces what it removes; the same cannot be said of iron ore, petroleum, bauxite or limestone. all used to create building products. Wood is biodegradable, unlike the substitute products that can linger in landfills for decades, if not longer.

Want more info? Green Sheet (.pdf, 1 MB) Provided by Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau

Photos courtesy of BC Shake & Shingle Association and
Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau
and Rodger Lennox

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