Sustainable forest of renewable timber

We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”
― Wendell Berry

Background

North Woods Construction Ltd was formed in 1998 out of the North Woods partnership which had been designing and delivering timber structures, mobile sawmilling, and small scale native woodland establishment in the northern Highlands since 1983. We operate out of a 30-hectare woodland, sustainably managing, diversifying, and utilizing Spruce, Douglas Fir, and Scots Pine from this former FCS plantation. Our business was founded on the use of home-grown and other responsibly sourced timber.


Everyone in the North Woods team has a fundamental understanding of sustainability and ecology through either training, upbringing, or inclination. We all aspire to run a business and live lives that are congruent with the awareness that this background gives us.

a handcrafted ecological wooden cabin in the forest

Our Pledge

We would love to only ever work on projects with "perfect" environmental & ethical credentials, but in our reality, every building project we undertake is a compromise between these values and financial realities. Our promise is that we will always try to craft the best and most sustainable building we can for the budget available.

north woods workshop sawmill cutting homegrown timber

Design

Through careful design and consideration of each site's unique features, we can create buildings that take advantage of the natural resources offered while also minimizing their environmental impact.

Where possible our designs incorporate as many techniques & technologies from Passive House standards as possible: this includes the use of passive solar gain, high levels of insulation & airtightness, heat retaining glazing, and the use of natural light and renewable heating technologies. All these features help reduce the operational energy required by the building over its lifetime.


 

 tiny house in the woods made from local timber

Materials

Building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tonnes of raw materials each year, which is 40% of total global use. The UK's annual construction output requires 170 million tonnes of primary materials and products, 125 million tonnes of quarry products and 70 million tonnes of secondary recycled and reclaimed products. To manufacture and deliver these products, 6 million tonnes (tonne of oil equivalent) of energy are consumed and 23 million tonnes of C02 are emitted.

We always try to minimize the contributions our projects make to these statistics. Some of the ways we do this are by:

Using wood and other natural materials:
"As a renewable material, wood is ideal for sustainable buildings.
Benefits of using wood appear in almost all stages of buildings’ life cycles."


Choosing local and domestic materials:
"By adopting local materials the amount of energy used in building decreased by up to 215% and the impact of transportation by 453%."

 

Specifying products with good environmental credentials:

"We always try to select materials that have a reduced negative impact on the living world."

Here are some of the materials that we like to specify and work with whenever possible:

a mobile sawmill processing sustainable scottish grown timber
installing natural straw insulation onto the workshop roof

Methods & Practices

Everyone in our team takes responsibility for minimizing waste and trying to find better ways to do things. Because we use as many natural materials as possible it means that many of them can be safely reused, recycled, and repurposed. We have a network of people who make use of "waste" materials created during our projects. By adopting Circual Economic practices we help minimise the use of resources and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.

Circular Economy

Rewilding

We can also offer our clients consultancy and support services to help them landscaping and planting their sites to facilitate habitat creation and native rewilding.

timber eco-home near Lochinver with rewilded garden and pond

North Woods

Leckmelm Wood

Ullapool

Ross-Shire

IV23 2RH

Scotland

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