Wood-based Housing Market In Africa

Researchers at Stellenbosch University (SU) have found that South Africa has ample log resource options for a sustainable timber residential market. Dr. Philip Crafford, SU Department of Forestry and Wood Sciences, said the research study showed that, with the use of wood resources currently exported as chips, as well as the planting of trees in areas planned for afforestation, it would be feasible, in the long term, to maintain a future residential construction market where all houses are made of wood.

Crafford and his colleague, Dr Brand Wessels, researched the log resources of the country and the possible global warming effects of the rising wood-based housing sector.

The researchers wanted to evaluate whether local forest resources would be able to supply the wood needed for a significant increase in wood-based residential construction in South Africa, and to do so, they examined the housing footprint of the country; the log resources available for wood-based buildings; and the possible environmental impacts of such a building system.

Crafford argues that, with the exception of imports and existing pulp, board and other log resources, an estimated 6.2 million cubic metres of log resources for timber house components will be made available in the future.