Carbon Footprint: Kebony vs. Tropical Hardwoods

Wood Architecture is a Growing Trend

Wood architecture is becoming an increasingly popular trend worldwide. From decking, to cladding, to designing the structure for an entire building, many architects and clients are choosing to build with tropical hardwoods, such as Ipe, over other building materials. Wood architecture inspires a modern appeal, and the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic are driving forces behind this trend.

The Problem with the Overuse of Tropical Hardwoods

The problem we encounter as this trend grows, however, is that the global demand for these tropical hardwoods cannot be sustainably satisfied. Deforestation is happening at an alarming rate, and our current patterns cannot be upheld over time. So, what can be done to achieve the stunning look and feel that designing with tropical hardwoods provides, while reducing our carbon footprint?

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint with Kebony

The solution is Kebony. Kebony’s modified wood technology is a patented process developed in Norway that enhances the properties of sustainable softwoods with a bio-based liquid. The process permanently modifies the wood cell walls, giving Kebony premium hardwood characteristics and a rich brown color in two easy steps. The results of the modification process are outstanding stability, maximum hardness, and guaranteed durability. Most importantly, the carbon footprint of Kebony is significantly lower than competing tropical hardwoods, such as Ipe. To specify, Kebony’s carbon footprint is 15 times less than Ipe’s carbon footprint, as can be seen in the graphic below.

The following factors influence this reduction in the carbon footprint:

  1. Kebony has a 30-year warranty and a life expectancy of 50-100 years. In contrast, Ipe has no warranty and has a life expectancy of only 25-75 years. The fact that Kebony wood is longer lasting removes the need for replacement and the use of more wood material.
  2. Kebony pine grows to maturity in 30 years and takes just 3 days to modify. Ipe, however, grows to maturity in 80-100 years. Kebony pine is being replaced at much higher rates than Ipe. In fact, Ipe is being clear cut and not replaced at all.
  3. Radiata pine forests grow 2 trees for every one harvested, sourced from sustainably managed forests. Meanwhile, Ipe grows sparsely in the dense rainforest.

Overall, the pine used for Kebony grows faster than Ipe, it is replaced at a more rapid rate, and more pine can grow in sustainably managed forests compared to the amount of Ipe that grows in the tropical rainforest. Kebony is committed to promoting and practicing social responsibility to improve the environment in a way that builds a better future, and we’d love to help you reduce your carbon footprint by choosing Kebony for your next wood design project.