Environmental aspects of Junckers solid hardwood floors
Hardwood and the changing perceptions of plastics
There is almost universal concern about the extent of plastic waste pollution – you can see it on our own rivers and coasts, and in May of this year an American vessel dived 6.8 miles deep into the Mariana Trench in the Pacific and found plastic bags and sweet wrappers. Governments around the world are discussing how to reduce plastic waste and find better ways of recycling. At the moment the amount of plastic that is recycled is minimal.
The public are well aware of issues with food packaging, plastic bags and straws etc but plastics are used in many other ways that have yet to be put under the spotlight. Many people do not see the vinyl floor or synthetic carpet in their home, workplace, school or sports centre as “a kind of plastic”.
These floors are fossil- fuel derived, non-biodegradable and are difficult if not impossible to recycle.
This is perhaps best illustrated in schools where we hear about plans to introduce environmental lessons into the curriculum. Already students are routinely taught about environmental issues in the classroom. However within the same schools, head teachers and premises managers do not appear to see the contradiction in choosing a plastic floor finish for their own sports hall, and other parts of the school.
It is not surprising perhaps that students at home and abroad have staged campaigns and strikes (often with the support of their teachers) to try to bring about change.
Complete avoidance of the use of plastics is currently not possible, but it is surprising that in the UK there seems to be no policy that includes simple substitution of fossil fuel derived plastic floor coverings for natural sustainable materials like hardwood.
Junckers Products; Environmental Credentials
Junckers floor systems have very good environmental credentials.
# It’s better to use large sections of solid wood
We do not slice the logs into multiple layers or chip them into smaller pieces in order to bind them with resins to make composite “engineered” boards. This results in less waste, lower energy consumption, minimal use of adhesives, long life span and ease of recycling because the wood is not contaminated by anything else.
#Timber sourcing: FSC® and PEFC™
All our timber comes from legal and sustainably managed sources, and we have internationally-known FSC® and PEFC™ accreditations. These allow the wood to be traced from the forest to the final delivery of the finished floor. These schemes are externally audited and rigidly enforced.
#Long Life Span- Energy and Resource-Efficient
A Junckers solid hardwood floor may be sanded between eight and ten times during its life. Life spans in excess of 50 years are easily achievable and this means lower demands upon natural materials and a long time-span between installation and when the floor needs to be recycled.
#Strength through its life
Junckers solid floors retain their strength exceptionally well through their lives. Independent testing shows that a Junckers sports floor, after two sandings has more strength than a “equivalent” engineered floor that has never been sanded.
Engineered boards are made from multiple pieces of wood, glued together. Long term loads, especially in a sports environment, may cause the internal glue joints to break and the board will fail. Solid hardwood floors are homogeneous and therefore do not have these potential failure points. The central dovetail in a Junckers board can be sanded without loss of strength.
#Recycling- Reclaim- Re-purpose
Solid hardwood boards can be reclaimed if they have useful life remaining. Floating or nailed floors are eminently re-useable and when sanded and sealed can look like a brand new floor.
Solid wood waste is easily recycled and is usually uncontaminated. Other floors eg synthetic finishes are often difficult to recycle and are made more so if contaminated by adhesive and screed residues.
#No reliance on plastics and oil-based materials
Whilst plastics, resins and adhesives can be chemically engineered to do amazing things, they still fall short of the technical properties, longevity and environmental credentials of a solid hardwood floor. Humans have an inbuilt empathy with natural materials such as wood, and this often makes using the building a richer experience than if man made materials are used.
Junckers solid hardwood flooring boards correspond to the BRE Global Green Guide specification for hard floor finishes, with a summary rating of A+. BREEAM considers, among other things, the environmental impact of the product in terms of its life cycle, effect upon climate change, water and air pollution, toxicity, use of fossil fuel and dependence upon mineral resources.
#Indoor Climate Labelling
All Junckers wood floors and selected wood-care products are certified under the Danish Indoor Climate Labelling scheme. This scheme measures the emissions of certain substances over a period of time from when the product is newly installed or applied. Therefore any reduction in emissions over time will be recorded. This ensures that there are no chemical substances in the flooring which adversely affect the air quality in the room.