Timber

The Whole Earth Building Foundation works towards using only renewable timbers, natural non-toxic treatment and preservative methods and moon phase harvesting.

We are concerned with the use of the many noxious and carcinogenic timber preservative treatments used in our construction industry. Widely used examples are Pentachlorophenol, which is highly carcinogenic; Chromated Copper Arsenate has been banned in most countries; Creosote and Carbolinium, which off-gas high levels of toxic gasses.

Moon Phase Harvesting is an ancient method of preserving timber by cutting wood according to the phases of the moon. The wood is cut when the sap is at its lowest, which is in the autumn and winter months, the hibernation period, between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. The sap in the tree is at its lowest in the days before the new moon. This is a natural protection that prevents insects and fungi from infesting the wood, thus increasing its durability. The trees are left to cure for four to eight weeks with their bark and crown of the tree and some side branches with leaves left intact. This reduces the warping that may occur as the timber dries.

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Materials and Methodologies