When it comes to wood ZEITRAUM uses almost exclusively solid wood instead of panel material. In addition to low energy consumption, reasons for using solid wood include quality, durability and natural recyclability.
Of the wood used for ZEITRAUM furniture, 60.35 % comes from Germany and 38.50 % from America. All wood from Germany complies with the FSC and PEFC standards. The forests are often only minutes away from the shops of our carpenters. If that is not the case, as with the European walnut tree, we ensure sustainable procurement of the raw material in keeping with our philosophy. An overview of our woods:
For many years we have been procuring our American woods from family owned companies in Missouri and Pennsylvania. The companies are members of the “American Hardwood Council” (AHEC) and work with transparent and sustainable processes (www.americanhardwood.org). In order to comply with the standards of the European Timber Regulation (EUTR) AHEC developed an “environmental profile” in 2013 in cooperation with the Stuttgart-based environmental software developer Thinkstep Ltd. It contains all environmentally related data such as the ecological balance of different species of wood, growth per second and incidence, as well as annual harvest figures. Since the 50s, the growth of forests in the USA is again gaining ground.
Sustainable management of forests and the fact that wood is an enormous CO2 store have a positive effect on the ecological balance. Even wood that is imported from the USA has a better ecological balance than an MDF panel from Bavaria. In addition, 90% of the thermal energy needed for harvesting, processing and transporting wood from the USA is generated from biomass.
To manufacture chair seats, for example, we use bentwood, which consists of several veneer layers. They are glued together and pressed into shape by applying heat and pressure. In our current product spectrum, about 10% of our solid wood furniture uses bentwood. We are vigorously searching for an alternative material that is not glued and can be manufactured ecologically.
Only one product (the CODE shelf) is made of MDF – for which we are looking for an ecological alternative. If one compares the two materials based on the GWP (global warming potential) and the PENRT (Primary energy non-renewable, total), then it becomes apparent that the energy consumption for manufacturing an MDF panel is almost seven times higher than for lumber (ecological balance data of the “ÖkoBauDat” for different wood-based materials, 2018).
The surfaces of our woods are generally treated with natural resin oil, which retains the natural colour of the wood. We use only high-quality oils that are free of biocides, safe for people and nature, and manufactured without the use of paraffins, artificial resins, preservatives or artificial waxes. After it is treated, the wood can breathe, and the surface remains open-pored. This allows the wood to absorb and give off moisture, which not only creates a balanced room climate, but is also antistatic. That is especially important for people who suffer from allergies, because the open-pored waxed furniture does not attract dust.
In addition to natural resin oils, we also offer our furniture with painted and stained finishes. We use so-called HYDRO pigment stains, in which coloured pigments are dissolved in water. After the dispersion is applied, it penetrates the wood, the water evaporates, and the coloured pigments remain in the wood. This results in only 1 % VOCs (volatile organic compounds), so that our stain can be considered to have a low environmental impact.
The paint we use is a highly durable, solvent-based two-component paint. Polyurethane paints have a high solvent content, which makes them ecologically questionable. There is still no eco-friendly alternative with the same properties (resistant to abrasion, water, oils and chemicals, and easy-care).