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Over time, many innovations to modern houses have greatly impacted the way we build our homes. Today, we do not simply look for style, we also look at its energy efficiency and durability. Many contemporary homes incorporate glass into the architecture, and while it brings out an elegant feel to your home, more energy-efficient alternatives can come our way. Transparent wood can be that next big thing, and here’s why.

Why wood is energy-efficient

Wood is an excellent insulator, which is why it is often used in homes to preserve the heat during winter and maintain a cool breeze during the summer. This main reason is why wood is a good choice for windows and doors, aside from its outstanding durability. Apart from its benefit to your home, wood products are also environmentally friendly than other products in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

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How transparent wood is made

Wood has two main components, cellulose and lignin. Cellulose is a hollow tubular structure that traps air, a part of what makes wood a good insulator. The lignin contains the chromophore that is the reason for its brown colour, and it absorbs the light that hits it, which is why light can’t travel through wood. By removing the part of the lignin that gives it colour through a common household agent called hydrogen peroxide, subjecting the wood to UV light similar to sunlight, and filling it with clear epoxy, the transparent wood is made.

Why we are heading towards transparent wood

There is no doubt that glass is essential for bringing natural light into our home. While this is true, it also allows the light to pass through completely, bringing in the heat. Because of this, glass panels on doors and windows need to be double-glazed before even being considered energy efficient. 

Transparent wood can make way for durable glass alternatives, as it was found to have been able to transmit up to 90% of the light that passes through it. Because of this, we are now presented with an alternative to glass that is also lighter but stronger and provides better insulation. Transparent wood can make our homes more energy-efficient without having to be more expensive.

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Pieter Boyce - Wooden Window and door specialist

Pieter Boyce
Wooden Window and Door Specialist

This article was written on behalf of Fortis & Hooke by Pieter Boyce. Pieter has an intense passion for English Architectural history and has been specialising in the conservation of original wooden windows and doors for decades. His exceptional knowledge of timber windows and doors, both listed or non-listed, is attributed to his hands-on approach to learning all aspects of the complete restoration of original features as well as having personally surveyed thousands of items throughout his long tenure as a head surveyor for one of the largest window and door restoration companies in the UK. He now runs a boutique wooden window and door consultancy and fervently champions the retention of original windows and doors. To learn more of Pieter’s services, visit his website at www.boultonboyce.co.uk.

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