The Upstyle Woodguide.org presents a collection of types of wood and their tools, connections and finishings to make clear which the impact they have on the environment and people. We do this by showing their pro’s and con’s, along the life cycle. This way, we hope to inspire and inform woodworkers. The Upstyle woodguide.org is not a DIY website, although you will find some nice links to other websites that explain how to make stuff with wood.

In order to give a complete environmental profile of a material or technique, we take on a life cycle approach. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a strategy commonly used in business and academics to assess environmental impacts during all stages of a product’s life. From extraction and processing of raw materials, to production, transportation, use, repair, maintenance and finally disposal or recycling. Following this entire path can help to prevent a narrow view at environmental concerns.

Wood is often seen as an environmentally friendly material. It is natural, renewable, stores CO2 and is available everywhere. Wood that is disposed of, is often incinerated with energy recovery and labeled as ‘biofuel’. This doesn’t mean that whatever we do with the wood is good for the environment. Even when we use reclaimed wood, adding materials and processes can make an ecological impact.

Woodguide.org promotes sustainable woodworking techniques, (in particular) the use of local materials, including reclaimed materials. Different concepts are highlighted, such as lightweight or space saving solutions to save on energy in transport, examples of (homemade) non-toxic finishings, information is given about the footprint of non-local wood and an idea of costs and time that needs to be invested. We also include not so environmentally friendly products in the Woodguide, to give the user material to compare, but also because in certain circumstances a not so environmental material can lead to a product that is highly durable and therefore sustainable.

The Upstyle Woodguide.org is a research project initiated by Upstyle Industries in collaboration with Superuse Studios. Both studios are based in Rotterdam where they work closely together on projects that provide inventive and sustainable solutions for the use of resources. These projects vary from product design and architecture to (LCA) research and visualisation techniques.