Houtdatabase.nl - A Database for Sustainably Produced Timber

The Dutch procurement policy demands procurement of sustainably produced timber. However, not all traditional (popular) timber species which are used in the Netherlands are available with a certificate for sustainable forest management that meets the Dutch procurement criteria (TPAS). Luckily, certification of sustainable forest management has led to the introduction of various ´new´ timber species on the market, like Bossé, nyatoh, cedrorana, Kosipo, mukulungu, muirapiranga, and cumaru. Purchasers in (governmental) organizations find it difficult to overview the rapidly developing market of certified timber with its wide range of certifications systems and claims for sustainably and legally produced timber. At the same time, specific knowledge on wood properties and uses has decreased in many (governmental) organizations in recent years due to new ways of contracting. To overcome these knowledge gaps a wood database has been developed: www.houtdatabase.nl.

This database contains information on more than 200 timber species and 15 types of wood-based panels which are used in residential and commercial construction and waterworks (civil engineering). The database provides information on the physical and mechanical properties of timber species, uses (including reference projects), suppliers and availability with a certificate for sustainable forest management that meets the Dutch procurement criteria. In addition, the database includes various up to date factsheets on relevant topics.

More information on the database can be found in the article A Database for Sustainably Produced Timber: Assisting the Implementation of Timber Procurement Policy, (Mark van Benthem & Henk Tiemensma,published in the proceedings of the 9th International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Conference, June 2011)

Lesser known timber species (LKTS) in sustainable forest management

Natural forests can consist of hundreds of different species. With sustainable forest management one looks at the full range of species present and not just the few well known species. Using a broader range of species conforms demand to what natural forests can produce sustainably and can reduce the chances that well-known species will be overexploited. LKTS, also called lesser used species or promotional species, can often serve as an addition to the current palette of timber species, but also as a substitute for better-known species in terms of performance and aesthetics. These species can be more cost effective as they are in general underutilised. The many LKTS available with rich, truly exotic colours and textures provide new design opportunities for homeowners as well as architects and designers. The use of lesser known timber species can alleviate pressure on well-known timber species and increase the economic viability of sustainable forest management .

Reference projects with LKTS

This database contains a considerable number of LKTS and provides the users with an overview of the suppliers of these species and the certificates for sustainable forest management these species are available with. Moreover, the database-users get information on the physical and mechanical properties of the LKTS and the possible uses in residential and commercial construction and waterworks (civil engineering). An essential tool to promote the use of LKTS are the reference projects which are linked to the species. The reference projects contain a description of the project, the LTKS that were used, the supplier and the certificate for sustainable forest management that the timber was supplied with. In this way users of the database (buyers, architects, constructors etc.) can check if there is practical experience in the application of LKTS in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe. Through the contact information the user can contact the supplier for additional information or references on the project.

A selection of 30 reference projects (see the list below) is made available in English.

abiurana, castanharana - Fender piles
acariquara - Horizontal banisters
acariquara, abiurana, manbarklak - Round poles
angelim vermelho, cumaru, cupiuba, piquia, tatajuba, uchy - Construction and bridge deck
angelim vermelho, cumaru, massaranduba, uchy - Sheet piling and purlin
azobé (ekki), louro vermelho (red louro), catucaem (louro faia), massaranduba, andira, cumaru, itauba, uchy, gonçalo-alvez
azobé, African padauk, louro vermelho - Construction and boardwalks
azobé, okan, mukulungu - Construction and planks for lock gates
azobé, okan, tali -Boardwalks and banisters, construction and retaining walls
cumaru, cupiuba, massaranduba, Araracanga, pau amarelo - Boardwalks and horizontal banisters
favinha (timborana) - Siding - Het Ronde Erf Veenendaal
favinha, angelim vermelho, wacapou - Construction, bridge decks, fencing and camp shedding
gonçalo-alvez, piquia, angelim vermelho - Boardwalks, bridge decks, camp shedding, horizontal banisters and sawn poles
guariuba - Siding and boardwalks - De Villa Apeldoorn
guariuba and tatajuba - Doors, door frames, rafters and joists - Savannehuis Diergaarde Blijdorp
itauba - Outdoor stairs - WWF Office building Zeist
itauba - Siding - Houses Nieuwegein
louro vermelho (red louro), angelim-sapupira amarela (angelim pedra) and tatajuba - Doors, window frames, door frames and siding - Town hall St. Michielsgestel
louro vermelho (red louro), louro preto, louro amarelo and favinha (timborana) - Siding, beams and purlins -Nieuwbouw VVGI
louro vermelho (red louro), louro preto, Mandioqueira (mandio), andira - Siding - Houses Floriande Eiland 7 Hoofddorp
Mandioqueira - Boardwalks
Mandioqueira - Siding and boardwalks - Stadspaviljoen Roosendaal
Mandioqueira (mandio) - Station furnishing - Station Goffert Nijmegen
Mandioqueira (mandio), uchy (uchi torrado), angelim-sapupira amarela (angelim pedra), cumaru - Several applications - Restauration Dudoktribune Hilversum
mukulungu - Bridge deck
niové - Stairs and boardwalks - Hoornwerk Deventer
sepetir - Walls, steps and floors -Haagsche Tramtunnel
tali - Sheet piling and camp shedding
tatajuba - Indoor window frames - WWF Office building Zeist
uchy - Steps outdoor stairs

More info on LKTS
Database Lesser Known Timber Species FSC Denmark: http://pre.fsc.dk/index.php?id=262
Project database ITTO: http://www.itto.int/project_search (search for Lesser Known Species or Lesser Used Species)


General Lesser-known timber species are part of it too (Van Benthem & Bakker, 2011)
Asia Manual on the properties and uses of lesser-used species of Philippine timbers (ITTO 1997)
PROSEA 5(1) : Timber trees : Major commercial timbers (Soerjanegara & Lemmens, 1994, Prosea)
PROSEA 5(2) : Timber trees : Minor commercial timbers (Lemmens et al., 1995, Prosea)
PROSEA 5(3) : Timber trees : Lesser-known timbers (Sosef et al., 1998, Prosea)
Africa 100 Tropical African Timber Trees from Ghana (Oteng-Amoako, 2006)
New Marketable Species in Africa (CTFT, 1990)
Physical-Mechanical Properties and natural durability of Lesser Used Species from Mozambique (Charifo Ali, 2011)
Prota: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa - Timbers 1 (Louppe et al., 2008)
Prota: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa - Timbers 2 (Lemmens et al., 2012)
Technological Profiles of Selected Species Ghana (ITTO, 2002)
South-America Lesser Utilised Timber Species of Guyana (Guyana Forestry Commission)
New Marketable Species in South America (CTFT, 1990)

About the database

This database has been developed in 2009 by Stichting Probos with funding of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Since 2010 the database is owned by Centrum Hout.
Contact information: info@houtdatabase.nl.