A natural-born teacher, Bryan Baeumler, has been educating and entertaining viewers across North America for over a decade on the hit shows House of Bryan, Disaster DIY, Leave it to Bryan, and Bryan Inc.

He is also the owner of Baeumler Quality Construction and is a respected builder who has been working with wood all his life. In other words, Baeumler knows a thing or two about lumber — including the importance of using sustainable Canadian wood.

Mediaplanet: What’s special about Canada’s forestry industry?

Bryan Baeumler: Canada is blessed with an incredible amount of forest, 95 percent of which is owned by the crown. We’re not only at the forefront of forestry technology and science, but we’re also leaders in identifying and quantifying the pressures faced by our forests. Canada is also a world leader in establishing a template of forest health indicators that other countries can use to gauge the sustainability of their own forests.

MP: What role does sustainability play in construction?

BB: As the changing climate puts more pressure on the forest we need to reduce pressure from other areas by using sustainable wood. The forest is not only important to us economically — it’s also literally the heart and lungs of our ecosystem. Using sustainable wood means that you can regrow the wood you have used and more within the lifespan of the product. We want to build homes that will last long enough to grow that lumber back 100 times over.

MP: What advice do you have for builders and construction teams who are looking to adopt sustainable building practices?

BB: When you’re looking at sustainable building and being socially responsible, there are a number of factors that you have to consider, like cost. However, this has to be weighed against the value we place on our forests.

Most builders have the option to source wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative which is harvested here in Canada and subject to replacement programs. Purchasing sustainable, domestic lumber makes sense to me, and you can easily absorb that cost by comprising slightly on size and/or interior finishing.

I think there needs to be more education for the end user so that they can make decisions that protect our forests because sustainable Canadian lumber is something that can fit into any project.