Carbon footprint of Humble Administrator's Table and Chair
Studio Swine emphasise a key aim for the design is to "connect to history", referencing the Ming chair. They note too that they chose cherry because it is a “historic wood” and that there “is something about it that makes you want to reach out and touch it”. They felt it is “important to choose something that we want in our home” and that is "quite timeless and not on any kind of trend” and that “we can live with for the rest of our lives".
These aspirations feed through into an extremely low carbon footprint
These aspirations feed through into an extremely low carbon footprint, benefitting from very long live expectancy. This is a design that need never be replaced and which promises, like the original Ming chairs, to lock away carbon far into the future. The entire mass of the finished furniture comprises sustainable cherry wood, carefully crafted to minimise the need for glues or any other fixings. There is high conversion efficiency so that three quarters of the wood delivered to Benchmark is incorporated in the finished product, maximising carbon storage. Low energy input during manufacturing and Benchmark’s reliance on a renewable energy supplier further reduce the carbon footprint.
This is a design that need never be replaced and which promises to lock away carbon far into the future
The total carbon footprint of the Chair and Table is -(minus)98 kg CO2 eq., implying the design is better than carbon neutral. Total carbon emissions of 105 kg CO2 eq. are offset by 17 kg CO2 eq. due to burning of wood offcuts at Benchmark (which substituted for fossil fuel) and 186 kg CO2 eq. of carbon stored in the wood. This is sufficient to offset a 765 km drive in a typical family car or 4.1 days of carbon emissions by the average EU citizen. It takes only 1.8 seconds for the 159 kg of cherry needed to manufacture the Chair and Table to be replaced by regrowth in the U.S. forest.