!The immense heat is still bringing more discomfort to Bangkok with daytime temperatures staying above 35C for more than a month, while the seasonal rain has yet to come to cool down the city. The Songkran festival has already been and gone but many would welcome it back again right now. Currently many of us are realising that air-conditioners can't bring enough cool air for our houses as the outdoor temperatures might be reaching a point where the units are incapable of functioning.
What is to blame? Of course, it is natural but we can't avoid the fact that the country has lost much of its natural forestation. Trees have disappeared from the city and been replaced with concrete structures which absorb heat from the sun to contribute towards what is known as the "urban heat island" effect.
For many years, Thailand has realised that it must keep the natural forests, while buildings made using timber have been replaced by concrete and steel. However, not many are aware that wood is actually a choice of material that is considered renewable, reusable and recyclable. If managed properly, using wood in construction could bring more benefits as the amount of energy called "embodied energy" in the process of manufacturing of concrete and steel can be reduced. And therefore CO2 emissions can be reduced. But if managed inappropriately, using wood could result in more deforestation.