Increasing use of wood in construction important step toward sustainability
Roughly half of the natural resources used globally are consumed by the construction industry. In a world where buildings account for almost 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions, there is a readily available way to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry: increasing the use of wood. Limited natural resources, biodiversity loss and climate change are urging societies to move toward sustainable solutions. The construction industry is no exception to the changes, and therefore it needs to find new solutions and re-engineer its practices.
Dependency from fossil materials can be reduced by using materials more efficiently and building more with wood. This has many benefits, as wooden elements are for example reusable, they lower carbon emissions and require a smaller amount of building materials. All the wood used by Metsä Wood is traceable and comes from certified or controlled forests. As the trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon. After a tree has been harvested, four new seedlings are planted to create carbon sinks of the future. The carbon stored in the tree then remains locked when the wood material stays in use. Once the material is disposed after being reused, the stored carbon is released back to the atmosphere, where it is absorbed again by trees through photosynthesis. ‘Wood is a low emission material that allows us to contribute to the sustainability goals of the construction industry. It is important to use wood material where it is best suited. All building materials have their strengths, but increasing the use of wood plays an important role in mitigating climate change,’ said Henrik Söderström, senior vice president, sales and marketing from Metsä Wood. The best results are reached when all building materials are used together. Often solutions combine different materials and their strengths. Wood products can well be used alongside other materials. Wood is a renewable material that creates less emissions when produced compared to other materials such as concrete or steel. Modern wood products such as Kerto LVL are light, material efficient and able to streamline construction. In addition to the material efficiency of Kerto LVL products themselves, they are well suited for hollow yet strong element structures. Using Kerto LVL in elements offers the possibility to save 50% in material usage. Kerto LVL based elements are thinner, improve spatial efficiency and architectural flexibility. With correct design buildings built with these elements can be relocated and serve another purpose after their initial use.