Wood as a building material is starting to take a lead in the construction industry
Wood as a building material is starting to take a lead in the construction industry
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Wood as a building material is starting to take a lead in the construction industry

A traditional option is coming back to the fore, as a sustainable construction solution.
Valia Politi

Buildings made of wood are one of the proposed solutions for creating properties with zero pure carbon, as the material is a recyclable option, with a low environmental footprint.

From the traditional Swiss chalets to the six-story wooden building of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. From the two-storey Swedish accommodation in the cultural center and 20-storey hotel in the "green" town of Skellefteå, which was recently completed. From the huts of the American countryside to a 25-story apartment building in downtown Milwaukee, USA, which will take the title of the tallest hybrid solid timber building in the world.

The hotel in Sweden reduced the construction time by one year and the number of delivery routes by truck by almost 90%. This fact is attributed to the choice of wood, coming from trees within a radius of 60 km from the construction site, instead of other conventional materials, emphasizing the contribution of the transfer of materials to the overall environmental footprint of a structure. At the University of Singapore, building materials are supplied, prefabricated and assembled at the construction site, reducing dust, debris and noise pollution, construction time and labor intensity, compared to traditional building methods. A

ccording to estimates by Arthur Huang, founder & CEO of Taiwan-based architectural firm Miniwiz, sourcing all building materials within 100 kilometers of the construction site can save up to 40% on transportation costs, regardless of the environmental footprint. . These typical examples prove that wood can be adapted to uses and environments that we would not even discuss before. The fact is that the wooden buildings offer a potential alternative to more environmentally friendly real estate projects, at a time when pure zero is expected to guide the construction sector on unexplored paths.

The choice of wood, a fully recyclable material, with low processing requirements and high adaptability, is ideal for many parts of the world. It is typical that large real estate builders looking for solutions to reduce embedded carbon - that is, the part of the footprint of a building that is not related to its operation, but the stage of construction, will have to face disproportionate costs, as research and innovation have increased demands on time, money and human resources.

At this stage it is important that private sector investment, and in particular construction investment, is supported by governments, if we hope to achieve the ambitious goals proposed for Europe's building stock as well as the use of wood for large-scale construction and increased demands. can lead to environmentally and economically viable applications of timber, a material found in abundance in various parts of the European continent.