Tree Frog Forestry News

Can mass timber reform construction’s carbon footprint?

By Lucienne Cross
July 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

A new technique for building wooden mid- and high-rise buildings may unlock a critical strategy for reducing the construction industry’s massive carbon footprint. Although forestry, construction and climate experts disagree on the extent of its benefits, mass timber is a promising substitute for concrete and steel, materials that contribute 5 percent of global carbon emissions each. Buildings in general are responsible for 40 percent of all emissions and architects are calling this new green building technique “the next great disruption to the construction industry.” In order to be considered ‘mass timber,’ buildings must use wood products (typically engineered panels) as the primary load-bearing structure. …Although deforestation is a major concern around the world, forests in the United States are sustainably managed. A collaboration between the mass timber and sustainable forestry industries has the potential to support this budding construction industry niche with profound implications for fighting climate change.

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