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Timber Construction Can Prevent the Release of 100 Million Tonnes of CO2

  • Kategorie: Products, Industry news

26. October 2020 | Building sector playing a key role in protecting the earth’s climate

“Ambitious, achievable and beneficial for Europe,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2020 State of the Union address in Brussels in mid-September about her goal of reducing CO2 emissions further than currently planned. She has called for slashing the greenhouse gases released by the countries of the European Union to no more than 45% of the level of 1990 instead of the present target of 60%.

One sector with enormous potential for helping to achieve this reduction is construction: “And we know that the construction sector can even be turned from a carbon source into a carbon sink, if organic building materials like wood and smart technologies like AI are applied.”

The four leading associations of the European timber industry – CEI-Bois, the European Panel Federation (EPF), the European Federation of the Parquet Industry (FEP) and the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS), agree that decarbonising the construction sector by appropriately renovating existing buildings and erecting new, sustainable ones can go a long way towards attaining these climate goals. In a joint press release they proclaimed that “integrating green materials such as wood products into building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the construction sector. Timber buildings are globally recognised as key allies in climate change mitigation strategies: they represent an immediate way to achieve long-term carbon storage in products – as mentioned in the 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan – and make it possible to reduce the use of energy-intensive materials, which could save 100 MT of CO2 in Europe, according to a recent European Forest Institute study.”

The authors of the cited study, “Seeing the wood in the forests” published in April 2020, also talk about the potential of reducing CO2 emissions by making more extensive use of wood as a building material. They calculate that it could prevent some 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from being released into the earth’s atmosphere.

For us as a producer of engineered wood products, these insights are nothing new. For many years we have been publishing reports on construction projects which also reveal the amounts of CO2 which they sequester and thus prevent from being emitted. Here are a few examples:

- Use of SWISS KRONO LONGBOARD OSB for a new three-storey school building: 346 tonnes of CO2

- A five-storey residential building for the WIR quarter in Berlin with SWISS KRONO OSB and other timber-based products: 3,200 tonnes SWISS KRONO OSB

- A daycare centre in Gescher, Germany using SWISS KRONO MAGNUMBOARD® OSB and SWISS KRONO OSB: OSB : 305 tonnes

We are very happy that these facts are slowly but surely trickling through to the general public. In this connection, Ursula von der Leyen also announced the founding of a new “Bauhaus” in which architects, designers, engineers and students will take existing appróaches further while also developing new ideas.

A school building made of timber modules consisting of SWISS KRONO LONGBOARD OSB Construction of a modern daycare centre with SWISS KRONO MAGNUMBOARD® OSB Sustainability was also a key aim when building the WIR quarter in the Berlin borough of Weissensee

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