Dave Hopkins contributes to Construction News' sustainability blog, explaining why timber in the built environment is a natural solution for carbon storage
In the run up to next year’s general election the UK’s lack of housing and climate change will continue to be two key areas of policy discussion. Timber should now be seen as part of the solution to both.
Timber’s market share as a building material has been on the rise for a number of years. However timber’s true trump card - its environmental credentials - has historically been hard to evidence.
Six months on from the launch of the timber industry’s LCA database, all manner of professionals within the industry from architects to engineers are now using the data to model forthcoming projects and compare the environmental impact of different materials. The LCA data is presented in an EPD format and covers a wide range of structural products.
Judging by the latest EU climate change targets, agreed in October, this data is going to become even more relied upon by construction professionals.
The targets (aiming for a 40 per cent reduction in emissions across the EU and up to 30 per cent energy efficiency improvements) will no doubt usher in a renewed focus on the sustainability of the built environment which is still the single biggest carbon emitter. The targets should be good news for the timber industry.
Research from our lifecycle database shows that timber products actually absorb and store more carbon dioxide than is emitted as a result of their entire manufacturing process – arriving on site with a carbon negative footprint. These qualities mean timber effectively offers the construction industry the option of building with carbon, not emitting it.
The full version of this article can be found on Construction News’ website here