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Today, 56,2% of the global population lives in urban areas. By 2050, it is projected that this number will increase to 68%. One of the greatest opportunities, and responsibilities, for the construction sector is to design sustainable, inclusive, and beautiful cities.
The construction industry uses more raw materials than any other industry (about half of all materials extracted from Earth's crust), while building construction accounts for 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. The embodied carbon in the built environment has been estimated as equivalent to 10-12% of total carbon emissions in several EU member states, while construction and deconstruction/demolition waste are some of the heaviest waste streams generated in the EU, and at 25%-30% of total waste volume, some of the biggest.
As buildings become more energy efficient, their share of embodied carbon is increasingly significant, making it ever more important to promote low-energy materials. Timber buildings are known as low carbon building solutions. Research has shown that wood products used in construction have the longest average lifetime and therefore carbon storage potential. Using wood instead of fossil-based alternatives, or wood substitution, is an essential component for reducing negative environmental impact.
So, how do we increase the use of wood in our cities?
Wood Joensuu presents wood construction and wood material related events, research and projects in the Joensuu area, North Karelia. With projects dating back as far as the 1990s, the wood construction projects have drawn wide national attention and recognition.
Wood construction is seen as a prominent solution to reduce and reverse climate change as it is a way to capture and store carbon emissions long-term. But wood construction also faces many challenges. On 17 June 2022, the Bioregions Facility kicked off its second Forestry Speed Dating series on the topic of Bio-based solutions for sustainable construction. The introductory event featured three speakers from different positions in the wood construction value chain. The speakers succeeded to give a very clear insight into the challenges of wood construction and how innovation provides opportunities to overcome these challenges. Below, you can access the three presentations together with the clipped recordings.
Main challenges of Slovenia’s biggest timber building – InnoRenew CoE
InnoRenew CoE is an independent research institute that targets renewable materials and sustainable buildings, specifically innovative approaches to wood and its use, with the goal of transferring scientific knowledge into industrial practice. Through hands-on wood construction experience at their own facilities, InnoRenew CoE is very well-placed to outline the challenges in wood construction.
By Iztok Šušteršič. Learn more
Demountable timber buildings with the use of carpentry joints – Osoltre
Oslotre specialises in timber architecture and construction technology. The company has more than 12 years of experience in timber architecture, timber engineering, assembly and production of CLT elements. Oslotre has offices in Oslo (Norway) and Melbourne (Australia) working mainly with office buildings and multi-story residential housing projects in timber.
By Jørgen Tycho. Learn more
Sustainable wood construction value chains: Linking product innovations and regional stakeholders in the Basajaun project – InnovaWood
InnovaWood is the main European network for wood science, technology and education. With 60+ member organisations in 28 European countries, it is a large living community of professionals in research, development, innovation, and education in the forest-based sector. The overall objective is to foster innovation in the value chain and related research and education, from forestry to wood products, to furniture, interiors and design of buildings by providing a forum to the membership.
By Uwe Kies. Learn more