Heli Kumpulainen, LCA

Carbon footprint

We aim to answer questions about how constructions comply with low carbon criteria by calculating the carbon footprint. It also lets us know how the project has considered the environmental effects and the circular economy. The footprint of the building would have been larger if they did not have the local heating plant using the saw’s branch currents and energy generated there. 

Once we refine a tree into a product, the carbon bound in it stays. The rule that a new tree always replaces a cut one is in the center of the carbon binding principle. 

The calculation of

Carbon handprint

A carbon handprint calculation is launched now in Finland, and a tree is at the core. Even though carbon footprint calculations were in the development process, Kuhmo considered carbon binding. The project leaders were progressive in wanting these calculations. 

Most of the wood used in the school project was CLT panels to help in the efforts to use solutions that increase low carbon construction. The school was undoubtedly an innovative project considering the low carbon as the starting point and all the wooden surfaces in the building. They thought of material circulation, meaning that the materials are re-purposed once the school reaches the end of its life cycle.

Cities must be active and advance public wood construction by developing strategies, zoning, project preparations, tendering, and expertise. It is easy to take the traditional road in projects unless decision-makers incorporate wood construction in their city strategy. 

The knowledge of how to use the building throughout its life cycle needs improvement. Towns and cities have significant responsibility in the efforts to advance low-carbon wood construction.

Tarja Häkkinen, Syke

Economic standpoints

We consider the use of local forests and transportation when evaluating carbon levels. We can highlight the local elements of buildings from other economic standpoints as well. 

The magnitude of construction in carbon and greenhouse emissions in its entirety is so significant that the goals to decrease it must be in the strategies. 

Low-carbon construction increases

Local brand value

If we can replace energy sources for heating and electricity with renewable sources, the relative meaning of building materials in carbon level calculations increase. It takes more time to transition out of fossil fuels for some other building materials compared to wood. 

When low carbon construction is regulated, it is a good road map for cities. Some cities see the low-carbon building as challenging and are not willing to use their resources for it. 

It helps to make goals and project preparations easier. Setting goals and evaluating them will be easier once the new low-carbon law is in effect. 

The good public wood construction examples help. Numerous towns have used low-carbon construction and energy production as tools in climate politics. Low carbon construction also increases the brand value of cities, which supports their other goals. 

Developing the methods for carbon footprint calculation and increasing knowledge in Finland have been done in international cooperation. In many European countries, there are tools for carbon footprint calculation, evaluation, and comparison. Finland is one of the forerunners in Europe with its ambitious goals and developing regulations related to the carbon footprint.