Low-carbon Wood Construction
Antti Asikainen, Executive Vice President, Research Natural Resources Institute
Wood replaces fossil resources
Hesitating to increase wood construction is not about the lack of forest resources, those we have endlessly. Markets will fill before we run out of forests in Finland. Even if we would use more wood in the Finnish construction market, we would never lack raw materials. All concrete construction could end, and we would not have to worry about wood sufficiency.
Wood construction is an act for climate politics, but it cannot save the globe. Carbon binding of buildings can cut a small percentage of emissions, whereas the key is to end using fossil fuels.
Using wood increases
Not everyone accepts it, but we need a techno-system that makes buildings or pulp for fiber or packaging for society's needs. They replace fossil resources and fulfill society's needs without the use of fossil materials.
Another option is to do nothing and watch as we destroy our forest resources. That has happened in Southern Europe and Canada, where they did not properly maintain their forests. The Finnish system of thinning is also efficient for preventing forest fires. Sturdy, thick bark trunks do not burn, and there are no fire-spreading treetop fires.
If we stop logging trees, the forest carbon sink will drop to zero very fast. The Finnish forests are slowly filling as a result of the post-war forestation and good forestry. Now we must use carbon efficiently, for example, in construction.
Jukka Silvennoinen, Crosslam
Carbon binding is significant to wood construction
The life cycle and carbon footprint calculations of cross-laminated timber (CLT) are EPD (Environmental Product Declarations) certified. A lot of mass timber is used for building a CLT panel, which multiplies the bound carbon in comparison to substructure buildings.
We need more successful projects and statue thresholds,
To develop low-carbon construction
Carbon binding is significant to wood construction. Construction needs to transition to low carbon solutions to achieve climate goals and to increase the competitiveness of wood construction. The good news is that attitudes are not a barrier anymore.
To develop low-carbon construction, we need more successful projects and statue thresholds. They are widely used in calculating energy usage but they do not affect material choices. Low-carbon should be considered as a critical condition for building permits, which would make it a guiding principle.
Jussi Rönty, VTT
We can be proactive
Carbon neutral construction is essential to get the environmental effects under control. Achieving this goal requires combined efforts to develop low-carbon solutions together. Instead of waiting for instructions and regulations, we can be proactive. People in the construction business have traditionally built only on the mandatory level.
Consumer knowledge is constantly increasing and
Customers know to demand better
The attitudes and environment in construction have changed. People think that now is the time to do something and take matters into our own hands. Considering environmental values and circular economy has positive effects on organizations' marketing efforts. Consumer knowledge is constantly increasing, and customers know to demand better. The public is beginning to require carbon neutral and low carbon buildings. People also want to live in healthy buildings with high-quality indoor air.
Construction is local at its best. We must use local strengths, wood, refinement, and labor. Municipalities are beginning to understand that the built environment causes a substantial load for nature. Local governments need good examples, experiences, and procedures on wood construction. We also need the courage to include these goals in the town strategies and consider wood construction in zoning. There are good examples and experiences, but many municipalities do not have enough courage, knowledge, or expertise. Decision-makers must have more knowledge, especially in the project tendering and planning phases.