Did you know that 40% of all CO2 emissions worldwide are not caused by traffic and transport, but by buildings? Or that, for example, the use of cross laminated timber alone reduces the CO2 emissions of a building by a whole 29 years or results in this extent in less CO2 pollution compared to conventional materials such as concrete or steel? Another fact is that no other building material is as sustainable as wood: CO2-neutral, renewable and 100% recyclable. It is therefore not surprising that wood is increasingly being used, especially in times of climate change and greater attention being paid to environmental compatibility. However, this is by no means the only reason why wood as a building material is also meeting with great acceptance in the increasingly digitalised construction industry.
Wood is a renewable raw material and has been used as a building material for thousands of years. The ability of trees to use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen is fundamental to all life on earth. If indigenous wood is used in the construction industry, the transport routes and the energy required to supply and process it are low. If wood products are used to generate energy at the end of their useful life, they can even supply more energy than was used to manufacture them. Only as much CO2 is released as the tree has absorbed or bound during its growth.
The special suitability of wood as a building material
In principle, the use of wood as a building material and energy source contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the binding of carbon. In addition to sustainable and near-natural forest management, of course. Short construction times and favourable development conditions are achieved in particular through standardised and prefabricated construction systems. Glulam is particularly suitable for this purpose.
As far as recycling and reuse are concerned, wood is unrivalled as a building material. After the demolition of an office building, tons of material normally end up on the rubbish:
Metal, concrete, building rubble, cables, old carpets. This is anything but sustainable. The alternative: a recycling building with a deconstructable wooden façade. Wood is a renewable raw material that comes directly from nature. Thanks to prefabrication in the factory, timber construction is of very high quality. Prefabrication also enables a shorter construction time compared to conventional buildings.
Wood is actually one of the most natural building materials of all. Until wood can be used in building construction, it requires only a few work steps. Thus the production chain of the wood is accomplished with a small grey energy expenditure and/or consumes very little production energy.
- Sustainable building with wood has decisive advantages:
The prices of timber construction are more economical due to the timber element construction method.
- In the exterior wall area, timber element construction offers great advantages. The static and insulating levels are one and the same, so highly heat-insulating building envelopes with low wall thicknesses can be realised. This saves the client up to 20cm wall thickness, which benefits the living space.
- The timber construction has a low dead weight and high tensile and compressive strength. Untreated, it creates a pleasant room climate and has good thermal insulation and heat storage properties.