Buildings around us create a whopping one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions — that is about ten times more than air traffic worldwide. In Europe alone about 190 million square metres of housing space are built each year, mainly in the cities, and the amount is growing quickly at the rate of nearly one percent a year.
A recent study by researchers at Aalto University and the Finnish Environment Institute shows that shifting to wood as a building construction material would significantly reduce the environmental impact of building construction. The results show that if 80 percent of new residential buildings in Europe were made of wood, and wood were used in the structures, cladding, surfaces, and furnishings of houses, all together the buildings would store 55 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. That is equivalent to about 47 percent of the annual emissions of Europe’s cement industry.
In terms of wood products, a wooden building provides longer-term storage for carbon than pulp or paper. According to the study findings, a wooden building of 100 m2 has the potential to store 10 to 30 tons of carbon dioxide. The upper range corresponds to an average motorist’s carbon dioxide emissions over ten years.
— source Aalto University | Nov 2, 2020