Excerpt from: Green Biz
Carbon in construction
Well-managed working forests are sustainable, renewable natural resources that provide a climate advantage when used in longer-term wood applications such as construction (for example, beams, planks, particleboard and blown fiber).
Engineered wood products such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) are attracting attention because it can replace emission-intensive materials such as steel or cement. For example, the University of Washington West Campus Student Housing project stored 4,466 metric tons of CO2in wood materials, including engineered materials, in a five-building dormitory complex.
Further, increasing the use of timber in buildings, bridges or other infrastructure also results in a“substitution effect” (PDF) — avoiding emissions that would have been created by materials such as steel or cement. While the strength of the substitution effect varies, one international study estimates that every 1 ton of wood used in construction avoids an average of 3.9 tons of CO2. A 2015 study found 30 percent more total carbon sequestration benefits over equal time from harvested and regenerated forests than forests left to grow, with more than half of those benefits coming from the substitution effect.
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