In North America, where the building sector accounts for about 37% of carbon dioxide emissions, building with wood represents an opportunity to mitigate climate change. Ultra-strong wood products, like cross-laminated timber, could be a boon to green building and forest markets. A recent study by a researchers from Yale and the University of Washington estimated that global carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by 14%-31% if wood were used in the place of steel and concrete in construction.
Architect Michael Green estimates that a 100,000-square-foot wood building can store 5,300 tons of carbon dioxide and avoid 2,100 tons of emissions that would have resulted from using traditional materials. In addition the carbon mitigation benefits, wood buildings can be constructed more quickly and inexpensively than steel and concrete structures.
Cross-laminated timber’s strength, structural performance, cost-competitiveness, and low environmental impact are expanding the opportunities for using wood in construction and contributing to the growth of forest markets.