The building sector creates up to 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The production of materials like steel and concrete takes a heavy toll on the environment, and finding alternatives is an important part of the global fight to curb climate change. Our forests provide us with one of the best alternatives.
Building with sustainably sourced wood can actually help the environment. When trees are converted to building materials, instead of burning or decaying, the carbon they absorbed over their lifetime stays trapped. The areas that were harvested are then replanted, and the cycle starts again – regenerating forests capture more carbon, and the carbon that was already absorbed stays locked away. Living forests and wood buildings both serve as carbon sinks, working simultaneously to keep carbon out of the atmosphere.
When other building materials are replaced with wood in building design, the benefit goes even further. Not only does wood store carbon, but we avoid the emissions that would have been produced in creating other materials.