Green construction

Why lightwood is a major asset in sustainable construction

Sustainable construction

Lightwood as a building material for the future

Wood is a natural material that has been used by mankind since the dawn of time. In recent years, its use as a building material has returned to global relevance. Worldwide awareness of global warming is prompting governments to change the way they do business. As construction is one of the most polluting activities on the planet, timber construction makes it possible to erect sustainable buildings that bring modernity and well-being. Currently, Western Europe and North America see the most marked technological advances in the use of timber materials. However, wood is used as a building material in most countries of the world.

Lightwood has immense potential in the construction industry. By using fast-growing species, you could have a high-quality, local and quickly available resource material. Besides, by improving the quality of timber building materials, you would have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and experience in this field for the future and thus have a strategic advantage on your competitors.

The advantages of integrating and using lightwood in your projects are summarised in the table below :

Economic benefitsSaves time and money in building work
Attractive timber prices
External Financial Support (support for green building)
High market value product
Improvement of the local economy (increase in purchasing power)
Technical benefitsFreedom of shape
Easy to work with
Lightweight with excellent mechanical properties
New knowledge for a new market
Environmental benefitsCO2 storage
Increasing interest in forests
Promoting sustainable forest management
Better carbon footprint in the construction sector
General benefitsModern and futuristic construction
Construction that offers incomparable well-being to your customers
Complementary business possible (waste optimisation as charcoal, firewood, biochar, …)

Potential of Lightwood to mitigate climate change

Lightwood has the power to influence climate change mitigation on a large scale. Indeed, it plays a role on several levels.

Lightwood as a tree

  • Fast-growing tree species plantations, which implies a large volume of available wood
  • Creation of large-scale carbon sinks
  • Soil quality improvement
  • Improving diversity in agroforestry and forestry
  • A living place for wildlife and various organisms

Lightwood in agroforestry systems

  • Added local fruit production
  • Added local production of timber for construction, charcoal and firewood
  • General crop improvement through improved soil quality

Lightwood as a building material

  • Long-term storage of large quantities of CO2
  • Substitution of dependence on steel and concrete which emit large amounts of CO2 during their manufacture
  • Sustainable building with a very pleasant room climate

Lightwood as a response to the worldwide objectives of sustainable development:


What is sustainable construction ?

Nowadays, sustainable construction has gained considerable international importance. Indeed, rising water levels, global warming, loss of biodiversity and increasing CO2 emissions are issues that concern the world’s population. The consequences are increasingly visible and know no borders, everyone is affected. The construction sector is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions worldwide. These emissions accentuate the greenhouse effect and consequently the increase in global temperature every year.

In order to consider a construction as sustainable and environmentally friendly, the following points must be taken into account from the outset :

Raw material selection
When choosing the raw materials to be used, the origin and the extraction procedure are elements to be taken into account. For example, concrete and steel are among the most widely used building materials in the world. They are also responsible for the largest quantities of CO2 released into the air during their extraction, processing and end-of-life disposal. In comparison, wood also emits emissions during its extraction and processing but, during its life, the tree creates its wood material by removing quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere that it will store within it for the rest of its life. Ultimately, wood can be considered CO2-neutral or positive if it comes from sustainably managed forests and has been treated with respect to the environment.

Manufacturing
Processing and working with raw materials are also important. Once again, the material wood offers unparalleled flexibility compared to other materials. It allows easily demountable constructions, allows high-rise constructions on existing structures and has almost no limits to the imagination of architects.

Transport
Transport is also a major cause of emissions. Careful management reduces transport distances and increases the independence of small and medium-sized enterprises from the big market leaders.

Application
Projects must be well thought out and intelligently constructed according to the purpose of their future use. If a construction is well thought out, time savings, fewer mistakes and better quality buildings will avoid additional work. The life expectancy of the infrastructure is guaranteed and extended in a sustainable way.

End of life treatment
The way in which materials can be treated at the end of their life is also an important point. Indeed, easily recyclable or reusable materials will reduce costs and optimise your company’s waste management.


Why timber construction

Here are a few videos from experts in wood construction that will help you learn and create your own opinion on the use of wood in construction

Michael Green is an award-winning architect known for his research, leadership, and advocacy in promoting the use of wood and new technology in the built environment. Based in Vancouver, he founded MGA to create meaningful and sustainable change in building through innovation in construction sciences and design.
The Economist is an international weekly newspaper printed in magazine-format and published digitally that focuses on current affairs, international business, politics, and technology. The newspaper has a prominent focus on data journalism and analysis over original reporting, to both criticism and acclaim.
Seeker is an American digital media network and content publisher based in San Francisco, California. Seeker empowers the curious to understand the science that is shaping our world and tell stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that impact our lives, our planet, and our universe.
Ben Kaiser brings a unique perspective to urban development, informed by over 20 years of serving as the owner, developer, architect, and general contractor on his projects. He is committed to mass timber construction and believes it is the future of sustainable development. Carbon 12 is one his signature project.