Climate benefits of wooden construction in urban context

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Wooden construction materials have two climate benefits compared to non-wooden options: lower lifecycle emissions and a carbon storage potential. This study estimates the implications of replacing concrete buildings with wooden ones for a period of 35 years in Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland. The study has three main steps. First, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions difference between concrete and wooden buildings is estimated. Next, we select the most accurate carbon storage potential of wooden buildings. Finally, we compare future wooden and concrete building scenarios regarding the climate benefits for the metropolitan area. We use data provided by the regional authority of the study area on predicted residential building construction. According to our findings, switching to wooden construction in urban areas can have a significant climate benefit for the studied region. Increasing wooden construction can cut carbon emissions by 0.56 Mt and increase the carbon storage by 1.83 Mt in the study area, an amount that is four times bigger than the yearly emissions from traffic in the same urban area. The findings are not only useful for the city of Helsinki but also to other global cities which have committed to carbon neutral strategies and have sustainable forestry practices available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022048
Number of pages10
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventCIB World Building Congress - RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Jun 202230 Jun 2022


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