Recovered timber in Europe: sources, classification, existing and potential reuse and recycling

Annete Harte, Caitríona Uí Chúláin, Bahareh Nasiri, Mark Hughes, Daniel F. Llana, Guillermo Íñiguez-González, Marina de Arana-Fernández, Elizabeth Shotton, St John Walsh, Daniel Ridley-Ellis, Marlene Cramer, Michael Risse, Raphaela Ivanica, Carmen Cristescu, Karin Sandberg, Ylva Sandin, Goran Turk, Mitja Plos, Tamara Šuligoj, Paul Hogan

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The Innovative Design for the Future Use and Reuse of Wooden building components (InFutUReWood) project aims to examine if recovered timber is suited for contemporary timber architecture. To address this aim, a study was undertaken as part of Work Package 3 to identify the current range of timber products obtained from demolition and their current and potential reuse. The study was conducted across all partner countries using a combination of site visits and industry surveys The information compiled shows that the motivation for deconstruction in each country depends mainly on the building location and site value. The type of timber available for recovery was largely contingent on the age of the structures. Building deterioration and rising building standards were common causes for demolition; however, a more significant incentive for urban demolition was market depreciation. In these instances, site clearance makes way for redevelopment, facilitating alternative building use or general urban renewal. An overview of international and national classification systems for timber waste from construction and demolition is presented. Differences were found between partner countries in terms of the potential to reuse recovered timber in loading bearing applications in buildings. Most timber extracted from construction and demolition across the surveyed counties is reduced to woodchip, regardless the size or quality of the extracted material. The main uses of the wood chip are particle board manufacture or bioenergy generation. Exceptions to this are mass timber, such as glulam, and old, large section timber members with high cultural value, which are reused directly. Potential alternative building products recovered timber are presented that will extend the lifespan of the material.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational University of Ireland
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


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