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These three timber buildings could represent the future of green architecture

19 May 2020

Timber buildings are popping up around the world. Are they the solution to construction’s carbon problem?

Construction materials alone, including carbon and steel, contribute 11% of global carbon emissions (by comparison, air travel contributes about 2.5%). That’s why architects and development companies around the world are opting for a novel but not-so-new solution: wood. A study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, found that with proper forest management, a global boom in wood buildings could sequester up to 700 million tons of carbon a year (wood naturally stores carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere). The idea is catching on: Google’s Sidewalk Labs has proposed a 12-acre timber neighborhood in Toronto, while in February, France mandated that all public buildings after 2022 be constructed of at least 50% wood or other organic materials. The University of Arkansas completed the largest timber building in the U.S. last fall, a 202,000-square-foot dormitory. Architects (and governments) are embracing the material and finding innovative ways to use it.

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This content was originally published by Fast Company. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By Fast Company

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