Timber Frame Can Slash Global Fossil Fuel Use

A recent study published by scientists at Yale University has discovered wood based construction uses far less energy than concrete or steel construction.

It is reported that over 1.5 billion tonnes of wood is globally harvested each year, a huge amount of this is then inefficiently burned. The study reports that turning some of this waste harvested wood into new buildings would reduce global CO2 and fossil fuel usage.

Scientists from Yale and the University of Washington found that increasing the amount of wood harvested from 20% to 34% of the amount of wood grown annually, and using it efficiently in new products would have a number of positive effects, including:

  • Between 14% and 31% of global CO2 emissions could be avoided by preventing emissions related to steel and concrete; by storing CO2 in the cellulose and lignin of wood products; and other factors.
  • About 12% to 19% of annual global fossil fuel consumption would be saved including savings achieved because scrap wood and unsellable materials could be burned for energy, replacing fossil fuel consumption.

“Forests contain a lot of diversity which can be maintained by harvesting some of the forest growth,” said Professor Chadwick Oliver, lead author of the study. “This harvested wood will save fossil fuel and CO2 and provide jobs — giving local people more reason to keep the forests.”

You can read the full report here

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