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It's time for wood! Poles want environmentally friendly construction

18 of December '23

Modern construction should use certified wood - that's what as many as 76 percent of Poles believe - respondents to a survey commissioned by the Forest Stewardship Council®, which sets standards for responsible forest management. The survey also shows the need to implement changes in the construction industry - to look for ways to replace concrete and steel with renewable materials and to be more concerned about the climate.

drewno certyfikowane

certified wood

Photo: Arturo Escobar © Forest Stewardship Council

renewable materials in construction

Buildings-both their construction and operation-generate nearly 40 percent of global carbon emissions¹, yet there are still as many buildings being built each week as there are currently on the surface of a major European capital, such as Paris². The impact of the construction sector on progressive climate change is thus enormous. How can this be addressed? One solution could be the use of renewable materials in construction, such as wood.

Not only does this material reduce emissions by reducing the use of concrete in the construction industry, but it also retains carbon dioxide in it for many years, so that it does not end up in the atmosphere. However, it is important that the wood comes from a responsible source. Its legal harvesting from forests managed with respect for the environment and the rights of the local community is confirmed by the international FSC certification.

drewniany plac zabaw

wooden playground

Photo: Ben Beech © Forest Stewardship Council

Nearly half of Poles view construction and buildings as large emitters of greenhouse gases. At the same time, wood has enormous positive value for the planet, people and the economy. As many as two-thirds of respondents confirm that the use of certified wood in construction and interior finishes has a positive impact on the climate, the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, says Karolina Tymorek, director of FSC in Poland. - Wood incorporated into structures or objects is a natural store ofCO2. It is relatively durable, lightweight, flexible and easy to work with. Moreover, it is a renewable raw material, which is of great importance for the responsible use of the planet's resources , she adds.

drewno certyfikowane

certified wood

Photo: Feiyoue Liu © Forest Stewardship Council China

wood - the material of the future

The aforementioned survey (the omnibus study was conducted in November 2023 by SW Research on behalf of the Forest Stewardship Council [FSC] and included a representative group of 1003 respondents) showed that the increasingly environmentally consciousenvironmental issues, Poles would like to see more sustainable construction , with more than half of those surveyed believing that renewable energy sources and smart solutions to reduce utility consumption should be among the building components. 46 percent of respondents believe that locating a building with respect for the environment and spatial order is an element of responsible construction, while a slightly smaller group (44 percent) points to technologies using recycled materials.

budownictwo certyfikowane

certified construction

© Forest Stewardship Council

Our immediate environment is also not insignificant - more than half of those surveyed would prefer to work in an eco-certified office building, and 47 percent of respondents would be willing to pay more for a house or apartment and its furnishings made of certified natural materials if it would help protect the environment.

The use of certified raw material makes it easier for investors to obtain environmental certifications for buildings, such as LEED or BREEAM, which certify that they are environmentally friendly and provide comfortable working conditions for users.

budownictwo certyfikowane drewno we wnętrzach

certified construction

© Forest Stewardship Council

Alex de Rijke, a renowned British architect, said that metal was the material of the 19th century, concrete was the material of the 20th century, and wood will be the material of the 21st century. This is an idea that is also in line with the expectations of Polish consumers, for wood to become the future of construction. In doing so, it is important for the construction industry to use certified wood from a responsible source, so that we do not deplete the resources of this natural raw material. FSC is the most demanding forest certification system, and is the most trusted in the world. Responsibly sourced wood brings environmental, social and economic benefits to construction projects , Karolina Tymorek concludes.

From interiors to skyscrapers

Wood is not only a material that will work well in interiors or smaller-scale buildings - there is nothing to prevent the use of this raw material in larger-scale structures - an example is the various buildings of Waugh Thistleton Architects, known for using CLT wood in its projects. In one recent development in central London - The Black & White building - the architects used a hybrid structure combining LVL beech wood frames with CLT panels. One of the world's tallest wooden buildings also has its headquarters in one of the world's tallest wooden buildings - the Mjøstårnet high-rise in Brumunddal, Norway, designed by Voll Arkitekter has a wooden substructure made of laminated glulam, and the facades, staircases and even elevator shafts are also wooden. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma also often relies on wood in his projects - he recently reached for it in the design of the Museum of Modern Art in Eskisehir, Turkey, incorporating a wooden facade into the urban landscape.

The fact that buildings of all scales and functions can be built from wood confirms the wide range of possibilities for using this raw material in construction that responds to current consumer needs, and its more frequent use as a building material can contribute to reducing the industry's impact on the climate and the planet's environment.

² UN Report: Building Materials And The Climate: Constructing A New Future

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