Wood is the only construction material that stores carbon
Wood-based materials can be used in most parts of any building to capture carbon from the atmosphere. This allows designers and builders to reach ambitious CO2 reduction goals. For example, a passive house was designed for a cold climate with two alternative construction material combinations: wood frame with wood-fibre insulation and an aircrete frame with EPS insulation.
“Both options gave the buildings’ shell the same level of energy efficiency. However, producing the wooden alternative caused approximately 40% less CO2 emissions. Also, the amount of atmospheric carbon stored in its wood frame was almost four times as much as in the alternative”, Kuittinen explains.
Wooden building components store carbon in all buildings regardless of their frame, insulation and cladding materials. The largest potential for storing carbon can be achieved in external walls, intermediate floors and roof structures. For example, using Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL columns and floor elements gave a four story timber building a carbon storage of 204 kg/m2 of floor area.