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How Timber Buildings Can Save the World

5 December 2022

There’s no getting away from it: the construction of new buildings, with the traditional materials of steel, iron and cement, accounts for around 39% of all global carbon emissions. Reducing these figures is crucial to ensure a healthy, prosperous and biodiverse future and the answer could lie in nature itself. Step forward timber.

Timber is naturally renewable and has the lowest embodied carbon – the carbon created in construction – of any building material. It’s visually appealing, readily available from sustainable and ethical sources and is structurally robust. No wonder forward-thinking architects are already using it in innovative ways. Look at Mandela Buurt, an entire neighbourhood made from wood in Amsterdam. Or Trenezia, a sustainable village in Bergen, Norway with 1,500 timber homes in a zero-emissions overwater project. Challenging and visionary projects? Certainly. Futuristic ones? No, both are in planning today.

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