Choosing timber in design and construction can help tackle climate change in several ways. One of the most important is that wood stores carbon.
Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, emit oxygen and store carbon. Carbon remains locked in the wood for the life of the piece of timber.
Carbon is an elemental building block of all living things on earth. As a forest grows the trees absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide and store it in their leaves, branches and trunks. Approximately half the dry weight of a living tree is carbon, stored for the life of the tree, and retained throughout the timber manufacturing process.
Australia’s native forests, timber plantations and wood products are all net absorbers of greenhouse gases. In 2005, they sequestered (or stored) 56.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, reducing Australia’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by almost 10%.1 The combination of carbon sequestration in growing trees and the long-term carbon storage in wood products represents a significant net sink and store of carbon for Australia.
In 2015, Australia built 115,989 detached houses. If all of those houses were timber framed, it would equal a total of 1,159,890 tonnes of carbon dioxide as the harvested plantations are replanted and begin the cycle of carbon retention all over again.
To read more about timber and carbon storage visit WoodSolutions.
Positively Addressing Climate Change
Timber is a greenhouse positive product with a lower net environmental impact than most other building materials, such as emission-intensive steel, aluminium, or concrete. It’s one of the only building materials that contribute to the long-term reduction of carbon emissions: positively addressing climate change.
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