Sustainable Timber Basis for Innovative Green Building Solutions

“Sustainable, PEFC-certified timber provides architects and the construction industry with great opportunities,” highlighted Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, at a recent conference on promoting green procurement in green buildings.

“The possibilities are rather exciting in addressing the challenges of growing populations, especially in Asia where there is a need for housing constructed with as minimal environmental footprint as possible.”

The ‘Green Building and Sustainable Construction’ conference, co-presented by the Philippine Green Building Council, took place in Manila, Philippines, on 25 July. Bringing together representatives from government, business and NGOs alike, the conference discussed a range of issues on the topic of green building, from the key drivers to the materials themselves.

During his presentation on the benefits of wood and forestry products certification, Mr. Gunneberg highlighted the advantages of using certified wood over uncertified wood, including the results of a life cycle analysis study by Quantis which found that just one cubic meter of non-certified wood is linked to the deforestation of an area of almost 5 square meters.

“The study also showed that the use of certified wood can reduce climate change impacts 15-fold, lead to an 8-fold reduction in human health impacts and a 3-fold reduction in ecosystem quality impacts,” Mr. Gunneberg continued.

Mr. Gunneberg also emphasized how the rapidly growing, urbanizing world requires ingenious and innovative solutions from architects and the construction industry.

“You can already use lightweight material such as cross laminated timber (CLT) to build extra stories on existing buildings, and some architects are now predicting they will soon be able to build 30-story buildings using wood-based products.” Mr. Gunneberg concluded. “Which is good news, considering that just over half of us live in cities, with that number expected to grow to 75% over the next 20 years.”

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