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In the News
 

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How a climate smart forest economy could help mitigate climate change and its worst impacts

Typically, construction contributes to the degradation of the environment through mining and the production of carbon-emitting materials. Building a climate smart forest economy could protect, maintain and manage forests and enhance their capacity to remove carbon from the atmosphere, among other benefits.

Daniel Zimmer

published by the World Economic Forum

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Understanding potential forest impacts from mass timber construction

Recent work has highlighted the potential for mass timber products such as cross-laminated timber to deliver a suite of environmental and economic benefits across the forestry and construction sectors. Potential changes to wood markets, forest management strategies, or forest carbon stocks are a key part of assessing the impacts of mass timber on forests, and The Nature Conservancy is starting to answer these questions.

Yale Forest Forum

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Quantifying the environmental impact of the built environment

The environmental impacts of the built environment are staggering. Although it’s become mainstream to discuss energy efficiency and advocate for minimizing those impacts, architects, engineers, and planners have yet to truly reckon with the magnitude and consequences of everyday design decisions, argues Stephanie Carlisle. 

Stephanie Carlisle

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Clean Construction Policy Explorer

This is an interactive dashboard showing how cities around the world are supporting the transition towards a resource-efficient and low- to zero-emissions construction sector. The map is a living document and will be kept up to date as new policies are developed. Use the map to explore and learn about the actions cities are taking. 

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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Why we need more trees in the UK

“This report highlights the role that farming can play in integrating more trees across our landscapes. To achieve this aim we must put farmers at the centre of this transition and ensure they are given the necessary support to make land management decisions that deliver climate mitigation, biodiversity recovery and sustainable food production. ” Martin Lines

Friends of the Earth

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Forestry embodied carbon methodology

Wood is increasingly used in construction, especially as timber in commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings, and has gained a reputation as a low-carbon alternative to steel and concrete. This paper proposes a methodology to quantify the impact of selecting "climate-friendly" wood to recognize the role of forest products in buildings. 

Arup

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8 ways cities can access sustainable wood

The way cities choose to build - and what materials they build with - will impact to what degree sustainability targets are achievable or even realistic. Cities need to ensure that they are using materials that tread lightly on the planet and can be renewed. To realize the benefits of building with wood, the production, distribution, procurement and use must be ecologically sound.

World Resources Institute

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Timber cities 'could cut 100bn tons of CO2 emissions by 2100'

According to a new study, building new urban homes from wood instead of steel and concrete could save about 10% of the carbon budget needed to limit global heating to 2C this century. This overhaul of construction practices would require up to 149m hectares of new timber plantations, but it need not encroach on farmland, according to a new paper.

The Guardian

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Why we need to green financial regulation

Financial institutions worldwide are now considering what measures they can introduce to integrate climate risks into their operations and how these measures can be successfully implemented. However, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are environmental risks that are not well recognized or acknowledged yet.

World Wide Fund for Nature

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C40 Cities launch the Clean Construction Coalition

On the "Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day" at COP26, C40 Cities launched a new coalition of cities and construction sector companies to tackle the urgent challenge of emissions from the global construction sector. C40 is also launching a joint statement with Building and WoodWorkers International, to ensure a just transition. 

C40 Cities

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Discovering the real cost of restoring forests

Trillion Trees launches new research drive to discover the real cost of restoring forests. This research is establishing a realistic, experienced-based calculation of the investment needed to deliver high-quality, sustainable forest restoration, grounded in globally-accepted forest and landscape restoration principles.

Trillion Trees

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Mass timber shaking up Canadian construction

Mass timber building is on the rise in Canada. Canada's national building code now approves laminated wood-beam buildings of up to 12 storys, expanding what can be done with the technology. In B.C. the province has staked its claim as a haven for mass timber construction. Earlier this year officials launched the Mass Timber Action Plan, funding four projects. 

SiteNews

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Building with sustainable wood is key to greener cities
 

Amsterdam's partnership with a tropical forest for everything from park benches to construction offers a new model for urban development. The alliance is the brainchild of Cities4Forests, which promotes sustainable building materials, aiming to make the construction industry greener and more equitable. In an interview with its co-founder, Scott Francisco, this article aims to understand why tropical forests are vital to cities.

Bloomberg

Forest Fire

Safeguarding against harm in a climate smart forest economy

Kylie Clay and Lauren Cooper of Michigan State University provide definitions, challenges, and solutions for ecological, environmental, and social safeguards in a climate smart forest economy. While broad and novel climate smart forest economy safeguards applications faces diverse challenges, this paper explores practical solutions to advance and set a foundation for future dialogue, analysis, and application. 

Sustainability Journal

Aerial Forest

Circularity concepts in forest-based industries

The world’s prevalent economic model, cannot maintain and raise human standards of living without causing environmental degradation and incurring economic risks. The analysis provides evidence that not all circular approaches are sustainable under all circumstances. In some cases, the focus on circularity may cause environmental externalities, in other cases, it may not guarantee economic viability.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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Will  timber construction cool the climate?

Galina Churkina and Alan Organschi discuss the implications of the transition to timber buildings in cities for climate, which include GHG emissions but also go beyond those potential benefits. They demonstrate that while a transition to timber cities can have a balancing effect on the carbon cycle, the accompanying effects may enhance or diminish that. 

Sustainability Journal

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Is Finland's wood city the future of building?

Engineered woods like CLT have been used in Europe since the 1990s, but they have had a resurgence in Finland thanks to a government-backed wood-building programme designed to ensure 45% of public buildings use wood as a key material by 2025. Developers can apply for grants and get help with tasks such as procurement and risk communication. 

BBC News

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Communicating the importance of embodied carbon and bio-based materials in the built environment

A report by Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) and Laudes Foundation warns that if we do not address embodied carbon emissions, by 2060, embodied carbon emissions may exceed 230 gigatons, which is more than 6 six years of current (2022) global emissions from fuel combustion.

Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

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High-level decision-makers discuss the role of forests in building good living environments

In November 2022, high-level European decision-makers convened at the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia in Espoo to explore solutions forests can offer in the pursuit of good living environments. Prime Minister Sanna Marin's guests include President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the Estonian Prime Minister.

Finnish Government

House logs

English timber could be untapped natural resource in UK built environment

A consortium of experts in timber construction and engineering is exploring ways to boost the use of English timber in the built environment. This research represents a strategic convergence of England's forestry, manufacturing, and construction industries to drive the increased adoption of homegrown, renewable timber in construction.

PBC Today

Wooden House

How to make timber buildings viable

Insurers claim a hybrid approach is the secret to delivering mass timber buildings, but what type of structures work, and how can architects ensure projects are underwritten? Stephen Cousins investigates how different case studies are overcoming hurdles to make timber buildings economically viable.

The RIBA Journal

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Is a timber construction boom coming to America?

A $125 million high-rise in Milwaukee is set to become the world's tallest mass timber building - an important milestone in a country hamstrung by dated building codes. Architects believe that once developers and insurers in the US become more familiar with CLT, more mass timber buildings will rise, and costs will fall.

Fast Company

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Intricate Wood Joinery ruled the architecture world

Everybody in architecture seems to be talking about mass timber, but there's another structural wood trend that is falling under the radar. Increasingly intricate and innovative light-frame wooden constructions that use increasingly complex joints are also proliferating. These architects are making a joint effort to create awareness around finite natural resources.

Architizer

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Wind power in wood would double climate benefits

The UN's climate panel IPCC clearly showed in its latest report how urgent it is to reduce the climate-affecting emissions and increase the storage of carbon. Wind power is, together with solar power, the fossil-free electricity production that can be expanded the fastest and at the lowest cost, and quickly contribute to large emissions reductions.

Sydostran

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