Case studies

Low carbon demonstration school building using solid wood panel construction

A solid wood panel school building

The more wood used in a building, the lower its carbon footprint. This school uses solid timber as its primary structure to achieve a negative materials footprint of -40.9 tonnes of CO2.

The wood frame apartment building in the Swedish carbon dioxide comparison study

Two multi-storey apartment blocks

Research in Sweden in 2007 compared the CO2 balances for two four-storey buildings, one with a timber frame and the other with a concrete frame, over a 100-year period.
The study researched the entire construction process from cradle to grave. A 4-storey wood framed building with 16 apartments (1,190m2 area) was compared with a similar concrete frame construction. The concrete frame building showed emissions of around 96 tonnes of CO2, while the timber frame building showed no emissions - instead it showed a net uptake of 150 tonnes of CO2.

  • The construction of the bilding with the wooden frame required elss energy
  • Wood waste from the construction process could be recycled and used as an alternative to fossil fuels
  • Carbon from CO2 emissions stored in the wood
  • Concrete production has significant CO2 emissions
  • The more wood used to replace steel and concrete, the better for the climate
Emissions of around 96 tonnes of CO2 from the concrete building compared with a net uptake of 150 tonnes of CO2 from the timber frame building
A low carbon apartment building under construction using solid wood panels, Europe

A solid wood panel multi-storey apartment block

This apartment building in London has a solid wood structure. It was pre-fabricated offsite using laminated panels up to 12.5m long, 2.9m wide and 170mm thick, produced from sawmill offcuts.
The glue content of the panels is 2 per cent and the building uses 360m2 of lumber, saving around 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared with a concrete and steel construction.