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Report recommends timber as sustainable building material

Doctors and professors from the National University of Ireland (NUI) have written a report about how timber can be used to construct more sustainable buildings.

Doctor David Gil-Moreno, Professor Annette Harts, and Dr Conan O’Ceallaigh of the NUI have written about how to reduce carbon emissions. About 39% of all world carbon emissions come from the construction and operating of buildings. Around 11% of this comes from the embodied carbon of construction processes and materials, with about 28% attributed to running costs.

The authors are concerned about how to reduce carbon emissions and ways to move towards a carbon-neutral economy. One strategy they suggest is to use more climate-friendly wood. Although wood is one of the oldest materials used in construction, its large scale use has been restricted during the last one hundred years. Many commercial buildings feature wood floors but are built mainly from concrete and steel.

There has been a recent revival in timber use, mainly due to timber research and innovation, especially in engineered wood, and cross-laminated timber that is strong enough for building construction. The Timber Engineering Research Group at NUI has been looking at how to produce cross-laminated timber from Irish grown trees for use in construction.

It is not practical to replace the concrete and bricks in already built homes and commercial properties, but installing engineered flooring in Wirral properties provides the natural effect of wood and is environmentally friendly. Engineered flooring can make a small, but important contribution to reducing household and business carbon emissions.

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