National goal to promote sustainable building in Denmark

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News – Applying wood materials in the Danish construction industry will reduce harmful CO2-emissions. Chora Connection urges the establishment of a new domestic partnership that emphasizes construction based on wood materials. During the following weeks Chora Connection will invite key stakeholders from forestry, wood products and construction industry to discuss how we can promote the use of wood in Danish construction and thereby have more sustainable construction.

Denmark can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases simply by adding more wood-based materials to the process of construction. The production of concrete and steel emits CO2, while it is possible to build in wood, so that it sequesters or stores CO2. This is supported by new data from DTU that supports previous evidence based on studies from Sweden and Canada.

Chora Connection therefore urges a new national partnership that has to secure the use of wood in construction.

“Danish forests provides a fantastic setting for family outings and running, but they are also meant to be our dearest friend in the fight against harmful CO2 emissions. Nearly two years ago the Ministry of Environment introduced a set of binding requirements to governmental buyers, securing that wood for construction, furniture and paper has to originate from sustainable forests – a great initiative, that will push the application of wood in a more sustainable direction. Now is the time for the next step, to engage in national partnerships, so private and governmental parties with relevance to the construction industry commit to using wood as a building material and in that way reduce the emission of CO2 in Denmark”, says Mads Randbæll Wolff, director in Chora Connection.

During the next two weeks Chora Connection will invite key stakeholders from forestry, wood products and construction industry to roundtable discussions about how Denmark can promote the use of wood in new construction. The stakeholders gather to find a common ground in the movement towards more sustainable construction.

“All the good ideas and visions about a more sustainable Danish construction industry is already here. We want to speed up the process of having more building based on wood, in order to use Danish forestry to fight the emission of CO2. This implies new partnerships between companies, authorities and educational institutions. The answer is not given beforehand, but I look forward to seeing what the roundtable discussions will lead to”, says Mads Randbøll Wolff.

Wood as construction material:

• Scientists at DTU has made a new LCA-analysis of building materials and the reduction of CO2. These are the results: (LCA = Life Cycle Analysis)

CO2-udledning per m3 (kg)
Steel (virgin steel 355MPa) 1999
Steel (recycled- 355MPa) 200
Brick wall (including cement)341
Concrete (pre-stressed) 212
Concrete (reinforced) 133
Wood (timber) (-) 1655 *
Wood (engineered wood) (-) 930 *
* CO2 is reduced

• This data are supported by previous studies from Sweden and Canada, that also points to the fact, that while CO2 is emitted during the production of concrete and steel, wood actually functions as storage of CO2 (see fx link)

Sustainable construction – Go2Wood
• In the coming weeks Chora Connection gathers a wide selection of private stakeholders from the construction industry, wood products and forestry to a dialogue about, how Denmark obtains more sustainable wood production and more sustainable buildings.
• Chora Connection hope to gather all parties around a proposal to a national partnership with a realistic goal to promote wood based construction and thereby creating a more sustainable building industry.

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