When sourced from sustainably managed, climate-smart forests, biobased buildings can be hugely instrumental in combating climate change, driving investment back into forests while simultaneously creating a carbon sink in the built environment. There are five reasons why sustainable timber must become one of Earth’s core building materials:

Timber building materials store vast amounts of carbon
Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere and much of that carbon remains stored within the tree's woody biomass even once they’re cut down and processed into wood and used for anything from the frame of a building to a door or kitchen unit. Once that wood reaches the end of its natural use, providing it’s recycled into another long-life product — a timber facade is turned into bio-insulation, for example — that carbon remains stored within the structure it has morphed into.

Timber building materials are durable and even fireproof
Using the latest manufacturing processes, wood can be engineered into mass timber, where the wood is layered and pressed together to create extremely tough and resilient wooden structures. Different incarnations of mass timber are being used to replace many carbon-emitting, highly durable construction materials, including concrete and steel.

Timber buildings are easy and cost-effective to construct and run
Wood is also lighter and — because it can often be prefabricated off-site — easier to manoeuver and construct than concrete and steel. And, as engineered wood is easier to manufacture than less green alternatives, speeds up the build process and creates a healthier, safer and more pleasant working environment, it can work out as cost-effective too. It could even become cheaper than concrete and steel in the future.

Timber construction creates jobs and boosts the economy
From sustainable forest management to carpentry, encouraging the use of locally sourced, sustainable wood creates jobs and benefits local economies.

Timber buildings make for healthier living and working environments
A growing body of evidence shows that people like to be connected to nature and buildings designed to be biophilic, or in tune with nature, respond to this desire. We benefit physically and mentally from living and working in timber buildings.

Read the full article about sustainable timber by Stephanie Burrell at GreenBiz.