Article: Do High-Rises Built from Wood Guarantee Climate Benefits?

For those who are interested, I think this article does a good job overall of digging beneath the “wood is good” slogan and into the complexities of the debate as to whether, and under what conditions, mass timber can be a climate solution.

Cheers!

Jason

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Thank you for posting Jason! Really great resource that summarizes that many questions about wood and carbon are still open for research & evolution.

More generally, can anyone chime in on where biogenic carbon should be accounted for in a wood LCA? Seems like we shouldn’t take credit for carbon that is stored in the trees that have been already cut down, but creating a market that incentivizes increasing the carbon storage capacity of forests that are currently growing.

Thanks for the article @jasonegrant it really highlights the need for certified sustainable forestry practices. If you’re not already registered I’d recommend joining the (remaining) CLF's Wood Carbon Seminar-Thurs April 23-June 11 9am PDT

I’d like to highlight this conclusion: …planting trees on cow pastures to supply materials for timber-framed homes would avoid 2.4 gigatons of CO2 releases over the following 100 years compared to business-as-usual. That’s about five years’ worth of all U.K. greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course there is also scope to use agricultural waste to sequester carbon as well! The framework for including biogenic carbon sequestration or not is an open question that needs more research as far as I’m aware.

Finally, unfortunately the author repeats the 40% sequestration of CO2 from concrete figure, which is a nuanced discussion, see here for example: Carbonation in the Built Environment