A second forest within the cities of our future?
In a pivotal gathering held on the 21st and 22nd of March, over 30 members of the trailblazing Build-in-Wood team congregated in the scenic city of Ybbs, Austria. This assembly marked a significant milestone in the progress of the Build-in-Wood Project, providing a platform to share the remarkable achievements already made and discuss future steps.
This ambitious endeavor, supported by a generous €10 million grant from the Horizon 2020 project, has garnered the collective efforts of 21 member companies and technological institutes across 12 countries. The primary objective of this multinational collaboration? To propel timber to the forefront of construction materials for multi-storey buildings.
During the meeting, participants gathered in front of a symbolic skyline crafted entirely from wooden buildings. It was not just a unique photo opportunity but also a vision of a not-too-distant future—a future that aligns with ambitious global environmental and climate goals.
The need for sustainable forest management was a unanimous point of interest among the participants. To emphasize the importance of this cause, team members enthusiastically participated in a symbolic tree planting event, actively contributing to ensuring a ready supply of timber—the construction material of the future.
"We plan(t) the future", said Wolfram Allinger-Csollich from rtd services and Simon Holzknecht from proHolz Tirol, who were both ardently involved in the tree planting initiative.
Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by capturing and storing CO2—a significant contributor to global warming. Trees, through the process of photosynthesis, produce oxygen and store carbon in their trunks. Therefore, constructing buildings using wood effectively means creating a secondary carbon storing 'forest' within our cities.
The Build-in-Wood project underscores the tremendous environmental potential of wood. As a natural carbon storage material, wood can significantly reduce the construction sector's substantial carbon footprint.
"We aim to make multi-storey wood buildings a regular feature of modern-day skylines. Why not leverage our cities and building materials for carbon storage?" asks project coordinator Niels Morsing from the Danish Technological Institute, echoing the project's long-term vision.
By actively promoting timber as a viable, sustainable construction material, the Build-in-Wood project is not just envisioning but actively working towards a greener, more sustainable future.