G12 - Achieving the Promise of Mass Timber

Friday, November 16 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM | 179 « Back

Abstract Text:

For decades large construction projects emphasized steel and concrete, huge emitters of greenhouse gasses. Recently, a movement has begun to explore mass timber, frequently marketed as “carbon neutral". The reality is somewhat more nuanced, especially when carbon emissions from forests and transportation are factored in. And forests are more than just stores for carbon, of course. This session will present research about the wide variations in carbon storage due to differences in forest management, and how sourcing can impact carbon benefits from mass timber. As climate efforts increasingly focus on buildings, and embodied carbon in materials specifically, this session will help participants understand what it really takes to choose products that are carbon neutral. The discussion will draw from research that shows worst-case sourcing of wood to be almost as carbon-intensive as concrete. As whole building Life Cycle Assessment models continue to develop, the session will explore the latest approaches. The session will close with a call to action for participants to join a growing effort to convert the building industry from a huge source of carbon emissions into a sink that stores more carbon in buildings and ecosystems than it emits. This nascent effort has never been more urgent.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the role that forest management plays in determining carbon impacts from use of mass timber products.

Understand the relationship between sourcing of wood products and whole building Life Cycle Assessments.

Prioritize actions that store more carbon in forests, soils and buildings to help fight climate change.

Engage with industry leaders working to make the global building industry a net sink for carbon emissions.

Learning Level:



GBCI Credit Hours:

Education Tracks: Materials

Event Type: Core Education Program > Session