For the people of today, building with timber is becoming more and more synonymous with natural and sustainable building. In the socio-political context, timber is connected with the outlook of achieving nearly closed material and energy cycles and being able to make a maximum contribution towards addressing the challenges of climate change.
As a model for sustainability and the environment, the use of timber in construction has a number of convincing arguments:
- The forests in Europe are an inexhaustible source of raw material for building with timber.
- In addition to its raw material function, the forest displays numerous sustainable environmental effects.
- Forests and wood are a powerful option to combat climate change.
- Wood as a renewable building material can replace the non-renewable building materials of limited availability.
- Wood can be re-used as a material at all stages of production and processing.
- Wood lightens the burden for landfill spaces due to its ability to be recycled.
- Building with wood already meets crucial sustainability requirements during the construction phase.
- Wooden buildings can be created in a way which is gentle to the earth, efficient in terms of materials, and which uses little energy.
- During their use, wooden buildings are characterised by superior energy efficiency.
- Wooden buildings are durable and can be flexibly adapted to changing intentions for use.
- Wooden buildings can be recycled at the end of the life cycle in the natural cycle of substances.
- Timber constructions prove to be superior in important environmental parameters over other building materials.
This booklet has been created to show that sustainable construction is not as complicated as it often seems. It is based on a series of essays that were published in the Bavarian State newspaper during the first half of 2016. The aim is to illustrate the most important issues in layman’s terms and thus bring clarity to the jumble of information. The approach is designed to be universal, which is why the statements regarding building materials are kept as neutral as possible. The fact that timber construction is nevertheless mentioned explicitly several times is in the nature of things and was difficult to avoid.