As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, industries across various sectors are actively seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the sectors that have been particularly innovative in this regard is the construction industry. With a focus on sustainable materials and practices, many countries are working towards building more environmentally friendly structures. One country that has been leading the way in sustainable construction is Finland, specifically with its Wood City project.
What is Wood City?
Wood City is a development project in Helsinki, Finland, that focuses on the construction of tall wooden buildings. The project comprises of eight separate buildings, including apartment buildings, a hotel, and office space, all constructed using wood as the primary building material. The buildings range in height from six to fourteen stories, and together, they form a unique and sustainable addition to Helsinki’s skyline.
Construction of Brock Commons Tallwood House in Canada’s University of British Columbia – an 18 storey tall wood hybrid building. It is the world’s tallest mass timber building. Image credit: UBC Media Relations on Flickr.com
One of the main reasons why Finland has chosen wood as a primary building material is its environmental benefits. Wood is a renewable resource, meaning that it can be replenished faster than it is used. Additionally, it has a much lower carbon footprint compared to traditional building materials like concrete and steel. In fact, it is estimated that each cubic meter of wood used in construction can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1.1 tons. Furthermore, wood is an excellent insulator, which means that buildings constructed with it require less energy to heat and cool, leading to further reductions in carbon emissions.
The Benefits of Wood City
Aside from the environmental benefits of Wood City, there are several other advantages to constructing tall wooden buildings. For one, wood is a lightweight material, making it easier and faster to construct. This means that buildings can be erected in less time, reducing labor costs, and allowing occupants to move in sooner. Additionally, wooden buildings are also quieter than those constructed with traditional materials, making them ideal for residential properties.
Wooden houses in Porvoo, Finland – the second oldest city in the country
Another benefit of Wood City is that it serves as an example of what can be achieved through sustainable construction. By demonstrating that it is possible to build tall structures using wood, Finland is showing the world that it is possible to balance economic development with environmental sustainability. This message is particularly important, given the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions across the globe.
The Future of Sustainable Construction
Finland’s Wood City project is just one example of how sustainable construction practices are evolving. As the world continues to seek ways to mitigate the effects of climate change, it is likely that more countries will follow Finland’s lead and embrace sustainable building materials and practices. This shift towards sustainable construction is not only good for the environment, but it also has the potential to create new economic opportunities and jobs.