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Buildings are responsible for as much as 42% of final energy consumption, 30% of water consumption and 35% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to data from the European Commission. Similar conclusions can be drawn from the UNEP report “2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction”, which additionally shows that these values are growing rather than falling each year. In construction, it is necessary to introduce modern technologies that will support sustainable development. An example is the use of precast timber. Its use contributes to reduction of CO2 emissions.
The report of the Ministry of Climate shows that in 2018 there were over 79,000 houses and almost 181,0000 apartments recorded. The vast majority of them are concrete structures. There are only 658 houses and 674 apartments from wood. The percentage is 0.83 and 0.37 respectively, so very little.
Need a revolution in construction?
The low popularity of wooden construction is mainly due to the lack of awareness of its advantages. On the one hand, these are the benefits of lower operating costs for users. On the other hand, there is a very significant environmental factor. In times of climate change and threats of depletion of natural resources, such as fresh water or some raw materials, creating buildings from wood that is renewable and reduces water consumption seems to be the optimal solution.
– Wood has many advantages. First of all, it is a natural and fully renewable resource that has been used in construction for hundreds of years. Thanks to modern technological solutions, the advantages of wood can be used even more fully. This material used in construction contributes to the fight against climate change by, among others, reduction of CO2 emissions that arise in the production of steel and cement, binding of CO2 for many years in the wood used in the production of buildings and reducing the amount of energy necessary to maintain them during operation – explains Tomasz Szlązak, President of the Management Board of Polskie Domy Drewniane (Polish Wooden Houses – PDD).
Ecology starts with design
The construction industry’s environmental footprint is significant. However, without a change in perception, it will be difficult to curb it. Experts of Polish Wooden Houses (PDD) indicate that sustainable practices in the construction industry are treated rather as a compulsion and an additional cost, and not a source of benefits, not only for the environment, but above all for the user.
– A well-conducted investment process takes into account all the principles of sustainable development, including energy efficiency, already at the stage of the architectural design. Photovoltaics or appropriate insulation materials translate into lower energy bills for residents. The natural environment also benefits – sums up Tomasz Szlązak.
Source: Polskie Domy Drewniane (Polish Wooden Houses – PDD)