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SUSTAINABILITY OF MULTI-STORY WOOD BUILDINGS : Can the Swedish forestry keep up with the demand?

  • Kozak, Celine
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2023
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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  Wood has been traditionally used as a construction material in Nordic countries such as Sweden dating back to the 12th century. Using wood as a building material for the construction of buildings with more than two stories became the norm around the 1850s and has only increased with the pressing need for more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to materials such as concrete. The aim of this thesis is to bring attention to attitudes towards environmental, economic, and social sustainability of commercial multi-story wood buildings amongst industry professionals. Qualitative data was gathered through digitally conducted, semistructured interviews with six people from within fields related to carpentry, architecture, ecology, and forestry. Three buildings were briefly studied as a part of a case study on multi-story wood buildings: Fyrtornet in Malmö, Sweden, Sara  Cultural Centre in Skellefteå, Sweden, and The Oakwood Timber Tower in London, England. The results showed that the practice of constructing multi-story wood buildings wasn’t sustainable because of the intense short rotation forestry pushing ecosystems to extinction. Wood was still considered to be a good alternative to carbon intense materials such as concrete. Limitations include relying on only qualitative data as the methodology, for future research the author suggests conducting a comparative Life cycle assessment (LCA) with a cradle-to-cradle approach, as a way to study environmental impacts of timber versus other natural materials available in Sweden such as clay, straw and hemp.

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