Switch to stone and timber to make construction planet-friendly

By Amin Taha
The Architects’ Journal
July 6, 2023
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

We Brits love bricks. But, combine natural stone with structural timber and you have a recipe for decarbonising construction. A 4kg brick’s embodied carbon will release 0.96kg to 2.88kg of CO2. A cubic metre of brick masonry releases between 480kg and 1,440kg of CO2 emissions per m3. …How about stone? The average quarry will use 2,500 litres of diesel for cutting equipment to extract 208m3 in a day, releasing 32.5kg of carbon per m3 – just 6.8 per cent of the emissions of the best and 2.3 per cent of the worst bricks. If the quarry uses electrical equipment powered by renewable energy, the CO2 released is negligible. …Why stop there? If your project is under 11m tall it can be built from timber throughout, with exposed cross-laminated timber (CLT) or dowel-laminated timber (DLT). This method of construction drops the construction cost of materials, labour and programme/prelims by between 20 and 25 per cent. 

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