Interesting article here regarding the challenges of Mass Timber. What do you think?
This article says the Mass Timber building is cheaper, faster, and reduced emissions. While the buildings themselves are more energy-efficient and sequester carbon. Is it true that steel and concrete outperform Mass Timber in durability, seismic performance, and fire resistance?
Challenges and Opportunities
Mass timber is lighter weight than steel and concrete but it rivals or exceeds these traditional building materials in durability, seismic performance, and fire resistance. Because they are prefabricated, the use of mass timber panels can bring significant cost savings for construction projects and reduce construction time by up to 25%. Mass timber is also less sensitive to temperature changes, making structures more energy efficient.
While the structural benefits of mass timber are well understood, its carbon impacts are more complex. Substituting mass timber for concrete and steel produced with traditional manufacturing processes reduces emissions from construction by 25-40%. Using mass timber for 90% of new urban buildings could prevent nearly 8bn tons of CO2 emissions by 2050, equivalent to a 4% annual reduction in global emissions from manufacturing and construction as a whole.
However, assessments of the emissions benefits of mass timber do not include the effects of increased timber demand on forest land use and management, both of which affect mass timber’s overall value for climate mitigation. Depending on how much mass timber demand raises timber prices, it may increase net land-use emissions by accelerating harvests in natural forests or enhance carbon sequestration by promoting investment in more intensive forest management. Ongoing research is exploring the net forest carbon impacts from different mass timber demand scenarios.
One potential way to improve forest carbon impacts is to develop mass timber production facilities that can handle small-diameter, lower-grade logs from thinning operations that promote health in overstocked forests that are vulnerable to fire or disease. Changes to production technologies and building codes may be necessary, however, to facilitate a shift in inputs from the high-grade industrial lumber that currently supplies nearly all mass timber manufacturers.
Isn’t Vaagen Timbers already making Mass Timber from small diameter logs? Could we pull someone like them into the discussion?