Mass timber products like cross-laminated timber (CLT) have increased in popularity in the past decades stimulating an interest understanding the whole life cycle assessment of wood-based products compared to other construction materials.
However, given their relative novelty, there is little actual experience of what happens to these products at the end of their life.
Despite being a major use of natural capital, biotic materials are also not often covered in discussions on construction and the circular economy, often focusing on existing material re-use. Models for the adoption of circular methods most appropriate for construction are also not always clear.
The paper discusses these issues from the point of view of a practising engineer looking to make better decisions on material use. It reviews different models for circularity and compares these against established sustainable construction ambitions. It proposes a simple model for construction circularity with key actions, and then reviews the use of mass timber against these, suggesting ways to improve design and construction to meet this ambition.
A copy of this Award-winning paper is available to download below.
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