Inside CIRS at University of British Columbia -- "North America's Greenest Building"

Living Wall

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glulam wood beams

credit: UBC

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There are many, (like me) who think that wood has the lowest carbon footprint of any building material, actually sequestering carbon rather than emitting it. According to UBC:

The wood used in the project will store an estimated 600 tonnes of CO2. As a result, the four-storey project will store 75 tonnes more CO2 than is emitted during the production of its building materials.

Beetle kill wood has accounted for the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the province, more than all of the province’s human activity combined, more than motor vehicle emissions, and nearly double the output of Alberta’s oil sands.

Yet this damaged wood is the same high quality as other B.C. lumber if it’s harvested within a few years of being attacked. Using it prevents carbon from escaping decaying trees. It also clears space for new growth.

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