Local availability

Timber is locally sourced


Timber is traded globally. For example, Austria is the source of CLT products across Europe and as far away as Australia. Furthermore, 30% of timber used in Austria is imported. (Klimaaktiv 2020) Canada exports timber to Europe and many European countries import a large part of their structural timber: France imports 25% of its consumption. (EOS 2019) Long supply chains inevitably bring emissions and energy use that are often not accounted for in assessing the credentials of timber. (European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry 2019)

30% of timber used in Austria is imported

Long supply chains inevitably bring emissions and energy use that are often not accounted for in assessing the credentials of timber.

Concrete is locally available

Only 5% of cement is traded between countries.

In comparison concrete is a local product with raw materials locally available. The key ingredient of cement (approx. 10-15% of concrete by weight) is also locally available as it is based on limestone which is widely and abundantly available. For commercial reasons there is some trade in cement between countries – to the tune of approx. 5% (Global Cement 2017), which equates to less than (0.5%) of concrete by weight.

Facts & Fallacies

Strength, durability resilience & safety


Society expects the built environment – buildings, bridges and other infrastructure – to be enduring and safe – safety is the first priority.
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Biodiversity & Land use


Trees are the ‘lungs of the planet’. They absorb atmospheric CO2 and play a critical role in the fight against climate change. Trees, and the biodiversity that they support, are under threat from deforestation.
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Natural performance & environmental factors


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals found in many common building materials that can escape into the air and cause illness and allergic reactions.
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Carbon emissions & circularity


To know if a material is really ecological, it is important to look at the whole life of the product from sourcing/extraction of raw materials, including the different processes and treatments transportation, in use maintenance and end of life.
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Versatility & design


Structural versatility provides the engineer, often working with the architect, enormous scope to meet the application requirements in an optimum way. 
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