Trees cover approximately 50% of Europe’s land area and absorb about 10% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions according to recent reports. This natural form of carbon capture is critical as part of the European commitment to alleviate the impact of climate change. However, large swathes of European forest are more than 70–80 years old, and by reaching that age growth slows down and with that their ability to maintain an effective carbon sink. Perhaps we should now not only be increasing the amount of land dedicated to forestry but also replacing old trees for new – this would have to be done selectively and sensitively in order to minimise the impact on biodiversity.
So it’s time to rejuvenate forests and concentrate more on continuous wood production again. In particular we believe that the construction industry, the biggest consumer of timber products, should be encouraged to increase its usage of wood. Perhaps Brussels, with national governments, should engineer incentives for house builders accordingly.
Green Unit is committed to timber. The entire building, short of the windows, screws, bolts, wool, thermo foil, condensation barriers and root resistant roof membrane is wood! Needless to say all the timber we use for ARC production is FSC certified, and we have a policy of not sourcing it beyond the boundaries of Europe and Scandinavia as we are very committed to minimising the carbon miles our ply products need to travel.
Green Unit manufactures the ARC buildings, highly engineered timber framed buildings, that are manufactured according to the highest possible standards for insulation and airtightness. Green Unit has engaged with BRE who are in the process of certifying the building for Passivhaus. The Passivhaus show building will be available to view at Green Unit’s manufacturing premises in September.