Why Not Wood? Benefits and Barriers of Wood as a Multistory Construction Material: Perceptions of Municipal Civil Servants from Finland

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Abstract

As the construction sector continues to be associated with highly energy-intensive practices leading to excessive carbon emissions, governments in many countries are promoting a shift towards greener building practices, like the use of wood in multistory construction (WMC). Meanwhile, local-government actors (e.g., municipalities) often act as important gatekeepers of urban development given their authority to oversee or approve zoning and land-use plans. Despite this fact, they are not much focused on in existing WMC research. This qualitative interview study serves to fill a gap by studying municipal civil servant perceptions regarding WMC, using Finland as a case study. Civil servants were asked to elicit their personal opinions on WMC, and what they perceived as favorable or unfavorable about using wood as a multistory construction material. Results show increasing support for WMC, and that this is due to key benefits made possible by the technical qualities of engineered wood products in emerging WMC projects. These products permit both the adoption of rapid construction practices that enhance citizens' quality of living, and also the sourcing of local renewable building materials that support local industries. On the other hand, barriers to the use of wood were identified, such as inadequate information distribution, a limited number of WMC industry actors, and inefficient policy measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number159
JournalBuildings
Volume8
Issue number11
Number of pages15
ISSN2075-5309
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • ARCHITECTS
  • BALANCES
  • CONCRETE
  • DRIVERS
  • EFFICIENCY
  • ENERGY
  • TIMBER
  • multistory construction
  • municipal perceptions
  • path dependency
  • sustainable built environment
  • wood
  • 218 Environmental engineering

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