This section provides information on the farm building used in the NZ Wood carbon footprint model.
Many modern buildings tend to make extensive use of timber, steel, and concrete materials in construction, all of which can be energy-intensive to produce, via processes that have the potential to cause adverse environmental impacts and give rise to CO2 emissions.
However, recent developments in wood technology and engineered timber products, seismic and acoustic design, fabrication and construction techniques have enabled timber to be utilised much more extensively for instance in the basic structure of medium-rise, multi-storey buildings, such as a typical ‘down-town’ office block.
While there is a tendency for buildings to be labelled according to the main material used for their sub-structure and super-structure, the vast majority of buildings use a large number of different materials, from a variety of sources, both national and international. From a materials perspective, a building becomes a very complex system and it is often not immediately clear which materials or combinations of materials provide the best environmental performance.
Studies have indicated that when considering the environmental impacts of building materials, the structural components used in a building are of significant importance.
The building designs covered by the NZ Wood carbon footprint model emphasis alternative structural design options where the predominant structural material is either timber, steel or concrete.