Research Output
Barriers and opportunities of fast-growing biobased material use in buildings
  Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires immediate and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A significant contributor to anthropogenic global GHG emissions is the production of building materials. Biobased materials offer the potential to reduce such emissions and could be deployed in the short term. Timber construction has received the main attention from policy and industry. However, the implementation of timber construction at the global scale is constrained by the availability of sustainably managed forest supplies. A viable alternative is fast-growing plants and the use of agricultural waste products. These can be deployed faster and are better aligned to local supplies of biomass and demands from the building sector. Fast-growing materials are generally able to achieve net-cooling impacts much faster due to their short rotation periods. The GHG emissions due to the production of biogenic building material can be compensated by regrowth of the new (replacement) plant and, overall, this will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. A range of biogenic materials can be promoted and used as insulation materials and structural materials.

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  • Date:

    06 October 2022

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  • Publisher

    Ubiquity Press, Ltd.

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Göswein, V., Arehart, J., Phan-huy, C., Pomponi, F., & Habert, G. (2022). Barriers and opportunities of fast-growing biobased material use in buildings. Buildings and Cities, 3(1), 745-755.



biobased, biogenic, buildings, carbon sink, construction materials, low carbon society, transition

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