Using wood in green building construction

Using wood in green building construction has both ecological and economic advantages. Many studies that conduct analyses on life cycle performance and environmental impacts of buildings show that wood outperforms most materials in reducing energy use, greenhouse gases, air pollution, and solid waste.

By using wood, an environmentally friendly and resource-efficient material, in all stages of a construction project, we can reduce an estimated 21 million tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere annually. This accounts for nearly 40% of annual global CO₂ emissions in the world. For this reason, there is a growing need to design projects using sustainable resources that can grow naturally and use energy from the sun and are reusable and renewable.

Architects can incorporate sustainable and aesthetic features into their designs through the choice of wood as the main construction material. The advantages are numerous:

Acoustic Properties

Wood can prevent echo and noise by absorbing sound. Wood absorbs sound rather than reflecting and amplifying it. For this reason, it can be easily used in offices and central areas.

Tensile Strength

Despite its lightweight characteristics, wood outperforms steel when it comes to the self-support length, meaning that it can support its own weight better, allowing to create larger spaces with fewer supports. Wood and laminated wood can easily be used in wide-gap constructions such as sports centers and halls.

Thermal Performance

All materials change in size and volume -also called expansion- with the increasing temperature. This phenomenon causes a decrease in the strength of the material. Even though steel is inorganic and non-combustible, it expands and collapses as a result of the increase in heat.

Wood does not practically expand against heat. On the contrary, it dries out and gains strength by the effect of heat. Also, the thermal conductivity coefficient of wood is very low compared to other materials

Electrical Properties

Wood has a natural resistance to electrical conduction, making it a perfectly safe material under standard moisture content levels.


Wood presents an incredible range of aesthetic options available for construction. It is the most common decorative material with different species, colors, and smells. Also, wood is much easier to shape, adapt and work with when using it for different parts both in the exterior and interior of a building.

Oxidation Properties

Oxidation is a significant problem when it comes to structural and other elements. Metals get rust and might lose performance, however in the case of wood oxidation is almost impossible.

Working Properties

The maintenance and repair of wood are much easier and cost less than other materials. While other materials are turned into waste, wood can easily be repaired and returned to use.

Health and well-being

Wood itself is a material to be considered hypoallergenic and can also improve air quality by absorbing extra moisture in the air to moderate humidity.


Even though wood in the construction field has been moved away to prevent deforestation for ecological concerns, a closer look at other materials and their impact on greenhouse gases is necessary. Unlike concrete or metal structures, wood is a renewable and reusable material that grows through natural processes that can be supported by forestry management. It is important to choose wood from responsible producers that select harvesting and other practices that allow the growth of forests.

Finally, as wood is more readily processed for use, it allows the production process to move faster, with less energy and water. This allows the construction project to maximize efficiency and produce less waste.