Trees naturally create wood using solar energy, and relatively little additional energy is needed to manufacture wood products. A Yale University-led study reveals that buildings and bridges constructed with wood, versus steel and concrete, would substantially reduce global carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel consumption. building
The manufacture of steel, concrete, and brick accounts for about 16 percent of global fossil fuel energy consumption. When the transportation and assembly in buildings of these materials are factored in, the share of fossil fuel energy used climbs to 20% to 30%.
Wood products naturally store carbon (50% of the dry weight of wood is carbon, unreleased into the atmosphere). Studies show that 14% to 31% of global CO2 emissions could be avoided by substituting wood for steel and concrete bridges and buildings.
Wood products require far less energy to manufacture than concrete and steel. The sustainable harvesting and manufacturing of wood products not only requires less fossil fuel than production of other building materials, as the forest regrows, carbon is sequestered more rapidly when the forest is young.