In the building industry there has been a resurgence of wood as a building material as actors look for building materials that are more sustainable. Wood is being used more and more in new innovative ways, not traditionally possible, opening new possibilities. No longer is it only used as a cladding material but has in hybrid forms found new uses for example as insulation, or even in the use of high-rise structures. Synthetic wood composite blends for example offer a material that is 100% recyclable yet more durable without losing the typical characteristics of wood, in many cases even better as water resistance and weather resistance are improved and even incorporating self-extinguishing properties. Although harder to completely recycle this can be used again in wood composites. Risks of wood, in its traditional form, such as that of structural failure and burning have been reduced or removed through innovative and hybrid use and design.
One interesting benefit of wood is that it has the potential for cascading use. Even if not recyclable the use of wood as a material in construction before being used to generate energy at the end of its life cycle helps to increase its sustainability potential. However it must be noted that only wood from sustainable sources will have a positive effect on GHG emissions.
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