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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Citizen beliefs concerning wood as a construction material under extreme weather events

Vehola , Anni; Hurmekoski, Elias; Lähtinen, Katja; Ruokamo, Enni; Roos, Anders; Toppinen, Anne; Toivonen, Ritva

Abstract

Climate change places great pressure on the construction sector to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions and to create solutions that perform well in changing weather conditions. Our study explores citizen perceptions on wood usage as a building material under expected mitigation and adaptation measures aimed at a changing climate and extreme weather events. The data are founded on an internet-based survey material collected from a consumer panel from Finland and Sweden during May–June 2021, with a total of 2015 responses. By employing exploratory factor analysis, we identified similar belief structures for the two countries, consisting of both positive and negative views on wood construction. In linear regression models for predicting these beliefs, the perceived seriousness of climate change was found to increase positive views on wood construction but was insignificant for negative views. Both in Finland and Sweden, higher familiarity with wooden multistory construction was found to connect with more positive views on the potential of wood in building, e.g., due to carbon storage and material properties. Our findings underline the potential of wood material use as one avenue of climate change adaptation in the built environment. Future research should study how citizens’ concerns for extreme weather events affect their future material preferences in their everyday living environments, also beyond the Nordic region.

Keywords

climate change adaptation; wood; residential building; extreme weather; citizen data

Published in

Canadian Journal of Forest Research
2022, Volume: 52, number: 9, pages: 1266-1279

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
    SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Environmental Engineering
    Business Administration
    Climate Research

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2022-0108

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/118264