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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

A market inventory of construction wood for residential building in Europe – in the light of the Green Deal and new circular economy ambitions

Sikkema, R.; Styles, D.; Jonsson, Ragnar; Tobin, B.; Byrne, K.A.


Wood is an energy efficient, low carbon construction material that if carefully managed can contribute significantly to European climate policy goals in urban environments. The aim of this study is to assess the current construction wood use intensity single bond the ratio of apparent national consumption of wood for construction (in m3) to the useful floor area of newly finished dwellings (in m2single bond and to identify when and where additional policy measures are required. Results show that Cyprus/Malta have the smallest use with a ratio of 0.01, Estonia/Romania the greatest use with a ratio of 0.32. The need for additional policy measures, was assessed using the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) matrix with four product development phases, based on the aforementioned ratio versus future growth. Six, twelve, eight and two countries are in the “Introduction“, “Growth”, ”Maturity” and “Decline” phases, respectively. At the EU level, the European Commission should consider introducing a Renewable Material Directive, in which a Non-biogenic Material Comparator shows the average GHG substitution effect of using wood for construction. At the international level, a new harvested wood product (HWP) category in the IPCC Guidelines is recommended for construction wood with a longer lifespan than the current HWP categories.


Climate change mitigation; Engineered wood products (EWP); Construction wood; Boston consultancy group (BCG) matrix; Residential building; Circular economy

Published in

Sustainable cities and society
2023, Volume: 90, article number: 104370

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG7 Affordable and clean energy
    SDG13 Climate action
    SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Wood Science
    Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
    Climate Research

    More information

    Correction in: Sustainable Cities and Society, 2023, Volume: 95, Article number: 104588, DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2023.104588

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