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How to Build with Wood

For Nordic Municipalities who want to explore the possibilities that wood offers in building greener, healthier and more liable urban areas, this How to Build with Wood guide will give you the introduction. The guide is divided into the different processes there will be in a municipality that consider or is already using wood. The different sections contain relevant links and resources at a national level, where you can learn more about the situation where you are.

Life cycle

Wood is a renewable resource – the only one of the major building materials. In Europe/North America the forest area is increasing and more trees are planted than harvested. Wood binds CO2 from the atmosphere. When we build with wood, we can use our buildings and cities for carbon storage. At the end-of-life of a building, wood can be recycled either directly or through conversion to other products such as particle board. Finally, wood can be burned and the energy gained can substitute fossil-based energy.

"Over the last 25 years, the total growing stock in European forests increased by an average of 403 million m3 each year. This corresponds approximately to a daily increase in the total stem volume of living trees in European forests equivalent to twice the volume of the Eiffel Tower."
Forest Europe, 2015: State of Europe’s Forests 2015. FAO 2015. p 67.

New opportunities

Recycled wood can also be used in new business opportunities. Create something new from recycled materials.

Follow the links below to get inspired concerning innovative businesses with recycled wood.

Design for disassembly

Wood buildings are not cast or welded together but are assembled using different connection systems. Therefore, wood is fit for design for disassembly which means that wood buildings can easily be taken apart at then end of life increasing the degree of recyclability of building components at the end-of-life.


Efficient use of resources is essential for sustainability - both from an economic, environmental and social point of view. Efficient use of wood entails keeping it in its material form for as long as possible and recovering its energy content when this is no longer possible.

Wood has a high degree of recyclability and is ideally suited for circular economy. Some components can be directly re-used without further processing if quality and legislation permit. Most of the remaining wood components can be processed into new products such as particle board for extended lifetime. When keeping wood in its material form is no longer possible, the green energy bound in wood can be recovered by incineration.

Operation & maintenance
Idea & tender