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Bio-based materials
for sustainable construction: a path to greener buildings

 
Man standing on timber construction beams
House construction and frame from timber
The total amount of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the building sector reached 12 GtCO2-eq in 2019, equivalent to 21% of global GHG emissions that year, of which 57% were indirect CO2 emissions from offsite generation of electricity and heat. Followed by 24% of direct CO2 emissions produced on-site and 18% from the production of cement and steel used for construction and/or refurbishment of buildings. As reported by the IPCC.
 

Bio-based materials

The utilization of bio-based materials in construction is a vital component in the reduction of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Traditional building materials such as concrete and steel have significant carbon footprints due to their energy-intensive production processes. Conversely, bio-based materials, such as timber, bamboo and hemp offer a renewable alternative that captures and stores carbon throughout their lifecycle.
 

The significance of bio-based building materials:

  • By replacing traditional construction materials such as steel and concrete with timber, the embodied carbon in structures can be significantly reduced by up to 75%.
  • Bamboo has a rapid growth rate and exceptional carbon sequestration ability, making it an excellent building material. Considering the full lifecycle, one cubic meter of bamboo used in assembled components can lead to a reduction of nearly 250 kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Hempcrete, a mixture of hemp fibers and lime, not only stores carbon but also provides insulation, potentially reducing energy use in buildings. It makes a great green alternative for construction. It is a carbon storage material, hemp has the ability to sequester more than 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare per year.
  • Mycelium, a fungus-based material, is emerging as a biodegradable and low-energy alternative for insulation and structural components. Mycelium-based materials also exhibit good fire, thermal, and acoustic insulation properties, and have been used to create airtight insulating walls.

 

Transforming sustainability into value:

Proba’s supply chain decarbonization platform enables you to monetize your commitment to sustainable construction practices. By integrating bio-based materials into your projects, you can generate carbon credits, which represent a quantifiable measure of reduced GHG emissions. These credits can be traded within your supply chain, positioning your firm as a leader in the sustainable building space.

Proba’s platform facilitates identification and engagement with interested parties in your supply chain. This not only assists in reducing the Scope 3 emissions of your supply chain partners but also opens new revenue streams for your business.
 
 
Paulownia plantation in Croatia
 

Look at our recent work

In Croatia, Naturevest has planted 130,000 Paulownia trees over almost 200 hectares. Sequestering 6,500 tonnes of CO₂ annually

Find out more on our blog.