Maximization of carbon storage in timber in residential dwellings in the Netherlands until 2050 and 2100
Stijn, M.A. van
MetadataShow full item record
It is expected that there will be an increased need for 1-2 million new residential dwellings in the Netherlands in the coming decades. As the Dutch government has set targets to decrease CO2-eq emissions in their climate agreement, increasing the amount of timber used in residential buildings could greatly reduce associated CO2-eq emissions and increase associated carbon storage. However, the Netherlands also faces issues of low wood availability. The aim of this research is to identify strategies that enable high-quality reuse of timber from residential dwellings in the Netherlands by providing an overview of the potential for carbon storage in structural timber until 2050 and 2100, taking into account strategies to maximize the length of use of timber elements. High-quality reuse is defined as reuse in a same or similar function as the first use. To determine the potential for carbon storage, the use of reused timber, and the avoided CO2 emissions, this research uses literature review, expert interviews, data analysis, scenario analysis, and a Material Flow Analysis. By creating scenarios on the number of residential dwellings constructed, the use of timber in dwellings, and the rates of reuse based on identified maximization strategies, ranges are provided for the virgin and reused timber use, associated carbon storage and thus delayed emissions, and the avoided CO2 emissions from incineration. The most important maximization strategies to increase the length of use of timber structural elements until 2050 and 2100 are developing new disassembly techniques for existing dwellings, developing quality standards for (reused) timber elements, improving the infrastructure for reuse of elements and materials, and creating a marketplace with an overview of supply and demand of secondary materials. To increase the length of use of structural timber elements on the longer term, it is also important to take into account design strategies that allow for easy dis- and reassembly. This research provides several recommendations for policymakers that could facilitate increased use of timber in residential dwellings, which increases carbon storage within the built environment, and increased cascading and therefore higher-value reuse of structural timber elements, which lowers the demand for virgin timber and the quantities of high-quality timber incinerated with energy recovery.