German state makes bid for mandatory use of timber in public buildings

6 November 2018

The German Sawmilling and Timber Industry Association (DeSH) has welcomed a public timber construction initiative in Baden-W├╝rttemberg.

The state’s minister of forestry Peter Hauk presented his “timber construction offensive” at a state government cabinet meeting, arguing that the use of wood in public buildings in Baden-Württemberg should become mandatory.

New buildings, conversions, refurbishments and modernisations of public buildings in the southwest should be realised as far as possible in the future in modern timber or wood hybrid construction, Mr Hauk told the cabinet meeting in Stuttgart on November 6.

His presentation stated that the country has an “exemplary role to play in exploiting the potential of timber construction to achieve climate protection goals.”

DeSH welcomed the initiative as an important step towards the creation of climate-friendly and sustainable housing.

DesH CEO Lars Schmidt said in the light of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the association hopes the latest impetus will serve as a role model.

“DeSH would therefore like to see the use of renewable raw materials in state-owned construction projects anchored nationwide in the planned Building Energy Act (GEG),” said Mr Schmidt.

DeSH says using wood alone could reduce CO2 emissions in the German construction industry by 31 million tonnes a year.

Other goals pursued by the industry include holistic climate-related building accounting, tax incentives for energy-efficient building refurbishment as well as increasing efficiency and optimisation potential through the further development of Building Information Modelling (BIM).