Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Barriers and opportunities of fast-growing biobased material use in buildings

Göswein, Verena; Arehart, Jay; Phan-huy, Catherine; Pomponi, Francesco; Habert, Guillaume


Verena Göswein

Jay Arehart

Catherine Phan-huy

Guillaume Habert


Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires immediate and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A significant contributor to anthropogenic global GHG emissions is the production of building materials. Biobased materials offer the potential to reduce such emissions and could be deployed in the short term. Timber construction has received the main attention from policy and industry. However, the implementation of timber construction at the global scale is constrained by the availability of sustainably managed forest supplies. A viable alternative is fast-growing plants and the use of agricultural waste products. These can be deployed faster and are better aligned to local supplies of biomass and demands from the building sector. Fast-growing materials are generally able to achieve net-cooling impacts much faster due to their short rotation periods. The GHG emissions due to the production of biogenic building material can be compensated by regrowth of the new (replacement) plant and, overall, this will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. A range of biogenic materials can be promoted and used as insulation materials and structural materials.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 11, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 6, 2022
Publication Date Oct 6, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 10, 2022
Journal Buildings and Cities
Print ISSN 2632-6655
Publisher Ubiquity Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Pages 745-755
Keywords biobased, biogenic, buildings, carbon sink, construction materials, low carbon society, transition
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations