Element5 founder Patrick Chouinard was recently interviewed by John Stackhouse on the Royal Bank of Canada's thought leadership podcast “Disruptors", along with Carbicrete CEO Chris Stern.
The episode was titled "Mapping Canada's new Greenprint with Sustainable Building Materials", and the conversation was centered around two of Canada's biggest crises - affordable housing and climate change.
"Climate change and housing affordability are on a collision course, and we’re going to need to think differently about how we build our communities across the country." - John Stackhouse
Timber Rising - How Wood can Spur Canada's Green Building Drive
RBC's Climate Action Institute also put together a comprehensive report called "Timber Rising - How Wood can Spur Canada's Green Building Drive" which documents how Canada can tap into our forestry resources to create a global market for mass timber - that can potentially replace concrete and steel or dramatically cut their use.
The report states that Canada could become a world leader in sustainable construction if the country shifts to mass timber for buildings - something we certainly agree with and Element5 was happy to contribute to this report.
Key Takeaways from Report
- The building sector is the 3rd most carbon intensive industry in Canada, accounting for 13% of all emissions in 2022, or 92 million tonnes (MT) of CO2e.
- Widespread adoption of wood, specifically mass timber, as a substitute or complement to concrete and steel could cut embodied emissions in buildings by as much as 25%.
- Mass timber deployment in new apartments, condos, and office towers could cut emissions by at least 9MT, or nearly 10% of the sector’s emissions, by 2030.
- Aside from emissions savings, greater use of mass timber in building construction could conservatively grow the mass timber market by $1 billion by 2030.
- Addressing the cost of construction and occupancy insurance, and mismatch between supply and demand is essential before Canada can achieve emissions savings, economic, and job growth opportunities.
- Canada has all the puzzle pieces required to become a global leader in mass timber. The country’s climate commitments are an opportune time for all players in the building sector to come together to act on this collective ambition.