In the push toward carbon neutrality, mass timber structures provide significant advantages over steel and concrete because of the benefits of carbon sequestration, which allows atmospheric carbon dioxide to be captured and stored due to wood’s unique characteristic. Roughly half of wood’s weight is made up of carbon, making this natural resource an ideal carbon keeper.
But carbon storage gets us only partway toward our goal of truly sustainably designed buildings. Although a high-performance envelope can be designed using steel or concrete, mass timber gets us closer to being fully sustainable. When you wrap a mass timber structure with a low-performance envelope, you end up running into larger issues. In order for a building to entertain the notion of true sustainability, carbon neutrality, or net-zero energy, a high-performance envelope is essential and key in the process.