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Will Europe's forests be destroyed by the growing interest in timber construction? No, says Paul van den Heuvel, director of the Netherlands Timber Trade Association (VVNH) in the Dutch trade journal Cobouw: "Every year, 1 billion m3 of forest grows (in Europe, ed.), while 600 million m3 is harvested. So we are far from reaching our maximum."
Editorial office / Almere

Some 90 per cent of all wood used in construction comes from sustainably managed European softwood forests. And they are growing fast enough to meet the needs of the construction industry. Even if demand continues to grow rapidly. Dutch contractors BAM and Heijmans recently announced that they intend to build more homes using timber. Heijmans even wants to plant trees together with the Dutch Forestry Commission (Staatsbosheer).

According to Pablo van der Lugt, biobased building researcher at TU Delft, there is already plenty of wood: “In the Netherlands, approximately 1.7 million m3 wood is used annually in construction. If the production of new buildings increases to 80,000 wooden houses, demand will rise to 2.3 million m3 per year.” That’s less than a quarter of a percent of the annual growth of trees.

The shortages that led to skyrocketing prices last year were not related to the low availability of wood, but to reduced sawmill capacity due to corona. This production capacity is currently increasing again and, according to Van der Lugt, will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, reaching some 7 million m3 annually in 2024.

Read the full article in Cobouw.

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