More timber in construction to lower emissions

The Australian Government is increasing support for the use of low-carbon timber in the construction sector, supporting forestry jobs across Australia.

The government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), is investing $300 million to support the Timber Building Program. 

The program will promote the use of low-carbon engineered wood materials in apartments and office buildings to reduce construction-related emissions and create jobs in forest industries. 

Traditional steel, aluminium and cement production are among some of the more challenging building materials to decarbonise and have been identified as an area of focus for emissions reduction under the government’s Low Emissions Technology Statement.  

The CEFC has found that mass timber construction can play a role in meeting this challenge. The use of timber reduces embodied carbon by up to 75% compared to the use of conventional steel and concrete.  

The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, said the forestry industry has great potential to contribute to support jobs while reducing emissions. 

‘Increased use of low-carbon construction materials like wood products will help achieve our target of net zero emissions by 2050,’ Minister Taylor said. 

‘The production and delivery of building materials account for 28 per cent of emissions in the construction industry globally.’

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said, ‘Timber has been used in construction for generations. Innovations in engineered wood products have created new opportunities for mass timber construction to be used in larger projects, creating the potential for immediate and long-term environmental benefits.’

The Timber Building Program will finance eligible projects Australia wide on a case-by-case basis. This includes construction projects in office, retail, industrial, healthcare, education, residential, seniors living, hotels, and student accommodation. 

The program also aims to develop local skills and experience that will lead to more low carbon timber-based building activity in the future. 

For more information about the Timber Building Program, including application requirements for interested builders, see the CEFC website

Read more

Joint Ministers’ media release

CEFC media release

Australian buildings and infrastructure: Opportunities for cutting embodied carbon CEFC

[Photo: CEFC]