The Dutch architect has calculated that the country’s 140,000 hectares of harvestable woodlands could provide enough timber for 22,000 houses each year. This means the country’s entire shortfall of a million homes could be met within 45 years without using concrete or steel, which contribute to climate change.
“Building a new house averagely needs 50 cubic meters of wood,” said the architect, who heads Rotterdam architecture firm Marco Vermeulen Studio.
“You could grow 60 houses every day in those 140,000 hectares,” he said. “That means you can harvest every year 22,000 houses on Dutch soil. That means it would take about 45 years to build the whole million houses.”
The timber would lock up 45 megatons of carbon dioxide but the total benefit would be 100 megatons, since building out of concrete and steel would lead to emissions of 55 megatons, he argued.