Forests provide wood: a climate-positive resource.
Europe’s forests have been cultivated and used by humans for generations. Sustainable cultivation ensures forests remain liveable, are well equipped to deal with climate change and continue to provide wood as a raw material. We don’t harvest more wood than grows back.
Each year, 776 million cubic metres of wood grow in the EU’s forests. Only around two thirds of this is harvested. The rest remains in the forest as part of an ever-growing timber supply. Europe’s woodland area expands by 444,000 hectares annually – that’s the size of 1,500 football pitches a day.
As the trees in the forest grow, they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, store carbon (C) in their biomass and release oxygen (O2). Wood is climate-positive: as it grows in the forest, it stores much more CO2 than is produced by harvesting and processing timber.
The woodpassage has been constructed with approximately 13 cubic metres of wood. It takes all but half a second for this amount of wood to grow in Europe’s forests.
Timber houses store CO2 like a second forest.
One cubic metre of wood stores approximately 1 tonne of CO2. As long as the wood doesn’t rot or burn, the CO2 that the trees absorbed from the atmosphere while they grew stays locked inside the wood. Timber buildings store CO2 for the long term and prolong the forest’s function as a carbon store.
When we build with timber, we create a second forest in our cities, towns and villages. Timber houses represent many decades of wood use. Even after demolition, there are many possible uses for the wood.
While trees in forests eventually die and rot, releasing their stored CO2, building with timber can offer long-lasting relief from the effects of climate change. In addition, every harvested tree creates space for new trees that in turn actively absorb CO2.
The wood used for constructing the woodpassage structure stores approximately 13 tonnes of CO2, equating to eight years’ worth of the average CO2 emissions of a car running on fossil fuels.
Wood is renewable and replaces fossil raw materials.
The construction industry uses around 40 percent of all resources – largely fossil raw materials. But renewable raw materials are constantly being replenished, contributing to resource-efficient construction.
Of all renewable raw materials, wood is the most important. As a construction material, timber can replace a range of fossil raw materials, which are manufactured using energy-intensive processes or chemical procedures with high CO2 emissions. Using wood in construction avoids the CO2 emissions associated with other materials. The carbon-saving impact of this substitution is significant. And it can only be achieved when forests are being cultivated and trees are being harvested.
A sensory experience in 40 steps
The tree grows in the forest; from the tree, we get timber; the timber becomes a house. The woodpassage, a wooden sculpture for public spaces, will bring a memorable, accessible visualisation of this process to Europe’s urban centres.
Consisting of a row of four wooden gates, over four metres high and wide and over eight-and-a-half metres long, the sculpture is visible from afar and sends a powerful, three-dimensional message. As if carved from great blocks of wood, a long row of slats in simple shapes, pictogram-like, represents the 40 steps of the transformation from tree to house.
The result is an impressive multi-sensory experience. When walking through the illuminated passage, the sculpture becomes a playful and inspiring statement declaring the ecological benefits of timber construction.
Bozen, June/July 2023
In cooperation with proRamus and IDM South Tyrol, the installation is making a stop in Bolzano to raise awareness of the climate benefits of wood construction. Political representatives of South Tyrol presented the installation and underlined the role of wood in CO₂ reduction of the construction sector. For 4 weeks, specialist organizations and companies are available at the woodpassage to answer questions about wood.
Munich, July 2022
In preparation for the INTERFORST 2022 trade fair, the woodpassage sets the signal for increased use of wood in the construction of buildings. Wood plays a central role, especially in urban redensification. Both to achive climate protection goals and with regard to the protection of resources.
Graz, June/July 2022
As part of the Week of the Forest, the woodpassage will make a stop at Graz's main square. It will of course also be a highlight at the Graz Forest Festival on 22 June 2022. Visitors will experience the transformation from tree to house and the benefits of timber construction.
Vienna, May/June 2021
After a longer break due to corona, the woodpassage can finally be seen again in public space. It not only symbolizes the process from tree to house, but also builds a bridge to another wood attraction in the MQ - the exhibition "all wood" at the ZOOM Children's Museum.
Basel, January 2020
The material wood is literally placed in the centre of the Swissbau. The sustainable use of forests as a renewable resource is an intelligent way in order to design the future. Building with wood protects the climate.
Innsbruck, December 2019
The woodpassage in Innsbruck is going into extension and draws attention to building with wood as a climate-friendly future model at the 25th International Timber Construction Forum, which is taking place for the first time this year in Innsbruck.
Die woodpassage wurde beim DDC Award "Gute Gestaltung 2019" in der Kategorie "Spaces" prämiert. Der Wettbewerb des Deutschen Designer Clubs zeichnet in dieser Kategorie gestalterische Lösungen aus, die Botschaften eindrucksvoll, innovativ und mehrdimensional transportieren.
Innsbruck, October 2019
The woodpassage is now also making a stop in Innsbruck and drawing the public's attention to the contribution of building with wood to climate protection and resource conservation.
The walk-in installation woodpassage is one of the winning projects of the international design and architecture competition "Iconic Awards 2019: Innovative Architecture" and receives - after being awarded the Timber Construction Award Vorarlberg - the second award in a row.
Munich & Augsburg, September 2019
For the start of autumn, the woodpassage is touring through Bavaria, bringing forest and wood right into the heart of the city. The woodpassage can be experienced by everyone interested in Munich and Augsburg.
Götzis, July 2019
Wooden architecture is more relevant than ever - it offers sustainable and economical solution concepts. On 5 July 2019 the woodpassage flanked the presentation of Timber Construction Award Vorarlberg and received the award in the category "Temporary Building".
Linz, May 2019
At the next appearance, the woodpassage, which accompanies the presentation of the Upper Austrian Timber Construction Award, will set a visible sign for wood. At the same time it is the contribution of the forestry and timber industry to the Days of Architecture in Upper Austria.
Munich, January 2019
Premiere for the woodpassage at the Messe BAU on 15. January 2019.
Construction of the woodpassage
From tree to house. Construction of the woodpassage at Fetz Holzbau.