Carbon dynamics in wood products

Kim Pingoud, Anna-Leena Perälä, A. Pussinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The carbon (C) reservoir of wood products in Finnishconstruction and civil engineering was estimated by three inventoriesincluding the years 1980, 1990 and 1995. The inventory method ismainly based on the statistics of Finnish building stock. The use of differentconstruction materials in different parts of buildings is estimated for eachbuilding type. Information collected through building permits includes thematerials of bearing frames and facades. More information about the useof wood products in construction is gathered by many enquiries. The mixof construction materials has changed during each decade. Furthermore, thetimber stocks in construction not subject to permission and in civilengineering (e.g. bridges) were estimated. The C reservoir is calculated onthe basis of dry matter content of wooden construction materials. The timeparameters of a simple exponential decay model and a more detailed Cbalance model of wood products were calibrated to the inventory resultsusing the estimated wood flows to construction as model inputs.According to the inventories the C pool in sawn wood and wood-basedpanels of the Finnish building stock was 8.7 Tg C in 1980, 10.7 Tg C in1990 and 11.5 Tg C in 1995. The mean annual increases, 0.20 Tg Cfrom 1980 to 1990 and 0.15 Tg C from 1990 to 1995, areapproximately 1.3% and 0.8% of the fossil fuel C emissions in Finlandduring the same periods. When also taking into account construction notsubject to permission and civil engineering works, the estimated C stock ofwood products in Finland was 16.5 Tg C in 1995, which is about 3.3 MgC per capita and approximately 2.4% of the C reservoir in Finnish forestbiomass. The total C reservoir of wood products (excluding wood wasteand paper products) coming from Finnish forests might be as much as 7%of the standing biomass if exported wood products are also included. Theaverage lifetime of sawn wood in Finnish construction is less than 40 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-111
JournalMitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • C balance
  • C reservoir of wood products
  • C sequestration
  • construction
  • dynamic modelling of C stocks
  • Finland
  • lifetime of wood products
  • stock inventory


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