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Well known architect and TV presenter, Duncan Stewart, came up with an interesting statistic in the latest series of About the House.

In a piece in which the programme looked at improving the standards of Irish buildings to meet EU and Government targets in relation to energy efficiency and zero carbon, he said that we will have to consider the materials we are using in our buildings in order to reduce our CO2 emissions as Irish houses are currently twice the European average in this area.

He said ?timber is a great building material because it actually stores carbon from the atmosphere and is renewable. Not only this but compared to other construction materials the embodied energy, or the energy involved in manufacturing the material in timber construction, is a lot less than other building methods.?

He then went on to compare the life cycle embodied energy used in building a typical 120 square metre concrete detached house with a similar timber frame house. ?When we compare the walls and floors built in concrete, the CO2 emissions reach 22 tonnes. But when we build in timber frame it?s not only zero CO2 but stores five tonnes of CO2 taken from the atmosphere?.

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