The SMARTA Wood project, led by Chalmers University for Technology focuses upon wood material flows and aims to commercialise a decision-making scheme to optimise wood use and assess the sustainability impact of wood in construction.
Wood is a carbon sink when used as material and a low source of carbon when burnt but the growing demand questions the equilibrium and could lead to deforestation if wood use is not optimised. The goal of this project is thereby to promote an optimised use of wood in construction so that demand does not exceed offer.
The project follows a successful Partner Accelerator project from 2017 which led to a preliminary business model.
The team identified the “Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment” (ToSIA) developed by the European Forest Institute. This tool assesses the sustainability of forestry related policies in forestry-wood production chains. The criteria assessed are those of environmental, social and economic impacts resulting from deliberate actions or external forces. The goal of the Demonstrator project with EIT Climate-KIC was to apply this assessment tool to the construction sector.
This project could contribute to the reduction of carbon emission and the optimization of wood use in construction, so that the risk of overharvesting would be mitigated. The project benefits from a cross countries consortium as the partners are from Sweden, Finland and Switzerland which is a strength for scalability. It is of course a small part of a necessary collective effort across Europe.