Why Not Wood? (Mass-Timber Construction)

Jason Norman (Building Construction Technology) ; Miranda D’Oleo (Environmental Science) ; Liya Woldemariam (Envi. Sci.) ; Dylan Haley (Natural Resource Conservation)


The building sector releases greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and could have a significant impact on the people and town of Amherst. The carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere has the ability to trap and store heat near the earth’s surface through the greenhouse effect. Just over the past century, there has already been a 2°F increase in temperature in the Commonwealth (Environmental Protection Agency, n.d, p.2). This has raised concerns regarding the damages that will result from the increase in temperature on human health. It is projected that there will be a 50% increase in the number of heat related deaths, increase in asthma and accelerated spread of diseases through pests (Town of Amherst Energy Conservation Task Force, n.d,  p.10). An increase in temperature and precipitation along with the increase of pollution have shown to increase the incidence of asthma. Pollutants such as smog are expected to increase with high temperatures. These pollutants have been linked to cause respiratory issue (EPA, n.d). Also, high temperatures lead to increased spread of diseases through insects. Insects such as ticks that transmit lyme disease function best in temperatures above 45°F. This means that as winters become warmer the length of time that the ticks are present increase (EPA, n.d). All of these risk and consequences to human well-being and health are too high to not implement policies, in the building sector specifically, meant to mitigate against climate change. Continue Reading