[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aims to analyze whether the increased use of wood for housing construction can mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and reduce embodied energy in the civil construction sector in Brazil. The emphasis is on environmental issues, but considers the social and economic fields that may influence the design and effectiveness of public policy. The historical scope was studied to understand wooden housing stock development over the last 40 years as well as the possible factors that may have influenced its percentage decrease in total Brazilian housing stock. The social aspect was explored to learn the public opinion on the use of wood for housing construction, and the strengths and weaknesses of the material in the general society concept. In the economic domain the aim was to characterize the timber sector and supply of prefabricated wooden houses, focusing on potential and obstacles to market development. The environmental part aimed to estimate CO2 emissions and embodied energy of wood products for the construction, to subsidize data for discussion on the impacts of increasing wood in the Brazilian construction. It was concluded, within the limits of this work, that the planted wood use could be implemented as a strategy for reduction of CO2 emissions in the civil construction sector in Brazil, because it is considered carbon neutral; on the other hand, native wood, being considered a carbon source, should not be used for this purpose. The decrease in the embodied energy of the sector, according to the business as usual, depends more on changes in the processes related to the masonry materials than wood. However, the implementation of the use of wood has some challenges, like the acceptance of the general public, whose concerns include the durability, maintenance and security of the wood. In addition, a strong correlation was found between the wooden houses decrease with GDP increase which may suggest that use of wood for housing is related to the population purchasing power. The price of materials may also have influenced this decline. The expansion of wood use depends, in addition to financial incentives and societal convincing, skilled labor qualification, technological development, reduction of bureaucracy, improvement in infrastructure for the flow of production, and public policies.
See URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10803/279369
09/2014, Degree: PhD, Supervisor: Vanderley Moacyr John and José María González Barroso
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