Living Greener With Wood

Jun 26, 2024

Can Europeans be more inclined to live in multi-story wooden buildings? A study originating from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences suggests this is possible by targeting common misconceptions, increasing knowledge among real-estate agents, and accessible information platforms on wooden constructions.

Regulations and environmental credentials of the novel wooden multi-storey buildings are important. However, research shows the importance of engaging the very people looking for a place to live and communicating that it is both an attractive and safe choice.

Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, European Forest Institute and the Universities of Helsinki and Copenhagen delved into what determines individuals’ intention to live in multi-storey wooden buildings. Specifically, they studied people’s attitudes, social pressure, and whether or not they felt they could afford an apartment in a multi-story wooden building.

– The results show that all these factors have a positive influence on the people’s intention to live in a multi-storey building, says Dohun Kim, a doctoral student who led data analyses.

Based on the three factors, researchers offer three specific recommendations to policy-makers:

  1. Devise information campaigns targeting common misconceptions regarding multi-storey wooden buildings. Particularly important to respond to concerns over fire safety, structural durability, and environmental sustainability. Accurate and current information on these important aspects could trigger more favorable attitudes toward living in multi-storey wooden buildings.
  2. Engage influential people such as real-estate agents to widen current knowledge on multi-storey wooden buildings how to communicate positively about them with clients. One likely needs to be prepared to face negative norms regarding multi-storey wooden buildings.
  3. Create accessible platforms for citizens to share wooden construction information. Subjective perceptions are significant barriers to the decision to live in a multi-storey wooden building. From safety, to affordability, or market accessibility of these buildings, citizens looking for a place to live should be aware if multi-storey wooden buildings are an available option. Limited information can be a major constraint on the housing decision making process.