Special Issue “Mass Timber and Sustainable Building Construction”

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2021).

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Special Issue Editor

Dr. Indroneil Ganguly

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Interests: life cycle assessment of wood products; bioenergy solutions; wood products trade and environmental policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you with a proposal for a Special Issue in the journal Sustainability that will gather original research articles, case studies, review articles, and methodological notes in the fields of mass timber-based building constructions and interaction between the built and the natural environments. The topic is timely, with large-scale significance for the building construction industry and its impact on climate change.

The building construction industry is regarded as one of the most carbon-intensive and wasteful industrial sectors, contributing to a significant share of the total greenhouse gas emissions in most industrialized countries. Whereas most industries in modern society have made tremendous technological advancements in the last few decades, the building construction industry has demonstrated an unimpressive innovation adoption propensity. This is especially true with regard to structural engineering and corresponding material use for building constructions. However, the tide may be turning, with positive adoption trends of innovative mass timber systems among architects and designers for designing taller buildings with wood as the primary structural material.

The use of wood in low rise construction, utilizing light wood-frame and post-and-beam systems, is well established in North America and some European and Latin American countries. Complementing the traditional use of wood in building constructions, mass timber systems enable construction of taller buildings using wood as the primary structural material. Mass timber framing styles are typically characterized by the use of large solid engineered wood panels for wall, floor, and roof construction. The products in the mass timber family include cross-laminated timber (CLT), glued laminated timber (GLT), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), nail-laminated timber (NLT), mass plywood, and other similar engineered panel and beam products.

Mass timber systems offer a potentially appealing alternative to traditional materials where new buildings can be constructed with (i) significantly lower fossil carbon emissions, (ii) reduced material waste and lighter carbon footprint, (iii) increased construction efficiency, and (iv) long-term biogenic carbon storage. Moreover, the proponents of mass timber systems also claim that increased demand for wood will help forest heath restoration, mitigate catastrophic forest fire risk, promote sustainable forestry, and help to drive reforestation activities.

Accordingly, we are inviting original research articles, case studies, review articles, and methodological articles/notes, in the following topical areas:

  1. Comparative life cycle assessment (LCA)-based environmental analysis of mass timber products;
  2. Comparative life cycle assessment (LCA)-based environmental assessment of mass timber building systems;
  3. Biophilic building designs and operations, and environmentally responsible mass timber-based construction systems;
  4. Role of circular economy in developing a comprehensive understanding of mass timber-based building systems, including, end of life, cascading use of wood, and cross-sectoral interlinkages;
  5. Analysis of embodied carbon, carbon storage, forest carbon stock changes, carbon stock changes in the economy, and temporal evaluation of the global warming impact analysis associated with mass timber building systems;
  6. Analysis of enviroeconomic scenarios associated with mass timber usage, including consequential life cycle assessment;
  7. Exploring linkages between the mass timber adoption, increased wood demand and impact on natural systems and the world’s forests.
  8. General analysis of wood demand and sourcing, because of increased adoption of mass timber as a building material.

Dr. Indroneil Ganguly
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Mass timber
  • Sustainable building construction
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Embodied carbon
  • Carbon storage
  • Circular economy

Published Papers (10 papers)

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