Material change: can timber play a role in sustainable rail infrastructure?
Climate change and the goal of a sustainable, net zero emission economy are leading every industry to rethink its use of resources. As a carbon-intensive sector, transport is a key part of this transition. Operationally, rail is already recognised as a low-carbon option for mass transit – accounting for 8% of motorised travel and 7% of freight, but only 2% of transport energy use (International Energy Agency, 2019). But the construction of rail infrastructure continues to rely heavily on carbon intensive materials such as steel and concrete. So, given we want rail to continue to grow, how can the sector decarbonise its infrastructure?
We have explored this question with the Copenhagen Metro Company (Metroselskabet) to see how far low carbon, reusable, recyclable and biodegradable materials could replace the carbon-costly norms. Specifically, could a natural, sustainable, recyclable material like timber reduce the carbon footprint of station design?More info