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Wood versus AAC

Environmental quality of buildings

Dipl.-Ing. Torsten Schoch, born on 20 October 1964, is a civil engineer who has worked in the building materials industry since 1992.

After holding positions in project development and construction engineering at Ytong AG, in 2006 he was appointed managing director of the Xella Research and Development Center in Kloster Lehnin. He is also involved in various national and European standardization committees, e.g. heat transfer, energy performance of buildings and structural thermal insulation in high-rise buildings, to name a few.

He is chairman of the Verband Bauen in Weiß, a manufacturer's association which provides architects and civil engineers with information about white building materials (AAC and calcium silicate blocks). He is Board member of the European AAC Association (EAACA) and chairman of the EAACA Technical Committee, chairman of the engineering and standardization committee of the German Association of Mineral Building Materials and he is a board member of the German committee for Masonry (DAfM). In 2017, he joined the board of the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) and since 2019 he is Curator of the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics.

Torsten Schoch is the author of various specialist articles and books about masonry construction and building physics. In addition, he has produced several guides to the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) for old buildings, residential and non-residential buildings published by Beuth Verlag. He has also written a practical guide to masonry construction.

It is often claimed that switching from the construction method using mineral building materials predominating in Europe to a timber construction method can make a key contribution to successfully completing the path to a decarbonized society. This assumption is based on the simple thought that one cubic meter of wood can store about one ton of CO2 during its growth. That is all you need to know. Given that the widely used mineral building materials, e.g. concrete, bricks and autoclaved aerated concrete, are made of raw materials that have a very high CO2 impact, it is suggested that these building materials can no longer meet the future requirements. The associated debate of how to reconcile the use of wood, reforestation and the future demand for conifers that procure most of the construction timber with the protection of forests is, of course, another side of this challenge.

Xella Technologie- und Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Hohes Steinfeld 1
14797 Kloster Lehnin
+49 3382 7060112