Nowadays, more than ever, the global focus is shifting to the topics of ecology, cutting CO2 emissions, and the keywords ‘green’ and ‘digital’.
Today’s interviewee of the 5g.hr portal, Dean Čizmar, teaches the subjects Wooden Structures, Wooden Engineering Structures. and Structural Modeling Calculations. He received his doctorate from the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Zagreb, in the field of load-bearing structures.
He states: “As a society, we consume copious amounts of resources (…). In the past thirty-some years, there has been significantly more talk about carbon dioxide emissions; human influence is substantial. We have now reached a moment where we must, as a society, take a strong and firm position regarding carbon dioxide emissions. Civil engineering, for instance, has very high emissions.”
When asked what causes the most environmental damage, Prof. Čizmar responds: “‘Damage’ is a strong word, but we have, say, metals, structural steel, which have a very high carbon footprint. By using these materials, we add to the issue of greenhouse gases and global warming. Only wooden structures have a carbon footprint that is in fact negative.”
In the context of carbon offsetting, there are several effective ways, but the involvement of governments and states is vital: “One of the ways to reduce the carbon footprint is to include special insulation on buildings – construction measures, engineering measures, certain smart lighting, new heating systems, and one of the most important things is the use of sustainable materials. This is where wooden constructions come into wide use.”
Professor Čizmar comments on the importance of using sustainable materials for society as a whole: “We as a society must subsidize that construction and use the resource that is sustainable, renewable and which we can use in that way. People, when living surrounded by wooden structures, somehow feel better. There are even various studies done by psychologists around the world, where it has been shown that wooden structures are somehow more characteristic to humans and that they feel much better surrounded by wood and wooden structures.”
It is a resource that is much more sustainable than steel. I think that is definitely the future.Dean Čizmar, PhD
In particular, we talked about Ecotelligent towers, which are exclusively distributed in Croatia and regionally by the company Markoja. The professor assessed this kind of infrastructure as follows: “Towers like these [Ecotelligent] fit very well into the environment, any type of environment, especially in rural areas. Its advantages, everything we talked about; we have sustainable material, where we can adequately manage these resources and we can determine exactly how many resources we have and we can, in a way, manage the resources.” In terms of the mechanical resistance and stability of such structures, Ph.D. Čizmar emphasizes that they meet all European standards, and all these materials (from wood and concrete to steel) are equally reliable.
He also stressed the greatest advantage of wooden structures compared to other construction materials: “The most important thing is that we have a significantly, significantly lower impact of CO2 emissions here than in the case of using other materials.”
The future of wooden structures and, namely, wooden telecommunication towers in the Republic of Croatia looks bright. “Wooden towers in Croatia have a great future. In the last decade, we have seen a major development of, say, wooden houses,” claims Prof. Čizmar, concluding:
This is a new, innovative product, practically no one has had such a product before. I think that this will be great and that it has a bright future in Croatia, which is completely justified, and I’m glad that someone recognized the importance of wooden structures – the importance of sustainable development.
Check out the full interview below.