Last edited 17 Dec 2020

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BRE Group Researcher Website


Within The Green Guide to Specification (4th edition), biomaterials are classed as naturally-derived construction materials (ie those originating from plant or animal sources) providing both structural and non-structural functions within the building fabric. Biomass is a biological material used as a fuel. This is often used to mean plant-based material, but biomass can equally apply to both animal and vegetable-derived materials.

For example, sawn softwood timber used in the construction of timber frames or as studwork is categorised as biomaterial due to the structural function it is fulfilling. However, wood such as poplar or willows grown specifically to generate electricity or produce heat through direct incineration is classed as biomass.

Biomaterials most commonly used in UK construction are solid timber, timber products such as wood-based panels, cellulose, plant fibres and animal fibres.

Ref Environmental impact of biomaterials and biomass (FB 67).

--BRE Group

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