The construction industry represents one of the greatest contributors to atmospheric emissions of CO2 and anthropogenic climate change, largely resulting from the production of commonly used building materials such as steel and concrete. It is well understood that the extraction and manufacture of these products generates significant volumes of greenhouse gases and, therefore, this industry represents an important target for reducing emissions. One possibility is to replace emissions-intensive, non-renewable materials with more environmentally friendly alternatives that minimise resource depletion and lower emissions. Although timber has not been widely used in mid- to high-rise buildings since the industrial revolution, recent advances in manufacturing have reintroduced wood as a viable product for larger and more complex structures. One of the main advantages of the resurgence of wood is its environmental performance; however, there is still uncertainty about how mass timber works and its suitability relative to key performance criteria for construction material selection. Consequently, the aim of this study is to help guide decision making in the construction sector by providing a comprehensive review of the research on mass timber. Key performance criteria for mass timber are reviewed, using existing literature, and compared with those for typical concrete construction. The review concludes that mass timber is superior to concrete and steel when taking into consideration all performance factors, and posits that the construction industry should, where appropriate, transition to mass timber as the low-carbon, high performance building material of the future.