Improving the environment

Life Cycle Assessment shows wood building elements have lower environmental impacts

Governments world wide are increasingly concerned about issues like recycling, waste disposal, and the environmental impacts of materials production, as well as energy emissions. As a result, building regulations internationally are requiring that principles of sustainable development apply to construction. In some cases these standards are mandatory. This has led to demands for materials and products to be assessed over a complete life cycle.

1 - Production phase 2 - In-use phase3 - End-of-life phase
ExtractionEnergy useRecycling
ProductionThermal propertiesRecovery
Transport to siteMaintenanceDisposal
Construction

It helps designers, clients, specifiers and developers understand the full environmental impact of the materials they choose. It gives them the information they need to choose materials which will contribute towards more sustainable buildings.

LCA has been widely used to compare the environmental impacts of building materials such as wood, steel and concrete, and scientists worldwide have come to the same conclusion: compared to the alternatives, wood buildings produce less air and water pollution, require less energy across their life cycle, and generate lower CO2 emissions.

Whole Life Costing shows how competitive wood solutions can be

Whole Life Costing (WLC) is a commonly used technique which assesses the cost of a product or project over a specific period of time. It takes into account all relevant financial factors from the initial capital costs, through future operational costs, to disposal. WLC, together with LCA, can provide a thorough economic and environmental assessment to support decision-making and an effective procurement strategy.

 

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