Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies consistently show that wood outperforms other materials in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, and carbon footprint.
LCA is an internationally recognized method for measuring the environmental impacts of materials, assemblies or buildings over their entire lives—from extraction or harvest of raw materials through manufacturing, transportation, installation, use, maintenance and disposal or recycling. It allows design professionals to compare different building designs based on their environmental impacts and make informed choices about the materials they use.
LCA is replacing the prescriptive approach to material selection, which assumes that certain prescribed practices (such as specifying products with recycled content) are better for the environment regardless of the product’s manufacturing process or disposal.
Click the Resources tab for supporting research, LCA tools and organizations, case studies and other publications.