Material selection is an integral component of sustainable design and “the American hardwood industry believes it has an environmental profile that is hard to beat.” But to scientifically establish the environmental credentials of American hardwoods and hardwood products, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is conducting a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the U.S. hardwood industry's production and distribution chain, and Phase One of the project has been completed.
Recently published and available at www.americanhardwood.org is a “cradle-to-gate plus transport” study that covers all impacts “associated with extracting the wood in the forest, transporting, sawing and kiln-drying the material in the United States, and then delivering the lumber to the importers yard in major overseas markets.”
The comprehensive report is ISO conformant and is being used as the basis for innovative tools to integrate sustainability into product design.
If sustainability is to become more than an aspiration for the design/build community, scientific tools are needed that will be “flexible enough to accommodate widely different materials and contexts, and yet accessible so that environmental information can be readily integrated into the design process without adding excess cost.”
See why American Hardwoods are part of the sustainability equation. The complete report is available at www.americanhardwood.org/sustainability/life-cycle-assessment/.