‘Green Building’ is presenting the forest products sector with a magnificent opportunity. SCIENCE, through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) is identifying American Hardwoods and hardwood products as not only responsibly produced but perhaps the most environmentally friendly building material on the planet.
Responsible architects and designers, interested in utilizing environmentally preferable building materials, ought to be aware that:
- An LCA on Rough-sawn Kiln-dried American Hardwood Lumber, which forms the basis for valid comparisons between building materials, is complete and available for review at www.americanhardwood.org.
- EPDs showing data on various environmental impact categories and used as a tool in the overall LCA process, will be available in the next several months.
- Coming soon – DNA finger printing of American Hardwoods and incontrovertible proof of U.S. origin.
While significant environmental and social impacts are associated with the production of all materials, ongoing scientific studies are revealing the environmental preference of hardwood and hardwood products. Other materials, making extremely questionable claims and touting themselves as environmentally preferable to wood, will be hard pressed to withstand scientific scrutiny.