From an environmental perspective, it is widely known that buildings matter. Buildings consume nearly half the energy produced in the United States, use three quarters of the electricity, and account for nearly half of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Photo: © Mark Herboth Photography, LLC

The magnitude of their effects is the driving force behind many initiatives to improve tomorrow’s structures—from energy regulations and government procurement policies, to green building rating systems and programs such as the Architecture 2030 Challenge.

Learning Objectives – After this course, you should be able to:

  1. Compare the life cycle impacts of common building materials, from the extraction or harvest of raw materials through end of life disposal or recycling/reuse.
  2. Articulate the influence of wood on operational energy efficiency.
  3. Consider a growing body of research on the impacts of visual wood on occupant health and well-being.
  4. Discuss design considerations related to a building’s safety, resilience and long-term durability.

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