With growing pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment, building designers are increasingly being called upon to balance functionality and cost objectives with reduced environmental impact. Wood can help to achieve that balance.

wooden ceiling office

Photo: John Stamets

The choice to use wood as a green building material is intuitive. It’s abundant, renewable and recyclable, and has a lighter carbon footprint than other construction materials. Wood is also the only structural building material with third-party certification systems in place to verify that products have come from a sustainably managed resource.

Learning Objectives

After this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the sustainable aspects of wood products.
  2. Describe how wood contributes to credits under various green building rating systems.
  3. Articulate the importance of life cycle assessment and how it can be used to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings at the design stage.
  4. Describe how green building certification, sustainable forest certification, and Environmental Product Declarations complement each other to provide a more complete picture of a building’s environmental performance.

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