Sustainable Building Resources

Want to specify sustainably, but not sure where to start? We’ve curated a library of resources on how wood can help meet your project sustainability goals. Customize your search by Topic, Medium, or Content Source. Scroll down to start your search.

All Resources

Carbon | Sustainable Forestry | Article | Industry Association

New Study Confirms That Switching to Wood Construction From Concrete or Steel Reduces CO2 Emissions

A study found that switching to wood from concrete or steel significantly reduces CO2 emissions, through both carbon sequestration and avoided emissions. Find out more in this overview.
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Sustainable Forestry | Article | Industry Association

More Trees Than There Were 100 Years Ago? It's True!

Did you know that there are actually more trees now than there were a century ago? Read more about the present and future of forest conservation.
Carbon | Article | Industry Association

10 Steps to Reducing Embodied Carbon

Ready to make a difference with your next project? Here are ten concrete steps architects can take to make significant upfront impacts to mitigate climate change in the design and construction process.
Sustainable Forestry | Article | Non-Profit

The Forest Certification Experience

Want to know what the process of forest certification involves? Learn more by reading perspectives from these certified forest owners.
Sustainable Forestry | Article | Non-Profit

Forest Certification Update 2021: The Pace of Change

Learn more about the present and future of forest certification in this report on the current status of major forest certification programs, including global and national benchmarking, and what is needed to keep these programs relevant in the future.
Carbon | Article | Non-Profit

Introduction to Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment: The Basics

Learn more about the basics of life cycle assessments in this summary of life cycle stages and considerations for choosing tools and performing whole building life cycle assessments.
Carbon | Article | Non-Profit

When to Include Biogenic Carbon in an LCA

What is biogenic carbon, and how does it affect carbon calculations? Find out when and how to include it in LCAs in this article from WoodWorks.
Carbon | Article | Non-Profit

Calculating the Carbon Stored in Wood Products

Lifecycle assessment and carbon accounting are complex, but the amount of carbon stored in wood is a more straightforward calculation. Find out more in this article on how to calculate the carbon of wood products.
Carbon | Article | Non-Profit

Calculating the Embodied Carbon of Different Structural Systems

Learn more about calculating the embodied carbon in this review of life cycle assessment (LCA) tools available for commercial and multi-family projects. Also includes a handy carbon calculator tool, and links to additional LCA tools and methodology.
Carbon | Article | Think Wood

Understanding the Role of Embodied Carbon in Climate Smart Buildings

What is embodied carbon, how is it different from operational carbon, and how do we factor both into design? Find out more in this blog post.
Sustainable Forestry | Article | Industry Association

What Do We Mean By "Timber Assurance"?

What is timber assurance? Find out more about how you can be assured that your wood products are ethically, legally, and sustainably supplied.

Does wood have a lower carbon footprint than other materials?

Of the three primary structural materials used in construction, manufacturing lumber is the least energy intensive, followed by 100% recycled steel, concrete, and virgin steel. This accounts for wood’s low embodied carbon. Wood is also about 50% carbon by dry weight. When stored carbon is considered along with embodied carbon, many wood products have a negative CO²eq value when sourced from forests with stable or increasing carbon stocks.
Building to Net-Zero

Ok, but are there enough trees?

In short, yes. A 2021 study on the impact of long-term demand for wood products on U.S. forests, found that forest growth exceeded harvest levels — even in the most conservative scenario, using the lowest estimate of growth and the highest estimate of harvest volumes required to meet incremental demand for both lumber and mass timber in 2035.
Sustainable Forestry

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Carbon
  • Sustainable Forestry
  • Do the carbon emissions produced by forestry activities negate the carbon storage benefits of wood and wood products?

  • Is using wood the best carbon mitigation pathway? Isn’t it better to let trees grow?

  • Doesn’t cutting down trees to manufacture wood products reduce forests’ ability to store carbon?

  • How does wood’s carbon footprint compare to the other primary structural materials, like concrete or steel?

  • I’ve heard wood stores carbon. How does that work?

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