people are recognizing wood is the best environmental choice for buildings
of all types from single family homes to hockey arenas and offices.
Wood has long been the preferred choice for North American home construction,
recognized for its aesthetic appeal, performance and versatility. Over
95% of North American homes are wood frame construction.
In today’s environmentally conscious world, wood maintains its
preferred status with builders and homeowners. Wood is the only major
building material that is renewable. Wood uses less energy and produces
less air and water pollution than steel and concrete. It is the first
choice of those who want to minimize the environmental footprint of
Using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), approach to evaluating different
options for building construction demonstrates wood’s natural
advantage. A LCA measures the impact of using different materials by
looking at the environmental impacts at each stage in the lifecycle
of a building product from resource extraction through manufacturing,
transportation and installation and maintenance through to final disposal
by quantifying energy and resource use and environmental emissions.
When the ATHENA Sustainable Materials Institute compared the environmental
effects of an office building constructed of wood, concrete or steel,
the wood building had the lowest total energy use, the lowest greenhouse
gas emissions, the lowest air pollution index, the lowest solid wood
waste, and the lowest ecological resource use index.