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Dynamic Life Cycle Carbon and Energy Analysis for Cross-Laminated Timber in the Southeastern United States

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2688
Year of Publication
2020
Topic
Energy Performance
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Author
Lan, Kai
Kelley, Stephen
Nepal, Prakash
Yao, Yuan
Publisher
IOP Publishing Ltd
Year of Publication
2020
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Topic
Energy Performance
Keywords
Life-Cycle Assessment
LCA
Dynamic
Carbon Analysis
Greenhouse gas emissions
Energy Consumption
Cradle-to-Grave
Research Status
Complete
Series
Environmental Research Letters
Summary
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been used to understand the carbon and energy implications of manufacturing and using cross-laminated timber (CLT), an emerging and sustainable alternative to concrete and steel. However, previous LCAs of CLT are static analyses without considering the complex interactions between the CLT manufacturing and forest systems, which are dynamic and largely affected by the variations in forest management, CLT manufacturing, and end-of-life options. This study fills this gap by developing a dynamic life-cycle modeling framework for a cradle-to-grave CLT manufacturing system across 100 years in the Southeastern United States. The framework integrates process-based simulations of CLT manufacturing and forest growth as well as Monte Carlo simulation to address uncertainty. On 1-ha forest land basis, the net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions ranges from -954 to -1445 metric tonne CO2 eq. for a high forest productivity scenario compared to -609 to -919 for a low forest productivity scenario. All scenarios showed significant GHG emissions from forest residues decay, demonstrating the strong need to consider forest management and their dynamic impacts in LCAs of CLT or other durable wood products (DWP). The results show that using mill residues for energy recovery has lower fossil-based GHG (59%–61% reduction) than selling residues for producing DWP, but increases the net GHG emissions due to the instantaneous release of biogenic carbon in residues. In addition, the results were converted to 1 m3 basis with a cradle-to-gate system boundary to be compared with literature. The results, 113–375 kg CO2 eq./m3 across all scenarios, were consistent with previous studies. Those findings highlight the needs of system-level management to maximize the potential benefits of CLT. This work is an attributional LCA, but the presented results lay a foundation for future consequential LCAs for specific CLT buildings or commercial forest management systems.
Online Access
Free
Resource Link
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Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment and Life-Cycle Cost Analysis of a High-Rise Mass Timber Building: A Case Study in Pacific Northwestern United States

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2838
Year of Publication
2021
Topic
Environmental Impact
Cost
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Author
Liang, Shaobo
Gu, Hongmei
Bergman, Richard
Organization
USDA Forest Product Laboratory
Editor
Ganguly, Indroneil
Publisher
MDPI
Year of Publication
2021
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Topic
Environmental Impact
Cost
Keywords
LCA
Environmental Impact
Carbon Analysis
Research Status
Complete
Series
Sustainability
Summary
Global construction industry has a huge influence on world primary energy consumption, spending, and greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. To better understand these factors for mass timber construction, this work quantified the life cycle environmental and economic performances of a high-rise mass timber building in U.S. Pacific Northwest region through the use of life-cycle assessment (LCA) and life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA). Using the TRACI impact category method, the cradle-to-grave LCA results showed better environmental performances for the mass timber building relative to conventional concrete building, with 3153 kg CO2-eq per m2 floor area compared to 3203 CO2-eq per m2 floor area, respectively. Over 90% of GHGs emissions occur at the operational stage with a 60-year study period. The end-of-life recycling of mass timber could provide carbon offset of 364 kg CO2-eq per m2 floor that lowers the GHG emissions of the mass timber building to a total 12% lower GHGs emissions than concrete building. The LCCA results showed that mass timber building had total life cycle cost of $3976 per m2 floor area that was 9.6% higher than concrete building, driven mainly by upfront construction costs related to the mass timber material. Uncertainty analysis of mass timber product pricing provided a pathway for builders to make mass timber buildings cost competitive. The integration of LCA and LCCA on mass timber building study can contribute more information to the decision makers such as building developers and policymakers.
Online Access
Free
Resource Link
Less detail

Mass Timber / Research and Design

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2183
Year of Publication
2018
Topic
Design and Systems
Environmental Impact
General Information
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems