The building sector is increasingly identified as being energy and carbon intensive. Although the majority of emissions are linked to energy usage during the operation part of a building's life cycle, choice of construction materials could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental end-point damages. Increasing the use of wood products in buildings may contribute to the solution, but their environmental impacts are difficult to assess and quantify because they depend on a variety of uncertain parameters. The present cradle-to-gate life-cycle analysis (LCA) focuses exclusively on a glued-laminated wood product (glulam) produced from North American boreal forests located in the province of Quebec, Canada. This study uses primary data to quantify the environmental impacts of all necessary stages of products' life cycle, from harvesting the primary resources, to manufacturing the transformed product into glulam. The functional unit is 1 m3 of glulam. This is the first study based on primary data pertaining to Quebec's boreal forest. Quebec's boreal glulam manufacturing was compared with two other LCAs on glulam in Europe and the United States. Our results show that Quebec's glulam has a significantly smaller environmental footprint than what is reported in the literature. From an LCA perspective, there is a significant advantage to producing glulam in Quebec, compared with the European and American contexts. The same holds true in regard to the four end-point damage categories.
The goal of this study was to update life-cycle assessment (LCA) data associated with laminated veneer lumber (LVL) production in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the United States from cradle-to-gate mill output. The authors collected primary mill data from LVL production facilities per Consortium on Research for Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) Research Guidelines. Comparative assertions were not a goal of this study.
The goal of the present study was to develop life-cycle impact assessment (LCIA) data associated with gate-to-gate laminated veneer lumber (LVL) production in the southeast (SE) region of the U.S. with the ultimate aim of constructing an updated cradle-to-gate mill output life-cycle assessment (LCA). The authors collected primary (survey) mill data from LVL production facilities per Consortium on Research for Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) Research Guidelines. Comparative assertions were not a goal of the present study.
The improvement of environmental performance in building construction could be achieved by prefabrication. This study quantifies and compares the environmental impacts of a Concrete Glulam Framed Panel (CGFP): the basic configuration of this precast component consists in a Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) frame structure supporting a thin reinforced concrete slab with an interior insulation panel and covered by finishing layers. The research investigates also alternative design of configuration with the substitution of different insulation materials in order to minimize the Embodied Energy and Carbon Footprint values.
The boundary of the quantitative analysis is “cradle to gate” including the structural support system; an IMPACT 2002+ characterization methodology is employed to translate inventory flows into impacts indicators.
Results present very low values for carbon footprint (60.63 kg CO2eq m-2) and the embodied energy values (919.44 MJ m-2) indicate this hybrid precast structure as a valid alternative building constructions and processes.
A detailed discussion of the outputs is presented, including the comparison of the environmental performances depending on different insulation materials.