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Life Cycle Analysis of Innovative Technologies: Cold Formed Steel System and Cross Laminated Timber

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue3336
Year of Publication
2023
Topic
Environmental Impact
Energy Performance
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Author
Luorio, Ornella
Gigante, Antonio
Masi, Rosa Francesca De
Organization
University of Leeds
University of Sannio
Publisher
MDPI
Year of Publication
2023
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Topic
Environmental Impact
Energy Performance
Keywords
Life Cycle Analysis
Cold Formed Steel
Net Zero
Embodied Carbon
Greenhouse Gases
Research Status
Complete
Series
Energies
Summary
Reducing the embodied and operational energy of buildings is a key priority for construction and real estate sectors. It is essential to prioritize materials and construction technologies with low carbon footprints for the design of new buildings. Off-site constructions systems are claimed to have the potential to deliver a low carbon build environment, but at present there are a lack of data about their real environmental impacts. This paper sheds lights on the environmental performance of two offsite technologies: cold formed steel and cross laminated timber. Specifically, the environmental impacts of a CFS technology are discussed according to six standard impact categories, which includes the global warming potential and the total use of primary energy. The study is based on a detailed cradle to gate life cycle analysis of a real case study, and discusses the impacts of both structural and non-structural components of CFS constructions. As a useful frame of reference, this work compares the environmental impacts of 1 m2 of walls and floors of CFS technology with those of cross laminated timber, which is spreading as innovative off-site technology for the development of nearly zero energy buildings, and a conventional reinforced masonry technology, which is largely adopted in the Italian construction sector. The paper concludes with the necessity to optimize structural systems to reduce the overall embodied carbon impacts.
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Does expanding wood use in construction and textile markets contribute to climate change mitigation?

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue3337
Year of Publication
2023
Topic
Environmental Impact
Author
Hurmekoski, Elias
Kunttu, Janni
Heinonen, Tero
Pukkala, Timo
Peltola, Heli
Organization
University of Helsinki
University of Eastern Finland
Publisher
Elsevier
Year of Publication
2023
Format
Journal Article
Topic
Environmental Impact
Keywords
Substitution
Climate Change Mitigation
Textile Markets
Construction Markets
Avoided Fossil Emissions
Wood Products
Life Cycle Assessment
Research Status
Complete
Series
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Summary
Wood use is expanding to new markets, driven by the need to substitute fossil-intensive products and energy. Wood products can contribute to climate change mitigation, if they have a lower fossil footprint than alternative products serving the same function. However, the climate change mitigation potential is contingent on the net fossil and biogenic emissions over time, as well as the realism of the counterfactual scenario and market assumptions. This study aims to improve the consistency of assessing the avoided fossil emissions attributed to changes in wood use, and to estimate the additional mitigation potential of increased wood use in construction and textile markets based on wood harvested in Finland. The results show that, compared to baseline, an increase in the market share of wood leads to an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2050. Thus, the substitution impacts of wood use are not large enough to compensate for the reduction in forest carbon sinks in the short and medium term. This outcome is further aggravated, considering the decarbonization of the energy sector driven by the Paris Agreement, which lowers the fossil emissions of competing sectors more than those of the forest sector. The expected decarbonization is a highly desirable trend, but it will further lengthen the carbon parity period associated with an increase in wood harvest. This creates a strong motive to pursue shifts in wood uses instead of merely expanding all wood uses.
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Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Mass Timber and Concrete Residential Buildings: A Case Study in China

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2884
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
Environmental Impact
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Author
Chen, Cindy
Pierobon, Francesca
Jones, Susan
Maples, Ian
Gong, Yingchun
Ganguly, Indroneil
Organization
Portland State University
University of Washington
Editor
Caggiano, Antonio
Publisher
MDPI
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Topic
Environmental Impact
Keywords
Mass Timber
Embodied Carbon
Climate Change
Built Environment
Life Cycle Analysis
Research Status
Complete
Series
Sustainability
Summary
As the population continues to grow in China’s urban settings, the building sector contributes to increasing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Concrete and steel are the two most common construction materials used in China and account for 60% of the carbon emissions among all building components. Mass timber is recognized as an alternative building material to concrete and steel, characterized by better environmental performance and unique structural features. Nonetheless, research associated with mass timber buildings is still lacking in China. Quantifying the emission mitigation potentials of using mass timber in new buildings can help accelerate associated policy development and provide valuable references for developing more sustainable constructions in China. This study used a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to compare the environmental impacts of a baseline concrete building and a functionally equivalent timber building that uses cross-laminated timber as the primary material. A cradle-to-gate LCA model was developed based on onsite interviews and surveys collected in China, existing publications, and geography-specific life cycle inventory data. The results show that the timber building achieved a 25% reduction in global warming potential compared to its concrete counterpart. The environmental performance of timber buildings can be further improved through local sourcing, enhanced logistics, and manufacturing optimizations.
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Comparative life cycle assessment of cross laminated timber building and concrete building with special focus on biogenic carbon

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2913
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
Environmental Impact
Energy Performance
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Author
Andersen, Julie
Rasmussen, Nana
Ryberg, Morten
Organization
Technical University of Denmark
Publisher
Elsevier
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Topic
Environmental Impact
Energy Performance
Keywords
Life-Cycle Assessment
Biogenic Carbon
Forest Transformation
Research Status
Complete
Series
Energy and Buildings
Summary
This study conducted a consequential Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on two similar mid-rise apartment buildings applying either concrete or cross laminated timber (CLT) as the main structural material. The study further investigated inclusion of biogenic carbon and how this affects environmental impacts related to Global warming. Thus, two assessment scenarios were applied: A Base scenario, without accounting for biogenic carbon and a Biogenic carbon scenario that include a GWPbio factor to account for the use of biogenic carbon. The CLT building had the lowest impact score in 11 of 18 impact categories including Global warming. Operational energy use was the main contributor to the total impact with some variation across impact scores, but closely followed by impacts embodied in materials (incl. End-of-Life). An evaluation of the potential forest transformations required for fulfilling future projections for new building construction in 2060 showed that about 3% of current global forest area would be needed. This share was essentially independent of the selected building material as the main driver for forest transformation was found to be energy use during building operation. Thus, focus should primarily be on reducing deforestation related to energy generation rather than deforestation from production of building materials.
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What Is the Impact of Mass Timber Utilization on Climate and Forests?

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2921
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
Environmental Impact
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Author
Pasternack, Rachel
Wishnie, Mark
Clarke, Caitlin
Wang, Yangyang
Belair, Ethan
Marshall, Steve
Gu, Hongmei
Nepal, Prakash
NDolezal, Franz
Lomax, Guy
Johnston, Craig
Felmer, Gabriel
Morales-Vera, Rodrigo
Puettmann, Maureen
Huevel, Robyn
Organization
USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory
University of Exeter
Universidad de Chile
Universidad Católica del Maule
Editor
Ganguly, Indroneil
Publisher
MDPI
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Topic
Environmental Impact
Keywords
Life-Cycle Assessment
Climate Change
Embodied Carbon
Carbon Storage
Research Status
Complete
Series
Sustainability
Summary
As the need to address climate change grows more urgent, policymakers, businesses, and others are seeking innovative approaches to remove carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere and decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors. Forests can play a role in reducing atmospheric carbon. However, there is disagreement over whether forests are most effective in reducing carbon emissions when left alone versus managed for sustainable harvesting and wood product production. Cross-laminated timber is at the forefront of the mass timber movement, which is enabling designers, engineers, and other stakeholders to build taller wood buildings. Several recent studies have shown that substituting mass timber for steel and concrete in mid-rise buildings can reduce the emissions associated with manufacturing, transporting, and installing building materials by 13%-26.5%. However, the prospect of increased utilization of wood products as a climate solution also raises questions about the impact of increased demand for wood on forest carbon stocks, on forest condition, and on the provision of the many other critical social and environmental benefits that healthy forests can provide. A holistic assessment of the total climate impact of forest product demand across product substitution, carbon storage in materials, current and future forest carbon stock, and forest area and condition is challenging, but it is important to understand the impact of increased mass timber utilization on forests and climate, and therefore also on which safeguards might be necessary to ensure positive outcomes. To thus assess the potential impacts, both positive and negative, of greater mass timber utilization on forests ecosystems and emissions associated with the built environment, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) initiated a global mass timber impact assessment (GMTIA), a five-part, highly collaborative research program focused on understanding the potential benefits and risks of increased demand for mass timber products on forests and identifying appropriate safeguards to ensure positive outcomes.
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A Lifecycle Assessment of a Low-Energy Mass-Timber Building and Mainstream Concrete Alternative in Central Chile

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2922
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
Environmental Impact
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Author
Felmer, Gabriel
Morales-Vera, Rodrigo
Astroza, Rodrigo
González, Ignacio
Puettmann, Maureen
Wishnie, Mark
Organization
Universidad de Chile
Universidad Católica del Maule
Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins
Universidad de los Andes
Editor
Caggiano, Antonio
Publisher
MDPI
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Topic
Environmental Impact
Keywords
Life-Cycle Assessment
Mid-Rise
Carbon Storage
Passive Zero Carbon Housing
Research Status
Complete
Series
Sustainability
Summary
While high-rise mass-timber construction is booming worldwide as a more sustainable alternative to mainstream cement and steel, in South America, there are still many gaps to overcome regarding sourcing, design, and environmental performance. The aim of this study was to assess the carbon emission footprint of using mass-timber products to build a mid-rise low-energy residential building in central Chile (CCL). The design presented at a solar decathlon contest in Santiago was assessed through lifecycle analysis (LCA) and compared to an equivalent mainstream concrete building. Greenhouse gas emissions, expressed as global warming potential (GWP), from cradle-to-usage over a 50-year life span, were lower for the timber design, with 131 kg CO2 eq/m2 of floor area (compared to 353 kg CO2 eq/m2) and a biogenic carbon storage of 447 tons of CO2 eq/m2 based on sustainable forestry practices. From cradle-to-construction, the embodied emissions of the mass-timber building were 42% lower (101 kg CO2 eq/m2) than those of the equivalent concrete building (167 kg CO2 eq/m2). The embodied energy of the mass-timber building was 37% higher than that of its equivalent concrete building and its envelope design helped reduce space-conditioning emissions by as much as 83%, from 187 kg CO2 eq/m2 as estimated for the equivalent concrete building to 31 kg CO2 eq/m2 50-yr. Overall, provided that further efforts are made to address residual energy end-uses and end-of-life waste management options, the use of mass-timber products offers a promising potential in CCL for delivering zero carbon residential multistory buildings.
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Life Cycle Assessment of Cross-Laminated Timber Transportation from Three Origin Points

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2923
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
Environmental Impact
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Author
Hemmati, Mahboobeh
Messadi, Tahar
Gu, Hongmei
Organization
University of Arkansas
USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory
Editor
D’Acierno, Luca
Publisher
MDPI
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Topic
Environmental Impact
Keywords
Life-Cycle Assessment
Mass Timber
Global Warming Potential
Transportation
Research Status
Complete
Series
Sustainability
Summary
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) used in the U.S. is mainly imported from abroad. In the existing literature, however, there are data on domestic transportation, but little understanding exists about the environmental impacts from the CLT import. Most studies use travel distances to the site based on domestic supply origins. The new Adohi Hall building at the University of Arkansas campus, Fayetteville, AR, presents the opportunity to address the multimodal transportation with overseas origin, and to use real data gathered from transporters and manufacturers. The comparison targets the environmental impacts of CLT from an overseas transportation route (Austria-Fayetteville, AR) to two other local transportation lines. The global warming potential (GWP) impact, from various transportation systems, constitutes the assessment metric. The findings demonstrate that transportation by water results in the least greenhouse gas (GHG) emission compared with freight transportation by rail and road. Transportation by rail is the second most efficient, and by road the least environmentally efficient. On the other hand, the comparison of the life cycle assessment (LCA) tools, SimaPro (Ecoinvent database) and Tally (GaBi database), used in this research, indicate a remarkable difference in GWP characterization impact factors per tonne.km (tkm), primarily due to the different database used by each software.
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Idaho Central Credit Union Arena – Soaring Roof Demonstrates Mass Timber’s Long-Span Possibilities

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2994
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
General Information
Material
Glulam (Glue-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Publisher
WoodWorks
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Report
Material
Glulam (Glue-Laminated Timber)
Application
Wood Building Systems
Topic
General Information
Keywords
Case Study
Long Span
Soaring Roof
Life Cycle Assessment
Fire Modeling
Research Status
Complete
Summary
While taller mass timber buildings continue to capture worldwide attention, the University of Idaho chose to pursue a different type of innovation with the Idaho Central Credit Union Arena by showcasing wood’s impressive long-span capabilities. Inspired by the rolling hills of the nearby Palouse, the undulating wood roof of this sports and events facility soars over the open space below, creating a visually stunning structure not typically associated with large arenas. This project is also unique in that it was built through a collaboration of Idaho stakeholders, using wood harvested from the University of Idaho’s Experimental Forest, made into glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams by Idaho manufacturers. “The complex structure makes a strong statement, not only for what mass timber can do, but also for what Idaho’s timber industry can do,” said Lucas Epp, Vice President and Head of Engineering for StructureCraft.
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Cross-laminated timber for building construction: A life-cycle-assessment overview

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue3002
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
Environmental Impact
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Author
Younis, Adel
Dodoo, Ambrose
Organization
Linnaeus University
Publisher
Elsevier
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Journal Article
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
Topic
Environmental Impact
Keywords
Carbon Footprint
Life Cycle Assessment
Climate Change
Sustainable Multi-story Construction
Research Status
Complete
Series
Journal of Building Engineering
Summary
The building industry is a large contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a vast consumer of natural resources. It is estimated that, in the next 40 years, around 415 Gt of CO2 will be released as a result of global construction activities. Therefore, improvements in construction technologies are essential to reduce GHG emissions and thereby attain national and international goals to mitigate climate change. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) has emerged as an innovative alternative material to steel/concrete in building construction, given its relatively low carbon footprint, not to mention its high strength-to-weight ratio, simple installation, and aesthetic features. CLT is a structural composite panel product developed in the early 1990s, and the contemporary generation of CLT buildings are yet to reach the end of their service life. Accordingly, there has been growing interest to understand and optimize the performance of CLT in building construction. In view of that, this paper presents an overview on the feasibility of using CLT in buildings from a life-cycle assessment (LCA) standpoint. The authors performed a brief review on LCA studies conducted in the past decade pertaining to the carbon footprint of CLT buildings. On average, the findings of these studies revealed about 40% reduction in carbon footprint when using CLT in lieu of conventional construction materials (steel/concrete) for multi-story buildings. Furthermore, the paper explores the challenges associated with conducting LCA on CLT buildings, identifies the gaps in knowledge, and outlines directions for future research.
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Circular economy in wood construction – Additive manufacturing of fully recyclable walls made from renewables: Proof of concept and preliminary data

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue3129
Year of Publication
2022
Topic
Environmental Impact
Application
Walls
Author
Kromoser, B.
Reichenbach, S.
Hellmayr, R.
Myna, R.
Wimmer, R.
Organization
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Publisher
Elsevier
Year of Publication
2022
Format
Journal Article
Application
Walls
Topic
Environmental Impact
Keywords
Circular Economy
Wood Construction
Additive Manufacturing
3D printing
Recycling
Life Cycle Assessment
Research Status
Complete
Series
Construction and Building Materials
Summary
Additive manufacturing of fully recyclable walls, made of a composite of renewable secondary resources, offers the wood construction industry the possibility to manufacture structures within a circular economy. The newly developed composite material is extruded in a dry state before using water and heat to ensure proper bonding. Following a summary of the state of the art, concepts for material, manufacturing, application and recycling are presented. First preliminary experiments and an evaluation of the environmental impact show the potential of the innovative strategy. Considering the obtained results, current issues and future research demand are presented.
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93 records – page 1 of 10.