The 58th International Convention of Society of Wood Science and Technology
June 7-12, 2015, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming, USA
Documenting the environmental performance of building products is becoming increasingly common. Developing environmental product declarations (EPDs) based on life-cycle assessment (LCA) data is one way to provide scientific documentation. Many U.S. structural wood products have LCA-based “eco-labels” using the ISO standard. However, the standard requires underlying life-cycle inventory (LCI) data to be of recent age. This study updates the gate-to-gate manufacturing LCI data for laminated veneer lumber (LVL) for Pacific Northwestern (PNW) and for southeastern (SE) United States. Modeling the primary industry data per 1.0 m3 of LVL through LCI analysis provides the inputs and outputs from veneer logs to LVL starting at the forest landing. For PNW and SE, cumulative mass-allocated energy consumption associated with manufacturing 1.0 m3 of LVL was found to be 5.64 and 6.87 GJ/m3, respectively, with about 25% of the primary energy derived from wood residues. Emission data produced through modeling found that estimated biomass and fossil CO2 emissions in kg/m3 were 127 and 139 for the PNW and 108 and 169 for the SE. One m3 (~535 OD kg wood potion) of LVL stores about 980 kg CO2 equivalents. The amount of carbon stored in LVL thus exceeds total CO2 emissions during manufacturing by about 350%. This study provides the necessary gate-to-gate LVL manufacturing LCI data for the cradle-to-gate LCA to develop an updated EPD.