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CEU series examines environmental footprint and performance properties of wood, concrete, and steel

September 29, 2011 |


naturally:wood, a resource of British Columbia’s Forestry Innovation Investment, has released “A Natural Choice: How Wood Contributes to Sustainability’s Triple Bottom Line,” the third CEU course in a three-part series dedicated to examining and comparing the environmental footprint of wood, concrete and steel. Together, the three courses offer architects and specifiers an overview of each material’s performance attributes and explore how wood fits into the overall design of a sustainably built structure.

The three courses comprise:

Part 1: “Materials Matter”

Designing sustainable buildings requires an understanding of the environmental footprint of each material in the structure. Using research and facts, “Materials Matter” examines the differences between three common building materials—wood, steel and concrete—in terms of their environmental footprint at several stages of the life-cycle process, including raw resource extraction, manufacturing and transportation. Responsible procurement, sustainability and community issues also are discussed.

Part 2: “Materials in Action”

The second course delves even deeper by exploring how wood, concrete and steel have an environmental impact on building construction, operation and end of life. This article explains the differences between these three materials in terms of basic characteristics and material properties, performance during the building operations phase, and sustainability factors including carbon footprint and material reuse.

Part 3: “A Natural Choice”

By examining how wood contributes to a project’s environmental bottom line, the final course in the series provides a broader view of the meaning of sustainability, while offering specific examples of rating systems and defining green design. BD+C

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