MP11B Case Studies on Forestry Products
1:20 PM - 4:40 PM, Monday

() Forest to Product: Cradle-to-gate life cycle inventories of structural wood products.

Puettmann, M1, Wilson, W1, 1 Oregon State University, Dept. of Wood Science and Engineering, Corvallis, OR, USA

ABSTRACT- The objective of this study was to develop a cradle-to-gate life cycle inventory (LCI) for the production of residential structural building components made from wood. Resources and manufacturing facilities were studied for the Pacific Northwest and Southeast regions of the United States. LCIs were developed for dimension lumber, plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), composite I-joists, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), and glued laminated beams (glulam). Primary data was used in most cases, with the forest resource data based on established management models for the region, and surveys of manufacturers of each product representing 10-70% of total region production capacity. Three life-cycle stages were considered: 1. forest management and wood removal, 2. wood products manufacturing (gate-to-gate), and 3. raw material and wood product transportation. Environmental performance was rated on total embodied energy for each life-cycle stage and included total energy consumption in the form of heat energy, mechanical energy, electricity and transportation, as well as emissions to air, water, and land resulting from fuel production and combustion and product manufacturing emissions. Results showed differences in environmental burdens between regions and types of product produced. These differences were primarily associated with more intensive forest management practices and the greater amount of moisture and natural resin for the Southeast wood species. Heat energy requirements for wood drying and hot pressing operations had the highest usage of total energy within every product. On average, 84 and 91 percent from of this heat energy was from combustion of biomass (wood residues) in the Pacific Northwest and southeast regions, respectively. Of the total carbon emitted as CO2, biomass combustions accounted from nearly 68% in Pacific Northwest and 50% in the Southeast. The results from this study provided the necessary data for evaluating the environmental performance of wood building products. At the same time, the data created a foundation from a holistic standpoint, which can be further used for comparison to alternative non-wood building materials and between various wood products.

Key words: wood products, life cycle inventory, embodied energy, emissions

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