Wood and Sustainable Building - Lunch & Learn

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Find out how wood construction can contribute to a sustainable building. Using scientifically based life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, this session demonstrates why wood products are better for the environment than other materials in terms of indicators such as global warming potential and resource depletion. LCA is becoming the world standard for evaluating the sustainability of materials and assemblies and improving environmentally based decision-making. See why wood from well-managed forests and plantations is a good choice when it comes to climate change.

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Wood and Sustainable Building - Lunch & Learn

  1. 1. Wood and Sustainable Building<br />Project: Redwoods Treehouse<br />Architect: Pacific Environments Architects<br />Location: Warkworth, New Zealand <br />Image: Lucy Gauntlett Design<br />
  2. 2. Learn more about wood at UTAS<br />Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood<br />Graduate Certificate in Timber (Processing & Building)<br />4 units, part time, online<br />Areas covered include:<br />Wood science<br />Design for durability and service for life<br />Timber as a renewable resource<br />Sustainable design and construction<br />Engineered wood products<br />International technologies and developments<br />Plus, selected topics of individual interest<br />More information: Associate Professor Greg Nolan <br />(03) 6324 4478 or enquiries@arch.utas.edu.auwww.csaw.utas.edu.au<br />
  3. 3. Learning Objectives<br />After this presentation you should be able to:<br />Understand how wood can contribute to a sustainable building<br />Compare wood products to other materials using Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology<br />Understand why specifying wood from well-managed forests and plantations is good way to minimise the carbon footprint of a built structure<br />For architects - AACA Competencies:<br />Design<br />Documentation<br />
  4. 4. This Presentation<br />What is LCA? Benefits and limitations<br />International applications<br />Australian applications / requirements<br />BPIC project<br />LCA and timber in Australia<br />Whole of building: FWPA RMIT LCA<br />Whole of Australia<br />Element scale<br />Where is the field likely to go from here?<br />
  5. 5. Environmental Buzzwords<br />Reused, recycled, recycled content<br />Carbon neutral<br />Non-toxic, non-virgin, PVC-free<br />Natural, renewable, rapidly renewable<br />Durable<br />Green<br />Sustainable<br />Locally sourced<br />Low VOC, low formaldehyde<br />Climate/earth/environmentally/eco/<br /> dolphin friendly<br />Project: Art Gallery of Ontario<br />Architect: Gehry International Architects<br />Engineer: HalcrowYolles<br />Location: Toronto, Canada<br />
  6. 6. How do Specifiers Decide?<br />Make an educated guess – based on personal experience<br />or<br />Use peers, friends, third parties<br />or<br />Don’t decide - decision paralysis<br />Project: Dusk Bar<br />Architects: Campbell Drake<br />Location: St. Kilda, VIC<br />
  7. 7. Third Parties: e.g. Green Star, Ecospecifier<br />
  8. 8. Lifecycle Flow Chart<br />
  9. 9. What is LCA?<br />Standard method to evaluate environmental imposts associated with a product or process over its life cycle <br />Identifies and quantifies energy and materials inputs and waste outputs to the environment<br />Assesses the affect of identified energy and materials inputs and outputs on the environment<br />Evaluates opportunities to improve or reduce<br />
  10. 10. Components of an LCA<br />ISO 14040 series<br />
  11. 11. 1. Goal and Scope<br />Goal<br />Intended application and audience<br />Comparative? Public?<br />Scope:<br />System boundary<br />Functional unit / functional equivalence<br />List assumptions<br />Project: Richmond Olympic Oval<br />Architect: Cannon Design<br />Engineer: Fast & Epp<br />Location: Richmond, Canada <br />
  12. 12. 1. Goal and Scope: Functional Unit<br />Basic unit of measurement<br />e.g.<br />1 m3 of sawn timber<br />1 m2 of brick wall<br />1 tonne steel<br />Single brick<br />1 m2 of floor area per year<br />
  13. 13. 1. Goal and Scope: Functional Equivalence<br />Comparing things that do the same thing<br />OK<br />Insulated timber wall frame vs insulated steel wall frame<br />5 star timber clad/framed house vs 5 star double brick house<br />Not generally OK<br />kg steel vs kg concrete<br />m3aluminiumvs m3 wood<br />
  14. 14. 2. Inventory – Inputs and Outputs <br />
  15. 15. 3. Impact Assessment - Categories<br />Commonly used:<br />Global warming potential (greenhouse effect)<br />Eutrophication (water pollution)<br />Smog formation, ozone depletion<br />Acidification (acid rain)<br />Human toxicity, aquatic toxicity<br />Non-renewable resource depletion<br />Water use / depletion<br />Land transformation and use<br />Solid waste<br />Project: Redwoods Treehouse<br />Architect: Pacific Environments Architects<br />Location: Warkworth, New Zealand<br />Image: Lucy Gauntlett Design<br />
  16. 16. 3. Impact Assessment – Optional Elements<br />Normalisation (magnitude of impacts relative to a reference)<br />e.g. Australian average per capita<br />World average per capita<br />Weighting to get one number= “the answer”<br />e.g. <br />GHG 30%, water use 20%, resource depletion 10% …… = 100%<br />GHG 10%, photochemical 10%, eutrophication 10% …. =100%<br />
  17. 17. 4. Interpretation and Improvement<br />Conclusions and recommendations<br />Consistent with goal and scope<br />Project: Permanent Camping<br />Architect: Casey Brown Architecture <br />Location: Mudgee, NSW<br />
  18. 18. 4. Interpretation and Improvement<br />
  19. 19. Benefits of LCA<br />Methodical approach / international standards<br />Reveals trade-offs<br />Scalable - can cover small part of process or whole-of-life cycle of a product or service<br />Identifies areas for process and/or supply chain improvement and investment<br />Identifies strengths and weaknesses vs competitors<br />Save $$$ <br />Reduce exposure to risk<br />
  20. 20. Benefits of LCA<br />Allows proactive rather than reactive action<br />Comprehensive, authoritative and objective <br />Provides customers quality information for decision making (and more informed questions!)<br />Goes “beyond carbon” on sustainability<br />Support of industry and academics <br />
  21. 21. Limitations of LCA<br />Not every factor can be reduced to a number and modelled<br />Rigid system boundaries make accounting for changes in the system difficult<br />Data quality: availability, accuracy, completeness and representative<br />Social implications of products are generally lacking<br />Lack of agreement on allocation method for inputs/outputs of co-products and/or end-of-life<br />There are guidelines to help reduce such conflicts <br />Spatially and temporal limitations – particularly important for renewable materials<br />
  22. 22. International Applications<br />In Building<br />ATHENA/CORRIM – North America<br />Detached housing and commercial<br />MAF / SCION – New Zealand<br />Commercial<br />Project: Outcrop House <br />Architect: Peter Stutchbury Architecture <br />Engineer: Simon May <br />Location: North Beaches, NSW<br />Image:Michael Nicholson<br />
  23. 23. International Applications<br />
  24. 24. Australian Applications & Requirements<br />Australian Government:<br />Scoping study for building materials<br />Carbon offset standard<br />Industry organisations:<br />Think Brick - Energetics<br />FWPA – RMIT University<br />Companies:<br />Plastics, water, waste, agriculture, construction materials<br />
  25. 25. Australian Use of LCA: Carbon Offset Standard<br />Carbon neutral products<br />100% of GHG emissions associated with the life cycle of product or service offset through approved GHG abatement measures<br />Assessed using LCA methodology<br />Verified by independent LCA practitioners<br />
  26. 26. Australian Use of LCA: BPIC LCI Project<br />Objectives<br />Level playing field <br />Define environmental impact categories – get on front foot<br />Get all major building materials to collect LCI <br />Develop rules about use of data<br />Develop environmental weightings <br />Industry alternative if sustainability of building materials is regulated<br />
  27. 27. Applications for Australian companies and their clients<br />NGERS reporting driving LCA take-up<br />Some developers committed to beyond NGERS – total company carbon neutrality (e.g. Bovis Lend Lease)<br />Used in marketing timber:<br />www.timbeck.com.au<br />www.watimberframing.com.au<br />
  28. 28. LCA and building timber in Australia<br />LCA Houses - RMIT<br />DEH Scoping LCA<br /> LCA Windows - BRANZ<br />
  29. 29. FWPA RMIT LCA: Objectives<br />Compare the env. impact for the whole of life of a typical house design<br />Five construction systems over three climates<br />Test Australian forest and wood products Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data collected by CSIRO <br />Highlight gaps in information and areas for improvement<br />Incorporate and inform the development of standard methodologies for LCI and LCA for all building materials<br />Produce a credible LCA reference for use by the wood building products industry<br />
  30. 30. FWPA RMIT LCA: Methodology<br />
  31. 31. FWPA RMIT LCA: Methodology<br />Functional unit – 1m2 per year<br />50 year life (standard)<br />Excluded non-heating/cooling energy consumption<br />Reviewed by other building materials representatives and housing industry<br />
  32. 32. FWPA RMIT LCA: House Plan<br />
  33. 33. FWPA RMIT LCA: Key results<br />Materials matter!<br />
  34. 34. Think Brick LCA: Key results<br />
  35. 35. FWPA RMIT LCA: Key Results <br />Whole of Life Carbon Footprint- 5 star <br />
  36. 36. FWPA RMIT LCA: Key results<br />Carbon footprint reductions using timber<br />
  37. 37. FWPA RMIT LCA: Key results<br />Substituting steel framing with timber <br />↓10 tCO2e<br />Substituting brick cladding with timber<br />↓7 tCO2e<br />Substituting concrete slab with timber <br />↓3 tCO2e<br />
  38. 38. FWPA RMIT LCA: Key results<br />Avoided GHG emissions using timber equivalent to up to 8-26 years of GHG emissions from heating/cooling<br />
  39. 39. FWPA LCA: Key results<br />Water:<br />Timber houses “use” more water<br />Water used in LCI forest in LCI <br />Water use is not differentiated based on affect<br />Land Use<br />Timber houses “use” more land<br />Land use not differentiated based on affect<br />
  40. 40. FWPA LCA: Key results<br />Resource Depletion (non-renewable minerals and fossil fuels)<br />Timber framed houses up to 16% reduction compared to steel<br />Weatherboard up to 12% reduction compared to brick<br />Photochemical oxidation (smog)<br />Timber framed houses 10-29% lower emissions compared to steel<br />
  41. 41. FWPA LCA: Conclusions<br />Substituting timber for steel, concrete, brick can reduce global warming<br />Work needed on characterising water and land use for Australian conditions<br />Affects from non-timber materials in a timber house can dominate<br />End-of-life assumptions are critical<br />Project: Trojan House<br />Architect: Jackson Clements Burrows Architects<br />Engineer: Adams Consulting Engineers <br />Location:Hawthorn, Victoria<br />Image: John Clements<br />
  42. 42. Australian Use of LCA: DEH<br />Scoping Study to Investigate Measures to Improve Environmental Sustainability of Building Materials<br />Australian Department of Environment and Heritage<br />Global Warming Potential (GWP) of building materials projected to increase by 40% by 2055<br />
  43. 43. Australian Use of LCA: DEH<br />Global warming potential – by material<br />
  44. 44. Australian Use of LCA: DEH<br />Windows<br />External walls<br />Structural steel<br />Flooring<br />Framing<br />Global warming potential – by application<br />
  45. 45. Australian Use of LCA: Windows<br />Window size is the most dominant factor influencing environmental impact<br />Frames about third largest factor<br />Overall aluminium skinned timber framed windows performed best<br />Followed by hardwood, PVC then aluminium<br />Impact of manufacturing energy as a proportion of total life cycle impact much higher than European studies<br />Source: Howard, N. et al (2007) Comparative service life of window systems. Available at http://www.fwpa.com.au/Resources/RD/Reports/PR07.1047%20Final%20Report%20WEB.pdf?c=2<br />
  46. 46. Australian Use of LCA: Windows<br />Aluminium/wood composite window frame performed best<br />Aluminium on outside meant no maintenance<br />Wood provides thermal break<br />Image courtesy of JELD_WEN Australia<br />
  47. 47. Where is the field likely to go from here?<br />EPDs – Environmental Product Declarations<br />ISO 21930<br />Ecolabels:<br />GECA /Green Tag<br />New ecolabels / ratings tools<br />Note - winners and losers<br />Carbon footprinting<br />Water footprinting<br />Project: Wave Decks<br />Architect: Spadina, Rees and Simcoe <br />Location: Toronto, Canada<br />
  48. 48. Source: World Resources Institute http://www.wri.org/chart/world-greenhouse-gas-emissions-2005<br />
  49. 49. Learn more about wood at UTAS<br />Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood<br />Graduate Certificate in Timber (Processing & Building)<br />4 units, part time, online<br />Areas covered include:<br />Wood science<br />Design for durability and service for life<br />Timber as a renewable resource<br />Sustainable design and construction<br />Engineered wood products<br />International technologies and developments<br />Plus, selected topics of individual interest<br />More information: Associate Professor Greg Nolan <br />(03) 6324 4478 or enquiries@arch.utas.edu.auwww.csaw.utas.edu.au<br />
  50. 50. More Information<br />

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