Wood A Natural Choice - How the Building Material Contributes to Sustainable Design


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This presentation contributes to the discourse on sustainability that is driving ongoing improvement in the way buildings are designed and constructed. Specifically, it focuses on the growing trends of wood use as a low environmental-impact building material and the effect green building rating systems have on design choices.

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Wood A Natural Choice - How the Building Material Contributes to Sustainable Design

  1. 1. A Natural Choice How Wood Contributes to Sustainability’s Triple Bottom Line (Part 3 of a 3-part series) Photo: naturallywood.com
  2. 2. Overview Materials Matter (Part 1) Materials in Action (Part 2) A Natural Choice (Part 3)
  3. 3. Copyright Materials This presentation is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Reproduction, distribution, display and use of the presentation without written permission of reThink Wood is prohibited. © 2013, reThink Wood, www.rethinkwood.com
  4. 4. Learning Objectives  Describe accepted definitions of sustainability.  Discuss ways in which wood contributes to sustainable design.  Explain the trends behind the increased use of wood as an environmentally sound building material.  Evaluate the impact of building rating systems and codes on environmentally sound design.
  5. 5. Table of Contents Section 1 True Sustainability Section 2 Wood and the Environment Section 3 Wood and Social Goals Section 4 Wood and Economic Considerations Section 5 Codes & Green Rating Systems
  7. 7. Sustainable Development “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” -- Brundtland Commission, 1987 United Nations
  8. 8. Sustainable Building  Up 50% from 2008-2010, from $42 billion to $71 billion  Accounted for 25% of new construction in 2010  Estimated to reach $135 billion by 2015 Green Outlook 2011: Green Trends Driving Growth McGraw-Hill Construction Blackfeet Community College Montana Architect: Gordon Whirry LEED Platinum Photo courtesy of Gordon Whirry
  9. 9. Elements of Sustainable Design  Sitting and structural design  Energy efficiency  Materials efficiency  Indoor air quality  Operations and maintenance  Waste reduction Photo: Jeremy Bitterman, courtesy EHDD David & Lucile Packard Foundation California Architect: EHDD LEED Gold and Net Zero Energy
  11. 11. Wood and the Environment University of Washington West Campus Student Housing – Phase 1 Washington Architect: Mahlum Photo: naturallywood.com; Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
  12. 12. Life Cycle Assessment  Allows comparison of alternate building designs based on their estimated environmental impacts  Promotes informed decision-making
  13. 13. LCA Studies  Wood is better for the environment in terms of air pollution, embodied energy, greenhouse gases and water pollution. Source: Data compiled by the Canadian Wood Council using the ATHENA EcoCalculator with a data set for Toronto, Canada
  14. 14. Comparing Wall Assemblies Source: CORRIM Minneapolis House Wood Frame Steel Frame Difference Steel vs. Wood (% change) Embodied energy (GJ) 250 296 46 18% Global warming potential (CO2 kg) 13,009 17,262 4,253 33% Air emission index (index scale) 3,820 4.222 402 11% Water emission index (index scale) 3 29 26 867% Solid waste (total kg) 3,496 3,181 -315 -9% Atlanta House Wood Frame Steel Frame Difference Steel vs. Wood (% change) Embodied energy (GJ) 168 231 63 38% Global warming potential (CO2 kg) 8,345 14,982 6,637 80% Air emission index (index scale) 2,313 3,372 1,060 46% Water emission index (index scale) 2 2 0 0% Solid waste (total kg) 2,325 6,152 3,827 164%
  15. 15. The U.S. Forest Service is now:  Preferentially selecting wood in new building construction  Actively looking for ways to demonstrate innovative uses of wood using green building rating systems Herrington Recovery Center Wisconsin Architect: TWP Architecture LEED Gold Shaping Government Policy Photo: Curtis Waltz
  16. 16. Sustainable Forestry Carbon Cycle
  17. 17. Making Informed Material Choices  Replacing steel floor joists with engineered wood joists reduces the carbon footprint of the joists by nearly 10 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of wood used Photo: APA
  18. 18. Calculated using the WoodWorks Carbon Calculator, available at woodworks.org Calculating Carbon Benefits Avalon Anaheim Stadium California Architect: Withee Malcolm Architects Photo: © Arden Photography
  19. 19. North American Forests  50 years of forest growth that exceeds harvest  More certified forests than anywhere else in the world As of August 2013 Sources: www.pefc.org, www.fscus.org, www.fsccanada.org, www.fsc.org, www.certificationcanada.org, www.mtc.com.my
  20. 20. Sustainable Forest Certification  Verifies that a forest meets the requirements of the certification standard  Two international umbrella organizations – FSC and PEFC  More than 50 certification standards worldwide
  21. 21. End of Life Issues What happens to a material at the end of its useful service life? Photos: Dreamstime stock photos
  22. 22. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse Once considered waste, sawdust from lumber manufacturing is now used to make composite products or as a renewable energy source. Photo: naturallywood.com
  23. 23. Design for Deconstruction Increasingly, wood from buildings is being reclaimed and reused. Photos: Dreamstime stock photos
  25. 25. Carby Chapel Center Texas Architect: Roesler Associates, Inc./Architects Michael Ortega Architectural Photography Wood and Social Goals
  26. 26. Michael Smith Laboratory, University of British Columbia British Columbia Architect: IBI Group/Henriquez Partners Architects Photo: naturallywood.com
  27. 27. Study: Wood and Health Herrington Recovery Center Wisconsin Architect: TWP Architecture Photo: Curtis Waltz
  28. 28. Wood in Schools Rosa Parks Elementary School Washington Architect: Mahlum Architects Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
  30. 30. Wood Costs Less Photo: APA  Lower material costs  Faster construction  Reduced foundation  Availability of skilled tradespeople Photo: VanDorpe Chou Associates
  31. 31. El Dorado High School Arkansas Architect: CADM Architecture High School Saved $2.7 Million Photos: W.I. Bell (under construction); Dennis Ivy
  32. 32. Direct and Indirect Jobs  U.S. – 900,000 American Wood Council  Canada – 600,000 Forest Products Association of Canada  Worldwide – 1.6 billion World Bank Photos: naturallywood.com
  34. 34. Codes and Green Rating Systems  California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen)  First U.S. code to incorporate life cycle assessment  ASHRAE 189.1  Sets minimum green building requirements  First code-intended standard for high-performance buildings in the U.S.  International Green Construction Code  Released in 2012, being adopted on a voluntary basis
  35. 35. Recognizing Wood’s Value Carbon benefits of El Dorado High School Estimated using the Carbon Calculator, available at woodworks.org  Grows naturally, renewable  Low embodied energy  Less air/water pollution  Light carbon footprint  Adaptable / reusable / recyclable
  36. 36.  LEED  Green Globes  Built Green  NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines Photo: Anne Garrison Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment California Architect: Safdie Rabines Architects LEED Silver Green Rating Systems in North America
  37. 37. Green Rating Systems in North America  Living Building Challenge  SB Tool Bullitt Center Washington Architect: The Miller Hull Partnership Living Building Challenge 2.0 Photo: John Stamets
  38. 38. International Green Rating Systems Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts United Kingdom Architect: Sheppard Robson BREEAM Outstanding Photo: Sheppard Robson
  39. 39. Rating Systems and Wood Wood’s most significant ecological benefits—that it is the only carbon-neutral construction material and that it can significantly reduce a building’s life cycle impacts—are largely unrecognized by the most commonly used rating systems. -- Light House Sustainable Building Centre “ “
  40. 40. Passive House Standard Austria House British Columbia Architect: Treberspurg & Partner Architekten Photo: Ira Nicolai  Focuses solely on reducing energy consumption
  41. 41. Photo: naturallywood.com
  42. 42. THANK YOU! For more information on building with wood, visit rethinkwood.com