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Wood for Good launches the UK construction industy's largest lifecycle assessment sector database

Wood for Good

2 min read Partner content

Wood for Good, the timber industry promotion and sustainability campaign, has launched the largest online lifecycle assessment (LCA) database of any UK construction material.

The free-to-use database has been designed to aid the specification of timber products in construction schemes. It contains environmental performance information on major timber products from cradle to grave.

Wood for Good has gathered data on every aspect of the lifecycle of timber products, from forestry, harvesting, transportation, processing and manufacturing, through to the various end of life options. The resource includes modern-engineered solutions such as cross-laminated timber (CLT).

Using the data, built environment professionals will be able to make informed decisions about the materials they choose and model the impact this will have on the lifecycle performance of the buildings they design.

A key initial finding from the database is that each of the products studied has a carbon negative rating on a cradle-to-site basis. This means that the amount of carbon absorbed and stored in the timber is greater than that emitted from harvesting, processing and transportation.

David Hopkins, project director at Wood for Good, said: “Timber products require very low energy inputs for production – relative to many mainstream building materials – and therefore have a low-embodied energy and carbon rating.

“Our conversations with specifiers have revealed that while most are already convinced of this, and the many other benefits of wood, they often lack the empirical evidence to endorse its use with their clients.

“Harnessing all of the environmental and design data that customers need in order to choose timber products in one convenient hub, will support the increased specification of timber.

“Our initial findings demonstrate that timber has enormous potential to help improve the environmental impact of the building industry. It absorbs carbon dioxide during the growth phase, stores this carbon throughout its life, requires very little energy to process and manufacture and can be used as a low-carbon fuel or a resource for further timber products at end of life.

“Through the launch of this resource, and its ongoing development, we aim to position timber as the first choice material for sustainable building.”

Access the lifecycle database on the Wood for Good website.

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