A renewable, remarkable resource
Wood’s carbon impact is small compared to building materials like concrete and steel. Studies performed by the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM), found that wood performed far better than steel or concrete in residential buildings. Wood also sequesters, or stores, carbon even after harvest, which keeps it out of the atmosphere.
Nearly 100 percent of a tree can be used to make wood products or energy: That’s nearly every last bit of bark, needle sap and sawdust. No part of a tree is wasted. In fact, much of the energy used at mills and for manufacturing wood products comes from bioenergy provided by wood.
As a way to provide information about which building materials have the lowest environmental impact, a tool called a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) measures the energy consumed and waste generated during all phases of a material’s life cycle, from manufacture through its eventual disposal.