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American Wood Council

GB500-A – Evaluating the Carbon Footprint of Wood Buildings


PDF SelfStudy

Worldwide, there has been increasing focus on the carbon footprint of buildings and recognition that design professionals are uniquely positioned to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by creating high-performance structures. There are an increasing number of life cycle assessment (LCA) tools that allow designers to evaluate and compare buildings based on a range of indicators such as air pollution, water pollution, and waste. This course examines the environmental impacts of wood products—from the global scale of the world’s forests to the individual scale of efficient, adaptable, and innovative buildings—using real-world examples from two U.S. carbon calculators as well as the latest research on LCA.

Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you should be able to:

  1. Examine the natural cycle of carbon absorption and storage, and the role of forests and wood products in mitigating carbon emissions.
  2. Discuss the role of wood products sourced from sustainably managed forests in the design of sustainable, environmentally positive buildings.
  3. Explain the low embodied energy of wood products, and how this translates into avoided carbon emissions throughout their life cycles.
  4. Compare the carbon benefits of example buildings based on the results of two calculators.

To ​earn AIA credit, please go to http://www.rethinkwood.com/resource-library/grid?term_node_tid_depth=22&term_node_tid_depth_1=All&items_per_page=12.

Equivalencies: 1.0 Hours of Instruction = 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEU) = 1 Professional Development Hours (PDH) = 1 Learning Units (LU)

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