Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Value of Using Wood: Wood Makes a Building Green

First, I wanted to share with my readers a new video that was recently released by the American Forest Foundation.  It is entitled Wood: A Better Way to Build and was produced in partnership with the US Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory.  It provides a great argument for using wood as a green sustainable building material. 

Here are some of the talking points developed in the six minute video:
1.  Wood is the only major building material that is renewable and sustainable over the long term
2.  Wood provides a 70-80% reduction in emissions compared to concrete and steel
3.  Using wood contributes to the livelihood of 11 million private forest landowners across the US
4.  Using wood allows us to maintain healthy rural communities
5.  Wood feels good, is warm, and has a lot of aesthetic appeal

Next, this video compliments the recent announcement (October 25, 2013) concerning the US General Services Administration's (GSA) recognition of wood as a sustainable building material.  The GSA has agreed to recognize both Green Building Initiative's Green Globes and U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as viable green building rating systems.  For many years the GSA has only recognized LEED, which discourages the use of wood.  This means that the GSA, and other federal agencies, can choose not to use LEED.  This change will allow the federal government to use more wood in their buildings. To read the full announcement on click here.

Additional reasons why wood is a good choice:
- Wood is better for the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and other impacts.  
- Wood helps reduce energy consumption across the life cycle of growth, harvest, transport, manufacture and construction compared to other structural building products. 
- Wood can improve energy efficiency, serving as an excellent insulator.    
- Wood products store carbon, helping to mitigate climate change.  
- Using wood helps to sustain our forests and increases our carbon storage potential.   
Compiled from the American Forest Foundation.

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