Trees clean the air we breathe by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, storing the carbon in their wood, roots, leaves or needles and surrounding soil, and releasing the oxygen back into the atmosphere. Young, vigorously growing trees absorb the most carbon dioxide, with the rate slowing as they reach maturity.
When trees start to decay or when forests succumb to wildfire, insects or disease, the stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere. However, when trees are harvested and manufactured into forest products, the products continue to store much of the carbon. In the case of wood buildings, this carbon is kept out of the atmosphere for the lifetime of the structure—or longer if the wood is reclaimed and manufactured into other products.
In any of these cases, the carbon cycle begins again as the forest is regenerated, either naturally or by planting, and young seedlings once again begin absorbing carbon.
Manufacturing wood into products requires far less energy than other materials, and very little fossil fuel energy. Most of the energy that is used comes from converting residual bark and sawdust to electrical and thermal energy, adding to wood’s light carbon footprint. This is particularly interesting to policymakers and design professionals alike. They realise the positive impact forests and forest products have on greenhouse gases.
Wood from British Columbia (B.C.), Canada is procured from sustainably managed forests and third-party certified to forest standards such as PEFC / FSC, assuring Indian customers of its environmental credentials.
The goal of green design is to achieve sustainability by designing and building structures that use less energy, water and materials, and minimize impacts on human health and the environment.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) supports this by providing an assessment of the resource consumption — including energy, emissions and waste — throughout the building’s life. It means adding up the inputs and outputs for every framing member, panel, fastener, finish material, coating and other materials used in the building.
LCA is accepted around the world and is a powerful tool for illustrating the full life-long environmental impacts of choosing one building material over another. It is incorporated into many green building rating systems.