Have you ever started a construction or home improvement project and wondered how your project affects the environment? I know I think about this all the time and try to do as much research as possible on the products I’m using and the companies I’m hiring. And I also try to share as much of that information as I can on this blog. The thing is, when it comes to building materials, measuring their environmental impact is all pretty murky and there aren’t a lot of standards or certification boards that we, as consumers, can check with.
However, according to an article by Scott Gibson on the Green Building Advisor website, environmental impact summaries are now available for certain North American wood products.
“The ‘environmental product declarations,’ or EPDs, list such things as the global warming potential, ozone depletion potential and fossil-fuel consumption for various categories of products. The new declarations cover softwood lumber, plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), and glue-laminated lumber.”
According to Gibson, these environmental product declarations “are ‘cradle-to-gate’ assessments, weighing the environmental impact from the harvest of raw materials to the point where products are ready to leave the manufacturer.”
Now, the trick is for consumers, home builders, and general contractors to start doing their research and selecting the lumber products with the best scores so that the lumber producers and Wood Councils know this is actually important to all of us.
Related article: Green Building Myths