Progress 03/08/11 to 12/31/11
OUTPUTS: This project was primarily aimed at identifying the environmental impact of using redwood as a decking material relative to competing materials, in this case wood-plastic composites. The environmental impact was determined using life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques conducted to ISO 14040 standards. Conducting the LCI/LCA to these standards provided the added credibility that the results are not only scientifically sound, but had been reviewed by independent experts. This extra level of effort was aimed at meeting current marketing needs and also supported the potential for future endeavors should the California Redwood Association (CRA) choose to pursue environmental product declarations (EPD). In addition to completing the LCA, data from a 2009 market survey was used to identify key perceptions of deck-builders regarding the strengths and weaknesses of redwood decking relative to these competing products. This module of the study helped identify how best to use the environmental performance data generated by the LCA in a marketing campaign. The final output from this project was a completed and peer-reviewed life cycle assessment for redwood lumber including a comparison to three substitute decking materials. The redwood LCA was completed at the request of the redwood decking industry and a presentation of the results was made at the annual meeting of the California Redwood Association as well as at the annual meeting of the CRA Board of Directors. PARTICIPANTS: This project represented a collaborative effort between CORRIM and CINTRAFOR at the University of Washington as well as the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison Wisconsin and the California Redwood Association located in Pleasant Hill, CA. In addition, the senior managers and/or owners of the major redwood lumber manufacturers in California also cooperated with the research team on this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this project was primarily the redwood lumber manufacturers located in the western US. A secondary audience is deck builders who are interested in using environmentally friendly wood decking materials where the environmental benefits have been evaluated using a life-cycle assessment method. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.
The results of the project were used to support a promotional efforts designed to highlight the environmental benefits of redwood lumber relative to plastic decking. The life cycle assessment (LCA) results will also support the development of an Environmental Product Declaration for redwood decking in the future.
- Bergman, Richard D. (presented); Han, Han-Sup; Oneil, Elaine; and Eastin, Ivan. 2012. Life-cycle assessment of redwood decking made in northern California with a comparison to three other decking materials. Poster presentation. FPS 66th International Convention. Washington, DC. June 3-5, 2012. (Published Abstract).
- Bergman, Richard D. (presented); Han, Han-Sup; Oneil, Elaine; and Eastin, Ivan L. 2012. Life-cycle inventory analysis of manufacturing redwood decking. Oral presentation. Society of Wood Science and Technology 55th International Convention. Beijing, China. August 27-31, 2012. (Published Proceedings).
- Bergman, Richard D.; Han, Han-Sup; Oneil, Elaine; and Eastin, Ivan L. 2012. Life-cycle inventory analysis of manufacturing redwood decking. In: Proceedings, Society of Wood Science and Technology 55th International Convention. Madison, WI: SRF-9:1-8.