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    Author(s): Richard D. BergmanSevda Alanya-Rosenbaum
    Date: 2017
    Source: Forest Products Journal. 67(5/6): 355-367.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (964.0 KB)


    Transparency of environmental impacts for building products is of increasing concern. For wood building products, updating life-cycle assessment (LCA) data are critical to ensure that the corresponding environmental product declarations are of the proper recency to maintain this transparency. This study focused on the developing up-to-date life-cycle inventory (LCI) and associated life-cycle impact assessment (LCIA) data for composite I-joist production in the Southeast (SE) and Pacific Northwest (PNW) regions of the United States. Components of the I-joist production system included in the analysis were laminated veneer lumber (LVL), finger-jointed lumber (FJL), and oriented strandboard (OSB), while the study itself considered five life-cycle stages, including forestry operations and I-joist manufacturing, in addition to the production of the components. Primary 2012 production data were collected and analyzed, and the resultant LCI flow and LCIA results were modeled on a declared unit of 1 km. The cradle-to-gate primary energy consumption was 82.0 and 74.2 GJ/km for all five life-cycle stages in the SE and PNW, respectively. The LVL stage had the highest share at 55 percent (SE) and 51 percent (PNW), followed by OSB and I-joist, while the contribution of forestry operations was minor. The global warming (GW) impact from gate-to-gate I-joist production in the SE, about 59 percent, was attributed to resin inputs and electricity consumption. The main reasons for relatively high GW impacts for LVL and I-joist production were that little wood fuel was available on-site to provide thermal energy for processing and the consumption of natural gas and electricity to aid in emission control.

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    Bergman, Richard D.; Alanya-Rosenbaum, Sevda. 2017. Cradle-to-gate life-cycle assessment of composite I-joist production in the United States. Forest Products Journal. 67(5/6): 355-367.


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    Wood, environmental performance, LCA, life cycle analysis, CORRIM, engineered wood products, environmental impact assessment

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