Increasingly, wood from sustainably managed forests is viewed as a responsible choice—for a number of reasons. Wood grows naturally by harnessing energy from the sun, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. It is renewable and a carbon sink, and outperforms other materials in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, and other impact indicators. But what about the forest? The benefits above notwithstanding, how can building designers be sure that specifying wood doesn’t negatively impact the North American forest resource? As this course will demonstrate, the answer to that question has several elements.
- Evaluate the use of wood as a construction material in the context of long-term forest sustainability as well as attributes such as low embodied energy and light carbon footprint.
- Discuss forest sustainability measures such as biodiversity, soil and water quality, and harvest vs. net growth.
- Examine the concept that using wood in buildings provides an incentive to landowners to keep forested lands forested instead of converting them to uses such as urban development.
- Compare the carbon benefits of an unmanaged forest vs. a managed forestwhere timber is used for wood buildings.
Equivalencies: 1.0 Hours of Instruction = 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEU) = 1 Professional Development Hours (PDH) = 1 Learning Units (LU)