Are we able to dive deeper into these numbers to find ways to reduce a building’s carbon footprint in meaningful ways? What are the methods used to measure building material carbon footprint and do they tell the whole story? Are there simple tools to assess material choices? This course seeks to address these and other questions by explaining the principal methods and tools that are used to assess carbon footprint in the context of building materials.
It includes a primer on product terminology, including life cycle assessment (LCA), environmental product declarations (EPDs), carbon footprint, embodied carbon, and whole building LCA (WBLCA) tools. It explains how biogenic carbon is treated in standard LCA methodology and dives into the forest side of the equation, explaining basics of the sustainable forestry cycle. This course also highlights some ways to track and assure wood comes from sustainable forests in North America and why demand for wood products supports investment in forest management.