Western Red Cedar (WRC) aesthetic, economic, and environmental benefits are just some of the reasons why builders and designers are increasingly gravitating to this species of wood. Presented here are modern, historical, and cultural uses of western red cedar, as well as its performance characteristics, grade specification, and finishes. Also discussed are sustainable forest management practices and certification agencies, and how sustainably sourced wood can contribute to LEED® credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the historical and cultural use and significance of western red cedar and how it brings natural warmth to traditional and modern architecture.
  • Examine western red cedar’s proven performance characteristics, including its versatility, sustainability, durability, resistance to rot, and effectiveness as an insulator and acoustic barrier.
  • Identify third-party forest certification agencies (ISO, CSA, SFI, ATFS, and FSC®) focused on maintaining protection of biodiversity, preserving soil and water quality, and sustainable forest management
  • Explore sustainable forest management best practices and how wood products from certified sources can contribute to LEED credits.
  • Analyze case studies where WRC was specified for environmental sustainability, aesthetic characteristics, and ability to blend into the natural environment.

Pre-requisite: Basic knowledge of wood specification standards.