Good for wood - lifecycle database for products

Wood Focus magazine
28 Apr 2014

A lifecycle database for wood products launched in London,UK, this month. Can the system breathe new life into the building sector? Rachel Lawler reports.

UK firm Wood for Good announced the launch of the British construction industry’s largest lifecycle assessment sector database at a recent event in London. The launch coincided with the opening of 2014’s Embodied Carbon Week, an initiative from the UK Green Building Council. The free-to-use database aims to help the specification of timber products in construction schemes.

The database comprises information on the entire lifecycle of timber products from forestry, harvesting, transport, processing and manufacturing. The resource also takes into account end of life options for wood products. Users will be given information about the amount of embodied and sequestered carbon in each material, as well as water footprints and other lifecycle impacts. This will allow specifiers to make informed choices about the materials they select and their environmental impact. Information given will cover modern-engineered solutions including cross-laminated timber.

The system demonstrates that all the products studied have a negative carbon rating, showing that the amount of carbon absorbed and stored in the timber is greater than that emitted from harvesting, processing and transportation. The database provides information about the carbon cost of manufacturing materials as well as the energy performance of stock once it has been built.

David Hopkins, Project Director at Wood for Good, said he hoped the tool would help encourage developers to choose wood in their projects. The company also plans to publish a user guide for the database to help project developers use the data effectively.

Further information
To access the database, visit  

American hardwood industry first past post
The American Hardwood Export Council will be able to provide a comprehensive environmental profile for every individual consignment of American hardwood product delivered anywhere in the world, using a newly developed process. The system has been made available to the council’s membership, helping the sector become the first to provide lifecycle data with each consignment.