|Abstract or Summary
- The objective of this study is to complete life cycle inventories (LCI) for laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and composite I-joist (I-joist) production in the two main forest products producing regions in the U.S., the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and Southeast (SE). LVL and I-joists are composite wood building materials that are commonly used for residential and light commercial construction. LVL is used as a replacement for structural lumber and is made from wood veneer. I-joists are most commonly used as replacements for structural lumber in floor and roof systems. The primary objective of the LCI is to gather data to measure all aspects of the material, energy, and emissions inputs and outputs (Tibor, 1996). The LCI's were completed using SimaPro version 5.0.9 LCl/LCA software which is written by Pre' Consultants B.V. The LCI's were generated from both primary surveys, which were completed by the product manufacturers, and secondary data from external sources. These sources included, the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), The Franklin Associates (FAL), ATHENATM (ATHENA, 1997). The LCI data is being compiled for the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM). The inputs in the LCI analysis include wood inputs, fuel, energy, electricity, and resin. Outputs include the finished product as well as co-products and all air, land, and water emissions. The LCI data from all phases of the wood products industry will be compiled into a life cycle assessment (LCA) for the larger CORRIM project. The primary research data was obtained from manufacturing facilities in each region representing a significant portion of the total production for each region. Additional work was done to complete a carbon balance, cost analysis, and scenario analyses for production in each region. The results of this data will be used to evaluate the environmental performance of producing these products in each region. Special emphasis is placed on areas within the production process that have the largest impact on emissions. These areas will be examined to determine if the system can be made more efficient or if emissions can be reduced. The data shows that the largest sources of emissions come from the production of veneer and resin. The other major sources of emissions come from the production and use of fossil fuels and electricity. Reduction in the amount of resin used in the production of LVL shows significant reductions in the amount of certain key air emissions. In both LVL and I-joist manufacturing, the emissions generated at the plant were very small compared to the emissions generated in order to produce the input products and the fuels, energy, and electricity used at the plants.