Finding a Place for Wood in Non-Residential Design: LEED vs. Green Globes Certification Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/qb98mh336

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  • For centuries wood has served as a primary structural building material in small dwelling, large communal structures, bridges, and temporary structures. Even today wood is the dominant material in residential construction. Despite this long standing use of wood, non-residential multi-story construction in light of the green building revolution has yet to fully incorporate wood as a main structural material. Research has shown wood to be an environmentally friendly material due to its sequestration of carbon during growth, low embodied energy, and effects on building efficiency. For a look into why wood has yet to find it’s way into mainstream sustainable non-residential design, an investigation of two leading green building rating systems, LEED and Green Globes, was performed to identify how these rating systems evaluate wood. It is evident that Green Globes is currently doing a better job at rewarding designers for using wood products through the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools and for recognizing all main sustainable forestry certification programs. In contrast, the current version of LEED does not reward the use of LCA when performing material selection, and only recognizes one of the main forestry certification programs, alienating the majority of sustainably grown wood in North America.
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