Sustainability and Green Buildings
Sustainable design begins with sustainable building products and good forestation practices. That’s the APA message in Sustainable Buildings, Sustainable Future, which includes scientific research confirming the superiority of wood as a green, building material. Both solid and engineered wood consistently outperform steel and concrete in terms of environmental sustainability.
Two billion trees are planted each year in American managed forests, in addition to millions seeding naturally. The US plants more trees than it harvests, with recent government data confirming that forestland is the same as 100 years ago.
APA’s forestation practices have been officially endorsed by global organisations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which operate strict third party certification systems.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an essential part of green building policy. It is the method that calculates the impact data that supports an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). This is the formal and internationally recognised document which outlines the environmental performance of a product, serving as its environmental label or declaration.
The American Wood Council (of which APA is a member) and the Canadian Wood Council have published EPDs for softwood plywood, OSB, I-joists and LVL along with several other wood structural building materials. Download your copies here.
The British Research Establishment and the US Underwriters Laboratories recognise each other’s certified EPDs making it simpler for APA member mills to gain environmental performance ratings under the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).