Gate-To-Gate Life-Cycle Inventory of Laminated Veneer Lumber Production


  • James B. Wilson
  • Eric R. Dancer


Life-cycle inventory, LCI, laminated veneer lumber, building materials, carbon balance, energy, emissions


A life-cycle inventory (LCI) study is conducted of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) manufacturing. This gate-to-gate study includes all environmental impacts from the logs to produce either veneer or parallel laminated veneer (PLV) as input to the LVL process, through production of the LVL. The study includes all materials, fuels, and electricity inputs to produce LVL and related co-products and emissions. The input and site emissions data were collected through surveys of manufacturing facilities in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast regions of the U.S. SimaPro software, a program to conduct life-cycle inventory studies, is used to process the data and measure environmental impacts in terms of material use and emissions. The data are allocated on a mass basis to LVL based on their contribution to the mass sum of all product and co-products produced in manufacturing. All data are provided on a production unit basis of 1000 m3 and 1000 ft3 (MCF). In addition to the LCI data, carbon flow data are also given. These data are publicly available through reports, this publication, and the U.S. LCI Database Project. The data are useful forgenerating cradle-to-gate product LCIs when combined with the LCIs to produce logs as input to the plants and the transportation impacts to deliver materials. The data are useful as a benchmark for assessing process performance, for conducting life-cycle assessments of structural assemblies and the shell of residential and light commercial buildings.


APA—The Engineered Wood Association (APA). 2001. E-mail from Craig Adair, Director, Market Research. North America production by geography 2000. (16 Nov 01). 1 p.nATHENA™ Sustainable Materials Institute (ATHENA). 1993. Raw materials balances, energy profiles, and environmental unit factor estimates: Structural wood products. Forintek Canada Corp, Ottawa, Canada. March. 42 pp.nBirdsey, R. A. 1992. Carbon storage and accumulation in United States forest ecosystems. Forest Service, General Technical Report WO-59. United States Department of Agriculture. Washington, DC. 51 pp.nBowyer, J., D. Briggs, B. Lippke, J. Perez-Garcia, and J. Wilson. 2004. Life cycle environmental performance of renewable building materials in the context of residential construction. CORRIM Phase I Final Report. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 600+ pp.nBriggs, D. 1994. Forest products measurements and conversion factors: With special emphasis on the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Institute of Forest Resources. College of Forest Resources, University of Washington. Seattle, WA. Contribution No. 75. 161 pp.nConsortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM). 2001. Research Guidelines for Life Cycle Inventories. CORRIM, Inc. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Apr. 47 pp.nForest Products Laboratory (FPL). 1999. Wood handbook: Wood as an engineering material. Agric. Handbook. 72 Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. Madison, WI. 463 pp.nFranklin Associates LTD (FAL). 2001. The Franklin Associates Life Cycle Inventory Database. SimaPro5 Life-Cycle Assessment Software Package, version 36.'> Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1997. Environmental management—life cycle assessment—principles and framework. ISO 14040. First Edition 1997-06-15. Geneva, Switzerland. 16 pp.nInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1998. Environmental management—life cycle assessment—goal and scope definition and inventory analysis. ISO 14041. First Edition 1998-10-01. Geneva, Switzerland. 26 pp.nLippke, B., J. Wilson, J. Perez-Garcia. J. Bowyer, and J. Meil. 2004. CORRIM: Life-cycle environmental performance of renewable building materials. Forest Prod. J. 54(6):8-19.nNational Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI). 1999. Volatile organic compound emissions from wood products manufacturing facilities, Part II - Engineered wood products. Technical Bulletin No. 769. Research Triangle Park, N.C. 46 pp.nNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). 2005. Life-cycle inventory database project.'>, E., M. Salminen, J. Heiskanen, M. Hochstrate, and M. Weber. 1998. Laminated veneer lmber: Overview of the forest product, manufacturing, and marketing situation. Kymenlaakson Ammattikorkeakoulu. Department of Forest Products Marketing, Wood Based Panels Technology. http// (25 Oct. 02).nPerez-Garcia, J., B. Lippke, D. Briggs, J. Wilson, J. Bowyer, and J. Meil. 2005. The Environmental Performance of Renewable Building Materials in the Context of Residential Construction. Wood Fiber Sci. This Special Issue.nPRe' Consultants. 2001. SimaPro5 Life-Cycle Assessment Software Package, Version 5.0.009. Plotter 12, 3821 BB Amersfoort, The Netherlands.'>, M. E., and J. B. Wilson. 2005. Life-cycle analysis of wood products: Cradle-to-Gate LCI of residential building materials. Wood Fiber Sci. This Special Issue.nSkog, K. E., and G. A. Nicholson. 1998. Carbon cycling through wood products: The role of wood and paper products in carbon sequestration. Forest Prod. J. 48(7/8): 75-83.nUnited States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2003. Wood waste combustion in boilers 20 pp, in AP 42, Fifth Edition, Volume I Chapter 1: External combustion sources.'> States Department of Energy (USDOE). 2001. State electricity profiles 2000.'>, J. B., and E. R. Dancer. 2004. Laminated veneer lumber manufacturing. In CORRIM Phase I Final Report Module H. Life cycle environmental performance of renewable building materials in the context of residential construction. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 92 pp.nWilson, J. B., and E. T. Sakimoto. 2004. Softwood plywood manufacturing. In CORRIM Phase I Final Report Module D. Life-cycle environmental performance of renewable building materials in the context of residential construction. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 96 pp.n






Research Contributions