A Gate-To-Gate Life-Cycle Inventory of Solid Hardwood Flooring in the Eastern US


  • Steven S. Hubbard
  • Scott A. Bowe


Hardwood flooring, life-cycle inventory, LCI, building material, carbon balance, environmental impact


Environmental impacts associated with building materials are under increasing scrutiny in the US. A gate-to-gate life-cycle inventory (LCI) of solid strip and solid plank hardwood flooring production was conducted in the eastern US for the reporting year 2006. Survey responses from hardwood flooring manufacturing facilities in this region accounted for nearly 28% of total US solid hardwood flooring production for that year. This study examined the materials, fuels, and energy required to produce solid hardwood flooring, coproducts, and the emissions to air, land, and water. SimaPro software was used to quantify the environmental impacts associated with the reported materials use and emissions. Impact data were allocated on their mass contribution to all product and coproduct production of 1.0 m3 (oven-dry mass basis) of solid hardwood flooring. Carbon flow and transportation data are provided in addition to the LCI data. Results of this study are useful for creating a cradle-to-gate inventory when linked to LCIs for the hardwood forest resource and the production of solid hardwood lumber in the same region.


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Research Contributions