Gate-To-Gate Life-Cycle Inventory of Glued-Laminated Timbers Production

Maureen E. Puettmann, James B. Wilson


As part of the CORRIM Phase I research, this study completed a full gate-to-gate life-cycle inventory for the production of glued-laminated timbers (glulam) produced in two regions of the United States—the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and Southeast (SE). Data collected from surveys of manufacturers are presented for energy requirements, raw materials use, and emissions to land, water, and air allocated for one cubic meter and 1000 cubic feet of glulam. The glulam manufacturers surveyed represented 70 and 43% of the region's total glulam production for the PNW and SE, respectively. From both regions, 82% of the raw material and energy inputs and emission outputs were allocated to the glulam product, leaving the remaining 18% allocated to co-products. Contributions to the glulam process included impacts for the inputs of lumber and adhesives. Results show that wood drying and adhesive manufacturing make major environmental contributions to the glulam process. In addition, fuel sources, either biomass or fossilbased, have significantly different emission impacts to the environment. Wood fuel representing wood waste and hogged fuel accounted for nearly 50% of the cumulative energy consumed, while for wood fuel used for heat energy to dry lumber represented 65% and 100% for the PNW and SE glulam models. The cumulative energy from all fuel types including wood fuel allocated for one cubic meter of glulam was 6,748 MJ/m3 when manufactured in the PNW and 7,213 MJ/m3 when manufactured in the SE.


Life-cycle inventory;LCI;glulam;carbon balance;building material;energy;emissions;glued-laminated timbers

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