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ANALYSIS OF CERTIFIED WOOD PRODUCT USE IN COMMERCIAL LEED GREEN BUILDING PROJECTS

G. D. Estep, D. B. DeVallance, D. B. DeVallance, D. J. Lacombe

Abstract


There is a growing demand for green building products within the United States. Because of this increased demand and interest in green products, the potential exists for wood product manufacturers to gain additional market share opportunities within the green building sector. The overall objective of this study was to use spatial analysis techniques to evaluate the growth of green building projects and the use of certified wood products (CWPs) within these projects. The focus of this study was on green building projects certified as part of the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) that obtained the certified wood credit. Using spatial analysis techniques, this study was able to identify geographic areas in which wood products were used and awarded points toward green building certification. Results indicated a trend of commercial LEED-certified projects that obtained the certified wood credit being geographically concentrated with time. The study also identified various “hot spot” county clusters throughout the United States for commercial LEED-certified projects that obtained certified wood materials. A spatial econometric regression analysis resulted in significant explanatory variables such as population of a county; obtaining LEED credits in material reuse, recycled material content, composite wood and agrifiber products, and regional material; and the density of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified product manufacturers within 161 km. The results of the study are expected to help improve availability of wood products by indicating potential green building marketing regions for wood product producers.


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