Life-Cycle Energy and GHG Emissions for New and Recovered Softwood Framing Lumber and Hardwood Flooring Considering End-of-Life Scenarios

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Within the green building fields is a growing movement to recover and reuse building materials in lieu of demolition and land fill disposal. However, they lack life-cycle data to help quantify environmental impacts. This study quantifies the primary energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released from the production of wood recovered from an old house and from new wood harvested from the forest and produced in a sawmill with both products ending up installed in a new house. In addition, the study quantifies the primary energy and GHG emissions released if the recovered wood is not reused but instead is either burned to replace coal or natural gas to generate electricity, landfilled with or without landfill gas capture equipment, ground into mulch, or some combination.

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