All products, not just construction products, have an impact on the environment.
A construction product can have environmental impacts from the extraction of raw materials, their processing and manufacturing, packaging and delivery to site, installation, maintenance and refurbishment and eventual recycling or disposal. This sequence of stages is known as the life cycle of the product. Calculation of the environmental impact of a product at all stages of the life cycle is called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
The aim of the Lifecycle Database (formerly known as Wood First Plus) project is to create a free online information hub containing all of the environmental and design data necessary to specify timber as a first choice material. In particular, it will focus on providing generic LCA datasets for key timber products used in the UK.
PE INTERNATIONAL has been engaged to oversee the collection, analysis and review of existing life cycle assessment (LCA) data for a wide range of timber and timber products. The company has extensive experience in the construction materials sector, and in working with the timber industry, having previously completed a major LCA project on US hardwood timber for the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). This data will be used to generate generic LCA datasets for key timber products used in the UK.
The project is a result of on-going consultation with timber industry organisations and external stakeholders, including contractors’ groups, architects, professional institutions and many others.
All stakeholders will be able to access whole-life information on timber products free of charge through a dedicated website managed by Wood for Good. Individual timber companies will be able to use this data as a basis for developing specific Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for their products.