Updating Building Design Software to Quantify Environmental Impacts

With continuously growing interest in green building, it is important for building designers to consider the environmental impacts of their designs. Unfortunately, no building design software currently offers a way to quantify those impacts for building structures with wood.


Software changes will allow building designers to compare the environmental impact of wood products with non-wood materials.

Richard Bergman, a research forest products technologist at the Forest Products Laboratory, is working to incorporate whole-building life-cycle assessment (LCA) data in design software so the impacts of building with wood can be quantified and points can be gathered toward green building certification.

A substantial body of wood product LCA data has been developed in the past 15 years for North America, however its greatest impact in the marketplace will likely come with its inclusion in building design software.

Results from this project will allow building designers to make on-demand environmental performance comparisons of building made with wood and non-wood building materials.

For more information, please see this Research in Progress report.

This project is conducted in cooperation with the American Wood Council.