Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Life-cycle cost analysis of a mass-timber building: methodology and hypothetical case study

Source: Res. Paper FPL-RP-702. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory: 1-11.

Author(s)Liang, Shaobo ; Gu, Hongmei ; Bilek, Ted ; Bergman, Richard

Publication Year: 2019  View PDF »

Category: Research Papers
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4851-6B

Abstract: The use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a building material is gaining popularity in the North American building sector, especially in mid- to high-rise building designs. This study presents the methodology of life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) and an example of a hypothetical case study in Portland, Oregon, USA, of a CLT mass timber building compared with a baseline code-compliant concrete alternative. It was found, not unexpectedly, that the mass timber building with premium energy and water saving designs exhibited a lower total life-cycle cost (TLCC) than a concrete building for a 60-year study period under provided research assumptions and limitations. The construction cost dominated the TLCCs for both buildings. Little to no historical construction and operational data exist for mass timber buildings in North America, which made this analysis limited for generalizing the results. However, a solid methodology was established for future LCCA on mass timber buildings, and cost-specific data will be implemented when the information becomes available.

Keywords: Cross-laminated timber; life-cycle cost analysis; mass timber building; sensitivity analysis

Publication Review Process: Informally Refereed (Peer-Reviewed)

File size: 1,024 kb(s)

Date posted: 11/05/2019

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 96596
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Bergman, Richard
Research Forest Products Technologist
Bilek, Ted
Gu, Hongmei
Forest Products Technologist

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »