Wood Building One-Pager


Building with Wood

AF&PA members are committed to encouraging energy-efficient, environmentally-responsible choices in the design and building process. We support scientifically-justified systems and standards to measure environmental impacts and recognize the carbon-sequestering benefits of wood, and updates to codes and standards to recognize the advances in technology for tall wood construction. Wood is a vital part of any green building and is the only building material that can sequester carbon.

Government entities should adopt building policies that are inclusive, based on sound science (including life-cycle assessment - LCA) and have been developed in a consensus process.  

Policy Recommendations:

  • Recognize the Environmental Benefits Provided by the Use of Wood Products: Wood is among the most energy efficient and environmentally-friendly of all building materials. Among other positive environmental characteristics, wood stores significant amounts of carbon. Wood products are a vital component of sound architectural design and facilitate ease of design and construction while providing inherent energy-saving performance. Wood buildings are readily adapted to reuse, or can be deconstructed with individual products used in new construction. Lastly, wood is a renewable resource - a characteristic of unparalleled environmental value.
  • Support Research and Development of Tall Wood (structures over seven stories tall that can be built from wood using new and innovative mass timber wood products): Through a tall wood building competition sponsored by USDA, the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, two winning teams have received funding to assist in the development of demonstration projects in Portland, Oregon and New York City for a 12-story and 10-story building respectively. Additional research and development is needed to advance tall wood construction in the U.S.
  • Include LCA in Building Decision-Making: Without being grounded in objective, scientific criteria based on life-cycle impacts, a building rating system or standard is more likely to reflect the subjective biases of those who have crafted or are implementing the program.
  • Recognize All Credible Sustainable Forestry Programs in the U.S.: Equal credit should be given to all programs that meet a commonly-accepted set of objective criteria. Internationally-recognized sustainable forestry programs, such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and the American Tree Farm System®, both of which are endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes and the Forest Stewardship Program should be recognized as credible sustainable forestry programs.

AF&PA and its members will continue to work with all interested parties to create and promote building policies that promote the use of wood.