A new research report shows that wood is one of the greener materials that can be used to build homes. According to the report, prepared by the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials, the environmental impact of fabricating building materials and actually constructing a home is more intense than most people realize. And while the industry has slowly moved away from wood, the use of dead trees may actually be better (well, less bad) than other products and techniques. From a press release about the report:
The research showed that wood framing used 17 percent less energy than steel construction for a typical house built in Minnesota, and 16 percent less energy than a house using concrete construction in Atlanta. And in these two examples, the use of wood had 26-31 percent less global warming potential…The growth of wood in renewable forests works to "sequester" and remove carbon from the atmosphere, and fewer carbon emissions are created in the processing needed to produce wood products than their steel and concrete counterparts.