Feature Short

Wood, Concrete, and Steel—And Their Incomparable EPDs

Don’t expect the turf battles over sustainability of structural systems to be settled anytime soon by EPDs.

Structural products are given a lot of scrutiny because of their potentially significant environmental problems—in particular, cement’s high CO2 output, steel’s high embodied energy, and wood’s ecological impact.

Manufacturers have different ways of mitigating these impacts, and all of these materials have complicated life cycles, so looking at environmental product declaration (EPD) data that has been narrowed to a few parameters will not provide a full environmental profile.

Published August 3, 2015