Comparative Life Cycle Carbon Footprint of a Non-Residential Steel and Wooden Building Structures

Achille-B. Laurent*, Yvonne van der Meer, Claude Villeneuve

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the field of construction, wood products are known to have environmental benefits in comparison with materials like steel and concrete, especially to mitigate climate change. Since wood is an anisotropic material, comparisons with other building materials on a volume functional unit basis, such as a cubic meter of product, are not relevant. Wood structures also allow for architectural forms that are not feasible with other building materials. To enable a comparison between wood and steel, we have assessed the Life Cycle Carbon Footprint of complete non-residential building structures. This building frame was initially planned to be made from steel, but the architecture was modified to integrate glued laminated timber beams. The structural engineers provided material balance changes. The results show a significant reduction in reenhouse gas emissions for structures using wood as a building material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalCurrent Trends in Forest Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018


  • Carbon Footprint
  • Life-Cycle Assessment
  • Non-Residential Buildings;
  • Wood Buildings Material

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