The opportunities of wood: Lifecycle analysis to boost the competitiveness of wood construction

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The project will develop methods for evaluating the environmental impacts that occur during the manufacture and use of construction materials. 

The environmental impact of the manufacture of construction materials is now estimated to be substantially larger than earlier thought.

According to the environmental declarations published by the Finnish Building Information Ltd, the environmental impact of wood products manufacture is considerably less severe than the impact caused by the making of other construction materials. The methods developed by the FINLCA project would thus provide a competitive advantage for Finnish wood products companies in particular.

The FINLCA project also aims to propose measures for considering the environmental burden caused by the manufacture of construction products and for the steering of construction activity. A further aim is to influence construction decisions by creating tools for comparing different construction materials as well as to promote the utilisation of these comparisons in, for example, public construction projects.

In addition to the Finnish Environment Institute, the following research institutes are participating in FINLCA: Åbo Akademi University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Centre for Industrial Residue Utilisation CIRU, University of Oulu, and Helsinki University of Technology.

Evaluating the environmental impact of construction a worthwhile effort

Construction accounts for about half of the world’s natural resource consumption and creates around 40% of all waste. Global consumption cannot, over the long term, base itself on ever-growing utilisation of non-renewable natural resources because deposits of many key non-renewables would be completely depleted in 50 years were primary production to grow at an annual rate of five percent. 

More information: 
Mikko Viljakainen, Director, Building with wood,
Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358-9-132 6625,