Environmental Impacts / Offers

CLT Construction Offers:

Design Flexibility ● Cost Saving ● Reduced Construction Times ● Exceptional Strength-to-Weight Ratio ● Superior Seismic Performance ● Reduced Jobsite Labor ● Significant Environmental Performance ● Excellent Thermal Performance


Environmental Impacts

Carbon Emission Reduction Typical structural building components like masonry, concrete, and steel have a large carbon footprint and are extremely energy intensive materials to produce. As climate change has captured global attention we now better understand the large impact that buildings contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. Concrete production represents roughly 5% of world carbon dioxide emissions, the dominant greenhouse gas. It is clear that the very fundamentals of what materials we build our buildings with are worth re-evaluating. Replacing concrete and steel with wood as a building material can have a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As determined by the Woodworks.org carbon calculator, SmartLam’s projected annual production rate of 48 million board feet of CLT represents 77,841 metric tons of stored carbon, 30,118 metric tons of avoided greenhouse gas emissions, for a total carbon benefit of 107,959 metric tons of CO2 per year. This is the equivalent of removing 20,620 cars from our roadways each year. Sustainable Forestry Wood is the only structural building material with third-party certification programs in place to verify that products originate from a sustainably managed resource. Sustainable forest certification allows forest product companies to demonstrate the effectiveness of their practices by having them independently assessed against a stringent standard that considers environmental, economic and social values. As of August 2013, more than 500 million acres of forest in Canada and the U.S. were certified under one of the four internationally recognized programs used in North America: Sustainable Forestry Initiative® , Forest Stewardship Council®, American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and Canadian Standards Association’s Sustainable Forest Management Standard. This enables builders, as well as manufacturers, fabricators, distributors and retailers to verify their products are sourced responsibly and produced to sustainable standards. Benefits and constituents of sustainable forestry: • Conservation of biological diversity • Maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystems • Maintenance of ecosystem health and vitality • Conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources • Maintenance of forest contribution to global carbon cycles • Maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socio-economic benefits to meet the needs of societies • Establishment of a legal, institutional and economic framework for forest conservation and sustainable management SmartLam is proud of the fact that we procure all of our lumber from saw mills practicing certified sustainable forestry practices.   Life Cycle Assessment For green building, wood is an obvious choice. Unlike other products that deplete the earth’s resources, wood is the only major building material that grows naturally and is renewable. When specifying any materials, it is important to consider their environmental impact across their life cycle. LCA is an internationally recognized approach to determining the environmental impacts of building materials and assemblies and even whole structures, over the course of their entire lives. When considered over a building’s lifetime – from harvest of raw materials through manufacturing, transportation, installation, use, maintenance and disposal or recycling – wood performs better than concrete and steel in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, carbon footprint and global warming potential. Energy Efficiency In terms of operating energy, wood has the advantage of low thermal conductivity compared to steel and concrete.  As a result, wood buildings are easy to insulate to high standards. However, while any wood structural system can be designed to achieve a tight building envelope, the precise manufacturing and milling of cross laminated timber (CLT) result in exceptional air tightness. The added aspect of dimensional stability also ensures that the building remains airtight over time. Wood is a good choice for designers who want to meet the Passive House standard or create a net zero energy or net zero carbon building. Because many factors have a greater influence on energy efficiency than the choice of structural material, a more relevant point for many designers is that wood building systems have low embodied energy. Embodied energy is the energy needed to extract, process, manufacture, transport, construct and maintain a material or product. LCA studies consistently show that wood outperforms other materials in this area. SmartLam is committed to adhering to the highest of environmental standards and focus on best practices in our manufacturing process. We are a “zero waste” company. All of our high quality residual planer shavings and saw dust are transported to nearby fiber companies and used as constituents to other value added engineered wood products. All wood waste materials from our manufacturing process are chipped and used to heat our facility with our Biomass heating systems. We consistently seek out other new ways we can remain responsible stewards of our environment.