Timeline: 2018-2019
Project Lead: Alison Kwok
Abstract: CLT offers the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using timber, which requires much less energy to produce than steel or concrete and naturally sequesters carbon through its lifetime. However, there is a gap in the literature and a lack of general understanding about how much carbon CLT sequesters compared to the carbon emitted in the manufacturing process and in creating the adhesives used, as well as how the carbon value is calculated. This project analyzes and summarizes relevant literature and will create six case studies to illustrate the embodied carbon impacts of various kinds of mass timber buildings. In doing so, it aims to reduce confusion in the sector and assist designers and developers in making informed decisions regarding future green buildings. 
Project Lead: Dr. Laurence Schimleck
Timeline: 2017-2019
Abstract: The United States (US) generates of 70 million tons of wood waste every year with a recycling rate ranging between 10 to 15 percent. To improve recovery and use of wood waste, cities like Portland, Oregon implemented a deconstruction ordinance that requires buildings of a certain vintage to be deconstructed instead of demolished. This ordinance stimulates new markets for salvaged materials, but concerns of market saturation exist for salvaged lumber of shorter length and smaller dimensions. Mass timber products, like cross-laminated timber (CLT), could provide a new value-added market for this material, but minimal research has examined the performance of panels made using a salvaged raw material. This study suggests that salvaged lumber could potentially be a new source of raw material for mass timber products, which could create new opportunities for wood waste recovery and greener building products.


Timeline: 2018-2019
Project Lead: Arijit Sinha
Abstract: Mass timber products are often selected for their perceived sustainability advantages, and a lifecycle analysis for an Oregon-based CLT manufacturing facility is being completed. This project will assess the environmental impacts of mass plywood panel manufacturing, a new product that has become available commercially in Oregon in 2018. It will examine material flow, energy type and use, emissions to air and water, solid waste production and water impacts for the MPP manufacturing process on a per unit volume basis using a cradle-to-gate lifecycle assessment process. The data will be available for stakeholders to use for informational and learning purposes and to assist in determining the sustainability of mass timber building projects.
Timeline: 2017-2019
Project Lead: Paul Frederik Laleicke
Abstract: This project assesses and compares the environmental impacts of forest products used in the old (1999) Peavy Hall teaching building at Oregon State University and the new mass timber building that will be completed in 2018. The findings will be incorporated in updated guidelines for life cycle analysis that fully take into account the role of reclaimable wood building products.