Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wood vs. Steel - Environmentally Friendly Building

I drive by that big honk'n steel structure every day. Over the hill behind the building sometimes I can see the steam rising from the dryer at the Domtar mill. Not only is steel more harmful to the environment in many ways more then wood, but all that steel had to be transported to the north. Shipping all that weight had a cost on the environment too.

There are many sources that discuss wood vs. steel below is just part of one of them.

Life-cycle analysis results for the steel-framed vs. wood-framed home showed that the steel-framed home used 17 percent more energy; had 26 percent more global warming potential; had 14 percent more air emissions; had over 300 percent more water emissions and had about the same level of solid waste production. Analysis results for the concrete- vs. wood-framed home showed the concrete-framed home used 16 percent more energy; had 31 percent more global warming potential; had 23 percent more air emissions; had roughly the same level of water emissions and produced 51 percent more solid waste. ( From : Evaluating the Environmental Performance of Wood Building Material)

On a much happier note I did get a chance to walk along a new logging road today. At one point a gang of chickadees came by. I was not able to get a good picture but I was able to get this poor picture of one. There must have been at least 10 of them searching for food in the cedar and birch trees.