Comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) concluded that Accoya wood has a much lower environmental impact compared to many commonly used building materials including metals and concrete. The study focused on window, decking and bridge applications and was conducted in two parts: cradle-to-gate for all factors involved in the production of Accoya wood, and cradle-to-grave for the total impact throughout the life of products.
For the Accoya wood assessment, a cradle-to-gate study measured the greenhouse gases that are produced to determine related carbon footprint related impacts. The LCA, or cradle-to-grave, used an internationally standardized methodology (ISO 14040:2006 & ISO 14044:2006) that helps to quantify the environmental pressures related to lifetime impact of goods and services. Results of this study were submitted to MBDC and assisted in Accoya being recognized as a Cradle-to-Cradle Gold Certified product.
The cradle-to-gate measurement of Accoya wood included the impact of forestry and sawmilling, transport of timber and other materials, and the production facility operations. Accoya wood greenhouse gases were rated at 773 kilograms of CO2 per cubic meter, outperforming tile, PVC, unsustainably sourced Western Red Cedar and tropical hardwoods, steel and aluminum.
“We are pleased with the independent and authoritative life cycle assessment of Accoya wood compared against competing materials such as PVC, concrete, steel and unsustainably sourced hardwood,” said Paul Clegg, CEO of Accsys Technologies. “Window frames, decking and bridge structures give a good indication of the breadth of applications ideal for Accoya wood,” added Clegg.
While sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods slightly lower environmental impact than Accoya wood, certified, sources are limited, and often prohibitively expensive. Accoya wood counterbalances this factor as it is made from FSC certified, fast-growing species, and offers extraordinary performance advantages where exposure to the elements is a concern. It is ideal for external applications including decking, windows, cladding and structural-components such as bridges.
Manufactured by Accsys Technologies, Accoya wood undergoes a proprietary modification process, which alters the wood’s reaction with water by permanently replacing free hydroxyls within the wood with stable acetyl groups that will not bond with water. Acetyl groups are naturally present in all wood species, which means that nothing toxic is added into the wood. The altered cell structure of the wood makes it unrecognizable to insects as food, as well as increasing its strength and stability. Accoya wood carries a 50-year above-ground and 25-year below-ground warranty against rot and decay.
Accoya wood is available throughout North America through a network of independent distributors. For more information about the full LCA report visit http://www.accoya.com.
*Unsustainably sourced hardwood