New Online Calculator Estimates Carbon Benefits of Wood Buildings

WoodWorks’ tool shows amount of carbon stored in a building’s wood products along with avoided greenhouse gas emissions

CALIFORNIA (November 30, 2011)WoodWorks, a cooperative venture of major North American wood associations, recently launched an online tool that estimates the carbon benefits of wood buildings. Released as a complement to the online cost calculator launched earlier this month, the carbon calculator estimates the amount of carbon stored in a building’s wood products (which was absorbed by the trees while growing) and the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by not using steel or concrete. The calculator is available at

“This new calculator is an excellent tool for architects, engineers, developers, builders and anyone who has an interest in green building and reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Dwight Yochim, national director of WoodWorks. “Using wood materials can help reduce a building’s carbon footprint, and now building professionals have an easy-to-use calculator that quantifies these benefits.”

For example, the new 320,500-square-foot El Dorado High School in Arkansas features more than 150,000 cubic feet of lumber, panels and engineered wood products. These wood products store an estimated 3,660 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, and more than 7,700 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions were avoided by using wood instead of steel or concrete. This equates to the annual emissions from more than 2,100 cars or from the energy to operate a home for 970 years.* El Dorado High School was completed in August 2011.

The new WoodWorks tool allows users to calculate the carbon benefits of wood buildings in one of two ways:

  • If wood product information is known (such as the volume of lumber, panels, engineered wood products, decking, siding and roofing), the carbon calculator will provide a detailed estimate related to that specific building. The more detailed the information, the better the results.
  • If product information is unknown, users can select from a list of common building types and receive an estimate based on typical wood use.

“Although a building’s operational energy use is the first thing a lot of people think of in the context of its carbon footprint, it’s really just one element,” said Yochim. “The choice of building materials has a significant impact. Life cycle assessment studies show time and time again that wood has less embodied energy than other materials, which makes it a good choice related to greenhouse gas emissions. The fact that wood also stores carbon makes the benefits that much more pronounced. Our hope is that, with the carbon calculator, we’re giving design and building professionals another tool that supports the objective of low or net-zero energy buildings.” 

In addition to the carbon calculator, WoodWorks recently released a cost calculator that estimates the savings of using wood building materials.

To use the carbon and cost calculators, and learn about other WoodWorks resources, visit

*Calculated with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

About WoodWorks

An initiative of the Wood Products Council, WoodWorks is a cooperative venture of major North American wood associations, as well as research organizations and government agencies. It provides one-stop access to the widest possible range of information on the use of wood in non-residential and multi-family structures. For more information, call 1-866-966-3448 or visit           

Review Article Be the first to review this article
Developer-Support-Implementation Engineer for EDA Careers at San Francisco Area, CA
SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR for Palm Beach County Human Resources at West Palm Beach, FL
Solidworks Product Designer for NASCENT Technology at Charlotte, NC
CAD/CAM Regional Account Manager (Pacific Northwest) for Vero Software Inc. at Seattle, WA
Upcoming Events
AIA Conf. on Architecture 2017 at Orlando FL - Apr 27 - 29, 2017
DEX NYC ROUNDTABLE EVENT at 25 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 New York, NY - May 3, 2017
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017 at 2700 S Quincy Street Suite 400 Arlington VA - May 8 - 11, 2017
Xponential 2017 at Dallas TX - May 8 - 11, 2017
GRAPHISOFT: ARCHICAD download 30-day FREE trial
Bentley: Be Inspired Awards - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2017 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy