NEFF’s in-house researchers have selected key scientific papers and resources related to our work to replace steel and concrete with mass timber in tall building constructing, and to sequester carbon in mass timber made with sustainable wood. Click the title of each entry to access the full paper.
Mass Timber Regional Dialogue Annotated Bibliography
NEFF and its partners in the 2020-2021 Regional Dialogue on Incentivizing Mass Timber in Central New England and Eastern New York compiled this annotated bibliography, which includes resources on mass timber properties and manufacturing, mass timber buildings, market analysis, public policy, life cycle assessments, and climate change mitigation potential. It provides introductory descriptions and links to numerous in-depth articles.
Churkina et al. (2020): “Buildings as a global carbon sink”
This article analyzes the emissions reductions and carbon sequestration potential associated with different scenarios for global transitions to mid-rise mass timber construction. It finds that such transitions could provide up to 680 megatons of carbon sequestration per year and reduce emissions from the production of building materials by up to half. NEFF also published a blog post commentary on the implications of the findings, available to read here.
Allan and Phillips (2021): “Comparative Cradle-to-Grave Life Cycle Assessment of Low and Mid-Rise Mass Timber Buildings with Equivalent Structural Steel Alternatives”
This comparative study evaluated the global warming impacts of structurally equivalent mass timber and steel buildings. Compared to steel, utilizing mass timber in a five-story building produced a 31% reduction in global warming potential. A twelve-story mass timber building produced a 41% reduction in global warming potential.
Puettmann et al. (2021): “Comparative LCAs of Conventional and Mass Timber Buildings in Regions with Potential for Mass Timber Penetration”
Compared to equivalent concrete designs, an eight-story mass timber building constructed in the US Northeast produced a 50% reduction in embodied carbon, a twelve-story building produced a 47% reduction, and an eighteen-story building produced a 28% reduction.
Liang et al. (2020): “Comparative Life-Cycle Assessment of a Mass Timber Building and Concrete Alternative.”
This life-cycle assessment from researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service compares the global warming impacts associated with a 12-story building made from mass timber and a functionally equivalent building made from concrete. It finds that the global warming potential of the mass timber building is 18% less than that of the concrete alternative.
Chen et al. (2020): “Comparative Life-Cycle Assessment of a High-Rise Mass Timber Building with an Equivalent Reinforced Concrete Alternative Using the Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings”
This study from the Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service compares the carbon emissions associated with a 12-story cross-laminated timber building and a functionally equivalent concrete building. Including the carbon stored within the structure of the building, it finds that the cross-laminated timber design produces 70% fewer carbon emissions than the concrete alternative.