Woods Life Cycle

What Is LCA?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an environmental impact assessment to determine the contribution of a timber product, within a building system, from an environmental perspective.


Another term regularly used is LCI Life Cycle Inventory. LCI is the environmental data collection of a product to be used in an LCA. LCI in timber flooring is the analysis of all the mass-energy inputs and outputs for production, use, reuse and disposal of timber flooring. LCI is the second phase of any research which considers what inputs and outputs were derived from producing a timber floor. For example; If you were to use a chainsaw to cut down the tree, you need to take into account the fuel/energy used by that chainsaw, the transportation (truck) uses fuel also. Even the equipment that is used to install the timber floor needs to be accounted for. The “inventory” at the end of the day will measure the inputs and outputs and compare these to other products, e.g. carpet.

How Does Timber Flooring Do Environmentally

According to the cooperative research center for greenhouse accounting, the framed structure for timber floor emits 10 times fewer greenhouse gases than concrete slabs or steel subframes. A timber floor surface also emits 5 times fewer greenhouse gases than a ceramic tile floor! In 2005, Australian forestry was measured as being the only carbon POSITIVE industry in Australia. Arguably, it is regarded that a timber floor of standard thickness (19mm) has a service life of approximately 100 years. The largest competitor to timber flooring is carpet. However, the service life of a carpet is only 10 - 15 years.