Life cycle inventory of manufacturing prefinished engineered wood flooring in eastern U.S. with comparison to solid strip wood flooring

  • Authors: Bergman, Richard D.; Bowe, Scott A.
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Wood and fiber science. Vol. 43, no. 4 (Oct. 2011): p. 421-441.


Building products have come under increased scrutiny because of environmental impacts from their manufacture. Our study followed the life cycle inventory approach for prefinished engineered wood flooring in the eastern US and compared the results with those of solid strip wood flooring. Our study surveyed five engineered wood flooring manufacturers in the eastern US. These production facilities represented 18.7% of total annual production in 2007. Primary data collected for 2007 included annual production, energy consumption and type, material inputs, emission data, product outputs, and other coproducts. Modeling data estimated biogenic and fossil CO2 emissions at 623 and 1050 kg/m3, respectively, and volatile organic compounds at 1.04 kg/m3. Cumulative allocated energy consumption for prefinished engineered wood flooring was 23.0 GJ/m3 with 40% coming from coal. Unfinished solid strip flooring cumulative energy consumption was only 6.50 GJ/m3 with 65% from biomass, roughly half that of unfinished engineered wood flooring. However, after converting to an area (in-use) basis, unfinished engineered wood flooring consumed 136 MJ/m2 compared with 123 MJ/m2 for unfinished solid strip flooring. After changing to an in-use parameter, the two wood flooring products were similar in energy consumption during manufacturing, but engineered wood flooring still consumed significantly more fossil fuel.

  • Citation: Bergman, Richard D.; Bowe, Scott A.; 2011. Life cycle inventory of manufacturing prefinished engineered wood flooring in eastern U.S. with comparison to solid strip wood flooring. Wood and fiber science 43(4): 421-441.
  • Keywords: Product life cycle, environmental aspects, energy conservation, forest products, environmental impact analysis, sustainable forestry, building materials, buildings, renewable natural resources, utilization, lumber, energy consumption, service life, carbon dioxide, floors, wooden floors, green products, engineered wood, volatile organic compounds, building materials, service life, emissions, life cycle assessment, life cycle inventory, prefinished engineered wood, wood flooring, carbon emissions
  • Posted Date: December 22, 2011
  • Modified Date: October 31, 2012
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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