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