The researchers chose a popular form of pile planking and applied equivalent LCA (life cycle assesment) methods to all materials types. Preliminary results showed that, over a 30-year lifespan, the environmental performance of tropical timber planking is 24 times better than virgin-material PVC and 21 times better than recycled. Compared to steel it’s 133 times better.
The final LCA data from the research will be added to the Dutch Environmental Database and international data resources Ecoinvent and ILCD (the International Reference Life Cycle Database). The results will also be publicized via the trade media, presentations to industry events and direct to tropical timber end users and specifiers.
The window frame LCA, which is being undertaken in association with the Netherlands Woodworking Industry Association, is using sustainably sourced African, Asian and South American reference wood species.
The competitor materials in this case are softwood, modified softwood and PVC and initial results are expected by the end of next March. Both studies will be completed and implemented by the end of next June, with the outcomes widely publicized.