Buildings have been shown to have impacts on the environment. Consequently, green building rating systems have become a tool to help reduce these impacts. The objectives of this study were to identify gaps in information and access to green building materials as viewed by Oregon design professionals. The scope was limited to the major structural materials: concrete, steel, and wood. This article focuses on the results unique to wood products. Information was collected through group interviews. Each group was composed of professionals representing different aspects of material selection and construction of different scales. The results showed that structural material selection is driven by building code, cost, and building performance requirements. The environmental performance of the material was not considered. However, once the material was selected, designers tried to maximize environmental performance. The results showed that green building rating systems do not influence structural material selection, and interviewees noted that there is room for improvement in this area. Respondents had a positive view of wood and a strong desire to use more wood, particularly Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. Wood was viewed as the most sustainable structural material available. However, there were some concerns about wood products, with formaldehyde emissions being the most significant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change