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Woodworks updated carbon calculator


Woodworks has launched an updated version of its free carbon calculator, providing more options for buildings made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other mass timber products. Source: Timberbiz

Using wood products that store carbon instead of building materials that require fossil fuel energy to manufacture can help reduce greenhouse gases.

To calculate the carbon benefits of a wood building, users access the carbon calculator at and enter nominal wood volume information.

The calculator then estimates:

  • How much time it takes US and Canadian forests to grow that volume of wood
  • The amount of carbon sequestered in the wood products, and Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by not using more fossil fuel-intensive materials.
  • It also uses the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator to equate the total carbon benefit to number of cars off the road and home operational energy.

“The carbon calculator is a useful tool for building owners and designers who’d like to gain insight on the environmental value of alternate designs,” said Bill Parsons, Senior National Director of the Architectural & Engineering Solutions Team at WoodWorks.

“It also provides information that allows them to express the carbon benefits of their wood building projects.”

For example, the new four-story Candlewood Suites hotel at Redstone Arsenal, developed and designed by Lendlease, includes 1656 cubic meters (58,481 cubic feet) of CLT.

Enter this information in the calculator, and it estimates that: US and Canadian forests grow this much wood in 5 minutes.

The CLT in the building stores 1276 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO) equivalent.

Using this volume of CLT resulted in avoided emissions of 494 metric tons of CO. This equates to 374 cars off the road for a year, or the energy to operate 187 homes for a year.

The carbon calculator, which was already robust in terms of lumber, engineered wood products, decking, siding and roofing, was expanded to include new mass timber products available to North American building designers.

Mass timber products such as CLT and nail-laminated timber (NLT) may now also be selected for use in a mass timber, light-frame/post and beam, or combination structural system.

The carbon calculator, as well as a complete list of changes, references and assumptions, can be found at: