By Kenn Busch | Sponsored by Roseburg
Interiors & Sources’
Series articles allow design
practitioners to earn
continuing education unit
credits through the pages
of the magazine. Use the
following learning objectives
to focus your study while
reading this issue’s article.
To receive one hour of
credit (0.1 CEU) as
approved by IDCEC, read
the article and go to
ceus and follow the instructions.
After reading this article, you
should be able to:
◗ Discuss the environmental
advantages of designing
with composite panels
◗ Describe the makeup of a
decorative composite wood
◗ Explain the concept of
“better than climate neutral”
◗ Discuss the changes in
LEED v4 relative to compos-
ite wood panels
ew materials on earth are as perfect for their purpose
as wood. Trees grow essentially by building them-
selves, efficiently manufacturing their own construction
materials as needed. These materials—a composite of high-
tensile cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of compression-
resistant lignin—give wood properties that can’t be duplicated
by any other manufactured building product.
No matter the form a finished product takes—from
solid wood furniture to hardwood plywood wall panels or
composite panel-based commercial fixtures—the inherent
strength and resilience of wood fiber delivers strength,
workability, performance, and value.
The basic nature of this material makes composite
wood panels one of the best environmental choices you
can make for furniture, fixtures, and interiors. Consider this
crash course of facts:
w Wood is one of the planet’s most easily renewed
resources. Annually, U.S. forests generate more
wood than is harvested. In 2006 there was 72%
more net growth than total removals.
w Composite wood panels utilize wood fiber left
over from other manufacturing processes. The
material would otherwise be destined for landfills or
w These panels are structurally more stable than
solid wood, and may be engineered for specific
applications and performance characteristics.
These properties ensure a longer useful life by requiring
less frequent replacement.
w Composite wood panels were shown to be
“better than climate neutral” in a recent lifecycle inventory analysis. The wood in composite
panels acts as a carbon sink, sequestering more
carbon than is expended in their production, transportation, and installation.
w Rare and endangered wood species are spared
by decorative composite wood panels. High-
Changes in LEED v4 credit
requirements are important,
but only part of the story.
COMPOSITE WOOD PANELS:
THE BIG GREEN
cores with hardwood veneer,
in a university center lobby.