Graf Brothers Flooring and Lumber specializes in, and is the world's largest manufacturer of, rift and quarter sawn oak products. Vertical grain is preferred because of its excellent technical properties. Lumber that has been sawed using this method expands evenly and vertically. Vertical grain also increases the structural integrity of the wood. Graf Brothers sells approximately half of its lumber to distribution yards and flooring and millwork manufacturers, and the other half goes into its own flooring production. The company's flooring is shipped to distributors in Europe, Japan, and Asia, as well as flooring distributors in North America.
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Wood is a versatile raw material and the only renewable construction material. The manufacture of wood products and structures consumes little energy in comparison to similar products and structures made of other materials. Unlike other materials, most of the energy needed to manufacture wood products is derived from renewable energy sources. The global timber sector currently faces the dual challenges of meeting the growing demand of quality timber products and minimising possible adverse impacts on the environment and human health.
Major sources of environmental impacts occur throughout the wood supply chain from sawmills to final products. The major objective of this paper is to explore ways to reduce the environmental impacts of timber products, from sawmills to final products. The specific objectives include the identification of major sources and mechanisms of environmental impacts from timber products, the assessment of the status of energy consumption and GHG emission in wood products during timber processing and manufacturing as well as identifying the potential ways to minimize these environmental impacts.
Amidst growing environmental consciousness and increasing demand for timber products, the importance of fulfilling growing demand for these products on the one hand, and at the same minimizing environmental impacts, is increasingly recognized. Hence, enhanced insight is required into ways of improving the efficiency of timber production process, reducing wood wastage and helping the timber sector to address growing environmental challenges Eshun et al.
Timber products are regarded as products produced from renewable and sustainable environmental resources Klein et al. However, as other products, timber products may create various kinds of environmental impacts at different stages of the timber product supply chain, from harvesting to their disposal Fig. A major source of the environmental impacts is the consumption of energy required to produce timber products and emission of greenhouse gases GHG during the manufacturing process from raw materials to the final products.
Other forms of environmental impact associated with timber products are due to the transportation of timber products Lindholm and Berg , use of chemicals, and wood wastage Jurgensen et al. Modified from Eshun et al. Flow chart of activities in timber production stages and production of wastage in timber production sector. It represents the typical timber product production system, from harvesting to the final products through two subsystems viz the forestry and timber industry subsystems, within the timber production sector.
It shows two subsystems, the forestry and timber industry, within the timber production sector. The specific objectives include the identification of major sources and mechanisms of environmental impacts from timber products, the assessment of the current status of energy consumption and GHG emission in wood products during timber processing as well as identifying the potential ways to minimize these environmental impacts during the timber production process.
Main sources of environmental impacts of timber products can be categorised into physical impacts of timber processing, energy use and production of GHG emissions.
The production process for timber products, from log extraction to final products involves several stages, which can affect the surrounding environments in the form of land, air and water pollution. The sawmilling process involves debarking and cutting of logs into sections, which are sawn into timber boards. Particulate environmental matter arises from log debarking, sawing into boards, wood residues and kiln drying as these processing stages create environmental hazards on the land.
Similarly, heavy machinery is involved throughout the process with the impacts on land, water, and air quality. For example, sawmilling sector is the backbone of the wood based industry in Malaysia.
A study by Ramasamy et al. Timber processing and manufacturing involves different types of machines and processes such as sawing, drying, machining, jointing, gluing and finishing and so on, which can be connected to both environmental hazards, and workers occupational health and safety.
The major hazards with the machines could be classified into mechanical e. Furthermore, as workers have to use machinery in all phases of its lifecycle from installation, through operation, maintenance, troubleshooting, repairs, adjustments, set-up, production disruptions, to cleaning and dismantling, they get exposed to various hazards Poisson and Chinniah ; Rus et al.
A study based on sixty-six Australian manufacturing firms which produce and supply machinery into local and international markets found that less than one in ten firms comprehensively recognized hazards, used safe place controls as the primary risk control measures, and provided substantial, good quality information to minimize environmental hazards, but the remaining firms did not consider the environmental impacts Bluff Preventing wood waste to improve the efficiency of primary wood utilization significantly helps to reduce the environmental impacts on the one hand, and fulfill timber product demands without further damage to world forest resources on the other.
Wood wastes comprise a significant portion of waste materials. For instance, in Germany, million tonnes of wastes was produced in , out of which waste wood accounts to Sommerhuber et al. Similarly, around 1,, tonnes of wood waste was being generated in Australia per annum until Taylor and Warnken This large amount of wasted wood is often used in the steam production boiler for drying wood products, or is dumped in a site Eshun et al.
These practices contribute to environmental impacts through wood waste and at the same time lead to depletion of timber resources. Eshun et al. Major sources of wood waste were low quality logs with large defects, bark, off-cuts, sawdust, slabs, and edged trimmings from sawn timber. There are new technologies for the utilization of low quality logs which can significantly reduce the wood wastage as well as specialized equipment which enables to maximize the wood recovery.
However, in many enterprises, particularly in developing countries, these new production methods have not yet been used. Therefore, the major causes of wood wastage can be broadly classified into technology-based factors such as the use of obsolete equipment and inefficient procedures and production methods, management-based operational practices, and administrative and institutional issues. Different types of chemicals are used in the process of timber production, especially in preservative treatment, adhesive application and coating of final products.
Though these chemicals have played the positive role of increasing the life span of timber products, they can also contribute to environmental impacts through the toxic elements they contain.
For example, disposal of timber from demolition building sites still retaining high levels of preservatives is also another important environmental concern. Many countries have introduced policies, which prevent the use of toxic chemicals.
Even though adhesives are important materials made up of both natural and synthetic substances for bonding wood components into wood product they still might have some negative environmental impacts Yang and Rosentrater However, even the completely cured adhesives regarded as non-toxic and safe, can produce hazardous materials for both humans and the environment Yang and Rosentrater For example, some curing agents such as aliphatic amines, and cycloaliphatic amines might cause irritation or damage to the skin, eyes, lungs, and liver Yang and Rosentrater Therefore, there is growing interest in the use of adhesives which are environmentally benign McDevitt and Grigsby Wood coatings protect wood from environmental influences such as moisture radiation, mechanical and chemical damage, and biological deterioration.
However, they contain liquid made up of either organic solvent or water, and have potential to emit volatile organic compounds VOC. VOC such as those containing chlorofluorocarbon are considered a major environmental problem from both air pollution and human health and safety perspectives de Meijer Environmental impacts associated with the transportation of timber from forest to sawmills, then sawn timber from sawmills to manufacturing companies, and finally to end-users, consume significant amounts of fossil fuel, and thereby emit greenhouse gas GHG to the environment.
A study carried out in Swedish wood supply chain showed that transportation of timber from forests to industrial sites consumes more fossil fuels than any other part of the chain Lindholm and Berg The energy used during the transportation system has impacts on the environment due to release of emission with likely effects on global warming, acidification and eutrophication.
For example, organic compounds and phosphorus released to water, and emissions of nitrogenous compounds to both air and water, are the most serious environmental impacts. Similarly, road transport of timber account for almost half of the total GHG emissions. In East Norway, GHG emissions from the final felling, extraction and transport of timber, was found to have As a result, transportation creates impacts on the atmosphere, land and water resources, and noise pollution.
Study by Timmermann and Dibdiakova assessed annual greenhouse gas effects from seedling, tree felling, transportation and processing of timber products. The study concluded that GHG emissions of forestry supply chain activities and found road transport of timber had the highest impact in climate change category.
Maintenance of timber products is carried out either in the form of their full or partial replacement, or by using chemicals to maintain or prolong their life. Therefore, proper care must be taken while maintaining timber products to produce minimum impact on the environment. Disposal of timber products creates various environmental impacts especially in urban area.
Commercial and industrial wastes, construction and demolition activities, pallets and packaging; and utilities are the main sources of urban wood wastes Taylor and Warnken When the products are disposed instead of being reused, recycled and refurbished they will create the outside pollution and GHG emissions in many ways due to transport from the source to a landfill site; disposal of synthetic materials contributes to toxic waste, which can leach from landfill, and finally, such materials take up a large amount of space in landfill sites and create the need for new waste disposal sites ERDC Although huge volume of waste wood is disposed of to landfill sites in major cities around the world, data on wood waste from the larger categories of waste is not differentiated in most cases.
Data on wood waste from Landfills in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, estimate that approximately , and , tonnes are annually disposed of respectively Taylor et al. The figure of Melbourne city wood waste disposal is enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground 1. Similarly, if disposal is carried out by burning of used products, it also produces smokes, contamination and emissions into the environment.
For instances, solid contamination has disposal issues by reducing the efficiency of burning and producing waste, whereas excess chlorine in the burning also reduces the burning efficiency and can contribute to the production of dioxins Taylor et al. The energy involved in the process and stored in the product is called embodied energy Ibn-Mohammed et al.
Various types of energy source are used for different stages of timber production. Primarily energy is used for processing and materials handling, drying of raw materials, and associated utilities and services such as boiler steam, and condensation system, heating and lightning of premises Bergman and Bowe As a result, there would be two phenomena involved together, energy consumption during the production process, and emission of greenhouse gas and other gasses as a consequence. The major sources of energy in sawmilling are either electrical energy or thermal energy.
Electrical energy includes electricity supplied through the grid system, and is primarily used in sawing process, whereas thermal or heat energy is generated through biomass and used primarily for drying of sawn timber. Energy sources can also be classified based on the origin of the energy Bergman and Bowe For example, if the energy is produced within the sawmill site, and used for drying or other purposes, it is called an onsite energy source.
On the other hand, if energy requirements are fulfilled from outside of the sawmill site, they are referred as offsite energy sources. On the other hand, sources of energy can also be classified based on the sources of carbon emission as the part of sawmilling procedures. For example, the energy produced as a result of the burning of wood biomass is called a biogenic energy, whereas energy derived from fossil fuel is called as the anthropogenic emission source Gunn et al.
Sources of energy from fossil fuel have a significant impact on the environment and are non-renewable. If the sources of energy are renewable and have less impact on the environment such as hydroelectricity, wind energy, are known as renewable sources of energy.
These have a lower environmental impacts and health hazards. The energy sources and the ways they are used contribute to the production of GHG emissions and other environmental impacts. Major environmental impacts associated with timber products include emission to air especially emission of GHG among others Wilnhammer et al.
This kind of impact is called as carbon foot printing or the carbon impact of timber products Box 1. Major methods in vogue for the impact assessment of environmental sectors are life cycle assessment LCA Gustavsson and Sathre ; Ramesh et al. Though most of these methods could be applied to examine the complex interaction among the timber production process from the sawmill to final product, and their impact on their corresponding environments, LCA can explain such a relationship in a more comprehensive way.
This is because it is a procedure for evaluating the energy and environmental burdens related to a process or activity, which is carried out with the help of identifying the source of energy used or consumption, the materials used and their impact on the environment Goedkoop et al. So far, extensive studies on LCA and various aspect of timber production are well documented Cabeza et al.
Wood competes with many other materials in various products and applications. The main competitors are: steel, concrete, aluminum, brick and plastic Taylor ; George Many studies have been conducted which compared the environmental impacts of wood and its competing materials.
Production of wood results in few greenhouse gas emissions, in which the main emission source is the energy used in wood processing. The energy saving requirements of the industry in wood processing can be met with the use of wood residue, which provides more energy savings compared to the use of fossil fuel based energy. On the other hand, production of most competitor materials results in high greenhouse emissions.
Wood consumes less energy, and emits less pollutant to the environment, thereby adds environmental values throughout the life of the structure.
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Katerra factories act as an extension of job sites, maximizing construction activity within the factory environment to drive improved productivity. Mass timber represents the future of high performance building technology as a new market for building materials that are safe, efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly. The , sq. Construction is underway on the new K square foot factory with production slated to begin in The state-of-the-art factory has units for producing precast elements, a high-end joinery factory that caters to all interiors, furniture and wood fixtures and an aluminum and glazing unit for building facades. The factory also houses two pod units, which deliver finished bathroom pods, hotel room pods and modular MEP. It has houses mock-ups of Katerra built and engineered homes, hotel rooms, and other specialized products. The Krishnagiri factory produces precast concrete components, furniture, and wood products and building facades.
Utilizing offsite manufacturing to bring new efficiencies to building projects.
Environmental Systems Research. December , Cite as. Wood is a versatile raw material and the only renewable construction material. The manufacture of wood products and structures consumes little energy in comparison to similar products and structures made of other materials.
Our Berlin production and warehouse area encompasses more than 50, square feet with separate buildings for kiln drying, grading, and lumber sticking. We have the capability at this location to fully kiln dry most thicknesses and species of hardwood lumber, as well as process dry lumber into finished or near-finished products for use in custom applications. We can provide cut to length, ripping, surfacing, and sanding. We have the versatility and capability to rapidly produce almost any type of dimension lumber product, including glued panels, squares, furniture parts, and finger joint stock in multiple species. We specialize in wood components for use in the housing industry. Custom S4S based upon your manufacturing needs: Contact us for a quote. Monthly Specials. Custom Moulding Capabilities. Sign up to receive our price lists and monthly specials. Follow Us.
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Watch our Company Video. Learn More. Gum streaks and spots are permitted but limited to very light to light moderate. See more. Our products are responsibly sourced from Pennsylvania and New York, and are prepared in our state-of-the-art northern hardwood sawmill and kiln-drying facilities. Available in a wide variety of grades and thicknesses, our products are renowned the world-over for their high quality. We are proud to be globally known as a leading hardwood lumber manufacturer. You can view our current stock-list here , or click through to see our full product offering.
Signing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. Softwood, derived from coniferous trees , supplies most of the manufacturers in these industries and is cut primarily in British Columbia. The remainder of the industry is supplied by hardwood from deciduous trees, e. Though technically not hardwood, Alberta produces large volumes of aspen and poplar. The products created by the lumber and wood industries include lumber, veneer, plywood, particleboard, oriented strand board formerly called flake, chip, or wafer board , wood pellets and wood composites or engineered wood.
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Wood is a versatile raw material and the only renewable construction material. The manufacture of wood products and structures consumes little energy in comparison to similar products and structures made of other materials.
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