Sustainability in Structural Timber Design

  • The main objective of infrastructure design code specifications is to protect the public's welfare, health, and safety, none of which appear to be directly related to sustainability, which as a movement focuses attention on protecting the natural environment, conserving resources, and minimizing the toxicity of construction materials and processes. However, when the environment is adversely affected, the welfare and health of the public can be threatened. For this reason, a number of jurisdictions have adopted language from the United States Green Building Council to curtail the adverse effects of global warming gases, to minimize environmental impact of new construction, to improve air quality in the community, and to increase the long-term viability of local construction. Entities responsible for writing code specifications have made a commitment to provide guidance on infrastructure sustainability to design professionals. Some of the entities are further along than others, but all have working groups (as of 2011). Also, the International Code Council, Inc. has written a version of the International Green Construction Code with the final version slated to be published in 2012; this is the first step towards making sustainability common place in all infrastructure design. Students who complete this module will be able to discuss design specifications related to sustainability found in building codes, and apply these specifications along with sustainability principles to the design of structural timber components.
  • Hector Estrada
Learning Resource Type:
  • Reference – Educational Research Paper
  • Engineering – Civil
  • College Senior – Graduate
Media Type:
  • Document
  • Timber
  • Sustainable Materials
Related ABET Criteria:
Publication Date:
  • December 2012