A methodology for the life-cycle assessment of treated timber products
S R Smith, R J Murphy, D J Dickinson
Using case studies of CCA-treated motorway fenceposts and creosote-treated electricity transmission poles, the paper suggests an approach to evaluation of the overall environmental impact of treated timber products, utilising the emerging systems analysis method of life-cycle assessment (LCA). The development and application of LCA methodologies to date is reviewed and the key features identified. The significant aspects of the use of CCA and creosote are considered with special reference to the construction of an LCA methodology based on environmental impact criteria. The three major elements of an LCA - the life-cycle inventory, the life-cycle impact analysis and the life-cycle improvement analysis - are described in detail and the constraints applying to the completion of each element for preservative treated wood are discussed. A provisional LCA methodology for treated timber is proposed and progress to date in conducting the LCA with this method is presented.
Keywords: LCA; CCA; CREOSOTE; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT; LIFE CYCLE INVENTORY