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Declaring life cycle inventory of toxicity related emissions in environmental product declarations of preservative treated wood products
2018 - IRG/WP 18-50339
Life cycle assessment (LCA) including impacts on toxicity for preservative treated wood has been shown to have large uncertainties. With the growing demand for verified LCA in environmental product declarations (EPD), the need for reliable data is crucial for realistic assessment of wood products. Uncertainty is caused by several issues such as service life prediction, leaching rates and calculation of the environmental impacts of leaching and other emissions, known as life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). The goal of this paper is to present suggestions for declaring life cycle inventory (LCI) results in EPD in the European context and to give recommendations for developing realistic methods for LCIA of these inventory results. The LCI should be based on existing methods used in risk assessments demanded for the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), but has to be calculated relative to the functional unit in the EPD. The minimum requirement should be that the LCI should include emissions arising from the manufacturing process and use. Information about the geographical, timing and metal speciation should also be documented, so that realistic characterisation factors can be developed for the LCIA. Generic characterisation factors for LCIA of preservative treated wood should not be used for LCA, as the results would have very high uncertainties. Further research should be performed to developed realistic characterisation factors for LCIA of toxicity related emissions from wood products.
L G F Tellnes, C Askham, P-O Flæte, M Klamer


The Environmental Impact of Timber Products Compared to other Building Materials - A Survey of Published Environmental Product Declarations
2016 - IRG/WP 16-50314
One of the positive aspects of using wood in construction is the environmental benefits that this can potentially bring. However, manufacturers of all construction products and materials make claims about the ‘environmental friendliness’ of their products, making it exceedingly difficult for the end user to make informed choices about the advisability of using one product over another. This study presents an analysis of the published environmental product declarations (EPDs) of timber products (fibreboard, particleboard, oriented strandboard, glulam/laminated veneer lumber, sawn and dried timber) and compares this data with that published in the widely available and quoted University of Bath Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database. Comparison is also made with some common non-biogenic building materials (concrete, brick, cement and steel).
C Hill, J Dibdiakova


The applicability of life cyle analysis and alternative methods in the wood preservation industry
1994 - IRG/WP 94-50023
In the Netherlands, several case studies have been performed using the life cycle analysis method (LCA). This type of research is aimed at an inventory and classification (sometimes including also evaluation) of the environmental impacts of a product, from the raw material to waste stage ("cradle to grave" approach). In a LCA each environmental impact is assessed in terms of, for example, mass of raw material use (kg), energy consumption (MJ), emissions (COx, NOX, SOx, etc.) and final waste (in kg). The critical point in an LCA is the definition of comparable "functional units" for similar products made of different materials with different service lifes. As the LCA method has often proved to be very complex, lime-consuming, expensive and difficult to interpret and translate into practically usefull results, alternative methods are developed. Three methods are described and compared on the basis of various examples. It is hoped that this may be of use as a starting point for further discussion on the suitability of applying the LCA on (preservative treated) timber products.
P Esser, J Cramer


Life cycle approached environmental information to promote treated timber
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-13
This paper exemplifies the possibilities to compare products and product systems with help of life cycle assessment (LCA) as a tool for environmental assessment. IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has developed a concept for evaluation of environmental impacts based on normalisation, based on so called environmental quality objectives (EQO). This concept makes it possible to compare a product’s relative contribution to different impacts categories including, amongst others, climate change and acidification etc but also human and ecological toxicity. It is not possible to determine whether one building material as such is more favourable than another, from an environmental point of view, if not the functionally related to its applications is concerned. Instead, different parts of the building systems or the whole building are the ultimate context for assessment. The sustainability issue concerning treated timber should therefore be addressed as follows: In which applications are treated wood preferable to other materials from an environmental as well as economic perspective? The applications described above represent the strategically sustainable market segment. The next logical step will then be to identify them.
M Erlandsson


Minimisation of the Environmental Impacts of Coatings on Exterior Wood by Optimisation of their Life Spans
2003 - IRG/WP 03-50197
The study has shown that the environmental impacts from coatings on exterior wood are dependent criteria on their life spans. A minimisation of the environmental impacts can be performed with the help of the integrated design model, which is tested in this study. The optimal life spans, found as reference service lives from the exposure tests, statistical evaluation and the assessment of experts were used for forecasting in Life Cycle Assessment of the coatings on exterior wood. The integrated life cycle design, performed in this study, showed that the water-borne acrylic coating and the water-borne acrylic stain are the best choice as regards the integrated assessment of the environmental impacts and service lives of the coatings. The discussed coating systems are a solvent-borne alkyd coating, a water-borne acrylic coating, a water-borne acrylic stain, a solvent-borne alkyd stain and an alkyd oil.
L Strömberg


Life Cycle Assessment of treated timber: methodological aspects and first results
2009 - IRG/WP 09-50264
Environmental information on products is more and more required as a key to the market, and the building sector in Europe is certainly advanced in that direction. In France, Environmental Product Declarations are becoming very common for construction products. Therefore, the CTB P+ and CTB B+ certification comity as commissioned FCBA to perform the Life Cycle Analysis of treated timber in order to publish EPDs of different types of treated timber products. The methodological choices and some selected first results about energy and climate change are presented.
E Vial, M Bertrand, C Cornillier, G Deroubaix


Guideline for Environmental Product Declaration for Thermally Modified Timber
2012 - IRG/WP 12-50287
Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) intend to enable the comparison of the environmental attributes of products that meet equivalent functional requirements. This guideline describes the proceedings of EPD for thermally modified timber (TMT). The main objective is the general survey on requirements on EPD which are based on European and international standards.Up to now only a few EPDs for natural sawn-timber and timber-products have been issued, e.g. for Norway-spruce (Picea abies Karst.), Scots pine (Pinus sylvetsris, L.) and beech (Fagus sylvatica). This guideline is applicable for the declaration of modified timber of various heat treatment processes. The documentation of EPD proceedings covers the aspects of identification, inventory, analysis and the transmission of process data into the environmental performance of TMT. Therefore the purpose of this IRG-document is to support scientists who perform the inventory of thermal-treatment-processes with the goal of providing data for an EPD.
L Clauder


Wood Protection and Environmental Performance of Products - Impacts COST Action FP1407 Aims to Bring
2016 - IRG/WP 16-50323
Though many aspects of wood modification (chemical, thermal, impregnation) treatments are known, the fundamental influence of the process on product performance, the environment, and end of life scenarios remain unknown. To contribute to the low-carbon economy and sustainable development, it is essential to integrate interactive assessment of process parameters, developed product properties, and environmental impacts. Therefore, a group of researchers joint in a COST Action FP1407 “Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach”. The main objective of the Action FP1407 is to characterize the relationship between wood modification processing, product properties, and the associated environmental impacts in order to maximize sustainability and minimize environmental impacts. The Action aims to provide the critical mass of Europe-wide knowledge needed to achieve the future developments in the field. The networking, multi-disciplinary, exchange of knowledge, and scientific excellence, as well as the expertise of industrial members, will enable comprehensive research and development of modification processing and products design with emphasis on their environmental impacts. This paper will briefly introduce the mechanism COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) and the key research areas, work plan and secondary objectives of this Action FP1407 with the focus on environmental impact assessments. The life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental product declarations (EPDs) are introduced with examples of LCA studies of wood products. The paper concludes with discussion about the impacts of the Action FP1407 in the field of environmental performance of wood products.
A Kutnar


Danish wood preservatives approval system with special focus on assessment of the environmental risks associated with industrial wood preservatives
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-01
The following is a description of the procedure used by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to assess the environmental risks associated with preservatives used in the pressure impregnation of wood. The risk assessment covers issues considered to be of significance for the environment and which are adequately documented so as to allow an assessment. Such issues are persistence and mobility in soils, bioaccumulation and the impact on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Unless required in special circumstances, the assessment does not apply to birds and mammals as the normal use of preservative treated wood is not expected to involve any noteworthy exposure of these groups. Approval of wood preservatives will be based on a general assessment of the environmental risk associated with the normal use of wood treated with the preservative in a realistic worst case situation. The assessment may address other aspects such as disposal and total life cycle.
J Larsen


Environmental status of wood preservation in the UK
1994 - IRG/WP 94-50018
The environmental status of wood preservatives and treated wood in the UK is summarised. The current legislatory position with respect to approvals, supply, use and waste disposal is considered. The bibliography at the end of this paper contains details of all publications referred to together with other relevant information although this cannot be exhaustive.
M Connell


Loss of preservatives from treated wood during service
1992 - IRG/WP 92-3734
During the 23rd IRG conference in Harrogate the matter of preservative losses from treated wood during service was raised. We were asked to collect information in this field and ask now for help from you. Many tests have been carried out at a laboratory scale to study fixation and leaching from wood treated with different preservatives. Very little, however, is reported on losses of preservatives during service. Since these values are of great relevance regarding environmental impact and the final disposal, reuse or recycling of treated wood, it is of great importance to get as much information as possible on the amount of active ingredients lost during service life. We are convinced there are quite a lot of analytical data and additional information available in many places all over the world. It appears to be rewarding to collect those data and put them together adequately to get an astimate of the losses of the different components based on a broad scale of in service situations. This work will be done as soon as information is available and it is intended to present the results on next IRG meeting.
M-L Edlund, D Rudolph


Programme section 5, Environmental aspects
1997 - IRG/WP 97-50099
IRG Secretariat


Programme section 5, Environmental aspects
1996 - IRG/WP 96-50077
IRG Secretariat


The registration of wood preservatives under the Pesticides Act of 1962 in the Netherlands
1976 - IRG/WP 364
J Van der Kolk


Programme Section 5 Environmental aspects
1999 - IRG/WP 99-50138
IRG Secretariat


Regulations of pesticides (including wood preservatives) in the United States
1977 - IRG/WP 397
G B Fahlstrom


Environmental issues: Messages for the wood preservation industry
1985 - IRG/WP 3353
A review of the origins and structure of environmental legislation throughout those territories of the world where wood preservation is a major industry is given. The implications of media, industry and legislation interaction is discussed and suggestions made as to the key issues the wood preservation industry should concentrate its attentions on in the immediate future.
D G Anderson, P Waldie


The role of communication in the field of environment protection: A case study "Wood Protection"
1990 - IRG/WP 3574
L Wöss


Rates of emission from CCA-treated wood in the marine environment: measurement, modelling and requirements for further research
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-12
Accurate estimates of rates of emission of leachate from preservative treated wood are crucial for realistic predictions of the environmental impact of its use in maritime construction. Estimates are available for some commonly used preservatives, but these vary widely. Though variable, these measurements suggest that emission generally decreases exponentially with time. Part of the variation is due to differences in methodology employed. Physical and chemical characteristics of the seawater used (e.g. temperature, salinity, pH and oxygen content) affect emission rate. So too do the specifics of the treatment process especially the preservative formulation used, and pre- and post-treatment handling of the wood. The nature of the treated wood samples is also important, with misleadingly high estimates being obtained from samples with unrepresentatively high proportions of cross-cut surfaces. A suggested strategy for developing an informative and standardised methodology is discussed. To form useful models of impacts of leaching, emission rates need to be considered in conjunction with site-specific information regarding a) water exchange rates between the area where leaching occurs and the sea, and b) the extent of partitioning of leachate between the water column, biota and sediment. The risk of environmental impact may be reduced by modification to treatment procedures and by careful planning of installation.
S M Cragg, C J Brown, R A Albuquerque, R A Eaton


Quantitative determination of Chromium: A comparison of three instruments
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50053
A comparison is made between three instruments for measuring levels of chromium in the leachate of copper-chrome-arsenic (CCA) treated timber. These include an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, an inductively coupled plasma spectrometer and the RQflexâ. The RQflexâ is a new hand-held instrument which measures chromium by dipping a ReflectoquantÒ strip into the leachate and inserting the strip into the RQflexâ. Readings are determined reflectometrically following a reaction between chrome and the Reflectoquantâ strip. It provides an inexpensive and quick technique which is used in this paper to determine the degree of preservative fixation prior to the removal of CCA treated timber from drip pads of wood treatment sites. The results indicate that RQflexâ is a suitable instrument for the rapid assessment of chromium levels in rain wash off from treated timber. A comparison is given of the economics and accuracy of the instruments for measuring chromium.
S Walley, P R S Cobham, P Vinden


Environmental impact of CCA poles in service
1997 - IRG/WP 97-50087
Soil samples from different depths and distances from CCA treated utility poles in Canada were analyzed for copper, chromium and arsenic content for a number of soil types, two wood species red pine (Pinus resinosa) and jack pine (P. banksiana) and different pole ages in service. A limited number of poles were equipped with water traps to collect rain water that dripped down the poles and where sufficient ground water was present, ground water samples from next to the pole were analyzed. The level of soil contamination dropped rapidly with distance from the pole, with soil levels approaching background levels within 0.25 from the pole. Generally, copper levels (above background) were highest, followed by arsenic and chromium, consistent with the known relative leaching tendencies of the three elements. Contaminant levels increased with age of the pole in service and were generally highest in wet organic soils, followed by sand loam soils and clay soils. Soil concentrations were highest at the ground line, adjacent to the poles. This suggested that a large source of the soil contamination was contaminated rain water that ran down the pole. Rain water trapped from the pole surfaces during rain events had significant concentrations of all three elements. There was no obvious drop in contaminant content in water that dripped down the poles with age of the poles. Ground water samples from next to the poles occasionally had detectable CCA components above aquatic and drinking water guidelines.
P A Cooper, Y T Ung, J-P Aucoin


Trends in environmental management in industry. Implications for wood preservation activities
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-34
J A De Larderel


A review of environmental emissions from building and construction materials in comparison with preserved wood
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-11
A review of the public domain literature concerning emissions to the environment from materials which are used in the construction of buildings (e.g. Concrete, Asphalt, Galvanised Steel), in comparison with preserved wood, and a review of the approaches taken by the construction sector in assessing the risk from environmental emissions, in comparison with the approaches taken by the wood preservation sector.
E F Baines


Restrictions or environmental taxes as regulatory means - How will they influence the use of pressure treated wood?
1998 - IRG/WP 98-50101-28
In all the Nordic countries except Norway, we have environmental restrictions on the use of pressure treated wood. In Norway we expect environmental taxes on a large number of various products in 1998/99 - probably also pressure treated wood with one or more of the heavy metals copper, chromium and arsenic. The paper will discuss how this can influence the use of pressure treated wood and cause a changes to other materials in the Nordic countries.
F G Evans


Fully impregnated poles for a minimum environmental impact: Eucalyptus poles
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-24
The classical processes for preservation of wooden poles (vacuum-pressure and Boucherie processes) allow the impregnation of the sapwood only. The new radial-axial injection process has been applied to Eucalyptus poles, and has led to impregnation of both sapwood and heartwood. Further more; preserving product is injected both through the groundline area and through the bott end. This allows the two entrances to benefit from a very high retention of antiseptic.
L Nitunga


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