Carbon Calculator

  • Brock Commons Phase 1, tall wood, UBC
    Brock Commons Phase 1, UBC, Vancouver, B.C.
    Photo: KK Law
    MEC Head Office
    MEC Head Office, Vancouver, B.C.
    Photo: KK Law
    Wood Innovation & Design Centre
    Wood Innovation & Design Centre, Prince George, B.C.
    Photo: Ema Peter
    UBC CIRS
    Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, UBC, Vancouver, B.C.
    Photo: UBC

With growing pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment, builders and designers are increasingly being called upon to balance functionality and cost objectives with reduced environmental impact. Wood can help achieve that balance. 

Wood products continue to store carbon absorbed by the trees, keeping it out of the atmosphere. Using wood in place of fossil fuel-intensive materials such as steel and concrete also “avoids” greenhouse gases that would have been emitted during manufacturing. 

The Carbon Calculator is a tool that helps quantify the benefits of building with wood. Specific wood product and building information is put into the Calculator and the tool provides estimates of carbon storage in the building and avoided emissions. Results from this tool are based on wood volumes only and are estimates of carbon stored within wood products and avoided emissions resulting from the substitution of wood products for non-wood products. The results do not indicate a carbon footprint or global warming potential and are not intended to replace a detailed life cycle assessment study.

Below is an example of Carbon Calculator results for the student residence, Brock Commons at the University of British Columbia:

To access the Carbon Calculator, visit the Canadian Wood Council website at www.cwc.ca/carboncalculator