The purpose of this study is to combine life cycle assessment with cost estimates on a completed building project to better understand what the embodied carbon and economic implications are of choosing mass timber, steel, or concrete structural systems. The study is based on an existing reference building — the mass timber office in Denver known as Platte Fifteen — as it compares to design alternates in steel and concrete. Comparisons between the three systems are made in terms of embodied carbon, speed of construction, and construction cost.

This report starts with an introduction to embodied carbon and its measurement followed by a description of the reference and design of the alternate buildings. The details of the LCA methodology are documented next, and finally the results of the LCA and cost comparative analyses are presented.

Click to download the Platte Fifteen Life Cycle Assessment.

Funded by the Softwood Lumber Board