Architectural Record BE - Building Enclosure

The Green Life of Western Redcedar

This course is no longer active
Sponsored by Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
Continuing Education

Learning Objectives - After this course, you should be able to:

  1. %IExplain the environmental benefits of western redcedar as a building material.
  2. %IUtilize forest certification and life cycle analysis as key tools for selecting the most sustainable wood products.
  3. %IEvaluate a detailed independent life cycle analysis comparing western redcedar with other common materials used for siding and decking.
  4. %IExplore case studies of innovative buildings and the factors that influenced the architects


Finding objective, verifiable information about a product’s true overall sustainability has become one of the responsible architect’s most demanding tasks. Western redcedar, a common softwood used for centuries as a lightweight, fine-grained, naturally insect resistant building material, is also highly sustainable. This course focuses on two specific, objective approaches to understanding and verifying western redcedar’s environmental benefits: forest certification and Life Cycle Analysis using international standards. Western redcedar is analyzed throughout its growth, manufacturing, use and re-use, from carbon absorption as a seedling to energy efficient insulator in a building through reclamation for continuing use as a net “carbon sink.” Case studies also illustrate its many additional characteristics beyond sustainability.