Canadian Forest Service Publications

Assessment of the attitudes and perceptions of architects and structural engineers towards the environmental impact of structural material use in commercial construction. 1995. Kozak, R.A.; Cohen, D.H. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Working Paper WP-OI-95.02, copublished by the BC Ministry of Forests.

Year: 1995

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 4068

Language: English

Series: Working Paper WP (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


A survey of architects and structural engineers across North America was completed to determine the attitudes and perceptions of the environmental impact of the selection and use of structural materials. Over 6,000 surveys were mailed to architects and structural engineers across North America. The response rate was over 20%. The results indicate that environmental considerations are important in the specification of structural materials. Although wood scored poorly on two environmental dimensions (extraction of the raw resource and active service lives of buildings), it did well on most of the other categories, and overall, wood products are thought of as the most "environmentally friendly" material when compared to other products. Steel scored moderately to poorly on most environmental dimensions and is considered to be the least "environmentally friendly" material. Concrete and masonry scored somewhat better, though not as highly as wood products.