This course will examine the ways in which the use of exotic wood in decking materials contributes to deforestation. It will also examine how some certifying bodies fall short of protecting tropical rainforests and fail to prevent illegally harvested wood from entering the United States. Finally, the course will outline the evolution of synthetic decking materials, compare them to exotic wood, and discuss the design and environmental advantages of specifying them.

Learning Objectives

  • Investigate the impact of exotic wood specification for building materials and deforestation of the global ecosystem.
  • Compare and contrast exotic wood and synthetic material specific to decking applications.
  • Explore how synthetic decking materials were specified to combat the challenges of wood.
  • Examine types of synthetic decking materials as well as design characteristics that can be incorporated when specifying decking projects.

Prerequisite: None.