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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Richard Bergman

Richard Bergman, PhD

Research Forest Products Technologist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: 608-231-9477
Fax: 608-231-9508
Contact Richard Bergman, PhD


Current Research

Consequential life-cycle analysis of products from modular wood biomass gasification units that use small diameter trees

Life-cycle primary energy and carbon footprint of recovering wood from buildings for reuse

The effect of timing of emissions on climate change impacts for production, use and disposal of building products

Dynamic carbon inventory of the life cycle of wood products in conjunction with working forests

Developing new and updating wood product life-cycle inventory data for creating business-to-business Environmental Product Declarations

Research Interests

Life-cycle analysis of wood building materials and bioenergy resources to quantify critical emissions and thus environmental impacts

Carbon footprint of wood products including the impact of dynamic GHG fluxes

Comparison of critical environmental impacts for wood products and their alternatives 

Past Research

Heat treatment (sterilization) of wood products

Wood energy with a focus on gasification

Why This Research is Important

Life-cycle inventories (LCIs) and life-cycle assessments (LCAs) of wood products are critically needed 1) to support LCA calculations and material selection decisions under Green Building codes and standards and 2) to provide data needed for environmental products declarations for wood products and thereby maintain their competitiveness.

Methods development that include the effect of timing of greenhouse gas emissions is critical to accurately estimate the climate change impacts of wood products use that have varying emissions over time.

LCI and LCA information can aid wood product manufcaturers and users by identifying and modifying unit processes that the highest environmental impacts and thereby reduce emissions.

Education

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD Primary: Forestry Secondary: Life-cycle analysis, 2012
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, M.S. Primary: Forestry Secondary: Life-cycle analysis, 2007
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, B.S. Chemical Engineer, 1996
  • Northcentral Technical College, WI, A.S. Electromechanical Technology, 1991

Professional Experience

  • Research Forest Products Technologist, USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madiosn, Wisconsin
    1999 - Current
    Focused on evaluating the forest sector role in sustainable management of natural systems. This includes evaluating indicators of sustainability of forest management, estimating and analyzing the role of forests and wood products in mitigating climate change by storing carbon and offsetting missions, evaluating opportunities to use forest biomass in the West to mitigate fire risk, and conducting life cycle analysis of the environmental effects of wood and bioenergy products. The life-cycle analysis area is new and will have its own problem statement when the research work unit (RWU) description is approved. This reflects an increasing emphasis in the RWU of understanding the environmental impacts, particularly carbon emissions and offsets, of wood and paper product products production and use.

Professional Organizations

  • Astm E60 Sustainabilty Committee, Member (2010 - Current)
    I am a ASTM E60 committee member working on creating standards from the following two work items: 1) Work Item# 23356: Standard Practice for Development of Product Category Rules for Use in Development of Environmental Declarations for Building Products and Systems (FPL Technical Lead) and 2) Work Item #28938: Standard Practice for Life Cycle Assessment of Whole Buildings
  • Consortium For Research On Renewable Industrial Materials (Corrim), Vice-President Of Solid And Engineered Wood Products (2009 - Current)
    As part of CORRIM, I am involved with the following: 1) developing life-cycle research proposals in conjunction with other CORRIM members, 2) working on life-cycle research projects with other CORRIM members, and 3) providing guidance on direction of CORRIM's objectives
  • American Center on Life-Cycle Assessment, Member (2008 - Current)
    I present life-cycle research at ahe annual conferences and revieweproceedings papers .
  • Forest Products Society, Vice Chairman (2004 - Current)
    I am currently co-chair of the North American Wood Windows and Doors Symposium to be held April 18-19, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN. In addition, I present research at annual conferences, review manuscripts for the Forest Products Journal (FPJ) related to life-cycle analysis and submit manuscripts from my research to the FPJ for peer-review.
  • Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST), Member (2004 - Current)
    I present research at SWST annual conferences, review manuscripts for the Wood and Fiber Science (W&FS) journal related to life-cycle analysis and submit manuscripts from my work to W&FS journal for peer-review.

Awards & Recognition

  • Rural Community Assistance Award, 2005
    In the Spirit of Working Together for Rural America
  • First National Fire Plan Award, 2004
    Innovation in Utilization of Biomass
  • USDA Secretary’s Group Award for Enhancing the Capacity of All Rural Residents, Communities, and Bus, 2003
    For exceptional dedication and commitment in providing technical and marketing assistance to rural forest-dependent communities and business

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights

HighlightTitleYear


FPL-2010-001
Centennial Edition, Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material

The Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material serves as a primary reference document for a wide variety of users-from the general publ ...

2010


FPL-2011-06
Evaluating the environmental impact of building material recovery and reuse

Within the green building and sustainable construction fields, there is a growing movement to recover and reuse building materials in lieu of de ...

2011


FPL-2011-10
Labeling Wood Products Based on Environmental Impacts - Helping consumers make sustainable choices

Environmental product declaration (EPD) is a summary of the environmental impacts associated with producing and using a product or service. An E ...

2011


Last updated on : 07/29/2014