Forestry and Wood Manufacturing Research Group
There is a Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) administered through the University of Washington. Focusing on forestry and wood manufacturing, the consortium consists of members from several universities and industry. Life-cycle assessment seems to be an important part of the methodology. The O.R. connection can be found in their objectives:
CORRIM’s research is focused on two objectives: 1) to develop a database and modeling system for environmental performance measurements associated with materials use and, 2) to respond to specific questions and issues related to environmental performance and the cost effectiveness of alternative management and technology strategies. This database and information source will enable decision-makers to make consistent comparisons and systematically characterize the options for improving environmental performance.
There is an interesting little piece here mentioning a CORRIM study favoring wood over concrete or steel for house framing.