In addition to cost, sustainability and aesthetics tend to be key drivers for the use of wood in civic and recreational buildings such as police and fire stations, community centers, natatoriums and arenas. The aesthetic value of exposed wood structure is a selling point for public buildings as designers are challenged with creating beautiful, inspirational spaces while demonstrating responsibility with public funds. The sheer range of exposed wood options offers significant opportunity for artistic expression. Green building certification is often a requirement for publicly-funded projects, and wood can contribute to points in several categories commonly found in rating systems. Wood’s carbon benefits are also a consideration for many designers, who see the use of wood instead of fossil fuel-intensive materials as a way to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment. Life cycle assessment and Environmental Product Declarations further support the use of wood as a sustainable choice.