The Benefits of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)

Puukuokka-Housing-Block

OOPEA’s Wooden Puukuokka Housing Block of Jyväskylä, Finland, Photo Source Archdaily

“CLT has opportunities for significant advantages over steel, concrete or masonry construction in terms of environmental credentials, speed, weight, and structure as finish” – Alex de Rijke, dRMM

We previously asked the question “Is the Construction Industry About to Enter a Timber Age?” As architects and designers make the switch to building with Cross-Laminated Timber (even going as far to refer to it as the “Concrete of the 21st Century”) it’s become clear that the Timber Age isn’t about to begin, it has already begun.

Designers are embracing this new material for projects throughout the world. Hawkins/Browns of London combined CLT and steel to produce “the Cube,” a 33-meter high apartment block in London they claim is “the tallest building to use structural cross-laminated timber in Europe.” Beyond that they’ve produced CLT recital halls and tree-houses as well as using Cross-Laminated Timber to modify office and educational space. Lever Architecture of Portland proposed and designed Framework, a prize-winning mixed-use building that, if constructed, will be among the largest wooden buildings in the United States. Further structures can be found in Chicago, Finland, and Canada to name a couple of ever-growing examples.

This mass-adoption of Cross-Laminated Timber comes as no surprise when you list out the benefits it provides.

What are the Benefits of Cross-Laminated Timber?

Put simply, Cross-Laminated Timber is a prefabricated panel made up of kiln-dried wooden boards stacked in alternating directions (where the cross of the name comes from), then stuck together with structural adhesives. These panels are prepared with CNC equipment, allowing for precise specification and application in construction.

Most, if not all of CLT’s benefits stem from this design and preparation.

Simple, Quick Construction

Cross-Laminated Timber panels are lightweight and arrive on site with a structural system ready to be assembled. The process is both simple and swift, allowing for immediate and accurate construction which in turn saves time and money. CNC-prepared panels also allow for greater creative control when designing and building structures.

Durable

In Japan, a seven-story CLT building’s durability in an earthquake scenario was tested through fourteen shake-tests and came out with minimal damage. Airtight construction of each panel and precision fitting through CNC preparation leads to seismic resilience, as does its unique strength-to-weight ratio.

Fire-Resistant

Though it may sound strange to tout fire-resistance as a benefit of a wooden building material, it’s one of Cross-Laminated Timber’s greatest strengths. The lamination of CLT has an inherent fire-resistance to it, and the construction of the panels and structures allows little room for fire to breath and expand.

Additionally, the solid thermal mass of CLT prevents the conduction of heat from one side of the panel to the other, allowing extremely high temperatures to remain isolated to a side as the other remains at room temperature.

Sustainable

The nature of wood makes it the only building material that can be regrown and feasible in the long-term. Precision cutting of CLT minimizes on-site waste and its manufacturing requires less energy than producing steel or concrete. Cross-Laminated Timber’s light carbon footprint is one of its greatest strengths.

Acoustic Insulation

Solid wood paneling provides superior acoustic insulation, dampening both airborne and impact noises. Its lightweight nature also leads to quiet construction, making it ideal for urban development.

Thermal Insulation

In the same way that Cross-Laminated Timber’s airtight design creates auditory insulation it also creates thermal insulation. Tightly packed panels can trap 90% of the heat that would ordinarily escape from a home. CLT’s previously-mentioned high thermal mass means that temperatures are kept stable and comfortable.

Pleasing Aesthetic

There’s a warm, soothing visual quality to building with wood that separates it from the lifeless concrete slabs that typically fill a city. Cross-Laminated Timber also grants designers with the freedom to experiment with more organic and creative structures than previously allowed by old-fashioned building techniques.

See some of the possibilities for yourself.

Affordable

When comparing the manufacturing costs of certain steels and concrete, as well as the money saved on shorter construction time, CLT comes out as at a competitive price.

Sources:
Smartlam.com
Valueaddedwood.ca
Deezen.com
Archdaily.com
Naturally:Wood Youtube

Is the Construction Industry About to Enter the “Timber Age”?

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter's Wooden Highrise apartments for Stockholm

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter’s Wooden Highrise apartments for Stockholm. Photo Source: /www.dezeen.com/

“New types of engineered timber that are considerably stronger and more stable than regular wood are allowing architects to build bigger and higher, with timber skyscrapers now a real prospect.”-www.dezeen.com

As we are about to enter a new year, we in the timber industry are asking,

Are we entering what architects are calling “The Timber Age”?

As more and more builders are seeking sustainable designs, some architects appear to moving away from conventional materials (i.e.steel, masonry, concrete) and embracing wood as the “architectural wonder material of the 21st century”.

And it’s no wonder.  Builders and  architects alike are recognizing timber for it unique aesthetics, sustainability, quality and speed of construction.

“This is the beginning of the timber age,” said UK architect Andrew Waugh in this recent article. Waugh’s firm is behind a housing development in London that will use more timber than any other project in the world.

In Portland OR, builders plan to build a 12-story tower the city’s famed Pearl District.  In the Portland Tribune, Thomas Robinson of Lever Architecture says that this type of wood not only resists fires, it will have the ability to absorb the shock of a major earthquake.

These buildings are not limited to London and Portland.  Plans for these tall timber buildings are also cropping up in Manhattan, Italy, Australia British Columbia and many more locations all over the world.

The building material making these wooden tower structures possible is cross-laminated timber (CLT)– a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel.

Will cross laminated timber (CLT) take over steel and concrete as the preferred building material?


In it’s description of cross-laminated timber (CLT), APA – The Engineered Wood Association describes the material as “lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, fire, seismic, and thermal performance, CLT is also fast and easy to install, generating almost no waste onsite. CLT offers design flexibility and low environmental impacts.”

This video reviews the Tall Timber Report that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP developed as it relates to the details of the hybrid building system, fire and durability.

Aside from the structural benefits of wood, there are other benefits to using this material in buildings. Exposure to natural materials has real and measurable health and wellbeing benefits for the building’s occupants.  Corey Griffin, an Associate Professor at the Architecture School at Portland State University, says studies have shown that people are more productive and less stressed in buildings with access to natural materials.

In addition, research suggests that these modern wood structures may result in lower costs and a lower carbon footprint since production and processing of wood uses less energy than most other building materials.

This is a very exciting time for the timber industry as the technology, research and designs evolve.  To learn more about this movement, we encourage you to take a look at some of these resources.

Article Resources:
www.dezeen.com
www.rethinkwood.com
www.woodworks.org
portlandtribune.com

Event Recap: 2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting

EWTA Info Fair

Photos via EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: A Look Back to Our Future

Last month, the WVCO team joined 75 exhibitors and hundreds of professionals from the wood products industry for the 2015 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The Info Fair is held in conjunction with APA – The Engineered Wood Association’s Annual Meeting.

This year’s product and services exposition, which celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Engineered Wood Technology Association, was the perfect blend of past, present and future.

Many of you may recall that October 21, 2015 was “Back to the Future Day” a tribute to the beloved “Back to the Future Series”. So it was fitting that the theme of the 2015 APA Annual Meeting & EWTA Info Fair, held October 17-19, was “APA Looks Back-To-Our-Future: Driving the Road to Success!” There was even a DeLorean on display!

Willamette Valley Company has a long standing history with this annual event, and we always look forward to it. “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do,” says Tony Vuksich, Vice President of Northwest Sales, The Willamette Valley Company. “It allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

This year, WVCO was a Gold Sponsor of the EWTA Reception and proud to help sponsor the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament, an Annual Golf Tournament to honor the life of Pacific Woodtech executive and APA trustee, Mike St. John.

In addition to the exciting opportunity to introduce our latest wood products solutions to members of our industry, WVCO was honored with a 2015 Supplier Award/a> at the Chairman’s Dinner and Safety Awards Recognition!

Read APA and EWTA Members Travel “Back to Our Future” at 2015 Annual Meeting to learn more about the highlights from this year’s Annual Meeting. You can also visit the event’s Facebook Page to see more photos and recaps of this year’s event.

The Engineered Wood Technology Association is a related non-profit corporation of APA – The Engineered Wood Association. EWTA represents companies that provide products and services to the engineered wood products manufacturing industry and is based in Tacoma, Wash. To learn more, visit www.engineeredwood.org.

Willamette Valley Company Partner Spotlight: APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Photo via APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Throughout our company history, WVCO has fostered important partnerships with industry leaders to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies and resources.

We are especially proud of our longstanding partnership with the APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers.

APA represents approximately 150 mills throughout North America, ranging in size and structure. The association is considered the “Leading Resource for Information About Engineered Wood Products”.

APA was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, and was later recognized as the American Plywood Association. In 1994, APA changed its name to APA – The Engineered Wood Association to better reflect the range of products manufactured by APA members and the international scope of the Association.

Since then, APA-The Engineered Wood Association has helped our industry create exceptional wood products while promoting new solutions and improved processes.

APA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop national consensus standards for engineered wood products. To learn more about APA programs and resources which include nearly 500 publications, extensive research and technical reports, free CAD details, comprehensive market studies and more, visit www.apawood.org.

Featured WVCO Partner: Moulding & Millwork Producers Association

Wood mouldings


Wood mouldings can alter the appearance of any room in your home. Photo via MMPA

Partnerships Like the One We Have With Moulding & Millwork Producers Association Make Us Better, Strong, & Smarter

Through the years, the WVCO Wood Products Division has forged a number of partnerships with leading organizations in our industry so we can better serve the marketplace with high performance patching products, coatings, application equipment, service and supplies.

As a leading producer of wood products relating to cabinets, moulding, doors, trims, overlays and more, we greatly value strategic partnerships like the one we have with the Moulding & Millwork Producers Association (MMPA).
Moulding & Millwork Producers Association

MMPA, a not-for-profit association, is what some members call “the voice of the moulding industry in North America.” The international trade organization serves manufacturers of wood, MDF and poly moulding and millwork by setting industry standards and promoting quality products domestically and abroad. It also hosts regular educational and networking sessions for it’s members with the goal of improving the industry as a whole.

“From our point-of-view, there were three key items within MMPA we wanted to be connected with,” says Paul Turcotte, Director of Operations at Roland Boulanger & Co. Ltd. “First, the upholding of the WM® standards to which each quality manufacturer should respect….Second, MMPA meetings gather suppliers of machinery and raw material from different parts of the world in a forum atypical to a trade show atmosphere…Third, we strongly believe networking is a critical component of the whole membership package. Making connections to our competitors while interacting with them during educational sessions and social events has proven invaluable over the years.”

“I am amazed at how daily competitors come together and discuss the business obstacles and opportunities within a relatively small industry. The knowledge, experience, and comradeship that is built within the members within the association is an investment for myself and for my company, ” says Al Delbridge, President, East Coast Moulding Co.

Click here to learn more about WVCO partners or visit www.wmmpa.com.

Fall Conference Round Up: UDOT Annual Conference & 2014 EWTA Info Fair

EWTA Info Fair

WVCO Team at the 2013 EWTA Info Fair. Photo source: EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

After a very busy summer of traveling to various expos and presentations around the country, our reps are not about to slow down!  Next week, our POLYQuick division is headed to UDOT Annual Conference to introduce transportation professionals from all over the state of Utah our innovative concrete repair solutions and services.

This event, held October 28-30, 2014, offers top-notch training opportunities for attendees including specific tracks for maintenance and construction, design, and other disciplines.

This event features an interactive exposition floor (where we will feature POLYQuick products and services), along with keynote speakers like UDOT Executive Director, Carlos M. Braceras; Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox; leadership expert Stephen M. R. Covey and several other distinguished industry leaders. Attendees will also be able to take care of great training and networking opportunities available in a wide range of breakout sessions.

Our Wood Products team will be traveling to San Antonio, TX for the EWTA Info Fair November 8-10, 2014.  This annual event, sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers.

Willamette Valley Company is proud to be a part of this important event which brings together members of the engineered wood industry – Plywood, OSB, Glulam, SCL or I-Joist- in a relaxed setting and intimate venue.  The event is a perfect opportunity to share new information, best practices, introduce our new wood products solutions during productive business meetings and socializing.

WVCO’s Vice President of Northwest Sales,  Tony Vuksich, had this to say about the event “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do—it allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

About APA – The Engineered Wood Association APA
The Engineered Wood Association has a long history of providing quality service and programs to its nearly 160 member mills in the engineered wood products industry. A key to APA’s success is the teamwork between EWTA’s supplier members and APA’s member manufacturers.  The Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) is a nonprofit trade association of and for product, equipment and service providers to the North American engineered wood products industry. EWTA is a related organization of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, the leading North American association of structural engineered wood product manufacturers.

Major Milestones of the Softwood Plywood Industry

Article Source: www.apawood.org

The average person may not realize the significance of the softwood plywood industry to our economy and culture.

Since our roots are in the wood products industry, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the history of the softwood plywood Industry and the impact it has had on the United States.

What began as a product introduced by a small wooden box company in Oregon has grown into a major global industry. Today, the United States is the leading producer of softwood plywood and world’s largest producer of softwood lumber, followed by Canada and Russia according to www.state.sc.us/forest.

“Plywood is widely regarded as the original ‘engineered wood product’ because it was one of the first to be made by bonding together cut or refashioned pieces of wood to form a larger and integral composite unit. This idea of “reconstituting” wood fiber to produce better-than-wood building materials has led in more recent times to a technological revolution and the rise of a whole new engineered wood products industry.”-www.apawood.org

Here are some of the important milestones in this industry:

Portland Manufacturing Company Photo Source: APA—The Engineered Wood Association

1905
Portland Manufacturing Company produced “3-ply veneer work”, the first commercial softwood plywood product to be introduced to the public.

The product, made of Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir, was displayed at the World’s Fair held in Portland.

Orders started coming in from door, cabinet and trunk manufacturers.
Other mills began making the product and the new industry spread north to Washington.

1913
The first Canadian plywood was produced at Fraser Mills in New Westminster, British Columbia.

1920s
Automobile manufacturers began using plywood for running boards.

1925
11 U.S. plants were producing 153 million square feet of plywood per year.

1933
Douglas Fir Plywood Association, the first nonprofit trade association in the industry, was founded in Tacoma, WA.

The new association developed a nationwide promotion program and helped mills assure consistent product quality.

Douglas Fir Plywood Association also helped to develop new markets and new business during the Great Depression.

1934
Waterproof glue was discovered which led to even more product application opportunities.

1938
A new commercial standard was developed and the product was promoted as a standardized commodity rather than by individual brand names.

1940
Plywood was being used as subfloors, wall sheathing, roof sheathing, paneling and in other building construction applications.

The industry had grown to 25 mills and production topped one billion square feet.

Eighty percent of production originated in the state of Washington.

1941
The plywood production industry contributed to the WWII effort. Plywood was used in PT boats, assault ships, airplanes, barracks, military buildings, shipping crates, footlockers and countless other military applications.

1947
The post-war baby and housing booms took off which caused the industry to grow dramatically.

The industry had expanded to 40 mills producing 1.6 billion feet.

1950
The Plywood Manufacturers Association of British Columbia was founded (which is known as the Canadian Plywood Association, or CANPLY today).

1952
The founders of Willamette Valley Company company recognized the lumber industry’s need for solutions to production challenges and to create better wood products.

1954
The number of mills had grown to 100. 47 of them were in Oregon, 36 were in Washington, 17 were in California.

Softwood plywood production had grown to four billion square feet.

1960
U.S. production exceeded 7.8 billion square feet which beat what analysts had predicted by 15 years.
Canadian production topped one billion square feet.

1964
Georgia-Pacific Corporation opened the nation’s first southern pine plywood mill in Fordyce, Arkansas.

The Douglas Fir Plywood Association changed its name to American Plywood Association (APA) in recognition of the emergence of the southern pine plywood industry.

1982
The industry had expanded to 175 softwood plywood plants with a combined production capacity of nearly 23.1 billion square feet in the United States.

1994
American Plywood Association (APA) was renamed again to APA—The Engineered Wood Association to better reflect the broadening product mix and geographic range of its membership, which now encompasses a wide array of engineered wood products manufactured in both the U.S. and Canada.

2005
Lumber mills in the South were producing 10 billion square feet (two-thirds of U.S. softwood plywood production).

Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana produced the remaining one-third—some 4.8 billion feet. Oregon has been the number one producing state for the last half century.

The residential construction market still accounts for about one-third of plywood market demand in the U.S.—an estimated 5.4 billion square feet.

Present Day
Plywood is commonly used for subflooring, wall and roof sheathing, siding, soffits, and stair treads and risers.

The largest single U.S. market for softwood plywood today is the industrial sector, including such applications as furniture frames, truck trailer linings, RV floors, agricultural bins, shipping containers, and pallets.

More information about softwood plywood and other engineered wood products can be found at www.apawood.org.

About APA—The Engineered Wood Association
APA—The Engineered Wood Association is a nonprofit trade association of and for structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, laminated veneer lumber and other engineered wood product manufacturers throughout North America. Based in Tacoma, Washington, the Association was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. APA represents approximately 150 mills throughout North America. APA members range from small, independently owned and operated companies to large integrated corporations. The Association’s primary functions are quality auditing, applied research, and market support and development

photo credit: Peter Guthrie via photopin cc

WVCO Connects with Wood Products Industry at PELICE 2014

We are elated to be back in Atlanta, GA this week to attend the fourth biennial Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & Expo (PELICE)!

PELICE Expo is an educational event for worldwide wood products industries, including structural and non-structural wood panels, engineered lumber, components and laminates. It’s been dubbed “A Show By Industry People, For Industry People” and we will be there to exhibit our newest innovative wood products and solutions.

The event, held March 20-21, 2014, is supported by Panel World magazine, Wood Bioenergy magazine and the Georgia Research Institute. This is a one-of-a-kind must attend event for professionals in the panel and engineered wood products industries!

If you can’t make it to this year’s conference, don’t worry!  PELICE will be video broadcasting live from the Grand Ballroom North of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center at certain times during the event. Conference organizer and Associate Editor Jay Donnell, joined by Managing Editor Dan Shell, will be behind the microphone discussing developments at the conference and hot industry topics, as well as interviewing live video broadcast sponsors and other industry professionals, including some of the speakers before and following their presentations.

To tune in to the live video broadcasts, which is absolutely free, simply visit www.pelice-expo.com at the times indicated below and click on the home page link that will take you to the live video feed:

March 20 – 8:00am, 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm
March 21 – 8:00am, 10:00am
(All times are Eastern Standard)

WVCO Division Spotlight: Canadian Willamette Industries

Back in 1952, our founders could have never imagined we would go from a small Pacific Northwest company distributing mill supplies and wood products to a multinational corporation serving customers in a range of industries throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia, and South America.

The outstanding team at Canadian Willamette Industries, a subsidiary company of Willamette Valley Company, plays an important role in how we are able to serve the international community so efficiently.

Canadian Willamette Industries was launched in 1966 and is now a leading solutions provider for innovative patches, fillers, coatings, inks, extenders, application equipment, and other parts and supplies for the wood and concrete industries.

Canadian Willamette Industries is headquartered in Surrey, BC

CWI is headquartered in Surrey, BC, but the company has technical sales representatives throughout Canada ready to supply high quality industrial products, custom application equipment and other services for the concrete, trucking and wood industry which include:

  • Blended truckloads and reduced inventory levels with our just in time (JIT) inventory system.
  • Worry free inventory management.
  • Reusable Pallets that minimize disposal hassles and recycling costs.
  • In-House Trucking that takes care of the coordination and scheduling for you.
  • All CWI products pass a number of quality control tests before shipping, to ensure that our customers receive a quality product each and every time.
  • Custom application equipment to achieve the highest performance out of our products.
  • A guaranteed supply of filler and extenders to meet your plywood glue room requirements.
  • Robotic Spray Booths that help to maximize product usage and provide a safe working environment for employees
  • Option to use our returnable collapsible totes which are lighter than metal and fold down for easy for cost effective returns.

Like us, Canadian Willamette Industries is defined by their corporate mission statement “PARTNERING THROUGH SERVICE, INNOVATION AND INTEGRITY”– the same credo that has served us since 1952.

To learn more about CWI and our other divisions, please visit www.wilvaco.com/Divisions.

Surrey, BC, Canada Photo Source [http://www.flickr.com/photos/squeakymarmot/375331022/] – January 30, 2007 By [http://www.flickr.com/people/squeakymarmot/ Mike] {{cc-by-2.0}}

61 Years of Solutions and Service

For generations, the Pacific Northwest region has been the nation’s largest producer of softwood lumber and plywood products and WVCO founders saw an opportunity.

In 1952, Willamette Valley Company was a small business that distributed mill supplies to the wood products industry. Our original credo was “Partnering Through Service, Innovation, and Integrity’.

Through the years, our company grew and workers began to better understand the lumber companies and how to make them more efficient. We began to help lumber mills solve production challenges and create better wood products.

We began to employ engineers and scientists to devise products that have evolved to encompass coatings, fillers, adhesives, robotics, parts, engineering, and more for over a dozen industries.

61 years later, we are a multinational corporation serving customers throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia, and South America.

After all these years, we still stand behind our original credo: “Partnering Through Service, Innovation, and Integrity”. What will the next 60 years hold for us?