Twelve Facts About Engineered Wood You May Not Know

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

Since launching as a small business distributing mill supplies to the wood products industry in 1952, we’ve always had the same credo: Partnering through service, innovation, and integrity. This core belief drives our quest to find custom, innovative solutions to serve the wood products industry. 

WVCO works to fulfill our mission by maintaining close partnerships with leading wood products organizations like APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers. Considered a leading resource for information about engineered wood products, APA regularly provides resources illustrating the benefits of engineered wood and mass timber products. 

Construction Benefits of Using Mass Timber Products
Here are just a few interesting facts you may not know about the benefits of building with engineered wood products like glulam, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) and more:

➢ Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is just one example of engineered wood that can use insect-damaged lumber. While areas may be discolored, it’s still structurally sound, and the natural blue stain adds visual interest to the project! Learn more

➢Treated glulam is an ideal building material for exposed applications, like bridges, because it stands up to extreme weather conditions. Click here to learn more. 

➢ Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels are six times lighter than concrete. Requiring no set time and fewer laborers to install, CLT panels are a great building material for larger applications. 

Sustainable Impact of Wood Products
There are many questions about the environmental impacts of harvesting wood. APA recently hosted a webinar to clear up some misconceptions about using wood as a green building material.  Click here to access the webinar, Wood as a Sustainable Building Material. In the meantime, here are some quick facts about the sustainable qualities of building with wood. 

Wood products facts

➢ Forest management and replanting efforts have resulted in steadily increasing timber volume. 

➢ Industrial output per unit of wood input grew 40% over the last 50 years, meaning more wood fiber ends up as usable building materials. Click here to learn more about the efficient manufacturing process of engineered wood. 

➢ Engineered wood products are manufactured mostly with wood-based biomass fuels, reducing both the number of fossil fuels used and resources wasted in manufacturing. Click here to learn more. 

➢ A young tree’s vigorous growth increases oxygen production and CO2 absorption. The carbon is then stored in the wood when harvested. Click here to learn more benefits of using wood as a sustainable building material.

The U.S. wood products industry accounts for 60% of the nation’s bioenergy production and use. Discover more facts and learn how to #buildgreen with sustainable #plywood and #OSB panels at https://www.performancepanels.com/sustainability

➢ The U.S. wood products industry accounts for 60% of the nation’s bioenergy production and use. 

Discover more environmental benefits of engineered wood at www.apawood.org/green-building. 

Major Milestones of the Softwood Plywood Industry

Major Milestones in Plywood

Article Source: www.apawood.org/apas-history

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, a  small wooden box factory, 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

WVCO looks back on 2019 – the year of innovation.

WVCO Railroad Products

2019 was a year of innovation. The wood products industry thrived as game-changing technology was introduced into the marketplace while cross-laminated timber, known for its economic advantages, construction quality, durability, sustainability, and aesthetics, was embraced by more architects and construction companies around the world.

There were great advances made in automation that will make manufacturing jobs safer and more efficient. WVCO’s Idaho Milling and Grain division kept their eyes on exciting new research that may help farmers adapt to climate pressures as researchers developed technology to create 3D-printed concrete that could revolutionize the construction industry and decrease its carbon footprint.

WVCO continued to develop robotic solutions for automated engineering, finishing, material handling, welding and more. Our team of engineers also developed unique and customized solutions that will enable companies to overcome challenges in the transportation industry and infrastructure.

Here’s a look back at some of our highlights from 2019.

In May, our WVCO Wood Products team traveled to Hannover, Germany to showcase WVCO’s wood product solutions and equipment at LIGNA 2019, the world’s leading trade show for tools and machinery for the wood processing industry. It was an exciting opportunity for us to meet with key wood and forestry industry leaders from around the globe. LIGNA 2019 had three focus themes: “Integrated Woodworking – Customized Solutions”, “Smart Surface Technology” and “Access to Resources and Technology”.

Over the summer, the WVCO team introduced the FastPatch HPRE, High-Performance Rail Encapsulator to address some of the challenges embedded rail systems on city streets present such as excessive vibration, noise, rail deflection, and maintenance difficulties. This new system is designed from WVCO’s innovative polymer and dispensing equipment and offers fast installation and a long-lasting solution for embedded rail systems with key performance properties.

We also had the pleasure of opening our newly remodeled R & D Center for our Research & Development team in Eugene. The beautiful new facility is equipped with the latest and most sophisticated analytical technologies on the market and designed with our entire R & D team in mind.

In August, Cleco presented Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) with a $34,182.40 check at our Pineville, Louisana facility for upgrading its interior and exterior lights to LED lighting through Cleco’s Power Wise™ energy efficiency program. With the new LED lighting, WVCO is projected to save 341,824 kWh annually, which is estimated to be enough electricity to power 28 homes for one year!

Also in August, our Pre-Tec division was prominently featured in this piece published in Eugene’s Register Guard.

The WVCO Railroad Division exhibited products like SpikeFast®, the industry’s most reliable product for plugging spike holes, and other custom solutions related to rail and highway safety at the 2019 National Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Conference. The conference brought leaders in the rail and highway industries together to present contemporary topics and new technology to an international audience.

In September,the WVCO team traveled to Tampa, Florida to meet with professionals in the marine industry and present how our innovative FastPatch technology can cut time and expenses at IBEX 2019, North America’s leading technical boat-building showcase.

Our team also exhibited our railroad products and FastPatch products at Railway Interchange 2019, the largest U.S.-based technical conference and trade show for the railroad industry! took place in September in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was a great success. An estimated 7,000+ attendees and hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world gathered at this combined railway industry event, sponsored by AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) and CMA (Coordinated Mechanical Associations) and the exhibits of RSI (Railway Supply Institute), REMSA (Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association) and RSSI (Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc.)

In November, WVCO was named “APA Supplier of the Year” at the APA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the EWTA Info Fair in Tucson, Arizona. This marks the fifth year in a row we have received this esteemed award, and the tenth out of the last 14 years! EWTA’s Supplier of the Year Awards are based on the quality and delivery of EWTA member products, equipment and/or services supplied to APA members, as determined by a vote of APA mill managers.

2019 also brought major changes to the world of robotics. WVCO’s PRE-TEC division enhanced robotic weld cell automation by introducing a unique line-up of FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells, built for companies using automation for the first time, as well as customers looking to expand their robotic automation capabilities. Each system is developed using the highest quality industrial components.

What new developments do you predict 2020 will bring? Stay tuned and find out! WVCO wishes all of our employees, customers, partners and friends a very happy new year!

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

2015 EWTA Supplier of the Year Awards

 2015 Supplier Award Winners

The 2015 EWTA Supplier of the Year Award Winners Were Announced During the 2015 APA Annual Meeting

The 2015 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Supplier of the Year awards were announced last week during the Annual Meeting Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s 2015 Annual Meeting and the EWTA Info Fair in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. APA members voted from a list of outstanding nominees in the following categories: Equipment/Tooling, Materials/Supplies, and Consulting/Services.

And the winners are:

2015 Supplier Award Winners:

That’s right! Willamette Valley Company has won the 2015 EWTA Supplier of the Year Award in the Materials/Supplies category!

This latest accolade means a great deal because it is based on the quality and delivery of products, equipment and/or services, as determined by a vote of APA members.

Our goal is always to build superior solutions, not win awards. But it’s always nice when our peers and industry leaders and associations recognize our commitment to service, quality, and excellence. Willamette Valley Company has worked for decades to maintain strong relationships with members of the wood products industry by supplying them with innovative solutions, top notch service and high quality wood products including synthetic patch, putty, epoxy, specialty coatings, ink, paint, and end and edge seal as well as metering and dispensing equipment.

Congratulations to our fellow 2015 EWTA Supplier of the Year Award Winners: Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., and KADANT Carmanah Design.

The winners will also be featured in the spring 2016 issue of the Engineered Wood Journal.

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. EWTA is based in Tacoma, Wash. To learn more, visit engineeredwood.org.

Willamette Valley Company Awarded 2013 Supplier of the Year by APA – The Engineered Wood Association!

We recently learned that Panel World Magazine, Westmill Industries USA Corp., Ventek Inc. and Willamette Valley Company are receiving recognition from APA – The Engineered Wood Association as 2013 industry leaders!

EWTA’s Supplier of the Year Awards are based on the quality and delivery of EWTA member products, equipment and/or services supplied to APA members, as determined by a vote of APA mill managers.

The awards will be presented at the 2013 The Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair in Huntington Beach, Calif., Nov. 2–4.  

Now in it’s 20th year, the EWTA Info Fair is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers from approximately 68 EWTA member companies!

WVCO has participated as an (EWTA) Info Fair Gold Level sponsor and been honored with APA’s Supplier of the Year award in past years. Be sure to follow our updates from the 2013 event on Twitter and Facebook!

 

Willamette Valley Company to Help Sponsor 20th EWTA Info Fair and Annual Golf Tournament

WVCO values our partnership with the APA – The Engineered Wood Association and will again be a Gold Sponsor of the 2013 The Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair.  This annual event is considered to be the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s leading engineered product manufacturers and service providers and held in conjunction with APA’s Annual Meeting in Huntington Beach, Calif., Nov. 2–4.

Tustin Ranch Course
Photo Source: www.apawood.org

In addition we will join other companies including Arclin, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals, LLC, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, Inc., Raute, Ventek, Inc., and Westmill Industries to sponsor the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

APA’s Annual Golf tournament honors the life of Mike St. John, Pacific woodtech executive and APA trustee, who passed away in November, 2012. The tournament will take place
at the Tustin Ranch Course, an award winning 18-hole course featuring breathtaking scenery, sparkling lakes and cascading falls.

Now in it’s 20th year, the EWTA Info Fair is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers from approximately 68 EWTA member companies!

WVCO has participated as an (EWTA) Info Fair Gold Level sponsor and been honored with APA’s Supplier of the Year award in past years. WVCO President, John Harrison, and company representatives attended last year’s Info Fair at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida.

 

Be sure to follow our updates from the 2013 event on Twitter and Facebook!

A bit of history: 

The Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) is a related nonprofit corporation of APA—The Engineered Wood Association, the leading North American association of engineered wood product manufacturers.

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.

Today, the organization 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”.

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.