Engineered Wood Product 101- What is Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)?

Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)

Photo Credit: APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Engineered wood’s surge in popularity through the years comes as no surprise to us. Willamette Valley Company is a leading supplier of wood products and custom solutions for engineered wood manufacturers and we are seeing an increase in demand for engineered wood products like never before. More and more architects and construction builders are embracing them for their economic advantages, construction quality, durability, sustainability, and aesthetics. There is an extensive range of engineered wood products we’ve written about in the past like Plywood and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), however, we’re taking a closer look at Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) and in this post. Here are some frequently asked questions.

What is Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)?

Structural composite lumber is defined by the APA – The Engineered Wood Association as “a family of engineered wood products created by layering dried and graded wood veneers, strands or flakes with moisture-resistant adhesive into blocks of material known as billets, which are subsequently resawn into specified sizes”. 
APA- Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)

What Are Examples of Structural Composite Lumber?

Some common examples of SCL include Laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), laminated strand lumber (LSL) and oriented strand lumber (OSL). 

-Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) is the most widely used of the structural composite lumber products and is often used in headers and beams, hip and valley rafters, scaffold planking and the flange material for prefabricated wood I-joists. 

-Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL) is frequently used as load-bearing columns. Like LVL and glulam, PSL is used for beam and header applications where high bending strength is needed.

-Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) is used in a variety of applications from studs to millwork components.

-Oriented Strand Lumber (OSL) is made from flaked wood strands and also used in a variety of applications from studs to millwork components.

Why Do Builders Use SCL? 

There are a range of reasons why structural composite lumber  (SCL) products are an appealing choice, here are just a few. 

-Stability & Consistency. SCL is known by builders and architects for it’s solid, uniform properties and is virtually free from warping and splitting, making it ideal for a range of industrial uses and building projects. 

-Quality & Design Flexibility. The material’s high quality and design flexibility are also appealing qualities in the building and construction industry. 

-Cost Savings. SLC is not subject to the same price volatility found in solid lumber markets. 

Environmental Sustainability. SLC is sourced from sustainably managed North American forests and produces very little waste. It can be manufactured using small, fast-grow and underutilized trees, therefore representing an efficient use of forest resources. Another interesting fact: APA-trademarked SCL products are exempt from U.S. EPA and California formaldehyde regulations due to their very low emission rates.

What is SCL Used For?

SCL’s high quality and strength makes it a practical choice for rafters, headers, beams, joists, studs and columns. Typical uses for SCL are also

Upholstered furniture frame components
Wood furniture substrate
Case goods, shelving and retail displays
Door and window components
Recreational vehicles
Truck and trailer components
Bench and seat components
Engineered flooring substrate
Concrete form wales and bracing
Domestic and export crating and packaging
Substrate for counters, tables, pool tables, and bowling alleys

About Willamette Valley Company (WVCO)

The Willamette Valley Company is a leading supplier of wood products and custom solutions for engineered wood and mass timber product manufacturers all over the world for over six decades. 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. To learn more about engineered wood products and custom solutions, check out our wood products division and be sure to visit www.apawood.org.

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. 

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!

APA – The Engineered Wood Association Publishes New Engineered Wood Case Studies

WVCO is proud of its 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”.

This month, the organization published two new case studies illustrating the benefits of engineered wood and mass timber products. Both case studies are available as free downloads on the APA website, www.apawood.org.

Beauty and the Budget APA-Wood Case Study
Photo @ APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Beauty and the Budget showcases Portland, Oregon, LEVER Architecture’s use of plywood and mass timber elements throughout the Flex building, a multi-purpose structure in Portland. In addition to exposed plywood for the shear walls, the LEVER team used exposed glulam beams throughout and glulam for the stairs as well.

“Innovative use of wood allows us to create powerful architecture even for projects with limited budgets,” architect George Michael Rusch said. “When you can use mass timber for its inherent structural properties, you can make buildings that speak volumes. It’s about the morality of the material.”

Download Case Study: Beauty and the Budget or visit www.apawood.org. 

APA Case Study-Mass Timber Has Banks Seeing Green
Photo @ APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Mass Timber has Banks Seeing Green features the new First United Bank branches in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and Fredericksburg, Texas. Both the first mass timber structures in their states, these net-zero buildings were designed with engineered wood for economic and sustainability reasons.

“First United wanted buildings that really showed how they were built and related to their customer base,” according to Gensler project architect Taylor Coleman. “Using mass timber was the best way to accomplish those goals.”

Download Mass Timber has Banks Seeing Green or visit www.apawood.org.

APA – The Engineered Wood Association is a nonprofit trade association that works with its members to create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility, and reliability. Combining the research efforts of scientists and engineers at APA’s 42,000 square-foot research center with the knowledge gained from decades of fieldwork, and cooperation with our member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry.

Learn more about APA – The Engineered Wood Association.

Three Cross-Laminated Timber Projects We Are Happy to See

In case you haven’t noticed, we talk a lot about Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). More and more architects and construction companies around the world are embracing CLT for its economic advantages, construction quality, durability, sustainability, and aesthetics. Some even refer to it as “Concrete of the 21st Century”.

“How can wood possibly replace steel and concrete in high-rise buildings? The answer is cross-laminated timber (CLT), a relatively new engineered wood product that is part of a broader category of products called “mass timber” that includes already popular products such as glulam beams. CLT panels can be made in dimensions up to 10 feet wide and 40 feet long and more than a foot thick.

The panels are composed of layers of individual pieces of lumber laminated together, with each layer arranged perpendicular to the next rather than longitudinally. An odd number of layers are bonded together by glue, dowels or nails. Once assembled, the panels form a box-like structure where the walls and floors provide both structural stability and lateral stiffness.” (Source: seattlebusinessmag.com).

It’s exciting to watch the innovative buildings and construction happening around the world right now using this engineered wood material. Proposals for new projects include a 500,000-sq-ft skyscraper in New Jersey, a 100-story tower in London, a 40-story building in Stockholm, and a residential complex in Vancouver. An 18-story CLT wood structure, a student residence at the University of British Columbia, is nearing completion (Source: woodworkingnetwork.com).

Here are a few projects that recently caught our eye:

McDonald’s New CLT Building in Chicago

McDonald’s new redesigned flagship store in Chicago is built predominantly with wood and cross-laminated timber (CLT) and features a number of sustainable elements. The LEED-certified building designed by Ross Barney Architects gives us a preview as to what all McDonalds stores will look like by 2020.

Watts Grove Under Construction in the U.K

Builders in the U.K. are tackling the affordable housing shortage by constructing Watts Grove, a project being built for Swan Housing, “one of the UK’s leading regeneration housing associations.” This exciting project, designed by Thistleton Waugh Artchitects features innovative design using Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). Click here to see more or watch the video below

The Portland Flatiron

The timber-framed, mixed-use Portland Flatiron building currently under construction in North Portland is another project that will be a real asset to that community. This cross-laminated timber mixed-use building in North Portland is going to have four floors of office space above first floor retail space and basement level parking.

What trends have you noticed in the Cross Laminated Timber Industry? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or on our LinkedIn Page!

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

A Unique View of the Sawmilling Process from Start to Finish

Lumber

Image @ Vaagen Brothers Lumber

When you think about engineered wood, one doesn’t always consider the enormous impact it has on our daily lives. Chances are there is engineered wood all around you; in the construction of the building you are sitting in, the furniture you’re using and the floors you’re standing on.

Engineered wood products are used just about everywhere from home construction to commercial buildings to industrial products. It’s so commonly used, most of us take for granted! One rarely considers the amount of skill, planning and innovation it takes to produce these marvelous materials.

It was exciting to come across a series of videos recently produced by Vaagen Brothers Lumber that provide an up close and personal view of the complete manufacturing process from logging to saw-milling, all captured with drone footage.

The forestry company’s first video, Start To Finish Logging, demonstrates the complexities of the logging process. The first step is to decide on a selective harvesting plan with the land owner. Local contractors are then sent out to operate the Feller Buncher, Skidder, Processor, and Loader to safely finish the job.

The next phase of production process is demonstrated in the video, Biomass Removal – From Forest To Power Plant. Here, we see the remarkable process of slash piles from harvest and fuels reduction projects being ground and hauled to nearby biomass power plants.

The final video of the series, Logs to Lumber, the Vaagen Brothers Lumber gives us an exquisite ariel view of the full sawmilling process inside their Colville mill.

About Vaagen Brothers Lumber
Colville, WA based Vaagen Brothers Lumber Inc. has been working in the forests of northeast Washington for more than 50 years. The company takes the best of traditional logging and lumber milling practices and combine them with advanced production technologies and forward thinking, sustainable forest management practices to create a company that’s as vibrant and growing as the healthy forests and ecosystems necessary to its success. Learn more by visiting vaagenbros.com/

 

 

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.

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)

2012 EWTA Info Fair a Great Success!

Photo Credit: APA – The Engineered Wood Association

WVCO President, John Harrison, and company representatives returned last week from the 2012 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair that took place November 10 – 13 at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida.

According to attendees, the event was a great success that included valuable information and discussions with important clients and other industry professionals.

The EWTA Info Fair is one of the biggest industry events of the year and held in conjunction with the APA’s Annual Meeting. We are proud that Willamette Valley Company was again an Info Fair Gold Level and Golf Tournament sponsor.

The goal of the 2012 EWTA Info Fair and APA’s Annual Meeting was set a course for the coming year and shed new light on the economy and conditions that affect our markets.

Keynote Speaker, Ron Insana, Senior Analyst with CNBC and Financial Industry Expert, contributed to the discussion in his speech “The Dawn of the American Decade: The Case for Growth in 2012 and Beyond”. The General Session also included the “State of the Industry” address by APA Chairman Mary Jo Nyblad and an update from APA President Dennis Hardman.

Sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association, the Info Fair is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers.