Benefits of Building Schools with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)

Mass Timber Buildings

Is Wood the Future of New School Construction?

“Supporters hail mass timber’s potential: the ability to speed up construction timelines in an industry plagued by inefficiencies; less environmental wear and tear; an attractive visual aesthetic; and the economic contribution of skilled jobs in an emerging industry.” They’re also quick to note wood construction at this scale is not new — and that mass timber is different from the assemblages of two-by-fours and plywood that frame American homes.” –educationdive.com

By now, you might have heard us rave about the benefits of building with mass timber. Building with engineered wood products like cross-laminated wood (CLT) has soared in popularity in recent years across the country, specifically in educational settings, and it’s no wonder! Studies show CLT can improve health and well-being, and offer more design flexibility, durability, fire resistance, as well as multiple environmental benefits. Now that students are heading back to school, we thought we’d look at the advantages of building schools with cross-laminated timber (CLT).  

Simple, Quick Construction

One of the greatest advantages of cross-laminated timber (CLT) is the speed of installation. Cross-Laminated Timber panels are lightweight and arrive at site with a structural system ready to be assembled. The process is both simple and swift, allowing immediate and accurate construction, which in turn saves time and money. 

Durability

The alternating fibers in CLT make it a lightweight, yet strong and durable building material. 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 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 inherent fire resistance, and the construction of the panels and structures allows little room for fire to breathe and expand. 

Sustainability

Another advantage to building with Cross-Laminated Timber is its light carbon footprint. CLT stores more carbon than is emitted in its manufacture and transport. It continues to store carbon absorbed by the tree while growing, keeping it out of the atmosphere for the lifetime of the building. Mass timber is 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. 

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 schools and college campuses. 

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 ensures 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. The term “biophilia” describes the soothing effect that natural materials have on humans. Studies suggest that natural building materials like Cross-Laminated Timber can help lower stress in students and teachers and increase productivity. 

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

Examples of Schools Using Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Architecture

These examples of cross-laminated timber (CLT) architecture in educational settings demonstrate why CLT is an excellent alternative for more conventional building materials like steel and concrete.

Franklin Elementary School- Franklin, West Virginia 
When Franklin, West Virginia needed a new elementary school, the small, rural community decided to try something that no other school district had undertaken in this country: build with cross laminated timber (CLT). The decision to build with CLT has paid off in dividends! Learn more by reading the case study. 

Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Recreation Center – Clemson University, SC  
Brian Campa, principal at the architecture firm that designed the outdoor rec center on the campus of Clemson University, says he chose CLT as a building material for its ability to achieve long spans and lower cost of the material. Campa also lauds CLT for its significant sustainable advantages, including a lower carbon footprint. The aesthetically pleasing building intentionally connects visitors of the building with nature. “These biophilic elements are emphasized to encourage student wellness, activity, and interaction. We believe the center will become a hub for those looking for an on-campus escape,” says Campa. Read more.

Idaho Central Credit Union Arena – Moscow, Idaho
Construction for this 4,000-plus capacity arena on the University of Idaho campus is well underway on this first-of-its-kind engineered wood mass-timber facility. The versatile, visually stunning ICCU Arena will open in fall 2021 and will be the new home for Vandal men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as a gathering place for academic events, concerts and other special events. Read more.

Sequim School District – Sequim, Washington
School district leaders in this small Washington community felt the speed of construction and environmental and economic advantages made cross-laminated timber (CLT) an ideal building material for modular classrooms in a pilot project.  Read more

Here are some additional examples of more U.S. & Canadian schools who use mass timber in their construction. 

About Willamette Valley Company 
Since launching as a small business distributing mill supplies to the wood products industry in 1952, WVCO has grown into a leading supplier of problem-solving products and services in many industries around the world. Some of WVCO’s high-performance solutions include coatings, fillers, adhesives, robotics, parts, engineering and more. Companies across the globe continually turn to us first for custom solutions to their specific challenges. What can Willamette Valley Company do for you today? Find out now.

 

3 Custom Robotic Solutions That Are Elevating the Wood Products Industry

PRE-TEC Wood Products Automated Solutions

PRE-TEC’s Turnkey Material Handling Solutions are on the Forefront of Automation.

PRE-TEC, a division of the Willamette Valley Company, is a robotic systems integrator specializing in turnkey material handling solutions. As one of the largest integrators on the West Coast, the company has designed and installed hundreds of flexible automated systems using six-axis robots. For this post, we’re spotlighting some of PRE-TEC’s custom robotic solutions created for the wood products industry. 

Much of PRE-TEC’s success can be attributed to the company’s determination to produce innovative, custom solutions designed specifically for their customer’s production needs. Their automated systems combine multi-axis robot arms, custom end-of-arm tooling, and safety hardware to address, resolve and optimize the most challenging manufacturing applications. Technicians focus primarily on key applications, specifically dispensing, material handling (load/unload functions), material finishing (deburring, polishing), and wood product applications (painting, tagging, and wrapping).

Here are three automated solutions developed by PRE-TEC that are elevating the wood products industry. 

#1 PRE-TEC’s ROBOTIC SPRAY BOOTH
PRE-TEC was the first in North America to employ robotic automation in a wood products spray application system. Now in its sixth generation, the Robotic Spray Booth reduces waste and keeps mill interiors cleaner by using targeted sealer placement and advanced airflow management techniques. One of our favorite features of PRE-TEC’s state-of-the-art Robotic Spray Booth is the remote access monitoring option – this means faster service and fewer on-site visits to perform diagnostics and troubleshooting! Learn how this six-axis robotic system streamlines throughput with increased paint transfer efficiency. 

BENEFITS » Advanced spray gun technology provides consistent coverage and appearance while reducing waste » Four-stage filtration allows air to be safely released into the plant (no roof penetration required) » Negative air pressure inside the booth results in better containment and a cleaner mill environment » Tip access door lets operators service spray guns without entering the containment booth » Filter media location permits easy access by operators » Remote Access Monitoring option reduces the need for on-site visits to perform diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Learn more by downloading PRE-TEC’s Robotic Spray Booth Spec Sheet.

#2 PRE- TEC’s ALL-IN-ONE STENCIL/STRIPER SYSTEM
Pre-Tec’s Stencil /Striper system is an all-in-one system that stencils your products with your logo, and provides end-stripping identification for your products. The system will accommodate up to three colors and allows producers to quickly change markings, stripes and text, increasing throughput and debottleneck operations. It features a six-axis FANUC robot with a custom end-of-arm tool with a marking head and a spray gun to print logos and product information or apply striping.

BENEFITS » Clear, sharp logo images » Precise product identification » Better paint management » Two functions in one system » Potential for increased through-put 

Download PRE-TEC’s Stencil/Striper System Spec Sheet to learn more. 

#3 PRE-TEC’s ROBOTIC CARDBOARD APPLICATOR SYSTEM
PRE-TEC’s Robotic Cardboard Applicator System uses a six-axis, industrial robotic arm that uses multiple end-of-arm tools to automatically singulate, apply and secure cardboard protector sheets to the sides of OSB or plywood panel stacks. In addition to singulating cardboard, this system performs various tasks, such as folding and stapling. The flexibility and accuracy of the robotic arm allows programming of precise staple patterns and consistent cardboard placement for repeatable results on every load. 

BENEFITS» Reduces workplace injuries by automating a dangerous, manual task. » Requires minimal tending, allowing personnel to be utilized elsewhere for more efficient use of labor. » Increases throughput and offers the potential for 24/7 operation. Learn more by downloading PRE-TEC’s Robotic Cardboard Applicator Spec Sheet.

Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

MORE ABOUT PRE-TEC
PRE-TEC Enhances Robotic Weld Cell Automation With FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells

How WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division Partners Through Service

Benefits of Industrial Automation Demonstrated in PRE-TEC Video

PRE-TEC Introduces New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

Proud to Be An Exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator

 

How Engineered Wood Products Are Changing the Way We Build

These innovative mass timber projects are changing the way we think about building with wood. 

 Mass Timber Projects That Demonstrate the Power of Engineered Wood

Wood has been the go-to building material since the dawn of humanity, however, the advancements in the wood products industry have made this “old” standby seem new again. The beneficial properties and pleasing aesthetics of engineered products are inspiring architects, engineers, and builders to reimagine the possibilities of wood. 

Through advancements in technology and design, engineered wood products are helping usher in a new era of office and residential buildings in urban settings. We could point to hundreds of building projects that demonstrate the power of building with engineered wood products. However, here are just a few case studies that highlight how engineered wood products like Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glulam are being incorporated in modern building designs throughout North America. 

APA Case Study: Kelowna Office Building– 3935 Lakeshore Rd
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia

Kelowna-Office-Building- Source APA Wood

Kelowna-Office-Building- Source APA Wood

This 3-story, 14,000 square-foot office building is framed with glulam post and beam, with CLT making up the floor and roof systems. According to this case study published by the APA – The Engineered Wood Association, CLT provided an unprecedented level of structural integrity, design flexibility, and cost-competiveness with a high level of aesthetic value, thanks to the natural beauty of wood. Click here to learn more about this project.  

APA Case Study: Winfield Gate 
Location: Houston, Texas

Winfield Gate.Source APA-Wood

Winfield Gate.Source APA-Wood

This upscale development of 4,000- to 6,000-square foot, four-story luxury townhomes uses wood structural frames and demonstrate the load-carrying capacities of engineered wood glulam beams. “There’s no question that glulam help us achieve our design goals,” says Andy Suman, partner at Röwe & Wright, developer/builder. The glulam also helped meet the area’s high-wind load requirements. Other engineered wood products utilized in this project include open-web wood trusses, OSB subflooring, and walls fully sheathed in 1/2-inch plywood. Click here to download this case study.

APA Case Study: Brelsford WSU Visitor Center 
Location: Pullman, Washington 

APA Case Study-Brelsford WSU Visitor Center

APA Case Study-Brelsford WSU Visitor Center – Source APA

The Brelsford WSU Visitor Center is a functional showcase of several engineered wood products, inspiring and educating visitors on wood’s aesthetic and structural capabilities. Mountain pine beetle-killed wood was used extensively throughout the interior, too. Click here to download this case study. 

APA Case Study: Atlantic Station Project
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlantic Station- Photo Source APA Wood

Atlantic Station- Photo Source APA Wood

Engineered wood is spotlighted in this case study of an award-winning development built in Atlantic Station, an urban renewal project located in Atlanta. Wood’s design versatility and sustainability are highlighted in the construction of two of Atlantic Stations’ high-density residential projects on the site of the former Atlantic Steel Mill. Click here to download this case study. 

1430 Q 
Location: Sacramento, California

D & S Development made construction and engineering history by creating the first building in the U.S. that included six levels of livable space framed in wood over a 2 story concrete podium. At the time it was built, 1430 Q’s the tallest wood frame building at 85ft. tall and unlocked more potential for building with wood. State of the art fireproofing and engineering gives its tenants the highest standards of fire safety, as it now takes 2-hours for a fire to burn through one wall. 

Case Study: Origine 
Location: Quebec City, Quebec

Origine-ThinkWood

Origine- Photo Source: Think Wood

 
At 13-stories high, Origine is among the world’s tallest all-wood residential towers in eastern North America. This distinguished landmark was constructed using cross-laminated timber (CLT) and is part of an ever-expanding roster of mass timber multifamily projects across Canada.

As a company that serves the Wood Products Industry, It’s exciting to witness this new era of innovative timber-built projects. 

Click here to see more construction projects and even more innovative wood buildings that are changing how we live and work. To learn more, visit CLT Basics on www.apawood.org & Is the Construction Industry About to Enter a Timber Age? on our blog.

Increased Exposure to Wood Can Improve Health and Well Being

Growing Evidence Suggests Biophilic Designs of Hospitals, Offices, Schools, and Other Buildings Can Regulate Stress Levels

Wood has been used as a building material for thousands of years, but we’re only beginning to truly understand its benefits. Building with wood has not merely practical and environmental benefits, but it has also been linked to better physiological and psychological wellbeing. Not only is wood aesthetically pleasing, but environments with wooden structures are also shown to cause a drop in blood pressure, lower the pulse, and have a calming effect. The result is enhanced productivity and learning, reduced stress, and improved focus. This natural phenomenon is often referred to as the Biophilia Effect and there is science behind it.

Biophilic Designs

Human beings are meant to be in nature, but modern society dictates more of our time being spent indoors rather than outdoors. To remedy this, more building designers are incorporating natural elements like exposed wood, natural light, and plants into their building structure. This concept is often referred to as biophilic design, the idea that spending time in a more natural setting can improve physical and mental health for the people who live, work, and gather in the space. The trend of biophilic design in offices and other workplaces has been growing for years.

Though research on the biophilic properties of wood is still in its early stages, there is a growing body of evidence that increased exposure to natural elements can result in an impressive list of beneficial effects, including but not limited to better learning rates, lower blood pressure, reduced stress, and faster healing. The white paper, WHY DO WE FEEL BETTER WITH WOOD?, examines the benefits of biophilic design, and the growing body of research behind it. Here are some other examples of researchers studying the physiological and psychological impact of natural elements: 

Environmental psychologist Dr. Sally Augustin and researcher Dr. David Fell found humans automatically relax when they are surrounded by views of nature, natural light, plants, and exposed wood upon their review of existing research from the U.S., Canada, Austria, and other countries. Fell (2010) studied the autonomic responses of 119 subjects in wood and non-wood offices before, during, and after a stressful mental task. In this study, sympathetic nervous system activation was lower in the wood room. Skin conductance level was lower in the wood office during the pre-and post-test periods. Further, the rate of non-specific skin conductance responses, measurable divergent stressful thoughts, in the wood office was less than half that as in the non-wood office.
Source- Wood as a Restorative Material in Healthcare Environments, February 2015 

Marjut Wallenius, a Docent and Doctor of Psychology at the University of Tampere concluded use of wood promotes the health and well-being of mind and body in her research, “Wood has psychological effects on people and a similar stress-reducing effect to nature,” she says. 
Source – Wood Construction Reduces Stress and Offers a Healthy Living Environment 

Wood was associated with decreased blood pressure in an Austrian study; high school students who were taught in classrooms with floors, ceilings, and walls finished in real wood had lower heart rates than students taught in classrooms with no wood elements (Kelz et al., 2011). Besides having lower heart rates, students in the wood classrooms also reported lower levels of stress than those in non-wood classrooms. 
Source- Wood in the human environment : restorative properties of wood in the built indoor environment

A Japanese study comparing physical and emotional responses to viewing wood versus steel panels found that wood had both physiological and psychological advantages over steel (Sakuragawa et al., 2005). Wood panels were associated with decreased depression or dejection, while steel increased both. Aside from mood, researchers measured a difference in blood pressure as well: wood panels were associated with decreased blood pressure or no change, while steel was associated with increased blood pressure. 
Source- Nature in Design: The Biophilia Effect

Forest and Wood Products Australia commissioned a study that linked nature, biophilic design, and wood with improved physical and mental wellbeing. The study surveyed 1,000 Australian workers and found a correlation between the presence of wood and employees’ satisfaction at work, lower absenteeism, higher levels of concentration, and improved productivity. 
Source- “Workplaces: Wellness+ Wood = Productivity”

Willamette Valley Company offers some of the most innovative wood products solutions in the industry, including patches, fillers, extenders, coatings, inks, abrasives, tapes, and a wide variety of outstanding application equipment and parts. What can Willamette Valley Company do for you today? Find out now.

Tapel Willamette Celebrates 20 Years in Business!

Tapel Willamette

Tapel Willamette, Willamette Valley Company’s South American division, recently celebrated 20 years in business- a major milestone! When it began operations in May 2000 the company had just 7 employees and was headquartered in a small warehouse near downtown Concepción, Chile. Today, Tapel Willamette is a leading supplier for the industrial, environmental, and wood products industries, providing innovative solutions and services all over the world from their current headquarters in Coronel, Chile.

Coronel, Chile

The company has faced its share of challenges through the years – the subprime crisis, the earthquake in 2010, climate change, the current coronavirus pandemic, and a 2019 national social and political crisis in Chile that resulted in widespread strikes and road closures. Despite these challenges, the Tapel Willamette team stepped up and continued to supply high-quality solutions to their customers by following a simple credo:

“Nos asociamos a través del servicio, la innovación y la integridad”- We partner through service, innovation, and integrity.

It is this commitment to quality, service, and innovation that has made Tapel Willamette a success story.  

Tapel Willamette 2020

Not even a global pandemic can stop our Tapel Willamette team from serving our customers and essential businesses.

Tapel Willamette

After the 2010 Earthquake

Tapel Willamette is verified with Responsible Care, which reaffirms their commitment to the community, to the environment and to all those who are part of our business activities. The company demonstrated this commitment by participating in initiatives like this hydrological restoration program to reduce the environmental, social, and economic vulnerability generated by the mega-fires of the summer of 2017. 

We are very proud of our Tapel family!!! For more information, please visit www.tapel.cl

Obtenga más información visitando www.tapel.cl

photo credit: Oscar Maltez via photopin cc

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.

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!

Headed for Tucson for the 2019 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair!

2019 Info FairThe WVCO team is thrilled to once again join APA member manufacturers, EWTA members, suppliers and hundreds of other wood products industry professionals from all over the country November 2-4, 2019 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson, Arizona for the 2019 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers.

Each year, managers and executives from the top engineered wood products associations, the Engineered Wood Technology Association( EWTA) and APA – The Engineered Wood Association gather to review and discuss key issues affecting the wood products industry.

Willamette Valley Company in San Antonio for the EWTA Info Fair

Willamette Valley Company team at the EWTA Info Fair. Photo @EWTA Info Fair Facebook Page

Willamette Valley Company has a long-standing history as with this important annual event, and we always look forward to it. Last year, WVCO was honored with the APA Supplier of the Year award for the fourth year in a row and for the 9th time overall.

“It forges great partnerships,” says Willamette Valley Company Vice President, Tony Vuksich. “It allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

The APA 2015 Supplier Award Winners: Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., Willamette Valley Company and KADANT Carmanah Design

The APA 2015 Supplier Award Winners:
Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., Willamette Valley Company and KADANT Carmanah Design

Come see us in Booth #216 and learn more about our wide variety of wood products and custom solutions relating to plywood, LVL, OSB, lumber, cabinets and furniture, moldings, doors, trims and fascia, overlays and more!

Association Teamwork
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. 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. To learn more, visit www.engineeredwood.org

You can also visit the event’s Facebook Page to see more photos and recaps of this year’s event.

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.