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.

WVCO Partner Spotlight on the European Panel (EPF) Federation

WVCO Partnership European Panel (EPF) Federation

The Willamette Valley Company has formed a number of valuable partnerships with multiple organizations that helped us lead the way in the Wood Products industry in the United States and across the world. This month, we are spotlighting one of the newer partnerships we have formed with the European Panel (EPF) Federation, the “voice of the EU wood-based panel industry”. EPF represents the European manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hard and softboard, and plywood and represents members in 25 countries.

As demand for wood products increases globally, the EU wood panel industry is thriving; bringing in about 22 billion euro each year while creating more than 100,000 jobs for an estimated 5,000 businesses across Europe. In the ever-changing political and economic environment across Europe, there is a growing need for a collective voice to speak on behalf of members of the EU wood-based panel industry and European Panel (EPF) Federation provides just that. “Working with our members, we make the case for the industry as an integral part of the EU’s bio and circular economy, while championing high standards of wood-based panel manufacturers and their contribution to a greener, more sustainable economy,”​ states the organization.

Their mission is to advocate for all producers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood producers, suppliers and stakeholders for economic, technical and environmental issues towards European and international institutions. In addition, the organization provides detailed communications and data for its members as well as increase opportunities to showcase their members’ work.

Architects, builders, and designers all over Europe are embracing wood products for construction projects due to multiple economic and environmental benefits of using the material. Wooden structures are proving to be more durable and provides other benefits like fire resistance, superior acoustic insulation, better thermal insulation in addition to an overall pleasing aesthetic. For more on this, read Types of Wood-Based Panels and Their Economic Impact.

As WVCO is a multinational corporation, we are especially proud to partner with this outstanding organization that is taking steps to further the wood products industry throughout Europe. We are recognized the world over by industry associations and organizations, as well as other leading-edge companies who have found it beneficial to forge partnerships with us in order to better serve their customers and memberships. Those same partnerships have enabled us to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources. Some of our other valued partnerships include:

American Plywood Association – APA

American Public Works Association – APWA

American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association – AREMA

American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association – ASLRRA

Canadian Plywood Producers – Canply

Engineered Wood Technology Association – EWTA

International Concrete Repair Institute – ICRI

NACE International

Polyurea Development Association – PDA

Polyurethane Manufacturers Association – PMA

Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association – REMSA

The Society for Protective Coatings – SSPC

Wood Moldings and Millwork Producers Association – WMMPA

WVCO to Exhibit our Latest Wood Products & Solutions to the World at LIGNA 2019

Meet With Key Members of the WVCO Wood Products Divisions at LIGNA 2019 ~ Hall 26, Stand D08/1 May 27-31, 2019

LIGNA 2019

The WVCO Wood Products team will join key wood and forestry industry leaders from around the globe later this month at LIGNA 2019 (May 27-31), the world’s leading trade show for tools and machinery for the wood processing industry. LIGNA 2019 has three focus themes: “Integrated Woodworking – Customized Solutions”, “Smart Surface Technology” and “Access to Resources and Technology” (also the keynote theme of the Wood Industry Summit).

More than 1,500 exhibitors from 50 countries around the globe will gather for the event at the Hannover Exhibition Center in Hannover, Germany to showcase state-of-the-art processing solutions, applications and concepts for the entire forestry & wood industry. Please come by Hall 26, Stand D08/1 to learn more about WVCO’s wood products solutions and to speak directly to company leaders including:

Mr. Tony Vuksich, Vice President Willamette Valley Co., Tapel Willamette  (Eugene, OR)
Mr. Dave Guerena, WVCO International Sales Manager & General Manager of Willamette Valley B.V. (Venray, Limburg Province, Netherlands)
Mr. Slobodan Bradic, EU Sales Manager (Arnhem, Gelderland Province, Netherlands)
Mr. Robert Pitts, Business Manager-Engineered Wood Products (Eugene, OR)
Mr. Martin Holland-Bak, Product Development Engineer (Eugene, OR)

WVCO Vice President, Tony Vuksich, discusses custom wood products solutions with conference attendees.

WVCO Vice President, Tony Vuksich, discusses custom wood products solutions with conference attendees.

Tony Vuksich and the Willamette Valley Company Team at the EWTA Info Fair

Tony Vuksich and the Willamette Valley Company Team at the EWTA Info Fair

Our LIGNA team will be ready to feature wood product solutions like Polyurethane, Epoxy, and Water-based Putty products along with Metering & Dispensing Equipment, Adhesive Fillers & Extenders, Custom designed Inks, Specialty Sealers and Coatings, and more.

“The presence of all the world’s leading technology providers will make Hannover the global hotspot for the wood-based industries during those five days. No other fair compares in terms of international appeal”, says Dr. Andreas Gruchow, Managing Board member at Deutsche Messe. “Once again in 2019, LIGNA will serve as the industry’s showcase of choice for unveiling their innovations, with a great many exhibitors even timing their development cycles to coincide with the show’s staging every two years.”

To learn more about LIGNA 2019, please visit www.ligna.de/home.

Willamette Valley Company’s Year in Review ~ A Look Back at 2018

Willamette Valley Company Year in Review

Happy New Year! Now that 2018 has come to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the events and news that defined our year for Willamette Valley Company. We were founded with a mission to create innovative products and provide great customer service, and we feel honored to have done that for 66 years. We can’t wait to continue our work into 2019 and beyond!

Winner of the 2018 APA Supplier of the Year award

The biggest news of 2018 for Willamette Valley Company happened in late October when we were honored with the APA Supplier of the Year award for the fourth year in a row and for the 9th time overall. This award is given annually at the APA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The 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. It was a great honor to once again join APA member manufacturers, EWTA members, suppliers and hundreds of other wood products industry professionals from all over the country at this important event.

NEW LEADERSHIP


After three decades of exceptional leadership as our CEO and president, John R. Harrison transitioned to his new role at Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) last March. John Murray, a 38-year Willamette Valley Company employee, was selected as our company’s new president. Bob Halligan was tapped as the company’s new chief operating officer while Rob Loomis was selected as the business manager of the performance products and railroad divisions.

WVCO at the 2018 International Mass Timber Conference

In March, WVCO proudly represented our wood products division at the 2018 International Mass Timber Conference, the premier, global conference for cross-laminated timber and other mass timber construction!

Our PRE-TEC division moved from its 38,000 sg ft. facility on McKinley Street, to a new 110,000 sg ft. building with over 60,000 sg ft. of manufacturing space in Eugene. General Manager, Stan Reynolds commented, “ By more than doubling our manufacturing base, we are able to better serve our customers, and have room for future growth.”

2018 was another year of innovations for WVCO. PRE-TEC introduced the new Fanuc SCARA robot line, offering new opportunities for our customers to make use of a cost-effective and robust product for their small, fast, and simple applications.

Representatives from our FastPatch division attended a number of exciting conventions throughout the country like the ASCE International Conference on Transportation & Development (ICTD 2018) and the League of CA Cities Annual Expo to introduce our concrete repair products like the New FastPatch 100NS, an affordable, easy-to-apply high-performance single component sealant perfect for vertical or sloped application. The division also introduced TrenchSeal TS6, an innovative concrete repair product that saves our customers time and money as it is cold-applied (no waiting time!) and offers exceptional adhesion strength to asphalt and movement capabilities to trenches, traffic loops, and cracks.

2018 was another big year for Industrial Robotics and Automation. Our PRE-TEC engineers continued to work with our industry partners to advance the use of industrial robots as a cost-effective way to produce higher quality products and increase productivity.

The need for cost-effective fiber optic installation grew significantly in 2018 and business and civic leaders continued to turn to reliable concrete repair solutions like FastPatch to quickly repair roads, sidewalks and other important infrastructure. In June, WVCO attended the 2018 Fiber Connect conference, the premier fiber broadband event in North America to present our concrete repair products to industry leaders, fiber broadband network operators, and other cutting-edge vendors and equipment providers.

Representatives from our rail division had another successful appearance at the largest U.S.-based technical conference and trade show for the railroad industry. The  2018 AREMA Annual Conference and Exposition (AREMA 2018) was a combined railway industry event sponsored by WVCO partners AREMA, RSI, REMSA, and RSSI.

We are so grateful to have had such a successful year at WVCO! We are looking forward to working with our partners, distributors and customers in 2019 and beyond!

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!

Is Cross-Laminated Timber a Game Changer?

Cross Laminated Timber

If you haven’t already heard of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) by now, you will.  More and more architects and designers are making the switch to building with Cross-Laminated Timber, some even going as far to refer to it as the “Concrete of the 21st Century”.

Nearly every day, there is news about new multi-family and commercial structures constructed using this seemingly “magical” material. It’s even being embraced by mainstream companies like McDonald’s.  In fact, demand for this material is expected to grow by as much as 15% over the next decade.

But what is it? Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel that is 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. While at the mill, CLT panels are cut to size, including door and window openings, with state-of-the art CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) routers, capable of making complex cuts with high precision. Finished panels are typically 2 to 10 feet wide, with lengths up to 60 feet and thickness up to 20 inches.

Watch the video below for more details:

What are the Benefits of Cross-Laminated Timber? CLT is lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, fire, seismic, and thermal performance making it ideal for long spans in walls, floors, and roofs. It’s also fast and easy to install, generating almost no waste onsite. Finished CLT panels are exceptionally stiff, strong, and stable. Other benefits include:

Simple, Quick Construction
CLT 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.

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 spread. 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 Aesthetics
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.

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.

To learn more, visit CLT Basics on www.apawood.org & Is the Construction Industry About to Enter a Timber Age? on our blog.

Photo labeled for reuse @ flickr.com/photos/designmilk

2018 International Mass Timber Conference

“We believe that a greater use of cross-laminated timber and other mass timber products in mid- to high-rise building construction is the innovative, disruptive, modern, and sustainable choice necessary for building in a fast-growing world.”

masstimberconference.com

As one of the world’s top companies in the wood products industry, Willamette Valley Company continues to strive to be on the forefront of the advancement and possibilities of the mass timber industry and cross-laminated timber. Last week, WVCO proudly represented our wood products division at the 2018 International Mass Timber Conference, the premier, global conference for cross-laminated timber and other mass timber construction.

This conference, co-produced by WoodWorks and the Forest Business Network, is one of the largest gatherings of mass timber experts in the world. Architects, engineers, city planners, representatives from major construction companies, mass timber manufacturers, designers, fire officials, mass timber equipment suppliers, representatives from sawmills and many more gathered in Portland, Oregon for the 3-day event packed with presentations and learning opportunities from international experts and presentations.

Demand for cross-laminated timber and construction is growing all over the world. Recently, a new study by Grand View Research, Inc suggests the growing demand for sustainable houses made from wood is likely to drive the global cross-laminated timber market. The report states that the “market is expected to reach a valuation of USD 2.07 billion by 2025. Rising awareness among consumers regarding wooden products and increasing number of suppliers for cross-laminated timber (CLT) are likely to augment the growth. Based on product type, the market can be classified as adhesive bonded and mechanically fastened CLT.”

As more and more evidence is suggesting that CLT is the future of the construction and building industry, the Willamette Valley Company will certainly be participating in more of these types of conventions and pledges to remain one of the top innovators in the wood products industry.