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.

 

Spotlight on SpikeFast®, the Signature Product of WVCO Railroad Solutions

SpikeFast by WVCO Railroad Solutions

“SpikeFast® enables maintenance crews to revisit the same track for re-gauging operations less often, allowing their resources to be reallocated for greater efficiency.”

Rail is one of the most economical and efficient modes of transportation, resulting in more jobs and billions of dollars saved annually. As the industry continues to grow, so do the challenges. This growth has prompted WVCO Railroad Solutions to create leading-edge products and solutions like SpikeFast®.

Before 1999, the only spike-hole plugging products on the market for wood-tie remediation were wooden plugs and a rigid foam product. While these products were effective, they presented many challenges to railroad maintenance crews. They needed spike-hole plugging products that could last longer and perform well in extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain, freezing temperatures and high humidity.

A new design concept was needed and Willamette Valley Company responded by developing a tie-plugging compound for wood & composite railroad ties. The result was SpikeFast®, a more reliable and efficient system of wood-tie remediation.

Here are eight additional facts about SpikeFast®:

#1`- SPIKEFAST® was designed to plug spike holes in both concrete ties and wood ties.

#2- Performance tests commissioned by class one railroads indicate SpikeFast® outperforms wood plugs and foam in both lateral resistance and pullout resistance.

#3- It is a dual-component, non-foam polyurethane product designed to anchor cut-spikes or screw-spikes.

#4- SpikeFast has achieved high marks in tests, such as spike insertion and withdrawal.

#5- SpikeFast has earned high results in lateral resistance testing. The testing showed a proven resistance of 20 percent higher than previously un-spiked hardwood ties.

#6- One gallon of this product can fill approximately 150 spike holes.

#7- SpikeFast® is WCCO’s Railroad Solutions top selling product, known for its quick cure time, superior gauge holding, and dynamic rail roll over.

#8- It is easy to apply when dispensed from hand-held canisters or bulk containers through a uniquely designed, pressure/temperature controlled meter.

SpikeFast by WVCO

Are your crossties holding gauge? See how we solved Spike-Kill and how to extend the service life of your crossties. Visit wvcorailroad.com/products to learn more about SpikeFast and WVCO’s Railroad Solutions.

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.

What Are the Most Common Uses For FastPatch®?

FastPatch® Common Uses

“We are using FastPatch® to repair cracks, spalls, and joints. One product for all the repairs and from the same machine. We don’t have to handle any material during our shift since it comes in 250 gallon totes, which saves us a lot of time.” – DOT Supervisor

By now, you may have read about WVCO’s unique polymer repair system, FastPatch®, and why it’s commonly used by DOTs and transportation professionals from all over the United States and around the world to repair airports, highways, bridges, railroads, and other various applications. Transportation professionals rely on FastPatch® for its ease-of-use, dependability, and versatility. However, what you may not understand is HOW it is used. 

FastPatch® is most commonly used to repair broken concrete and asphalt, spalls, potholes, joints, driveways, highways, bridge decks, parking lots, cracks, slab repairs, ramps and loading docks, warehouse floors, post anchors, and trip hazards.  When installed properly, this pavement preservation solution will last longer than the life of the pavement. Not to mention, it bonds tenaciously to surfaces and remains flexible throughout its service life.

FastPatch® Applications

Here are some questions that we often get about FastPatch and its most common uses. 

How is FastPatch® applied?
FastPatch® is packaged in cartridges, kits, drums, and totes. Choose the package type that matches the accessibility of the repair area, and minimize the waste or handling of multiple packages. For example, have several 3-gal FastPatch DPR Kits available, so you can use it for a smaller repair instead of wasting half of a 5-gal kit.  You’ll learn the proper steps and procedures for the metering systems by following these tutorials.

Are FastPatch® repairs environmentally safe?
Yes. FastPatch® uses recycled and renewable materials to repair existing materials. It is 100% solids and does not contain any volatile chemicals. Repairing with FastPatch, rather than removal, eliminates disposal costs and excess waste.

Which product do I use to fill a joint to seal it and keep water out? 
EJC-100 with PolyPrime is the best combination to handle exterior joint movement and seal it from water. TIP: Use topping sand that blends with the surrounding surface.

Do you have a product that can fill joints on a slope or vertical?
Yes. For slope grade application, ask for the SG version of EJC-100. For vertical joints, consider the EJC-NS. For ramps, use the FastPatch® DPR and extend it with dry, clean sand until the consistency is correct for the slope.

I want to repair concrete and asphalt. Can I do that with FastPatch?
Yes. FastPatch DPR Kit can be used for both distressed pavement repairs. The kit comes with colored topping sand. FastPatch can also be machine dispensed from drums or totes to repair cracks, joints, and spalls.

What Package Sizes Do You recommend? 
For smaller repairs, including repairs to joints and cracks, FastPatch® cartridges are an easy and durable solution. For medium-sized repairs of concrete or asphalt in a short period, the Kit packaged or machine-dispensed products are a fine choice for a quick return to service. If you have a large repair project, machine-dispensed FastPatch products are ideal for completing larger repairs or multiple repairs in a single shift, without having to handle material or containers.

What tools will I need to install FastPatch Kits?
CLEAN and DRY the repair area with a high velocity and CFM blower (250 MPH / 700 CFM) blower or dry compressed air (120 CFM / 90 psi). Use a propane field torch to DRY area if moisture is present. 2. 1/2 in. Corded drill. Mud mixer drills work well. 3. Egg-Beater style pail mixer 4. Trowel. 5. Personal protection—safety glasses, skin protection, and gloves. 6. Towels for cleaning mixer and tools. 7. Optional: Tape for protecting edges of the repair area. Broom for clean-up.

Is a bond agent or primer required?
Depends on the application and product. Bonding agents reinforce the repair area and help promote the adhesion of the repair material. FastPatch® DPR Kits are typically applied without a bonding agent since the first layer in the repair area is very fluid and when it cures, it has excellent adhesion. The EJC Sealant product typically requires a bonding agent to reinforce the joint walls and maximize the movement capabilities under thermal movement in exterior joints.

As a Contractor, how can I find out more information about using FastPatch on future projects? Contact us at FastPatch@wilvaco.com or 800-333-9826 and check out some of our case histories. 

Click here for more answers to commonly asked questions or
download our brochure.

REMSA Spotlights WVCO Business Manager, Rob Loomis!

Rob Loomis, currently serves on REMSA’s Board of Directors

The Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) has had a long, productive relationship with the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association(REMSA) that has benefited both our company and the rail products industry as a whole. REMSA recently featured WVCO Business Manager and REMSA Board member, Rob Loomis, as their “Board Member of the Month”. Here is what he had to say.

REMSA: What do you enjoy most about being on the REMSA Board?
Rob Loomis: The best part of being part of the board is being able to help our membership. Whether it is advocating for our industry for tax savings, funding, or promoting our value to Class 1 railroads, I enjoy delivering value to our membership.

REMSA: What has your experience on REMSA Board taught you and what is your vision for the future of REMSA?
The greatest lesson I have learn, or rather reinforced what I know, is that we as a whole can accomplish more than we can as individuals. Our success is a team effort and even if we compete in the industry, we all win if we work together.

REMSA: Do you participate in any committees as a REMSA Director?
Rob Loomis: Currently, I am the Chairman with the Government Affairs committee and support the efforts of the Exhibit and Long Range Planning committees.

REMSA: How did you get started in the rail industry?
Rob Loomis: My first exposure to the rail industry was in developing hopper car lining and tie-plugging and concrete tie repair products to extend the life of these assets.

REMSA: What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?
Rob Loomis: Mostly the people. Their focus on safety and delivering value in everything they do. This focus allows companies like Willamette Valley Company to invest in developing innovative solutions for customers who care about reducing overall costs and improving safety.

REMSA: What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?
Rob Loomis: Family time, backpacking, dirt/mountain biking, or simply throwing a tennis ball for my Chesapeake Bay retriever.

REMSA: How do you define the “future” of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
Rob Loomis: The future of rail is like the future of the internet. It is our future and always will be. The more people recognize the value of rail transportation, the cleaner the environment will be, the lower the cost will be to tax payers, and the healthier our economy will be.

The rail industry is headed in the right direction and they will add more technology to help reduce costs and improve our overall supply chain for the country. It is our responsibility as members, to educate the leaders in this industry how we deliver value and lower their costs by reducing repeat maintenance, or extending the life cycle of their assets, with our products and solutions.

You can read more about WVCO’s partnership with REMSA by clicking here or visit www.remsa.org to learn more about the organization and its members.

How WVCO’s Partnership with REMSA Benefits the Rail Products Industry

WVCO’s Partnership with REMSA is Benefits the Rail Products Industry

Our official credo at Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) is “Partnering Through Service,Innovation, And Integrity”. We believe our longstanding partnerships with leading trade associations are integral to our customer’s success and has helped WVCO ascend as one of the leading North American companies in the rail products industry

The unique relationships we have with elite professional organizations like American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) enable us to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources.

In this post, we are spotlighting our partnership with REMSA, a non-profit trade group representing over 330 railway engineers, contractors, and consultants and maintenance-of-way suppliers across the country. WVCO Business Manager, Rob Loomis, is on REMSA’s Board of Directors where he serves as Government Affairs Chairman. Rob is uniquely qualified for this position as he has been at the forefront of developing innovating solutions for tie remediation with polymer materials and state-of-the-art equipment to increase efficiency for over a decade. 

Rob Loomis, currently serves on REMSA’s Board of Directors The rail supply industry contributes a hefty amount to our global economy and  gross domestic product (GDP) and employs more than 125,000 people in our country. In a 2018 economic impact study, Tracking the Power of Rail Supply: The Economic Impact of Rail Suppliers in the U.S., REMSA partnered with other organizations to quantify the economic and workforce impact of the products and services produced by the railway supply industry. According to the report, the economic contribution of the railway supply industry amounted to more than $74.2 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017 and they paid $16.9 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments.  

REMSA’s mission is to facilitate global business development opportunities to companies and individuals who manufacture or sell maintenance-of-way equipment, products, and services or are engineers, contractors, and consultants working in construction and/or maintenance of railroad transportation facilities. 

One of the things we value the most about our partnership with REMSA is their efforts to advance initiatives and unite railroad maintenance-of-way suppliers in support of the rail industry through grassroots advocacy.  To date, REMSA’s Grassroots Program has hosted 33 Members of Congress at member company facilities, including a 2018 event for Congressman Peter DeFazio hosted here in our Eugene, Oregon facility. The program has also generated over 200 rail industry and local media articles, highlighting the products and services of our membership.

DeFazio Rail Award

Rep. DeFazio accepts award at Wilamette Valley Company in 2018- Courtesy of REMSA

REMSA is also a sponsor of Railway Interchange, the largest combined railway exhibition and technical conference in North America. WVCO has had the honor of participating in this world-class rail industry event many times by showcasing our WVCO Railroad and POLYQuik products, and we look forward to participating once again in 2023.

To learn more, watch this video below to learn more about REMSA’s key membership value initiatives and its role in supporting the maintenance of way industry and be sure to visit www.remsa.org. 

WVCO Solutions for DOT Infrastructure Repair Projects

Infrastructure Repair Products

U.S. highways, railways, roads, and bridges are in decline and in desperate need of repair and have been so for years. According to Reuters, studies indicated “close to half of U.S. roads are in poor or mediocre condition and more than a third of U.S. bridges need repair, replacement or significant rehabilitation”. It is one of the reasons why many influential business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, unions, and elected U.S. officials are asking Congress to take action and dramatically boost spending on the crumbling U.S. infrastructure.

The good news is major DOT Infrastructure repair projects are happening all over the country, and they are likely to ramp up even more in the next few years. Multiple signs indicate the United States could soon be in the midst of a massive improvement initiative to critical transportation and infrastructure projects. There is talk of passing a bold infrastructure spending bill, and earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced it is seeking applicants for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. INFRA grants will fund transportation projects of national and regional significance. 

WVCO has created various custom products and services for the transportation industry for several decades. State DOTs are already embracing our innovative solutions to repair important infrastructure like roadways, airports, and facilities. WVCO products like FastPatch® have been approved by state DOTs (e.g., California, Texas, Georgia, Washington, etc.) for service on major highways. The product is also being used around the world (e.g., Australia, China, South America, Canada, Mexico, UK) to repair airports, highways, bridges, railroads, and other various applications. 

Here are some of our infrastructure repair solutions praised by state DOTs all over the country for use on highways, bridges, railroads, airports, and more. 

FastPatch® 
FastPatch® will outlast and outperform traditional repair materials due to its unique polymer properties. The cure time of FastPatch® is only a few minutes, allowing for quick return-to-service times. It is also cold-applied, which makes it safe to use and means it will not push/shove after it is installed.

SPIKEFAST®
SPIKEFAST® is a tie-plugging compound for wood & composite railroad ties. This non-foaming, 100% solids compound is designed to anchor cut-spikes or screw-spikes.

POLYQuik® 
POLYQuik systems are thoroughly evaluated for performance with the latest in application equipment, physical properties testing, weather exposure, adhesion testing, chemical resistance testing, and much more.  Click here to view POLYQuik’s product line of Concrete Repair Products, Fillers & Sealants, and Spray Coatings

Keeping reading to see some examples of these products! To learn more about all WVCO concrete and railroad repair solutions, click here to contact us or email info@wilvaco.com

WVCO Railroad Repair Solutions

-FastPatch® Railroad Industry Application, Sealant and Repair Products 

-Concrete Ties 
-Dispensers: Handheld Systems, SpikeFast® Intermediate Production, High Production
-Railcars: POLYQuik® Hopper Car Lining
-Structures: FastPatch® Facility Maintenance, FastPatch® Bearing Pad Repair, POLYQuik® Bridge Deck Waterproofing

-FastPatch HPRE-MD: specifically designed for embedded rail applications and provides excellent electrical isolation, resilience, and vibration and sound damping.

FastPatch HPRE-MD from FastPatch Systems on Vimeo.

-POLYQuik spray elastomers- continue to provide superior coatings for railroad cars and other transportation applications.

WVCO Road Pavement Repair Solutions 

-Pavement Industry Application, Sealant and Repair Products: Applications include potholes, spall repair, pavement repair, crack sealing, crack filling, reflector & button replacement

-FastPatch Microtrench Systems: Restores micro trenches, curb cuts, or short runs. 

FastPatch Microtrench Systems from FastPatch Systems on Vimeo.

-FastPatch 8400: allows for continuous reinstatement of micro-trenches at a rate of 10-23 ft/min. FastPatch Systems are used for fiber optic projects (FTTH) and reinstatement of micro trenches in both roadways and sidewalks.

FastPatch 8400 Continuous Reinstatement of Micro-trenches from FastPatch Systems on Vimeo.

WVCO Airport Repair Solutions 

-Airport Industry Application, Sealant and Repair Products
-FastPatch DPR Airport Repair

FastPatch DPR Airport Repair from FastPatch Systems on Vimeo.

-POLYQuik spray elastomers continue to provide superior coatings for airport runways and other transportation applications.

WVCO is more than just a provider of equipment and products—we’re innovators. Let us know the challenges you’re experiencing, and we’ll work with you to create a solution custom-tailored to meet your needs. Contact us at FastPatch@wilvaco.com or 800-333-9826 or https://wvcorailroad.com/contact

 

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”

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