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.

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

Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)

Photo Credit: APA – The Engineered Wood Association

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

What is Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)?

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

What Are Examples of Structural Composite Lumber?

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do Builders Use SCL? 

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

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

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

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

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

What is SCL Used For?

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

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

About Willamette Valley Company (WVCO)

The Willamette Valley Company is a leading supplier of wood products and custom solutions for engineered wood and mass timber product manufacturers all over the world for over six decades. WVCO works to fulfill our mission by maintaining close partnerships with leading wood products organizations like APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers. To learn more about engineered wood products and custom solutions, check out our wood products division and be sure to visit www.apawood.org.

Twelve Facts About Engineered Wood You May Not Know

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wood products facts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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.

 

What lies ahead in the wood products industry?

Framework, Oregon's 1st Proposed All-Wood High-rise

Framework, Oregon’s 1st Proposed All-Wood High-rise

“The Wood Innovations Grant Program helps create jobs in rural communities and keeps our forests healthy. By investing in strong markets for forest products, we can incentivize sustainable forest management and sustain our rural communities.” – U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. 

The future is certainly bright for wood products and wood energy industry! A short time ago, the U.S. Forest Service announced over $8.3 million to expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets. This increase will mean a total investment of over $45 million in funds from 36 business, university, non-profit, and tribal partners in 19 states. From 2013, this funding has aided in the establishing of 22 Statewide Wood Energy Teams and six Statewide Wood Utilization Teams.

Furthermore, the 2017 Wood Innovations Grant Recipients include the Arkansas Wood Utilization Council, Camptonville Forest Biomass Business Center Bioenergy Facility, Mammoth Lakes Integrated Biomass Waste Processing Center, and the Great Plains CLT market Development through Architectural Education to name a few.

On June 6, Portland officials approved a plan for the first all-wood high-rise in the United States dubbed Framework. A fitting name for what may lay the framework for other-similar all-wood high-rises to appear throughout the country. These projects are not just good for the wood industry — they are good for the country. As Gov. Kate Brown said. “Oregon’s forests are a tried and true resource that may again be the key to economic stability for rural Oregon.”

The Timber Innovation Act is another possible indicator of bright things to come. Should the bill gain Congress approval it will bring forth incentives and measures to create innovation in the timber industry and to help further development of CLT structures in the USA.

The future is no doubt a positive one for Wood Products and Wood Energy; we can’t wait to see what else is in store in the next few months.

Sources:

Forest Business Network

Washington Post

CBC

Spotlight on the reThink Wood Initiative

USACE Federal Center South Building 1202 - Photo Source: Architect Magazine

USACE Federal Center South Building 1202 – Photo Source: Architect Magazine

As new timber products gain in use and application as a mainstream construction production, they will—like any other popular building material—require ongoing research to remain useful in the ever changing construction landscape. This is the reason for the reThink Wood initiative was founded, a body of research striving to bring timber to the forefront of the construction world.

Formed in 2011, the reThink Wood initiative is a collective of interests working to represent North America’s wood industry: Cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail laminated timber (NLT), and glued laminated timber (glulam). The initiative strives to present a unified message of wood performance, sustainability, and cost.

Greater Texas Foundation - Photo Source: Architecture Magazine

Greater Texas Foundation – Photo Source: Architecture Magazine

reThink Wood offers a publicly accessible research library for anyone looking to be informed on the latest news and studies in the field of wood building products. More importantly, reThink Wood highlights where research is lacking in these given areas, thus encouraging more studies in those areas.

As previously mentioned, one of reThink Wood’s guiding principals is the advocacy and education of all things timber; such an example can be seen below in one of their educational videos on the benefits of wood construction.

Everyone with an interest in the latest advances of timber and wooden constructions should take advantage of the ever-updating research and resources that reThink Wood has to offer; we know we will be!

Source:
http://www.rethinkwood.com/

http://www.architectmagazine.com/

http://www.archdaily.com/