APA - The Engineered Wood Association

Engineered Wood Products and the Environment

  • Forests cover one-third of the United States land base – 731 million acres. About two-thirds of those 731 million acres are suitable for repeated planting and harvesting of timber. But only about half of the land suitable for growing timber is open to logging. Most of that harvestable acreage also is open to other uses, such as camping, hiking, and hunting. Forests fully cover one-half of Canada’s land mass. Of this forestland, nearly half is considered productive, or capable of producing timber on a sustained yield basis. Canada has the highest per capita accumulation of protected natural areas in the world – areas including national and provincial parks.
  • American landowners plant more than two billion trees every year. In addition, millions of trees seed naturally. The forest products industry, which comprises about 15 percent of forestland ownership, is responsible for 41 percent of replanted forest acreage. That works out to more than one billion trees a year, or about three million trees planted every day. This high rate of replanting accounts for the fact that each year, 27 percent more timber is grown than is harvested. Canada’s replanting record shows a fourfold increase in the number of trees planted between 1975 and 1990.
  • Wood products made up 47 percent of all industrial raw materials manufactured in the United States, yet consumed only 4 percent of the energy needed to manufacture all industrial raw materials.
  • For every ton of wood grown, a young forest produces 1.07 tons of oxygen and absorbs 1.47 tons of carbon dioxide. While other building materials add carbon dioxide to the air, wood actually reduces carbon dioxide. Young, growing forests are particularly good air filters, sucking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air.
  • A recent study, Life-Cycle Environmental Performance of Renewable Building Materials in Context of Residential Construction, showed that wood-framed houses had less impact on the environment than comparable houses built with steel or concrete. For instance, the global warming potential from building a wood-frame house in Minneapolis is 37,047 kg of net carbon dioxide emissions, compared to 46,826 kg for a steel-frame house, 26 percent less emissions for wood. These emissions encompass the entire life-cycle of the various materials, including mining or forest regeneration, manufacturing, building construction, building use, maintenance, and disposal. (See more about this study from the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM), at www.corrim.org).

New Era Dawning in Wood Products Industry

A quiet revolution is taking place in the North American wood products industry. It’s becoming the engineered wood products industry.

Engineered wood is manufactured by bonding together wood strands, veneers, lumber or other forms of wood fiber to produce a larger and integral composite unit that is stronger and more stiff than the sum of its parts. Typical examples include oriented strand board (OSB), glulam timber, wood I-beams, structural composite lumber, structural composite panels, and what’s commonly considered the original engineered wood product, plywood.

Some of these products have been around for years or even decades. Glulam and plywood, for example, date back about a century. So why the new or renewed interest in engineered wood? A number of factors are contributing to the emergence of a new era in the wood products industry. Chief among these are the products’ environmental merits and superior performance.

Engineered wood uses more of the available resource with little waste, and can be produced with fast-growing, underutilized, and less expensive wood species grown in privately managed forests. As a result, old growth and other forests that society has chosen to preserve are more easily safeguarded.

Engineered wood products also compare favorably with non-wood products based on such criteria as embodied energy and emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants during manufacture. That’s an important consideration that deserves greater weight in the international debate about the long-term environmental effects of raw material extraction and manufacture.

A bonus benefit is that engineered wood products actually improve upon many of the inherent structural advantages of wood. Cross-laminated plywood and oriented strand board, for example, distribute along-the-grain strength of wood in both panel axes. OSB eliminates knots and knotholes. Glulam beams and wood I-joists can carry greater loads over longer spans than is possible with solid sawn wood of the same size.

North American production of most engineered wood products is forecast to rise significantly over the next five years. The growth of engineered wood products is testimony to the technological adaptability of the wood products industry in the face of a changing wood fiber resource base. With less traditional and public forest timber available for wood product manufacturing, producers have had to improve existing methods and invent new ways to make more with less, and with alternative wood fiber resources. The industry is responding with marked success to that challenge.

About FreeFromMold.org

APA – The Engineered Wood Association launched the FreeFromMold.org program in August 2004 to provide an annual inspection and moisture prevention regimen for homeowners. FreeFromMold.org gives homeowners the tools they need to determine places around the house in need of inspection for typical moisture intrusion problems and offers simple steps to fix these problems. Routine home maintenance can prevent most of the moisture damage found in houses today.

The FreeFromMold.org Web site is structured around the Ten-Point Protection Plan, which offers homeowners ten key areas of the home to protect against moisture intrusion. While the Ten-Point Protection Plan offers a basic overview, visitors to the Web site can find detailed guidelines of what to look for in these ten areas of the house and simple solutions for some of the common problems that allow mold to fester. For ease of understanding, the ten areas of the house are subdivided into three categories: exterior, perimeter and interior. Visitors can select an area of the home from an interactive image of a house or through a navigational list to reach the page that offers the information they need.

FreeFromMold.org is a program of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association widely recognized as the authoritative source for information on structural wood products and their related construction applications. With over 70 years of experience, APA provides a rigorous quality inspection and testing program for all APA-trademarked engineered wood products, as well as offering more than 400 publications with the latest information on wood products and applications. FreeFomMold.org draws from this knowledge of wood design and construction to provide homeowners with important maintenance tips. APA will continue to update the FreeFromMold.org site as new science becomes available.

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is comprised of and represents manufacturers of structural plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), structural composite panels, glued laminated timber (glulam), wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber (LVL). APA’s activities include third-party quality auditing and testing, products and systems research, standards development, design and engineering data, product installation recommendations, code recommendations and educational programs, including literature, trade shows, field services and Web sites. Learn more about APA’s role at the forefront of the wood industry by visiting http://www.apawood.org//.

FreeFromMold.org grew out of APA’s Build a Better Home program, which offers construction details and guidelines that builders should follow to ensure their homes can withstand moisture intrusion. The Build a Better Home program explains better building practices for foundations, walls and roofs, and includes examples from a demonstration home at the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Build a Better Home by visiting www.buildabetterhome.org.

A Glossary of Engineered Wood Terms

STRUCTURAL WOOD PANELS

Structural Plywood: The original structural wood panel, plywood consists of veneers arranged in perpendicular layers. The layers may consist of a single veneer ply or two or more plies laminated with the grain running in the same direction. There are always an odd number of layers, with the grain of the face layers typically oriented parallel to the long dimension of the panel. It is the cross-laminated layup of layers of veneer that gives plywood its excellent strength, stiffness and dimensional stability. In addition to a variety of sheathing, siding, sanded and concrete form grades, many manufacturers can produce custom layups for specialized applications.

Oriented Strand Board: OSB consists of wood strands bonded with adhesives to form a mat. Like the veneer in plywood, these mats are layered and oriented for maximum strength, stiffness and stability. The individual strands are typically three to four inches long. OSB is widely used as construction sheathing, as the web material for wood I-joists, as the structural membranes of structural insulated panels (SIPs), and in a growing number of other applications.

Structural Composite Panels: Structural composite panels (the APA tradename is COM-PLY) consist of veneer faces bonded to a wood-base core material, such as OSB. Composite panels are manufactured in three- or five-layer arrangements. A three-layer panel has a wood fiber core and a veneer face and back, while a five-layer panel also has a veneer crossband in the center. When manufactured in a one-step pressing operation, voids in the veneers are filled automatically by the particles or strands as the panel is pressed in the bonding process. Typical composite panel applications include sheathing, siding and industrial applications.

GLUED LAMINATED TIMBER (GLULAM)

Glulam is an engineered stress-rated product created by bonding together individual pieces of lumber having a thickness of two inches (50 mm) or less. Individual pieces of lumber are end-joined together to create long lengths referred to as laminations. These laminations are then face-bonded together to create the finished product. Glulam is also among the most versatile of the engineered wood products. It can be shaped into forms ranging from straight beams to complex curved members, and is used in a wide variety of residential and nonresidential building construction applications, including headers, floor girders, ridge beams and purlins, cantilever beam systems, arches, domes and exposed applications such as bridges, marinas and utility structures.

STRUCTURAL COMPOSITE LUMBER

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL): LVL is the most widely used of the structural composite lumber products. It is produced by bonding thin wood veneers together in a large billet. The grain of all veneers is parallel to the long direction. The LVL billet is then sawn to desired dimensions depending on the construction application. Some of the product’s many uses are headers and beams, hip and valley rafters, scaffold planking, and the flange material for prefabricated wood I-joists.

Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL): PSL consists of long veneer strands laid in parallel formation and bonded together with an adhesive to form the finished structural section. Like LVL and glulams, this product is used for beam and header applications where high bending strength is needed. PSL is also frequently used as load-bearing columns.

Oriented Strand Lumber (OSL): Similar to PSL, oriented strand lumber is made from flaked wood strands that have a high length-to-thickness ratio. Combined with an adhesive, the strands are oriented and formed into a large mat or billet and pressed. OSL is used in a variety of applications from studs to millwork components.

PREFABRICATED WOOD I-JOISTS

Also referred to as I-beams, wood I-joists are structural, load-carrying products. I-joists are typically available in long lengths and because they are very lightweight, they can be easily handled at the jobsite without the need for costly handling equipment. Their “I” configuration provides high bending strength and stiffness characteristics. The top and bottom flange material for I-joists is typically dimension lumber or laminated veneer lumber; the web material is OSB or plywood. Prefabricated wood I-joists are used extensively in residential construction for both floor and roof framing and are among the fastest-growing of the glued engineered wood products.

A Short History of APA

APA — The Engineered Wood Association is the nonprofit trade association of the U.S. and Canadian engineered wood products industry. Based in Tacoma, Washington, the Association is comprised of and represents manufacturers of structural plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), structural composite panels, glued laminated (glulam) timber, wood I-joists, and laminated veneer lumber (LVL). (See the glossary backgrounder for explanation of these products.)

APA was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association to advance the interests of the burgeoning Pacific Northwest plywood industry. Adhesive and technology improvements eventually led to the manufacture of structural plywood from Southern pine and other species, and in 1964 the Association changed its name to American Plywood Association (APA) to reflect the national scope of its growing membership.

The Association’s membership expanded again in the early 1980s with the introduction of oriented strand board (OSB), a product the Association helped bring to market through development of new panel performance standards. A decade later, APA accommodated manufacturers of non-panel engineered wood products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber.

To better reflect the broadening product mix and geographic range of its membership, the Association changed its name again in 1994 to APA—The Engineered Wood Association. The acronym “APA” was retained in the name because it was so widely known and respected in the marketplace.

Today, APA represents approximately 152 engineered wood product mills in the U.S., Canada and abroad. The Association’s mandate, among other activities, includes:

  • Third-party quality auditing and testing.
  • New product qualification.
  • Product and systems research.
  • Development and maintenance of product and performance standards.
  • Design and engineering data.
  • Product installation recommendations.
  • Code and regulatory body liaison.
  • Market research.
  • Industry statistics.
  • Product application literature.
  • Product publicity, advertising and other promotion.
  • Educational trade seminars and meetings.
  • User and specifier field assistance.
  • Annual mill safety competition.
  • Annual industry supplier exposition (Info Fair).
  • Industry communications.

Backgrounders

This section contains background information useful to writers and editors. For additional information, please contact Marilyn Thompson at 253-620-7476 or by e-mail at marilyn.thompson@apawood.org.

 

Success of OSB Built on Foundation of Continuous Process Improvement

In concept it’s exceedingly simple: convert logs to wood strands and then bind the strands together with adhesive under heat and pressure. The result: a multi-purpose structural panel.

It’s not quite that simple, of course. Initial uses of waferboard, OSB’s predecessor, included packaging, farm construction and other applications where building codes did not apply. It was clear early on, however, that if the product were to compete in regulated construction markets, significant product performance and processing advances would be required.

Today’s oriented strand board is an engineered wood product that owes its phenomenal marketplace success to the continuous research and development investments of manufacturers, their associations and industry suppliers.

The first step in the OSB success story was development of a performance standard recognized by building codes. That was achieved in 1980 when the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) issued an approval report for APA Performance-Rated Panels. The APA Performance Standard and Policies for Structural-Use Panels established product qualification, evaluation and ongoing quality assurance requirements, and thus set the stage for the tremendous OSB industry growth that was to follow.

Since then, a number of processing advances also have occurred, and more still are under development. Following is a quick list of improvements that have contributed and/or promise to contribute to the continued growth and success of the OSB industry.

Strand orientation: Cross-orienting layers of strands rather than forming panels from randomly oriented flakes or strands improves panel properties and requires less wood fiber to meet end-use performance requirements. Orienting strands also reduces panel weight compared to panels randomly oriented.

Conveyor drying: “Gentler” drying produces better furnish from the standpoints of both physical abuse and lower temperature. Lower dryer temperatures minimize VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions, reducing the need for costly dryer stack treatments.

Resin technology: Improved control of viscosity and reactivity of liquid phenolic resins increases performance and productivity. Research is leading to safer and more economical use of isocyanate resins, and more efficient use of phenol formaldehyde resins. Faster cure rates and moisture-tolerant bonding improve throughput and increase production.

Improved resin efficiency: Electric atomizers provide better dispersion of liquid resin compared to pneumatic and hydraulic devices formerly used. The result is equivalent structural performance at lower resin application rates.

Strand production: Provided logs can be adequately thawed, tree length flakers reduce the machinery needs and processing steps required when processing short blocks.

Longer strands: Longer strands improve the structural performance of the panel and reduce the generation of fines.

Wider forming lines: Originally four feet wide, forming lines have been progressively extended to eight, nine and now 12 feet wide, reducing trim loss and permitting the economical manufacture of panels in dimensions sought by a broadening foreign and domestic market customer base.

Sawlines: Although still uncommon, computer-controlled book saws (capable of cutting an eight-inch stack of panels simultaneously) have some advantages over conventional skinner and cross-cut arrangement of sawlines.

Press controls: Improved control of panel thickness and density profile can be obtained through better control of hydraulic flow rate, press closure rate, and platen positioning.

Species utilization: Greater tolerance for mixed species, including hardwoods, helps extend the wood fiber supply, improve mill profitability, and lower the cost of the finished product to the consumer.

Decay and fire resistance: The addition of borates and other compounds to strands or resins is being explored as a means to improve decay resistance, reduce flame spread, and improve dimensional stability.

Edge sealing: Improved edge sealers reduce thickness swell.

Process control: Better use of computerized feedback and controls has helped improve manufacturing efficiency.

Process control is also an underlying principle of APA’s Quality Management System developed in the late 1990s, and which is used in most APA member OSB mills. The program is based on the recognition that all aspects of the manufacturing process play a vital role in determining quality of the finished product. It encourages the manufacturer to move quality control upstream within the production process, and to build corrective capabilities into the system.

The process improvements in the OSB industry over the past two decades have catapulted it beyond the expectations of most early observers and even enthusiasts. By the end of 1981, just a few months after recognition of APA’s performance standard, 12 North American OSB and waferboard mills produced 812 million square feet (3/8” basis) of product. By 2001, some 60 mills produced 20.6 billion square feet. These numbers are compelling testimony to the importance and rewards of technological innovation and continuous process improvement within the engineered wood products industry generally and the OSB industry in particular.

Milestones in the History of Plywood

Engineered Wood Industry News Releases

This section contains news and information about APA members and issues pertaining to the engineered wood industry. For more information, please contact Marilyn Thompson at 253-620-7476 or by e-mail at marilyn.thompson@apawood.org.

APA Product & Application News Releases

In this section, you will find news releases containing information on topics that relate to specific engineered wood products and their applications. If you have news you would like to be considered for publication, or for additional information, please contact Marilyn Thompson at 253-620-7476 or by e-mail at marilyn.thompson@apawood.org.

Thompson River Accepted into Membership

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: July 7, 2014
Number: 2014-11

Thompson River Accepted into Membership

Dry veneer supplier and plywood manufacturer becomes the fourth Canadian plywood manufacturer to join APA in 2014

APA – The Engineered Wood Association announced that Thompson River Veneer Products Ltd., Kamloops, British Columbia, has been approved for membership by the APA Board of Trustees. The company has been operating as a dry veneer supplier and plywood producer since 2006. It is the fourth Canadian plywood manufacturer to join APA in 2014. The transition to APA membership is effective August 1, 2014.

“We are pleased to include Thompson River Veneer Products in our growing family of Canadian plywood producers,” said Ed Elias, APA President. “We’re working with them now as they transition over to APA’s quality auditing program, and we look forward to extending the full suite of APA’s services.”

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About APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Three Canadian Plywood Mills Approved for APA Membership

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 4, 2014
Number: 2014-7

Three Canadian Plywood Mills Approved for APA Membership

With additions, APA membership will represent roughly 60 percent of Canada’s plywood production

APA-The Engineered Wood Association approved three Canadian plywood mills for membership during the Association’s Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month in Nashville, Tennessee. Richmond Plywood Corporation Ltd., Richmond, British Columbia; LP, Golden, British Columbia; and Canoe Forest Products Limited, Canoe, British Columbia, were accepted into membership, effective August 1, 2014.

“We are pleased that these producers have given APA a vote of confidence, and we look forward to bringing them the full value of APA services,” said Ed Elias, APA President. He noted that with the addition of these mills, APA membership will represent about 60 percent of Canada’s plywood production.

“With the support and participation of these producers in our Association activities and advisory committees, APA will have a stronger presence in Canada and a more diverse voice in the broader plywood industry,” Elias said.

All three manufacturers have long and successful histories in British Columbia. Richmond Plywood, “RichPly,” was established in 1956 as a cooperative and continues as a co-op today, with 282 shareholders who work in production.

Canoe Forest Products, located near Salmon Arm, has been producing plywood since 1965. In 2012, Canoe Forest Products joined the Gorman Family of Companies, longtime lumber manufacturers.

The LP Golden mill started peeling veneer in 1964. The mill expanded to plywood production in the ’70s and started to produce laminated veneer lumber in 1997. In 1999, LP acquired the mill from Evans Forest Products. The Golden mill is already an APA member with its LVL line.

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About APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

2013 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: John Hopp, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: john.hopp@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7447
Date: May 29, 2014
Number: 2014-6

2013 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

Program honors manufacturers for safety strides.

2013 APA Safety and Health Award Winners APA – The Engineered Wood Association recently announced the winners of its 2013 Safety and Health Awards, a program that encourages and recognizes safety and operational excellence in the North American structural panel and engineered wood industry.

Abitibi-LP Engineered Wood and Norbord won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories, while the coveted Innovation in Safety Award went to two winners: LP of Sagola, MI, for equipment-based innovation, and Weyerhaeuser of Elkin, NC, for process-based innovation.

Norbord, a North American manufacturer of structural wood panels, earned top honors among companies with four or more mills, with a 2013 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) of 2.55. Abitibi-LP, which produces I-joists, won its award in the category for companies with three or fewer mills. The company posted a perfect 0.00 WIR for 2013.

The Sagola LP mill’s original “Log Jam Pusher” equipment innovation and the Elkin Weyerhaeuser mill’s engaging “Summer Safety Blitz” program took top honors out of 30 Innovation in Safety Award entries. Prototyped and tested on site by Sagola mill staff, the “Log Jam Pusher” is a new piece of equipment that greatly diminishes the risk to operators while removing large or crooked logs from a chain conveyance system. Using the chain’s own mechanical force, the equipment repositions the logs safely, without physical aid from the operator. The Elkin mill’s “Summer Safety Blitz” program proved highly effective in involving staff in safety awareness through several avenues, including production of a “Summer Safety” video series starring mill employees, a March Madness hoop shoot and basketball goal giveaway incorporating safety themes, a summer safety cooler bag giveaway, and other activities popular with staff.

Begun in 1982, the awards program honors the managements and employees of companies and mills with the lowest Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) that is calculated using the number and severity of recordable incidents reported on the mill’s annual OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) report. Since 2008 was the first year that WIR was used, awards and reports for 2009 through 2013 continue to also show Total Incident Rate (TIR), the measure used in previous years.

Seventy-seven APA member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada, and abroad participated in the 2013 program. A total of 21 facilities representing eight APA member companies—Abitibi-LP Engineered Wood, Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., Anthony Forest Products Co., Louisiana-Pacific Canada, LP, Norbord, Roseburg Forest Products Co, and Weyerhaeuser—earned awards in various competition categories. Some of the mills were multiple award winners.

In addition to the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement, Annual Safety and Health Honor Roll, Three-Year Safety Award, and Incident Free Honor Society. Twenty mills achieved a zero incident rate for the year and thus were named to the Incident Free Honor Society. The annual honor roll, three-year average, and safety improvement categories are divided into two divisions based on hours worked annually—more than or fewer than 400,000 hours. While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills in order to provide a broad-based industry performance benchmark. A total of 77 mills reported data for 2013. The 2013 industry Total Incident and Weighted Incident Rates were 2.05 and 10.05, respectively.

The winning facilities and companies will be recognized and their safety accomplishments celebrated during the Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s annual meeting in November in San Antonio, Texas. Award plaques also will be presented to the winning mills by APA President Ed Elias or other APA management staff.

The 2013 Safety and Health Awards program was the sixth year of the program under a revitalized safety effort spearheaded by an APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee, comprised of several APA member company safety professionals. Under the committee’s guidance, three main goals were established: make the APA program the premier safety awards program in the industry, encourage the sharing of best practices as a means to improve the industry’s safety culture and programs, and most importantly, improve the industry’s overall safety performance.

View the complete list of the 2013 Award Winners. Additional program information is available on the APA Safety and Health webpage.

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About APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Releases 2014 Market Outlook

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: April 29, 2014
Number: 2014-5

APA Releases 2014 Market Outlook

Recovery of housing market expected to drive growth in demand for engineered wood products by 30 to 45 percent through 2018.

Despite adverse weather conditions across much of the country that hampered the forward momentum of the US economy in early 2014, APA – The Engineered Wood Association predicts that gradual, stable growth lies ahead in wood product sectors. Although attitudes among businesses and consumers remain cautious, recent data suggest growth will get back on track in the second quarter of 2014. APA reviewed factors impacting the market and provided an updated forecast in the recently released 2014 Market Outlook.

Real GDP is forecast to average 2.5 percent per year through 2018. This should drive up employment rates, especially among younger workers, and in turn increase household growth. Likewise, Canada’s economy is forecast to enjoy steady growth.

“Most of the market volatility caused by the housing bubble’s collapse is behind us,” said Joe Elling, APA’s market research director. “The demand for new housing units should improve over the next 3–5 years.” He said that recent statements by Federal Reserve policy makers are a positive sign that they recognize continued recovery in the housing industry as an imperative to faster economic growth.

Residential Market Forecasts

While unusually harsh winter weather dampened housing starts in early 2014, particularly in the Midwest, the market is expected to bounce back in the next 2–3 months.

One key question affecting the market recovery relates to the home-buying attitudes of a key demographic, the group of 18- to 34-year-olds who have delayed establishing their own households. An estimated 3.5 million new households could be created from this demographic, but at what point will these young adults gain the wherewithal to strike out on their own? The outlook is favorable, as employment rates within this group are on the rise. Today, renting remains a preferred option for them, but most say they aspire to eventually own a home. Both single-family and, to a greater degree, multifamily starts are projected to increase through 2018.

Signals in the remodeling market are mixed. While the NAHB Remodeling Market Index was strong throughout 2013, other measures indicate stagnation. Existing home sales, a typical indicator of the direction of the remodeling market, are expected to trend downward slightly this year and then pick up in 2015. Ultimately, APA expects repair and remodeling expenditures to grow an average of 2 percent annually through 2018.

Non-residential, Industrial, Imports & Exports

Non-residential construction continues to lag, falling 5.5 percent in 2013. Education construction is down from its high in 2008, but is expected to stabilize in 2014–2015, as the outlook for government budgets has improved. Health care facility construction has fallen due to several factors, including a decline in births since 2007 and the trend toward consolidation in health care. At the same time, commercial construction, primarily retail, is expected to grow commensurate with residential building. By 2018, nonresidential construction is predicted to be up 17 percent from 2013 levels.

Manufacturing production is likely to continue to increase in 2014, returning output to peak levels seen in 2007. Looking forward, growth should average 3.7 percent yearly through 2018, as capacity utilization increases to levels not achieved since 1999. Furniture production rose 3.2 percent in 2013 and is forecast to grow in line with increased consumer spending on furniture.

Due to rising domestic demand for North American plywood, APA anticipates that plywood imports, notably from Chile, will increase through 2018. Imports will account for 4 percent of North American plywood consumption in 2014. OSB exports were up 40 million square feet in 2013; demand for North American OSB remains strong globally, and exports are expected to increase further in 2014 and beyond.

Wood Products Expectations

Over the next 4 years, APA expects an increasing demand for North American engineered wood products; structural panels are forecast to grow 31 percent, and other engineered wood products will see growth of 40–45 percent.

Driven by a 16 percent increase in housing starts in the US, demand for structural panels in residential construction in North America is expected to rise 11 percent in 2014, while growth in the other end-uses is projected to be 2.5 percent. North American production of OSB and plywood is expected to hit 32.2 billion square feet in 2014, an increase of nearly 8 percent over 2013.

Glulam production is on the rise, up 11 percent in 2013, and is projected to grow 6 percent this year, to 266 million board feet, and continue to increase steadily through 2018.

In 2014, I-joist production is expected to increase to 682 million linear feet. With steady increases in housing starts in the US, production is projected to reach 913 million linear feet by 2018.

LVL demand will also benefit from sustained improvement in housing starts. LVL production in 2014 is forecast to reach 62.7 million cubic feet, from 57 million in 2013, and by 2018 output is projected to grow by 46 percent to 83 million cubic feet.

Industry historical data and the 2014 market forecast are provided in APA’s 2014 Structural Panel & Engineered Wood Yearbook, Form MKOE180. The report can be purchased for $250 from APA here: 2014 Yearbook.

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About APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Releases Engineered Wood Production Forecast

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C7-2006
DATE: September 15, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, Phone: (253) 620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org


APA Releases Engineered Wood Production Forecast

North American production of structural plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) is expected to finish the year at 43.08 billion square feet, down just 30 million feet from the record 43.11 billion feet last year, according to the annual fall forecast of APA—The Engineered Wood Association.
 
Production next year is forecast to be almost as high, at 43.05 billion feet. The 2007 forecast is based on the expectation that U.S. residential construction, although slowing, will remain relatively strong, with 1.835 million single and multifamily housing starts, compared to 1.95 million this year.
 
The 2007 forecast anticipates that residential construction in the U.S. and Canada will consume 24.2 billion square feet, compared to 25.2 billion square feet this year. Demand in all other domestic markets combined—remodeling, industrial, and nonresidential construction—is expected to remain about the same.
 
North American structural wood panel imports and exports (excluding U.S.-Canada trade) are forecast to remain about the same next year as this year, with exports at 484 million square feet and imports at about 1.9 billion feet.
 
Oriented strand board production next year is forecast to rise by about 180 million square feet, to 26.9 billion, while plywood output is expected to decline 206 million feet, to 16.1 billion feet.
 
The structural wood panel industry as a whole is forecast to operate at 90 percent of capacity in 2007, down from 95 percent this year and 98 percent in 2004 at the peak of the housing market boom. About 2.3 billion square feet of new industry capacity is expected to be added next year, with another 1.9 billion feet in 2008.

Among other engineered wood products, I-joist production is expected to total about 1.25 million linear feet in 2007, just slightly higher than this year. Glulam timber production is forecast to total 470 million board feet, down 20 million board feet from this year. And laminated veneer lumber output is expected to total 88.8 million cubic feet, nearly identical to 2006.
 
The complete forecast is produced as a planning tool for APA members and is not available to the general public. However, the Association also publishes a yearbook of structural wood panel and other engineered wood product historical production and market data that is available for $200. The Yearbook can be ordered from the APA web site at www.apawood.org/publications.

U.S. and Canadian Structural Wood Panel and Engineered Wood Production, 2006-2007

2006 (forecast) 2007 (forecast) 
Softwood Plywood (million square feet, 3/8” basis) 16,360 16,154
Oriented Strand Board (million square feet, 3/8” basis) 26,715 26,896
Total Structural Wood Panels (million square feet) 43,075 43,050
Glulam Timber (million board feet) 490 470
Wood I-Joists (million linear feet) 1,235 1,250
Laminated Veneer Lumber (million cubic feet) 88.7 88.8

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Revises 2007 Structural Wood Panel Production Forecast

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C8-2006
DATE: October 9, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, Phone: (253) 620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org


APA Revises 2007 Structural Wood Panel Production Forecast

North American production of structural plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) is now expected to total 41.4 billion square feet next year, or 3.8 percent less than in its earlier fall forecast, APA—The Engineered Wood Association announced today.

The revised forecast is based on the deepening housing slump and the expectation that 2007 housing starts will total about 1.7 million, rather than the 1.835 million in the earlier forecast. Housing starts this year are also now expected to be lower than earlier projected. The current forecast is for starts to total 1.87 million, or 80,000 units fewer than previously forecast.

The housing downturn is expected to have a similar dampening effect on demand next year for other structural engineered wood products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber.

Demand in the industry's other domestic markets — remodeling, industrial and nonresidential construction — is still expected to be about the same next year as this, according to the revised outlook.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Safety and Health 2009 Award Winners Announced

APA News Release

Release #: 2010-4
Date: June 8, 2010
Contact:  John Hopp, 253-620-7447, john.hopp@apawood.org

APA Safety and Health 2009 Award Winners Announced

LP’s oriented strand board mill in Tomahawk, Wisconsin earned the coveted Innovation in Safety Award in the latest Safety and Health Awards Program sponsored annually by APA for the structural wood panel and engineered wood products industry.

The LP plant took the innovation prize for designing and deploying a special outside debarking and conveyor system for stringy bark species that mitigates debarker discharge plug ups and the risks associated with clearing the raw material bottlenecks by hand.

Among the criteria for the Innovation Award is demonstration that the innovation reduced occupational injuries or illnesses.  The entry can be submitted by a mill, a group of mills or an entire company.  Twenty-four Innovation entries were submitted in 2009, more than doubling the 10 entries in 2008.

Norbord, Toronto, Ontario, and Stark Truss Company, Inc., Canton, Ohio also won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories.  Norbord, a leading North American manufacturer of oriented strand board, earned top honors among companies with four or more mills with a 2009 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) of 4.58.  Stark Truss, which produces glulam timber and wood I-joists, won its award in the category for companies with three or fewer mills.  The company posted a perfect 0.00 WIR for 2009.

The awards program, begun in 1982, honors the managements and employees of companies and mills with the lowest severity-weighted incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  It employs a Weighted Incident Rate that is calculated using both the number and severity of recordable incidents.  Since 2008 was the first year that WIR was used, awards and reports for 2009 continue to also show Total Incident Rate (TIR), the measure used in previous years.

Ninety-three APA member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad participated in the 2009 program.  A total of 16 mills representing seven APA member companies—Anthony Forest Products Co.; Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, LLC; LP; Norbord; Rosboro; Shelton Lam and Deck; and Stark Truss Company, Inc.—earned awards in various competition categories of the 2009 program.  Some of the mills were multiple award winners.

All major product categories produced by APA’s membership were represented among the winning mills, including oriented strand board, plywood, glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber.

In addition to the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement, Annual Safety and Health Honor Roll, Three-Year Safety Average, and Incident Free Honor Society.  Fourteen mills achieved a zero incident rate for the year and thus were named to the Incident Free Honor Society.  The annual honor roll, three-year average and safety improvement categories are divided into two divisions based on hours worked annually—more than or fewer than 400,000 hours.

While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills in order to provide a broad-based industry performance benchmark.  A total of 118 mills reported data for 2009.  The 2009 industry Total Incident and Weighted Incident Rates were 2.18 and 10.64, respectively, up slightly from 1.99 and 10.02, respectively, in 2008.

The winning facilities and companies will be recognized and their safety accomplishments celebrated during the Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s annual meeting in October in Tucson, Arizona.  Award plaques also will be presented to the winning mills by APA President Dennis Hardman or other APA management staff.

The 2009 safety awards program was the second year under a revitalized safety program effort spearheaded by an APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee comprised of several APA member company safety professionals.  Under the committee’s guidance, three main goals were established:  make the APA program the premier safety awards program in the industry, encourage the sharing of best practices as a means to improve the industry’s safety culture and programs, and most importantly, improve the industry’s overall safety performance.

To those ends, several new initiatives are under way, including plans for industry safety workshops, the first of which will be held immediately following the APA annual meeting this fall; development of an industry safety professional database for more effective sharing of best practices and safety alerts; and expanding the safety and health section of the APA website to make it a more useful industry safety information clearinghouse and networking tool.

More information on the APA Safety and Health Awards Program and the complete list of 2009 winners can be found on the Association’s website at www.apawood.org.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA (www.apawood.org) is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Announces New Leadership at 2011 Annual Meeting

APA News Release

Release #: 2011-23
Date: November 3, 2011
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, 253-620-7476, marilyn.thompson@apawood.org

APA Announces New Leadership at 2011 Annual Meeting

APA-The Engineered Wood Association has announced new officers and appointments to its Board of Trustees and several committees. Assuming the chairmanship of the Association is Mary Jo Nyblad, Boise Cascade. Jeff Wagner, LP, completed his term as chairman and will continue to serve on the board as a trustee. Tom Temple, Potlatch Corp., is the new Vice Chairman, while Mike St. John, Pacific Woodtech, is the new chairman of the Marketing Advisory Committee. Jim Enright, Murphy Engineered Wood Products, assumed the chairmanship of the I-Joist/SCL Management Committee. Also joining the Board of Trustees were Jim Lake, Ainsworth Lumber Company; and Mike Dawson, Norbord. 

Outgoing trustees Rick Huff, Ainsworth Lumber Company, and Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord, were recognized for their service on the board. 

The new officers and committee chairmen were named at the 2011 Annual Meeting of APA, held Oct. 22- 25 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the appointments were effective with the conclusion of the meeting. The annual meeting drew attendance of 345 manufacturers, suppliers to the industry, and guests. Conference sessions included reports on housing and the market outlook, initiatives related to building and energy codes, the WoodWorks promotion program, International market access, green building, and APA programs such as the Product Support Help Desk and website.

Mary Matalin, political contributor for CNN and former assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, delivered the keynote address in the general session. Speaking on "Politics, Presidency and the Press," she provided her views on candidates in the current presidential campaign and trends affecting the race. She also expressed her opinion that the American public is beginning to recognize that the increased role of government, under both Republican and Democratic leadership, has not made things better for our country. 

In his address to the general session, outgoing Chairman Jeff Wagner welcomed seven new mills who have joined APA since the last annual meeting: Architectures Toubois, Laval, Quebec (glulam); Global LVL Inc., Ville-Marie, Quebec (LVL); TECOLAM Inc., Val d'Or, Quebec (glulam); QB Corporation, Salmon, Idaho (glulam); GP North Woods, Englehart, Ontario (OSB); GP Allendale, Fairfax, South Carolina (OSB); and GP Clarendon, Alcolu, South Carolina (OSB). APA membership now totals 160 facilities in the U.S., Canada, and South America, including 54 plywood, 47 OSB, 27 glulam, 16 I-joist, 13 SCL and 3 specialty product mills.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA (www.apawood.org) is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 


APA Welcomes Norbord’s North American OSB Facilities

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C10-2005
DATE: August 17, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
NORBORD CONTACT: Anita Veel, 416-643-8838, E-mail: anita.veel@norbord.com

APA Welcomes Norbord’s North American OSB Facilities

Norbord Inc. (www.norbord.com), an international forest products company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, recently selected APA—The Engineered Wood Association to provide third-party quality auditing, as well as technical and market support services, to all of the company’s North American OSB facilities.

The membership agreement took effect August 1. Norbord Senior Vice President Peter Wijnbergen also was recently elected to the APA Board of Trustees.

Norbord is the world’s second largest manufacturer of oriented strand board. It operates seven OSB mills in the U.S. and two in Canada. The company’s plant in La Sarre, Quebec, was already a member of the Association. The nine plants combined have a production capacity of 3.5 billion square feet (3/8” basis). The company also has two OSB facilities in Europe.

In addition to OSB, Norbord produces medium density fiberboard, particleboard, specialty plywood, I-joists, and furniture components. Its I-joist facility, in Juniper, New Brunswick, also was an existing member of APA. The company employs approximately 3,000 at 16 operations in Canada, the U.S. and Europe with annual sales of approximately US $1.5 billion. Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA—The Engineered Wood Association (www.apawood.org) is a nonprofit trade association whose U.S. and Canadian members produce plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support services. The association was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association.

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APA Celebrates 75th Anniversary at Annual Meeting in Las Vegas

Release #:  C6-08
Date:   September 26, 2008
APA Contact:  Jack Merry, 253-620-7413, jack.merry@apawood.org

Note to Editors:  Photos of the APA annual meeting are posted at: http://media.apawood.org/apawoodSearch.asp?albumID=19&collectionID=101

APA Celebrates 75th Anniversary at Annual Meeting in Las Vegas

APA marked its 75th anniversary during the organization’s annual meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas Hotel in Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas, Sept. 20-23. 

Approximately 340 member company representatives, industry suppliers, media and guests attended the four-day meeting, which featured presentations, reports and roundtable discussions on a wide range of topics, including the housing market, adhesive issues and developments, green building legislation, selling to the nonresidential construction market, standards development, formaldehyde emissions regulations, and APA’s newly revised Strategic Plan, among others. 

The meeting also featured the annual Info Fair supplier exhibition sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), APA’s related supplier organization, and recognition of APA mill safety program award winners. 

The theme of the meeting was “We’re Making History.”

APA Chairman Mike Rehwinkel, president, wood products at Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, told the meeting’s general session audience that although “this is a difficult time in our long history…we are far better off today than in 1933,” when the Association was founded during the Great Depression by “incurable optimists.”  He said the “We’re Making History” meeting theme “is as much about moving forward as looking back.  An individual, a company, an industry must continue to look to the future, even when preoccupied with the challenges of the present.”  He told the audience that “we have good reason to be confident (because) we bring to the challenges significant strengths, including a tradition of toughness that marks our long history.” 

The APA chairman reported the addition of seven new APA members over the past year, raising the total number of member facilities to 153, including 96 panel mills and 57 engineered wood plants.  He added that 12 companies had joined the Engineered Wood Technology Association as well, raising total EWTA membership to more than 90 of the industry’s leading product, equipment and service providers. 

Rehwinkel also presented the fourth annual Bronson J. Lewis Award to Fred Fields, long-time former owner of Coe Manufacturing Company.  The award, dedicated to former APA Secretary and Executive Vice President Bronson J. Lewis, honors individuals for their leadership and contributions to the engineered wood products industry.  “Fred’s tireless work over some 60 years as an inventor, manufacturer, financial backer and now as mentor to many of the industry’s leaders makes him a natural recipient of the Bronson J. Lewis Award,” Rehwinkel said. 

General session keynote speakers were Bernard Markstein III, vice president, forecasting and analysis at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), who presented an assessment of the housing market, and Dowell Myers, professor of urban planning and demography at the University of Southern California, who provided a longer term view of housing market demographics. 

Markstein said new and existing home sale rates are still declining but that he believes they are close to bottoming out.  He said NAHB expects a modest rebound in residential construction activity beginning early next year.  Myers presented data showing the expected rise in the ratio of seniors in the general population, which he said could trigger numerous crises, including Social Security insolvency, Medicare and health insurance cost rises, workforce and taxpayer replacement challenges, maintenance of infrastructure and an over supply of home sellers.  He said that immigration and a better educated and therefore wealthier younger generation could help avert those crises. 

APA Vice President and Corporate Secretary Ed Elias provided a general session summary of the Association’s newly revised Strategic Plan, which sets goals and measurement criteria related to wood product market share, membership, compliance to standards, financial management and organizational effectiveness.  “With this plan in place, with your continued strong support, and with the eventual economic and housing market turnaround that is sure to come, our industry and your association have tremendous prospects ahead for success and prosperity,” Elias said. 

The general session was followed by three roundtable discussions covering green building legislative trends, led by Erin Shaffer, vice president of federal outreach for the Green Building Initiative; selling to the nonresidential construction market, led by Keith Coonce, president of Panelized Structures, Inc.; and adhesive issues, led by Al Weaver, North American business manager for plywood and LVL adhesives at Hexion Specialty Chemicals.
 The Marketing Advisory Committee meeting included an update on the joint APA-Southern Pine Council Gulf Coast rebuilding campaign by APA Gulf Coast Market Manager Bob Clark, a market forecast presented by APA Market Research Director Craig Adair, and APA Strategic Marketing Plan activity updates. 

The Info Fair supplier exhibition featured approximately 60 exhibitors.  EWTA Managing Director Terry Kerwood also presented Supplier of the Year Awards to Panel World magazine in the consultant category, Ventek, Inc. in the equipment category, and Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc., materials and supplies category.  The supplier awards program recognizes the value and importance of the business relationships between APA member companies and their EWTA member suppliers. 

A highlight of the meeting was a special awards ceremony during the Chairman’s Dinner for the winners of the latest APA mill safety competition.  The winning mills were: 

  • Boise Cascade’s Willamina, Oregon veneer mill.
  • Georgia-Pacific Wood Products’ Corrigan, Texas; Fordyce, Arkansas; Gloster, Mississippi; and Madison, Georgia plywood mills. 
  • LP Corporation’s Athens, Georgia OSB facility and Wilmington, North Carolina I-joist and LVL plant. 
  • Timber Products Company’s Yreka, California veneer plant. 

APA Vice Chairman Jeff Wagner, who also serves as chairman of a newly established APA Mill Safety Awards Program Standing Committee, said “the APA Safety Competition is one of the most valuable services that our Association provides.  It elevates the importance of safety in our collective consciousness, it encourages efforts to improve industry safety programs and procedures, and it honors those companies and mills whose safety achievements each year set the standard for our industry.”  The annual competition honors the management and employees of facilities with the lowest incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

APA’s 2009 annul meeting and Info Fair will be held November 13-16 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida. 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 150 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

APA Elects New Chairman, Vice Chairman

Release #:  C17-07
Date:   November 19, 2007
APA Contact:  APA:  Jack Merry, 253-620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

APA Elects New Chairman, Vice Chairman

Richard Huff, vice president and general manager, OSB and kraft papers at Tolko Industries Ltd., Vernon, BC, was elected chairman of the APA Board of Trustees during the Association’s annual meeting in Indian Wells, Calif. Nov. 10-14. 

An APA trustee since November 2005, Huff holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s, also in economics, from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario.  He succeeds Jonathan Martin, chairman and CEO of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, Alexandria, La., as chairman.  Martin, who joined the Board in 2003, remains a trustee. 

Also elected as vice chairman of the board was James Enright, president of Standard Structures Inc., Windsor, Calif.  Enright holds a bachelor of science in business administration degree from the University of Redlands, Redlands, Calif.  He is a past chairman of the APA Engineered Wood Systems (EWS) I-Joist/Laminated Veneer Lumber Management Committee and also served as chairman of the APA Marketing Advisory Committee.  He has served on the board of trustees since November 2003. 

The board’s other members are Michael Ainsworth, Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.; Allyn Ford, Roseburg Forest Products Company; Don Grimm, Hood Industries, Inc.; Dennis Hardman, APA president; Steve Killgore, Cascade Structural Laminators LLC; Peter Lynch, Grant Forest Products Inc.; John Murphy, Murphy Company; Mary Jo Nyblad; Boise Cascade LLC; Michael Rehwinkel, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC; Henry Ricklefs, Plum Creek; Mike St. John, Pacific Woodtech Corp.; Jeff Wagner, LP; and Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord Inc.

Founded in 1933, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

 

 

APA Gains ANSI Accreditation

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C8-2007
DATE: May 3, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

APA Gains ANSI Accreditation 

APA – The Engineered Wood Association has gained accreditation as a standards developer from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the private nonprofit organization that serves as the administrator and coordinator of a U.S. private sector voluntary standardization system.
 
The designation marks an important milestone in APA's ongoing efforts to advance acceptance and use of engineered wood products through its work in the building codes and standards arena. "This is an exciting validation of one of APA's core strengths—application research and standards development," said Dr. Borjen Yeh, director of APA's Technical Services Division.

One of the first priorities under the new ANSI accreditation, Yeh said, will be development of a performance standard for engineered wood siding based on APA's PRP-108 Performance Standards and Policies for Structural-Use Panels. Other consensus standards under consideration by APA, he said, include structural insulated panels (SIPs), engineered wood concrete form, and fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) glulam timber.
 
APA has a long and extensive history in building codes and standards development activities. It serves, for example, as the secretariat for the standing committees of U.S. Product Standard PS 1-07 for Structural Plywood, the consensus softwood plywood standard that was just recently revised, and Voluntary Product Standard PS 2-04, the U.S. harmonized performance standard developed under the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. It has developed proprietary and performance standards over the years for numerous products, including, for example, plywood siding, structural wood panel sheathing, wood I-joists and rim board. And it recently introduced an APA Product Report program designed to help manufacturers speed marketplace entry of their products.
 
APA also serves as a third-party quality auditing and testing agency. It is recognized as a certification body and/or testing laboratory by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), Standards Council of Canada (SCC), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), State of Florida, Miami-Dade County (Florida), New York City, City of Los Angeles, Japan and Dancert (for certification of APA member products in the European Union).

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

APA Marks 75th Anniversary

Release #: C2-08
Date:  February 8, 2008
Contact: Jack Merry, 253-620-7413,  jack.merry@apawood.org

We’re Making History
APA Marks 75th Anniversary

APA—The Engineered Wood Association, the nonprofit trade association of the North American structural engineered wood products industry, turns 75 this year. 

The Association was organized in Portland, Oregon on May 16, 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association (DFPA) and held its first meeting a month later in Tacoma, Washington, where it has been headquartered ever since.

Getting going wasn’t easy, however.  “I recall 1933, when the Douglas Fir Plywood Association took its first halting steps, as a daunting time for all but the most incurable optimists,” remembered plywood industry pioneer and one-time DFPA President Norman Cruver 50 years later when the Association celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1983.  “In an era of global unemployment, hunger and bankrupt businesses, plywood manufacturers had to be optimistic to invest in something for the future, but that could not immediately influence markets still in the grip of depression,” Cruver recalled. 

A major potential boost to the fortunes of the Association’s members occurred in 1934 when Dr. James Nevin, a chemist at Harbor Plywood Corporation in Aberdeen, Washington, developed the first fully waterproof adhesive.  That promised a much improved product suitable for more demanding applications.  But the industry still faced major obstacles.  Product quality and grading systems varied widely from mill to mill.  Individual companies lacked the technical resources to research and develop new uses.  And new customers had to be made aware of the product and convinced of its benefits.  All in the midst of the Great Depression. 

The struggling organization limped along until 1937, when a handful of industry leaders sequestered themselves on the Washington coast to hammer out a new and more effective charter.  Cruver, who was there as a member of the DFPA Management Committee, remembered that “for almost a week in early November 1937 we debated the objectives and structure of an organization that needed a clearer mandate if it was to succeed.” 

The new charter fashioned at that meeting made market development and the advancement of industrywide product quality standards top priorities—APA mandates that continue to this day.  Before long, technical services, including and especially engineering expertise, were added to what became and remains the Association’s mission—To work in partnership with members to develop and maintain markets through excellence in APA trademarked product promotion, quality assurance, and technical and educational support. 

With the coming of World War II and the end of the Depression, the plywood industry began to grow dramatically.  The war was a proving ground for the product.  Plywood barracks went up around the country.  The Navy patrolled the Pacific in plywood PT boats.  The Air Force flew reconnaissance missions in plywood gliders.  And the Army crossed the Rhine River in plywood assault vessels.  When the war ended, the industry geared up to meet the demand for construction grade plywood created by the booming post-war economy.  The industry that in 1934 boasted 17 mills and produced 400 million square feet (3/8” basis) of plywood had by 1954 grown to 101 mills producing almost 4 billion square feet. 

Ten years later, with development of new technology facilitating the manufacture of Southern pine plywood, the first of numerous Southern pine plywood mills opened in Fordyce, Arkansas.  Before long, the South was as important a plywood-producing region as the Pacific Northwest. 

Having outgrown its name, the Douglas Fir Plywood Association became American Plywood Association (APA) in 1964.  And then in 1969, to keep pace with its members’ growing need for technical support, APA dedicated a new 37,000-square-foot Tacoma research center, still one of the most sophisticated applied research laboratories in the world. 

Demand for plywood continued to grow as the list of uses continued to expand—subflooring, wall sheathing, roof sheathing, exterior siding, soffits, stair treads and risers, concrete forming, upholstered furniture frames, crates, bins, boxes, shipping containers, truck trailer linings, pallets, cabinets, boats, recreational vehicles, signage, highway noise barriers, shelving, agricultural buildings, do-it-yourself home projects, and on and on. 

Another milestone occurred in the late 1970s when the Association promulgated new performance standards that opened the marketplace door to an innovative new type of structural wood panel—oriented strand board, or OSB.  Made of wood strands rather than veneer, the new product employed the same principle of cross lamination as did plywood, thereby providing the performance benefits of orienting the wood grain in alternating layers.  These Performance-Rated Panels, whether plywood or OSB, are designed and manufactured to meet the demanding performance requirements of specific end-use applications, such as subflooring, wall and roof sheathing, and exterior siding. 

The idea of “reconstituting” wood fiber to improve on wood’s inherent structural properties—whether as veneer for plywood or as strands for OSB—has led in recent years to a technological revolution and the acceptance and use of whole new categories of engineered wood products, such as glued laminated (glulam) timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), oriented strand lumber (OSL), etc. 

With its growing OSB constituency, and then also with the addition to its membership of these other engineered wood product manufacturers in both the U.S. and Canada, the American Plywood Association changed its name again in 1994 to APA—The Engineered Wood Association.  The “APA” was retained as part of the name because of its widespread reputation for quality within the design, construction and regulatory communities. 

Today, APA, as the organization is still commonly called, represents approximately 160 softwood plywood, OSB, glulam, wood I-joist, structural composite lumber and other structural engineered wood product mills in 22 states and seven provinces. 

Its services and activities are equally diverse.  Among them:  new product qualification, quality auditing and testing, standards development and maintenance, building code and regulatory body liaison, development of end-use recommendations, user and specifier field support, electronic and printed product and application information, market research, demand and production forecasting, product and systems application research and testing, marketplace education and training, product promotion, and industry communication. 

“It’s a tough year to be celebrating an anniversary,” notes APA President Dennis Hardman.  “The housing market is the worst its been for a quarter century and the industry is facing difficult times.  On the other hand, our 75 years as an organization is powerful testimony to this industry’s ability to maintain solidarity and to come back strong from adverse market conditions.  We’ve done that time and time again.  And that’s certainly something to celebrate.” 

More information about APA’s history, membership, services and activities can be found at http://www.apawood.org/

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APA Members “Build for Better Times” at Annual Meeting

APA News Release

Release #: C9-09
Date: December 3, 2009
Marilyn LeMoine, 253-620-7476, marilyn.lemoine@apawood.org

APA Members “Build for Better Times” at Annual Meeting

Note to Editors:  Photos of the APA annual meeting are posted at: http://media.apawood.org/apawoodSearch.asp?albumID=19&collectionID=103

The 2009 APA Annual Meeting and Info Fair exhibition, held at Amelia Island, Florida, November 14 – 16, drew 279 APA member manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. Meeting under the theme of “Building for Better Times,” the three-day event featured reports on the market outlook, impacts of government stimulus programs, and the APA programs that are in place to maintain and increase demand for member products.

John Sununu, former senator from New Hampshire and a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Panel (TARP), addressed attendees in the general session. The senator reviewed actions under the government stimulus plan and asset relief programs, and expressed the hope that with continued leveraging of the stimulus programs sustainable economic growth will result. He predicted slow but steady improvement in credit availability, and forecast a drop in unemployment numbers late in the first quarter or sometime in the second quarter of 2010, marking an end to the recession.

Also speaking in the general session were APA Chairman Jeff Wagner, LP, and APA President Dennis Hardman. Wagner reviewed the state of the association and reported that, because of difficult budget and staff reductions implemented early this year, the Association is now on solid financial footing and prepared to “build for better times.” He also reported that membership support remains strong and that several new members have been added to the APA roster since the last annual meeting. Those new members include Boise Building Solutions Manufacturing LLC, Medford, Oregon (plywood); Boucher Bros. Lumber  Ltd., Nampa, Alberta (glulam); Coastal Forest Products LLC, Chapman, Alabama (plywood); Jager Engineered Wood Products Ltd., Calgary, Alberta (I-joists); and Tolko Industries Ltd., Slave Lake Alberta (structural composite lumber).

Hardman echoed Chairman Wagner’s optimism and described the association functions identified by the Board as critical to preserve member value and prevent membership losses: 1) Quality assurance and product certification, 2) Market access, to include not only codes and standards work but also local market activities, 3) Programs that leverage revenue-positive outside funding, and 4) Other services deemed highly valuable, such as the Help Desk and monthly economic reports. Hardman then reviewed several new programs the association was able to initiate in the past year with outside funding.

In a roundtable discussion following the general session, Martin Rollins, H.M. Rollins Co., Inc., outlined issues and concerns related to new regulations of carbon dioxide emissions. Other sessions included meetings of the Marketing Advisory Committee and subcommittees, and meetings of the Engineered Wood Technology Association Advisory Committee, I-Joist Management Committee, and Glulam Management Committee.

Between meetings, attendees participated in the annual golf and tennis tournaments and enjoyed a long distance view of a space shuttle launch.

APA Trustees Assume New Roles

Mary Jo Nyblad, Plywood Sales and Marketing Manager for Boise Cascade LLC, was elected to the position of vice chair of the APA Board of Trustees. Nyblad has been an APA trustee for four years and most recently served as chair of the APA Marketing Advisory Committee.

In other changes to the Board, Mark Luetters, President of Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, LLC; and Rick Huff, President of Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., were elected to serve as trustees.

Marketing Advisory Committee Reviews Programs and Market Outlook

Members of the Marketing Advisory Committee voted to accept the 2010 Strategic Marketing Plan and recommended approval of the plan to the APA Board of Trustees. The Board approved the plan at a meeting the following day.

Leading off the presentations at the MAC meeting was Dr. Ed Price, Georgia-Pacific, with an update on the PS 1 and PS 2 Standards committees. APA staff coordinators reported on programs in the International, Nonresidential, Residential, Industrial and Supporting Program sectors of the strategic marketing plan.

Outgoing MAC Chair Mary Jo Nyblad, Boise Cascade LLC, introduced Tom Temple, Potlatch Corporation, who is assuming the role of chair for the committee.

In his market outlook, APA Market Research Director Craig Adair predicted a slow recovery for housing and the economy in 2010. The economy is expected to grow about 2 percent next year and housing is expected to rebound from 560,000 starts this year to 665,000 in 2010. This year, housing starts will be the lowest since the 1940’s and there are many headwinds for a recovery. One headwind is the 3.6 million existing homes on the market that are competing with new homes.  Historically, existing home sales average only about 1.7 million. Another potential headwind is that the Federal Reserve has purchased virtually all of the mortgages in 2009 and this is scheduled to change in March of next year. Mortgage rates may have to increase to entice others to buy mortgage backed securities.

APA’s forecast looks for increased wood product demand for all domestic markets except nonresidential construction. Nonresidential construction, historically on a different cycle than residential construction, peaked in 2008, three years later than the residential market. While the residential construction, remodeling and industrial markets are expected to see 2010 structural wood panel demand increases of 24, 7 and 5 percent, respectively, demand in the nonresidential construction market is forecast to decline 10 percent.

U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel exports are expected to finish 2009 down 45 percent from 2008, a reflection of the global recession. Imports last year also are expected to be down 21 percent following a similar decline in 2008 in response to weak North American demand. However, both exports and imports are forecast to rise in 2010 as economies around the world begin to recover. Panel exports are expected to increase 22 percent to 745 million square feet (3/8” basis) while panel imports are projected to rise 42 percent to 732 million feet.

The 2010 forecast by product category is for North American softwood plywood production to rise 4 percent, OSB 14 percent, glulam timber 8 percent, wood I-joists 35 percent, and laminated veneer lumber 25 percent.  A Market Outlook PowerPoint presentation of Craig Adair’s annual meeting presentation is available on the Member Only website. Contact: Craig Adair.

EWTA Info Fair Showcases Products and Services

A total of 42 Engineered Wood Technology Association members and industry suppliers participated in the seventeenth Info Fair exhibition, which was open during two receptions and a lunch at the annual meeting. Strong support of the APA meeting was also provided through sponsorships. The Willamette Valley Company was a platinum sponsor, while Hexion Speciality Chemicals and Valspar were gold sponsors.  Participating at the silver sponsorship level were Adalis Corporation, Arclin, Ashland Performance Materials, Con-Vey Keystone, Dieffenbacher, Flamex, Grenzebach, Huntsman Polyurethanes, MEGTEC Systems, Raute, Samuel Strapping Systems, TurboSonic, and Ventek. Sponsoring the golf tournament were the Willamette Valley Company, Arclin, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals, Hexion Specialty Chemicals, WPS Industries Group, Valspar Corporation, and Ventek. The Ole Sorensen Memorial Tennis Tournament was sponsored by Flamex.

Senator John Sununu
Senator John Sununu addresses attendees
at the 2009 APA Annual Meeting.

Jeff Wagner, LP, APA Board Chairman
Jeff Wagner, LP, APA Board Chairman,
speaks at the general session.

Dennis Hardman, APA President
Dennis Hardman, APA President,
at the 2009 APA Annual Meeting.

###

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Now Offering Subscriptions to Its Monthly Housing, Quarterly Production Reports

APA News Release

Release #: C2-09
Date: March 16, 2009
Contact:  Cheryl Kuchar, cheryl.kuchar@apawood.org

APA Now Offering Subscriptions to Its  Monthly Housing, Quarterly Production Reports

Subscriptions to monthly housing market and quarterly engineered wood production reports are now being offered by APA—The Engineered Wood Association, the Association has announced.

The housing market report is in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and includes housing starts and permit data, new and existing home sales, home inventories and months of supply, mortgage rate trends, and a housing starts forecast.  Also included are data on nonresidential construction spending, industrial production and remodeling, consumer prices and spending, and U.S. and Canadian gross domestic product.  The report is based on information compiled through a comprehensive review of industry and government reports and is e-mailed to subscribers.  The annual subscription is $600.

The quarterly industry production reports, published about two weeks after the end of each quarter and encompassing both the U.S. and Canada, cover softwood plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated (glulam) timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber (LVL).  The reports provide data on U.S. panel production by region as well as panel import and export data and mill closures and openings for all engineered wood product categories.  Annual subscriptions to the quarterly production report are $250.  The report is delivered by e-mail as a pdf file.

To order either or both reports, go to the Publications section of the APA website. 

###

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Online Career Center Links Employers with Job Seekers

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C9-2006
DATE: October 12, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


APA Online Career Center Links Employers with Job Seekers

Wood products industry companies with job openings to fill now have a new tool to help them find qualified applicants. It's the APA Career Center, an online service designed to help link industry job seekers with job openings. The site is located at www.apawood.org/jobs.

Job seekers can search for openings by key word, location and category, including for example, machine operators, technicians, maintenance, sales and marketing, human resources, information technology, quality assurance and many more. The site also features a student resources section with information about the industry and links to colleges and universities that offer forest products programs. 

A 30-day job posting costs $45 for members of APA or its related supplier organization, the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA). The nonmember rate for a 30-day posting is $95.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA, Structural Insulated Panel Association Form Strategic Alliance

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C16-2005
DATE: November 18, 2005
CONTACT: APA: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
SIPA: Bill Wachtler, Phone:(253) 858-7472, E-mail: billw@sips.org

APA, Structural Insulated Panel Association Form Strategic Alliance

APA—The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, Wash. and the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA), Gig Harbor, Wash. have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to advance the use of structural insulated panels and the corresponding use of structural wood panels in the residential and nonresidential construction markets.

The alliance formalizes the mutual goals of the two associations and will provide greater strategic direction of joint activities that the two groups have engaged in for several years, according to Tom Williamson, APA Vice President of Quality Assurance and Technical Services.

Structural insulated panels, or SIPs, are high-performance floor, wall and roof construction panels made with polystyrene or polyisocyanurate rigid foam insulation cores sandwiched between two structural skins, typically oriented strand board. Plywood skins are also sometimes used.

Although the SIP industry currently commands less than two percent of the residential construction market, the product’s energy conservation attributes are viewed as highly desirable in the current environment of high energy costs. An alliance goal is to increase SIP share of the residential construction market to five percent within five years, which would translate to approximately 100,000 homes and 700 million square feet (3/8” basis) of structural wood panels annually.

Increasing the use of SIPs in nonresidential construction also is seen as promising because the product uses fewer components and is closer to a “turn-key” solution than conventional wood framing.

A chief priority under the alliance will be to develop a Prescriptive Method and then to gain its adoption by the International Residential Code (IRC). Funding for that effort is being provided by the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), a public-private venture coordinated by the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. APA also will provide product support help desk services, field and technical support, and marketing support assistance.

Founded in 1990, SIPA (www.sips.org) represents 26 structural insulated panel manufacturers who collectively use approximately 70 percent of the OSB consumed by the SIP industry. SIPA membership also includes industry suppliers, builders, architects, distributors and others with allied interests in the SIP industry.

APA (www.apawood.org) represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood product mills in the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

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APA, Taiwanese Research Institute Join Forces

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C2-2007
DATE: February 9, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

APA, Taiwanese Research Institute Join Forces

APA — The Engineered Wood Association and a Ministry of Interior research institute of the Republic of China (Taiwan) have signed a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research and exchange of information related to wood products, building codes, material and test standards, and wood-frame construction techniques.

The agreement, signed February 2 in Taiwan by Dr. Ming-Chin Ho, director general of the Ministry's Architecture & Building Research Institute (ABRI), and APA Vice President Tom Williamson, includes provisions for the exchange of research results and technical information, the organization of technical seminars and conferences, promotion of joint research projects and other mutually beneficial activities.

ABRI, the official authority on building research in Taiwan, promotes research of construction engineering technology, fire safety, disaster mitigation, and green building methods.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

The agreement is viewed by APA as an important step in advancing its market development efforts in emerging markets in Asia.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Boise Cascade’s Medford Plywood Mill to Join APA

Release #:  C-10
Date:   November 26, 2008
APA Contact:  Jack Merry, 253-620-7413, jack.merry@apawood.org

APA—The Engineered Wood Association announced today that Boise Cascade’s Medford, Oregon plywood mill will join the association, effective February 1, 2009. 

The mill will become Boise Cascade’s third APA member facility.  The other two are its plywood plants in Oakdale and Florien, La. 

“We are delighted to welcome another Boise Cascade mill to the APA membership ranks and look forward to providing the Medford facility the very best in quality assurance, technical assistance and market support services,” said APA President Dennis Hardman. 

Boise Cascade LLC (www.bc.com) is a privately owned company with plywood, veneer, engineered wood product, lumber and particleboard manufacturing facilities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Louisiana and New Brunswick, and building material distribution centers throughout the United States.  It is based in Boise, Idaho.  Mary Jo Nyblad, the company’s sales and marketing manager, is a member of the APA Board of Trustees and chairperson of the Association’s Marketing Advisory Committee. 

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA (www.apawood.org) is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

 

Employee Recruitment and Retention Seminar Set for EXPO 2007 in Atlanta

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C4-2007
DATE: April 24, 2007
CONTACT: Terry Kerwood, Engineered Wood Technology Association, Phone: (253) 620-7237, E-mail: terry.kerwood@apawood.org; Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Employee Recruitment and Retention Seminar Set for EXPO 2007 in Atlanta 

A half-day seminar on employee recruitment, retention and succession planning for the wood products industry will be held June 21 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta as part of the Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition (EXPO) sponsored by the Southern Forest Products Association.

The seminar, sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), a related nonprofit supplier organization of APA — The Engineered Wood Association, will feature presentations by several human resource experts, including keynote speaker Peggy Walton, Director of Workforce Initiatives at the National Association of Manufacturers.

The other speakers, by panel, include:

Recruiting: Paul Winistorfer, professor and department head, Department of Wood Science and Forest Products, Virginia Tech; Jerry Pettibone, former head football coach at Oregon State University and director of college recruiting, Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors; and Henry Brown, director of human resources at Plum Creek.

Retention: Derrick Harris, managing principal of The Human Resources Department, Ltd., a human resources consulting and services firm, and Ray Peters, vice president, human resources at Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, LLC.
 
Succession Planning: Phillip Blount, president of Phillip Blount & Associates, a human resources consulting company, and Tim Hartnett, human resources manager at LP.

The seminar will be moderated by Jonathan Martin, president and CEO of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company and chairman of APA's Board of Trustees.
Registration is $99 and includes a post-seminar beer and wine reception hosted by EWTA. Registration can be made online at www.sfpaexpo.com. Hotel reservations also can be made via that site. For additional information contact Terry Kerwood, EWTA managing director, at 253-620-7237, terry.kerwood@apawood.org. More information also can be found on EWTA's web site at www.engineeredwood.org.

EWTA serves as a vehicle for information exchange between engineered wood product manufacturers and their product, equipment and services providers. Activities supporting that goal include, for example, the Info Fair supplier exhibition held in conjunction with the APA annual meeting, co-sponsorship with APA of regional producer forums, an online solutions forum, and other networking events and information transfer.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Engineered Wood Product Demand Expected To Moderate in 2006

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 06-03
DATE: April 20, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, (253) 620-7413, jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, 253-620-7418, craig.adair@apawood.org


Engineered Wood Product Demand Expected To Moderate in 2006

North American structural wood panel (plywood and oriented strand board) production is expected to decline slightly this year, while output of other engineered wood products will likely remain about the same or rise modestly, according to the latest annual five-year forecast by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

U.S. and Canadian panel production is forecast to total 42.9 billion square feet this year, down about one-half of one percent from 2005, and ending four consecutive years of record-setting output. OSB production is expected to total 26.57 billion square feet, up 1.6 percent, while plywood volume is forecast to decline 3.6 percent, to 16.35 billion feet.

Among other engineered wood products, glulam timber production is forecast to total 490 million board feet, about the same as last year, while wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber output is forecast to rise 7.7 and 6 percent, respectively.

The outlook is based on the expectation that rising mortgage interest rates will finally dampen the new residential construction market. APA’s forecast is for U.S. housing starts this year to total 1.96 million, down about 5 percent from last year. Canadian housing starts also are forecast to drop slightly, from about 225,500 last year to 215,000 in 2006. New residential construction, which represents well over half of total panel demand, is forecast to consume 24.8 billion feet of plywood and OSB, compared with 25.56 billion feet last year.

The housing market will get some boost from rebuilding units destroyed by last year’s hurricanes, but the latest reconstruction estimates are substantially less than originally thought by many, and the rebuilding timetable also appears now to be substantially longer. APA’s forecast is that about 1.5 billion square feet of structural wood panels will be used to rebuild destroyed housing units over the next five to 10 years, with another 300 million feet for nonresidential reconstruction. Reconstruction efforts are expected to peak about 2008.

Demand in the industry’s other key markets is expected to help offset the leveling off of housing starts. The remodeling, industrial and nonresidential construction markets are forecast to generate 385 million feet of additional demand this year, for a total of 20.13 billion square feet. Exports also are expected to rise by 31 million feet to 558 million.

Softwood plywood and OSB imports, on the other hand, are finally expected to level off following several years of increase. Imports are forecast to total 2.58 billion feet, down about 5 percent from last year. Most softwood plywood imports come from Brazil and Chile, and most OSB imports from Europe. Reasons for the expected slowdown of imports include exchange rate shifts, rising transport costs, and, in the longer term, substantial new domestic production capacity.

The industry is expected to add some 10.7 billion square feet of production capacity between 2006 and 2011, which will give rise to a growing demand-capacity gap unless new demand is created, some existing capacity is closed, or both. APA is developing a strategic plan to generate additional demand in key markets, including nonresidential construction, residential wall sheathing, and wood floors.

A yearbook of structural wood panel and other engineered wood product historical production and market data will be available May 1 from APA for $200. Check the APA web site at www.apawood.org for future ordering information.

U.S. and Canadian Structural Wood Panel and Engineered Wood Production, 2005-2006

 
2005 (actual)
2006 (forecast)
Softwood Plywood (million square feet)
16,954
16,345
Oriented Strand Board (million square feet)
26,153
26,566
Total Structural Wood Panels (million square feet)
43,107
42,912
Glulam Timber (million board feet)
491
490
Wood I-Joists (million linear feet)
1,263
1,360
Laminated Veneer Lumber (million cubic feet)
90.6
96

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 145 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Engineered Wood Yearbook Now Available From APA

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C8-2005
DATE: May 12, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Engineered Wood Yearbook Now Available From APA
<

Historical market demand and production data for U.S. and Canadian engineered wood products are contained in a new yearbook just released by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

The 44-page publication includes a wealth of industry information, including U.S. and Canadian softwood plywood and OSB production and capacity, U.S. regional production, panel imports by country of origin, panel exports by destination, U.S. and Canadian production of glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber, product consumption by end-use markets, panel and engineered wood producing mills in the U.S. and Canada, producers ranked by size, panel production by state, mill starts and closures, and much more.

The handy reference tool includes data up through 2004 and in some cases goes back as far as 1990.

Prepared by APA Market Research Director Craig Adair, the yearbook (APA Economics Report E171) is available for $200 as a pdf only. The table of contents can be viewed and the yearbook purchased from the APA Publications Store at www.apawood.org.

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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.

Fifteen Engineered Wood Product Mills Earn Safety Awards

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C5-04
DATE: April 19, 2004
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Fifteen Engineered Wood Product Mills Earn Safety Awards

Fifteen structural engineered wood product mills representing six U.S. and Canadian companies have taken top honors in the 2003 Mill Safety Competition sponsored by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

Begun in 1982, the annual contest honors the management and employees of facilities with the lowest incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Awards recognize both annual and three-year average safety performances.

The competition is open to all structural engineered wood product mills in the U.S. and Canada, including plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and specialty products. Nearly 160 facilities participated in the 2003 competition.

A total of 18 awards are given in three categories—Divisional, Three-Year Average Divisional, and Top Ten. Three mills—Boise’s White City Veneer facility, White City, Oregon; International Paper Company’s I-joist plant, Thorsby, Alabama; and Georgia-Pacific Corporation’s plywood mill, Warm Springs, Georgia—earned two awards each. Companies earning multiple awards included Georgia-Pacific Corporation (seven), International Paper Company (three), LP (three), and Boise and Weyerhaeuser Company (two each). The sixth company achieving an award was Anthony-Domtar, Inc., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The winning facilities will be recognized during APA’s annual meeting in Naples, Florida in October. The awards themselves will be presented personally to representatives of each mill by an APA management representative.



2003 DIVISIONAL WINNERS

Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
Boise Building Solutions, Mfg., White City Veneer, veneer, 175,735 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
LP, Carthage, Texas, oriented strand board, 352,069 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
International Paper Company, Thorsby, Alabama, I-joists, 559,481 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Hawthorne, Florida, plywood, 873,937 hours worked, 0.23 incidence rate.

THREE-YEAR AVERAGE (2001-2003) AWARD WINNERS
Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
Boise Building Solutions, Mfg., White City Veneer, White City, Oregon, veneer, 171,639 hours worked, 0.39 incidence rate.

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Grenada OSB, Duck Hill, Mississippi, oriented strand board, 310,534 hours worked, 0.64 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
International Paper Company, Thorsby, Alabama, I-joists, 570,563 hours worked, 0.47 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Warm Springs, Georgia, plywood, 734,530 hours worked, 0.64 incidence rate.


2003 TOP TEN AWARD WINNERS

  • LP, Sagola, Michigan, oriented strand board, 347,180 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Arcadia OSB, Simsboro, Louisiana, oriented strand board, 303,612 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Brookneal, Virginia, oriented strand board, 256,908 hours worked, 0.0 incidence rate.
  • Anthony-Domtar, Inc., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, I-joists, 64,609 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • International Paper Company, Corrigan, Texas, plywood, 937,658 hours worked, 0.43 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Emporia, Virginia, plywood, 925,583 hours worked, 0.43 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Moncure, North Carolina, plywood, 423,695 hours worked, 0.47 incidence rate. br>
  • LP, Hayward, Wisconsin, oriented strand board, 409,582 hours worked, 0.49 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Warm Springs, Georgia, plywood, 683,599 hours worked, 0.59 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Mt. Hope, West Virginia, oriented strand board, 337,074 hours worked, 0.59 incidence rate.
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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Forecast 2004 - Structural Wood Panels and Engineered Wood

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C4-2004
DATE: March 18, 2004
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, Phone: (253)-620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org

Forecast 2004
Structural Wood Panels and Engineered Wood

North American structural wood panel (plywood and oriented strand board, or OSB) production is expected to total 40.9 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis) this year, essentially the same as in 2003, according to the latest annual forecast by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

The outlook is based on the expectation that the new residential construction market will continue to be strong, with housing starts reaching 1.82 million units, down only about 1.5 percent from 2003. New residential construction represents more than half of total panel demand.

Residential construction in the U.S. and Canada combined is forecast to consume 21.2 billion square feet of structural panels, including 15.3 billion feet of OSB and 5.9 billion feet of plywood. While demand for panels in residential construction is expected to be down about 2.8 percent from last year, demand is forecast to rise in each of the industry’s other major domestic markets—remodeling, nonresidential construction, and industrial.

The remodeling market this year is forecast to consume 9.7 billion feet, up 1.8 percent; the nonresidential construction market 3.2 billion feet, up 4.6 percent; and the industrial market 7.1 billion feet, up 3.2 percent. Those increases are based on the expectation that the economy will continue to improve, spurring increased capital spending in the manufacturing sector. Exports also are expected to climb, from 641 million feet in 2003 to 752 million this year.

Immigration is expected to be an increasingly important factor in household formations and housing starts, while the children of baby boomers also are expected by demographers to contribute to strong housing market demand through the end of the decade.

Another significant trend is the replacement of stick built homes by panelized construction. Since 1977, stick built construction has declined from a 77 percent share of housing starts to 70 percent last year, while panelized construction share rose from eight to 13 percent.

Oriented strand board production is forecast to rise this year to 24 billion feet, up about 1.5 percent, while plywood production is expected to total 16.9 billion, down approximately 1.5 percent. The structural wood panel industry as a whole is forecast to operate this year at 91 percent of capacity, compared to 92 percent last year. That ratio was significantly higher during the third and fourth quarters last year as a number of factors converged to squeeze supplies.

The most significant of those by far was the unexpectedly strong housing market, which took off dramatically in May at a time when inventories were low as a result of a weather-related housing slowdown earlier in the year. Other factors included logging restrictions caused by poor weather in the U.S. South and later in the year by forest fires in the western U.S. and Canada. Hurricane Isabel along the U.S. East Coast also contributed to the unusual confluence of demand factors as home and business owners rushed to purchase plywood and OSB for boarding up windows and doors, and then later for post-storm repairs. The effect of widely reported government purchases of panels for use in rebuilding Iraq was not nearly as significant as commonly believed, representing only 7/10 of one percent of the industry’s average monthly production.

Industry production capacity is expected to increase by approximately 600 million square feet this year, or about twice the growth last year. In the longer term, capacity growth is forecast to rise more modestly than in previous periods. The industry added nearly 13 billion square feet of OSB production capacity between 1994 and 2001, for example, while only about four billion square feet of new capacity is currently forecast to come on line between 2002 and 2008.

Plywood and OSB imports, meanwhile, continue to rise, the result of increased global production capacity, particularly in South America and Europe. Although a weaker dollar suggests that exports this year will rise and the pace of imports will slow, imports over the longer term are forecast to increase. Softwood plywood and OSB imports last year totaled 1.1 billion square feet, representing a 2.3 percent share of the North American market. Imports are expected to reach 1.5 billion feet or more within five years, increasing their share to nearly 3.5 percent.

Among other engineered wood products, the manufacture of glulam timber, wood I-joists, and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is expected to remain the same as last year or rise just slightly. Engineered wood products of all kinds now command about six percent of the wood framing market, and that share is expected in the long term to continue rising. The number of engineered wood product mills in the U.S. and Canada has nearly doubled since 1989, from 54 to 102 last year.

Glulam production, which peaked in 2000, is still being impacted by the downturn in nonresidential construction and by lower exports resulting from increased competition in Japan. Wood I-joists, which command a 44 percent share of the raised wood floor market, have for the most part been adopted by large builders, leaving increased market share dependent on converting smaller firms. Approximately half of LVL production is used for flanges in I-joist production, although that application has declined from previous years as a result of increased use of solid sawn and composite lumber flanges. The use of LVL as beams and headers continues to rise, however.

Complete forecast data are contained in APA’s Regional Production and Market Outlook for Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Products, 2004-2009 (Economics Report E70). The annual forecast report contains economic forecast assumptions, market segment analysis and demand data, historical production and capacity data by product category, regional production statistics, export and import figures, and other information. The full report is available for $175 as a PDF file from APA’s web site at www.apawood.org.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 140 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Forecast 2005: Structural Wood Panels and Engineered Wood

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C7-2005
DATE: April 8, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Forecast 2005: Structural Wood Panels and Engineered Wood

North American structural wood panel (plywood and oriented strand board) production is expected to total 42.02 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis) this year, down just 1.5 percent from the record 42.68 billion feet produced in 2004, according to the latest annual forecast by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

The outlook is based on the expectation that rising mortgage interest rates will dampen the new residential construction market following four consecutive years of growth. APA’s forecast is for housing starts this year to total 1.885 million, down about 3.5 percent from last year. New residential construction represents more than half of total panel demand.

Residential construction in the U.S. and Canada combined is forecast to consume 23.3 billion square feet of structural panels, including 17 billion feet of OSB and 6.3 billion feet of plywood.

Immigration is expected to be an increasingly important factor in household formations and housing starts, while the children of baby boomers also are expected by demographers to contribute to strong housing market demand through the end of the decade.

The forecast in the longer term is for 21 million housing starts this decade, compared to 18 million during the 1990s. That should result in an additional 35 billion square feet of structural panel demand, or 3.5 billion square feet more per year than during the 90s.

The remodeling market this year is forecast to consume 9.7 billion feet, the industrial market 7.3 billion, the nonresidential construction market 3.2 billion feet, and exports 581 million (excluding trade between the U.S. and Canada).

Oriented strand board production is forecast to rise to 25.42 billion feet, up just slightly from last year, while plywood production is expected to total 16.6 billion, down approximately 4 percent. The structural wood panel industry as a whole is forecast to operate this year at 92 percent of capacity, compared to a sizzling 97 percent rate in 2004.

Industry production capacity is expected to increase by approximately 1.85 billion square feet this year to 45.66 billion, compared to 43.81 billion feet in 2004. In the longer term, capacity growth is forecast to reach or exceed 51 billion feet by the end of the decade.

Plywood and OSB imports, meanwhile, also continue to rise, the result of increased global production capacity, particularly in South America and Europe. Softwood plywood and OSB imports last year totaled 1.89 billion square feet, representing a North American market share of approximately 4 percent. Imports are expected to exceed 2 billion feet this year and to continue rising slowly through the end of the decade, approaching 2.4 billion feet by 2010.

Among other engineered wood products, production of glulam timber, wood I-joists, and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is expected to remain about the same as last year. Engineered wood products of all kinds now command about six percent of the wood framing market, and that share is expected in the long term to continue rising.

A yearbook of structural wood panel and other engineered wood product historical production and market data will be available May 1 from APA for $200. Check the APA web site at www.apawood.org for future ordering information.

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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.

G-P's Terry Christiansen Presented Bronson J. Lewis Award at APA Annual Meeting

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C15-2005
DATE: November 18, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

G-P's Terry Christiansen Presented Bronson J. Lewis Award at APA Annual Meeting

Longtime Georgia-Pacific Corporation executive Terry Christiansen was presented the first-ever Bronson J. Lewis Award for leadership and outstanding contribution to the engineered wood products industry at the annual meeting of APA—The Engineered Wood Association in Tucson, Ariz. Nov. 12.

APA Chairman John Murphy, in announcing the award during the meeting’s general session, praised Christiansen for his “incredible knowledge of the industry” gained over a career that began with Georgia-Pacific in 1960. “Terry,” said Murphy, “is highly respected for his business acumen. He has also, over his long career, hired and mentored much of the managerial leadership in the southern pine plywood industry.”

Christiansen worked in various supervisory positions at a number of Georgia-Pacific plywood facilities from 1960 to 1973. He was promoted to plant manager in 1973 and to group manager of the company’s central region plywood operations in 1985. In 1993, he was promoted again to general manager—plywood manufacturing, with responsibility for all of Georgia-Pacific’s plywood manufacturing operations, including 18 mills in eight states. He was appointed vice president of plywood manufacturing in 2001.

A native of Oregon, Christiansen and his wife Jeanette, have seven children and several grandchildren. Jeanette, son James and daughter-in-law Donna also were present and honored at the award ceremony.

The award is dedicated to Bronson J. Lewis, whose 24 years of service as secretary and then executive vice president of APA spanned both the introduction of southern pine plywood and the advent of oriented strand board. The award winner is chosen from among nominations submitted by industry representatives. The selection committee includes the APA chairman, vice chairman, president, and an industry leader, who this year were, respectively, John Murphy, Murphy Plywood, Sutherlin, Ore.; Jonathan Martin, R.O. Martin Lumber Company, Alexandria, La.; David Rogoway, APA, Tacoma, Wa.; and Paul Ehinger, Paul F. Ehinger & Associates, Eugene, Ore.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA—The Engineered Wood Association (www.apawood.org) is a nonprofit trade association whose U.S. and Canadian members produce plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support services. The association was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association.

Georgia-Pacific’s Rehwinkel Assumes Chairmanship of APA

Release #: C4-08
Date: July 31, 2008
Contact: Jack Merry, 253-620-7413, jack.merry@apawood.org

Georgia-Pacific’s Rehwinkel Assumes Chairmanship of APA

Michael Rehwinkel, vice chairman of the APA Board of Trustees, has assumed the chairmanship of the Association. He succeeds Jim Enright, who recently resigned from the position upon his departure from APA member company Standard Structures Inc.

Rehwinkel is president-wood products at Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, Atlanta, Georgia. He joined GP in 2000 and was appointed president of wood products in 2006. Prior to that he worked for 23 years in various financial and general management capacities primarily in the paper industry. He has served on the APA Board of Trustees since 2006.

The Board also has elected Jeffrey Wagner, executive vice president, OSB at Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, as APA vice chairman. Wagner has worked at LP for approximately 30 years. Prior to his present position, he was vice president of forest resources, supply management and logistics. He too joined the APA Board in 2006. As vice chairman, he also will assume chairmanship of the APA Finance Committee for the 2009 budget cycle.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Georgia-Pacific’s Rehwinkel Elected APA Vice Chairman

Release #: C1-08
Date:  January 14, 2008
Contact: Jack Merry, 253-620-7413,  jack.merry@apawood.org

Georgia-Pacific’s Rehwinkel Elected APA Vice Chairman

Mike Rehwinkel, president-wood products at Georgia-Pacific, has been elected vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of APA. 

Rehwinkel, based at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, joined GP in 2000 and was appointed president of wood products in 2006.  Prior to that he worked for 23 years in various financial and general management capacities primarily in the paper industry. 
He has served on the APA Board of Trustees since 2006.  As APA vice chairman, Rehwinkel also serves as chairman of the APA Finance Committee. 

With approximately 300 manufacturing facilities across North America, South America and Europe, GP is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals.  It operates APA member plywood, oriented strand board, wood I-joist, laminated veneer lumber and Rim Board manufacturing facilities in 11 states.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Help Desk Phone Number Appearing in More APA Panel Trademarks

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C13-2003
DATE: October 17, 2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

 

Help Desk Phone Number
Appearing in More APA Panel Trademarks

Nearly 30 member mills of APA—The Engineered Wood Association are now including the telephone number of the APA product support help desk in their panel trademarks, the Association reports.

APA began offering its members trademarks with the help desk number last June as part of an ongoing effort to improve member product use, reduce callbacks and claims, and enhance customer satisfaction. The number appears boldly on two lines that read: APA Product Support/253-620-7400.

The addition of the number in trademarks is particularly recommended for APA Rated Sheathing, APA Rated Sturd-I-Floor and concrete form panels since the applications for those products typically generate the greatest number and most critical types of product use inquiries.

Launched in 1997, the APA product support help desk is a function of APA’s Technical Services Division. It handles approximately 1000 calls per month from a wide range of structural wood panel and other engineered wood product users and specifiers, as well as code officials, dealers, distributors, consultants, academic and research organizations, and others. It also handles inquiries related to Southern Pine lumber under a strategic alliance agreement with the Southern Forest Products Association.

The help desk is staffed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Pacific Time. It can also be reached by fax at 253-565-7265 and via email, help@apawood.org.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

History of Softwood Plywood Industry’s First 50 Years Now Available

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C4-2005
DATE: March 21, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


History of Softwood Plywood Industry’s First 50 Years Now Available

The Plywood Age, a history of the softwood plywood industry’s first 50 years, has been republished in a plywood industry centennial edition by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

The 175-page hardbound volume, published originally in 1955, covers the fascinating rise of the western plywood industry, from its beginning in the St. Johns district of Portland, Ore., up through 1955, when the industry blossomed under the post-war housing boom.

The book recounts the key individuals and companies, technology innovations, marketing programs, and other milestone events and developments during the industry’s first half century.

The 1955 edition was published by APA’s predecessor, the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, which was founded in Tacoma, Wash., in 1933. The new edition, published in recognition of the industry’s 100th anniversary this year, includes a new foreword by William T. Robison, retired president of APA and acting secretary of the Plywood Pioneers Association.

The Plywood Age is available for $30 per copy. To order, go to www.apawood.org/publications or contact APA Publications at 253-620-7407. Sale proceeds are being donated to the Plywood Pioneers Association in support of its scholarship and historical publication programs. For more information about the Pioneers Association, call 253-620-7231.

More information about the plywood centennial can be found on APA’s web site at www.apawood.org/plywoodcentennial.

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 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.

70th APA Annual Meeting Draws 375 to Indian Wells, California

Release #: C16-07
Date: November 16, 2007
APA Contact:  Jack Merry, 253-620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Note to Editors:  Photos of the APA annual meeting will be posted soon.

70th APA Annual Meeting Draws 375 to Indian Wells, California 

Some 375 representatives of the engineered wood products industry, including APA member manufacturers; product, equipment and service suppliers; spouses; media; and guests, converged at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Indian Wells, California Nov. 10-12 for the 70th annual meeting of APA. 

The three-day event featured reports on the housing market and global fiber developments; roundtable discussions on green building, biofuels, and adhesive industry challenges; recognition of mill safety program award winners; and a record number of exhibitors at the Info Fair supplier exhibition, among numerous other highlights.

Speaking at his last APA annual meeting as chairman of the APA Board of Trustees, Jonathan Martin, chairman and CEO of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, Alexandria, La., told a general session audience that the industry faces “some difficult conditions right now.  But as an association,” he added, “we are financially strong.  We have an excellent staff.  We have an excellent strategic plan.  We are prepared for contingencies.  And we have strong leadership.  I like our chances going forward.”

Succeeding Martin as chairman of the board immediately following the meeting was Richard Huff, vice president and general manager at Tolko Industries Ltd., Vernon, BC.  Also elected vice chairman was Jim Enright, president of Standard Structures Inc., Windsor, Calif. 

During his address to the membership, Martin also announced that the recipient of the 3rd annual Bronson J. Lewis Award was Thomas Maloney, director emeritus of the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University and founder of the International Wood Composites Symposium.  The award is dedicated to Bronson J. Lewis, whose 24 years of service as secretary and then executive vice president of APA spanned both the introduction of southern pine plywood and the advent of oriented strand board.  The award honors individuals for their leadership and contributions to the engineered wood products industry.  Accepting the award on behalf of Maloney, who could not attend, was his longtime colleague and friend C. James Quann, registrar emeritus at Washington State University. 

APA President Dennis Hardman, while acknowledging that the past year has been a challenging one for the industry, said it also has been “a promising one.  I can tell you with confidence,” he said, “that you, through your association, have laid a strong foundation for better times to come.”  He then went on to update the attendees on APA’s market access and industry integration activities, two of the five goals in the Association’s Vision 2009 strategic plan.  He reported that industry nonresidential construction and Gulf Coast rebuilding programs are moving forward under the auspices of the Wood Products Council, and praised the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), APA’s related supplier organization, as “a valuable asset for industry networking and information transfer.” 

Hardman reminded the delegates that “if there’s a good thing about bad times, it’s the realization that economic downturns eventually give way to upswings, and that setbacks will yield to successes—provided we do our part to prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead.” 

General session keynote speakers were Jim Bowyer, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, and David Lereah, executive vice president of Move Inc., which operates Realtor.com, the official web site of the National Association of Realtors.  Bowyer spoke on biofuel and bioenergy developments; Lereah on the housing market. 

Bowyer also lead a roundtable session discussion on the biofuel topic.  Other roundtable sessions covered green building, led by Ward Hubbell, executive director of the Green Building Initiative, and adhesive trends and issues, led by Earl Phillips, phenolic resins technology manager at Hexion Specialty Chemicals. 

The Info Fair supplier exhibition, sponsored each year in conjunction with the meeting by EWTA, featured a record 70 exhibitors.  EWTA Managing Director Terry Kerwood also presented Supplier of the Year Awards to Panel World magazine, consultant category; Ventek, Inc., equipment category; and Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc., materials and supplies category.  The supplier awards program recognizes the value and importance of the business relationships between APA member companies and their EWTA member suppliers. 

Also recognized for their years of continuous participation at Info Fair were Raute, Willamette Valley Company and Coe Newnes McGehee, all of whom have been at all 15 Info Fairs.  Others receiving recognition were Adalis Corporation, 14 years; Corvallis Tool Company, GreCon, Inc., Spar-Tek Industries Inc. and Ventek, Inc., 12 years; Ashland Performance Materials, Durr Systems, Inc., Grenzebach Corp. and TSI, 11 years; and Carmanah Design & Manufacturing Inc., Matthews Marking Products and Mill Machinery LLC, 10 years. 

The meeting also included a special awards banquet for the winners of the latest APA mill safety competition.  A total of 18 awards are given in three categories—Divisional, Three-Year Average Divisional, and Top Ten.  Companies earning multiple awards included LP (six awards), Weyerhaeuser Company (five), Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC (three), and PlyVeneer Products (two).  The other winners were Norbord Inc. and Boise Cascade LLC.  The annual competition honors the management and employees of facilities with the lowest incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Eleven of the 16 winning mills posted perfect zero incidence rates. 

Other meeting highlights included a market forecast presented by APA Market Research Director Craig Adair, an assessment of the California market by APA Engineered Wood Specialist Greg Bates, and APA Strategic Marketing Plan activity updates. 

APA’s 2008 annul meeting and Info Fair will be held Sept. 21-23 at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, Nev.

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

2008 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

APA News Release

Release #: C6-09
Date: August 5, 2009
Contact:  John Hopp,253-620-7447,john.hopp@apawood.org

APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

RoyOMartin, Alexandria, La., has won the Innovation in Safety Award while Anthony Forest Products Company, El Dorado, Ark., and LP, Nashville, Tenn., each earned Safest Company Awards in their respective categories in the latest and newly reorganized Safety and Health Awards Program sponsored annually by APA - The Engineered Wood Association for the structural wood panel and engineered wood products industry.

A total of 19 mills representing five APA member companies—LP, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, Norbord, Anthony Forest Products Company, and Roseburg Forest Products Co.—also earned awards in various other categories of the 2008 program. View all of the 2008 award winners.

Begun in 1982, the awards program honors the managements and employees of companies and mills with the lowest severity-weighted incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The program was substantially modified last year by an APA Safety Awards Program Standing Committee with the purpose of elevating the program’s prestige within the industry, broadening recognition of the annual award winners, and ultimately encouraging operational excellence and reduced injury and illness rates year over year.  The Committee is chaired by APA Vice Chairman Jeff Wagner, LP; and comprised of leading APA member company safety professionals, including Christine Alford, Hood Industries, Inc.; Mark DiCarlo, RoyOMartin; Keith Harned, LP; Blu Santee, Plum Creek; Bonnie Schwartz, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC; and Pat Wright, Roseburg Forest Products Co.

The program employs a Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) that is calculated using both the number and severity of recordable incidents.  Since 2008 was the first year that WIR was used, awards and reports for 2008 also show Total Incident Rate (TIR), the measure used in previous years.

“The inaugural year of the revamped APA Safety and Health Awards has by all measures been a tremendous success,” said Standing Committee Chairman Wagner, who was instrumental in spearheading the effort to elevate and improve the annual program.  Some 90 APA member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad participated in the 2008 program.  Sixteen mills achieved a zero incident rate for the year.

RoyOMartin was judged by the Standing Committee to have earned the Innovation in Safety Award for its Winning with Wellness Program encouraging staff behaviors that contributed to improved workplace safety and wellness goals, as reflected in the company’s reduced incidence rates.  Criteria for the award include demonstration that the innovation reduced occupational injuries or illnesses and that the technique or program be applicable across the industry.  The innovation entry can be submitted by a mill, a group of mills or an entire company.

Anthony Forest Products Company received the Safest Company Award for companies with three or fewer APA member mills, having recorded both a zero average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) and a zero average Total Incident Rate (TIR) for 2008.  LP, meanwhile, earned the Safest Company Award in the category of companies with four or more member mills.  The company’s 2008 average WIR and TIR were just 4.69 and 0.86, respectively.

In the newly recognized Safety Improvement Award category, Norbord’s oriented strand board mill in La Sarre, Quebec took the prize in Division I for mills with fewer than 400,000 hours worked.  The La Sarre facility recorded zero incidents in 2008 for a 100 percent improvement rate.  In Division II for mills with more than 400,000 hours worked, the winner was Georgia-Pacific Wood Products’ Warm Springs, Ga. plywood mill, which posted a 93.7 percent incident rate improvement.

LP mills earned the first, second and third place awards in Division I of the Honor Roll category for mills with fewer than 400,000 hours worked while Georgia-Pacific facilities took the top three Honor Roll awards for mills with more than 400,000 hours worked.  LP and Georgia-Pacific mills also took top honors in their respective Three-Year Safety Award categories for the period 2006-2008.

While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills in order to provide a broad base industry performance benchmark.  Approximately 115 mills reported data for 2008.  The average Total Incident Rate among those mills was 1.99.

Award plaques will be presented to the winning mills by APA President Dennis Hardman, Quality Services Director Steve Zylkowski and/or other APA management staff.  The winning facilities and companies also will be recognized and their safety accomplishments celebrated during the Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s annual meeting in November on Amelia Island, Florida.

Download a PDF of the 2008 award winners.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

2010 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

APA News Release

Release #: 2011-10
Date: May 26, 2011
Contact:  John Hopp, 253-620-7447, john.hopp@apawood.org

2010 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

LP, Nashville, Tennessee and Canfor-LP OSB Limited Partnership, Fort St. John, British Columbia won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories while Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, Camden, Texas, earned the coveted Innovation in Safety Award in the 2010 Safety and Health Awards Program sponsored annually by APA for the structural wood panel and engineered wood products industry.

LP, a leading North American manufacturer of structural wood panels and engineered wood products, earned top honors among companies with four or more mills with a 2010 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) of 1.20. Canfor-LP, which produces oriented strand board, won its award in the category for companies with three or fewer mills. The company posted a perfect 0.00 WIR for 2010.

Georgia-Pacific’s Camden plywood mill took the innovation prize for developing and implementing a proactive initiative called the STARS Card Program. STARS (Stop, Think And React Safely) is a behavior-based program that promotes interaction among the employees in an effort to correct hazardous practices and encourage safe behavior. Employees conduct a 10-15 minute observation of their co-worker(s) performing a task, note both safe and unsafe actions and/or conditions on the STARS card and give immediate feedback to their co-worker(s). The card’s data is analyzed to determine trends and to develop action plans to eliminate risk behaviors.

Among the criteria for the Innovation Award is demonstration that the innovation reduced occupational injuries or illnesses. During the four years the STARS Program has been in place, the facility-wide incident rate at the Georgia-Pacific plant has decreased from 2.12 to .33 and healthy communications among employees concerning both safe and unsafe practices have become the norm.

Innovation Award entries can be submitted by a mill, a group of mills or an entire company. Thirty-six Innovation entries were submitted in 2010, a 50 percent increase over the previous year.

The awards program, begun in 1982, honors the managements and employees of companies and mills with the lowest severity-weighted incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It employs a Weighted Incident Rate that is calculated using both the number and severity of recordable incidents. Since 2008 was the first year that WIR was used, awards and reports for 2009 and 2010 continue to also show Total Incident Rate (TIR), the measure used in previous years.

Eighty-eight APA member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad participated in the 2010 program. A total of 25 mills representing 10 APA member companies—Abitibi-LP Engineered Wood, Inc.; Anthony Forest Products Co.; Anthony EACOM Inc.; Calvert Company, Inc.; Canfor-LP OSB Limited Partnership; Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, LLC; LP; Norbord; Rosboro; and Stark Truss Company, Inc.—earned awards in various competition categories of the 2010 program. Some of the mills were multiple award winners.

All major product categories produced by APA’s membership were represented among the winning mills, including oriented strand board, plywood, glulam timber, wood I-joists and structural composite lumber.

In addition to the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement, Annual Safety and Health Honor Roll, Three-Year Safety Average, and Incident Free Honor Society. Twenty-one mills achieved a zero incident rate for the year and thus were named to the Incident Free Honor Society. The annual honor roll, three-year average and safety improvement categories are divided into two divisions based on hours worked annually—more than or fewer than 400,000 hours.

While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills in order to provide a broad-based industry performance benchmark. A total of 112 mills reported data for 2010. The 2010 industry Total Incident and Weighted Incident Rates were 2.44 and 10.94, respectively, up slightly from 2.18 and 10.64, respectively, in 2009.

The winning facilities and companies will be recognized and their safety accomplishments celebrated during the Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s annual meeting in October in New Orleans, Louisiana. Award plaques also will be presented to the winning mills by APA President Dennis Hardman or other APA management staff.

The 2010 safety awards program was the third year under a revitalized safety program effort spearheaded by an APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee comprised of several APA member company safety professionals. Under the committee’s guidance, three main goals were established:  make the APA program the premier safety awards program in the industry, encourage the sharing of best practices as a means to improve the industry’s safety culture and programs, and most importantly, improve the industry’s overall safety performance.

The APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee recently sponsored a free webinar on Wood Dust Best Practices. Over 50 safety and health professionals participated in this informative event.  More webinars will be developed and a full-day safety workshop will be held in October in conjunction with APA’s annual meeting.

The complete list of 2010 safety award winners can be found on the Association’s website at www.apawood.org.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA (www.apawood.org) is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA 2007 Panel Production Forecast Revised Downward

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C13-06
DATE: December 19, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, (253) 620-7413, jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, 253-620-7418, craig.adair@apawood.org

APA 2007 Panel Production Forecast Revised Downward

North American structural wood panel production is expected to total 39.9 billion square feet (3/8” basis) in 2007 according to a revised forecast released today by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.  That would be 6.7 percent less than the expected total for this year. 

The latest estimate is based on the expectation that the U.S. housing market will take longer to recover than earlier expected, with starts next year now forecast to total just 1.6 million versus the 1.8 million starts in APA’s annual fall forecast released in September.  APA revised its housing forecast in October to 1.7 million starts. 

 “With several months of inventory in the pipeline, we don’t expect the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts to pick up much at all until the second half of next year,” said APA Market Research Director Craig Adair.  The annual rate of housing starts in November was 1.59 million. 

There is approximately a seven-month supply of unsold housing inventory.  “History has shown that a 5.5 month supply is typical when homes begin selling at more normal rates following a downturn,” Adair said.  “It often takes 18 months or so to get the supply down to more balanced levels.”  Inventories topped nine months of supply during downturns in 1982 and 1991. 

The lower housing starts in the U.S. and Canada are expected to reduce structural wood panel demand for housing by 5.4 billion square feet in 2007.  The housing market consumed a record 26.5 billion feet in 2005. 

# # #


Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

APA Annual Meeting Attracts Nearly 400 Engineered Wood Products Industry Representatives

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C17-2005
DATE: November 18, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

APA Annual Meeting Attracts Nearly 400 Engineered Wood Products Industry Representatives

Nearly 400 engineered wood products industry representatives convened in Tucson, Ariz. Nov. 11-14 for the 68 th annual meeting of APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

The meeting, held at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, was highlighted by a farewell address by APA President Dave Rogoway, who is retiring Nov. 30, the announcement of new officers, a record number of exhibitors at the Info Fair supplier exhibition, and presentation of a special industry award to longtime Georgia-Pacific Corporation executive Terry Christiansen (see sidebar story).

Rogoway told attendees during the meeting’s general session that the U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel industry is on pace to produce 45 billion square feet of panels (3/8” basis) by 2010, double the volume of just 25 years ago. “We have continued to grow,” he said, “despite all kinds of competitive, economic and political challenges, and despite the view of some, both within our industry and beyond, that we could not sustain it. It’s been a remarkable achievement. And I believe there is a lesson in it—we must never underestimate our ability to grow the market.”

Rogoway, who described his 36 years at APA as “an adventure, not a job,” praised the APA staff and membership. “Your staff is more efficient today, more responsive, more innovative, and more proactive than ever in support of the industry’s quality assurance, technical and product promotion needs,” he said. The success of APA initiatives, he added, “is also to your credit—advisory and management committee members, mill managers, sales and marketing executives, trustees. It is to your credit that APA has been a vital, enduring and effective force for the advancement of the interests of this industry.”

Rogoway, who joined APA in 1969, was appointed vice president of marketing in 1984 and president in 1992. His retirement caps a 36-year career with the Association.

Succeeding Rogoway as president is Dennis J. Hardman. A University of Oregon graduate, Hardman joined APA as advertising and public relations manager in 1981 following 13 years in advertising and sales promotion with Weyerhaeuser Company. He was appointed director of the association’s Information Services Division (now Marketing Communications) in 1984 and vice president of marketing in 1992.

APA Chairman John Murphy, also speaking at the general session, noted that the state of the Association is strong, with membership up, a healthy cash reserve in place, excellent programs under way, and strong leadership. He announced that Jonathan Martin, chairman and CEO of Roy O. Martin Lumber Co., Alexandria, Va., would succeed him as chairman of the board, effective Nov. 14, and that the new vice chairman of the board is Harold Stanton, executive vice president, specialty products and sales at LP, Nashville, Tenn.

Guest speakers at the general session were David Lereah, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, and Leigh Boske, associate dean and professor of economics at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. Lereah, while acknowledging that some local housing markets are overvalued, discounted the idea of a national housing bubble. Boske addressed trends and developments in the trucking and rail transport industries, then also lead roundtable discussions of the topic following the general session.

Other roundtable discussion sessions focused on the nonresidential construction market, with Ken Simonson, chief economist at Associated General Contractors of America; green building, with John Loyer, construction, codes and standards specialist at the National Association of Home Builders; and adhesive supply and cost trends, with Guy Winchester, senior vice president at Dynea North America.

The meeting, as usual, was held in conjunction with the Info Fair supplier exhibition sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), a related APA entity. Info Fair featured a record 57 supplier exhibits by companies throughout North America.

EWTA Managing Director Terry Kerwood presented first-place Supplier of the Year Awards to The Willamette Valley Company, in the plywood category, and to Hexion Specialty Chemicals in both the oriented strand board and engineered wood categories. A total of 16 industry product, equipment, and service suppliers received votes from 44 APA member companies. The program, in its second year, is designed to recognize the value and importance of the business relationships between APA member companies and their EWTA member suppliers.

The four-day annual meeting also included a special awards banquet for the winners of the latest APA mill safety competition. Fifteen engineered wood product mills representing seven companies were recognized during the event. Companies with mills earning awards included Georgia-Pacific Corporation (six awards), Weyerhaeuser Company (five awards), Boise Cascade Company and Hunt Forest Products, Inc. (two awards each), and International Paper Company, LP, and PlyVeneer Products (one award each).

APA’s 2006 annual meeting and Info Fair will be held October 28-31 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Spa and Resort, San Antonio, Texas.

Georgia-Pacific’s Terry Christiansen Presented Bronson J. Lewis Award at APA Annual Meeting

Longtime Georgia-Pacific Corporation executive Terry Christiansen was presented the first-ever Bronson J. Lewis Award for leadership and outstanding contribution to the engineered wood products industry at the annual meeting of APA—The Engineered Wood Association in Tucson, Ariz. Nov. 12.

APA Chairman John Murphy, in announcing the award during the meeting’s general session, praised Christiansen for his “incredible knowledge of the industry” gained over a career that began with Georgia-Pacific in 1960. “Terry,” said Murphy, “is highly respected for his business acumen. He has also over his long career hired and mentored much of the managerial leadership in the southern pine plywood industry.”

Christiansen worked in various supervisory positions at a number of Georgia-Pacific plywood facilities from 1960 to 1973. He was promoted to plant manager in 1973 and to group manager of the company’s central region plywood operations in 1985. In 1993, he was promoted again to general manager—plywood manufacturing, with responsibility for all of Georgia-Pacific’s plywood manufacturing operations, including 18 mills in eight states. He was appointed vice president of plywood manufacturing in 2001.

A native of Oregon, Christiansen and his wife Jeanette have seven children and several grandchildren. Jeanette, son James and daughter-in-law Donna also were present and honored at the award ceremony.

The award is dedicated to Bronson J. Lewis, whose 24 years of service as secretary and then executive vice president of APA spanned both the introduction of southern pine plywood and the advent of oriented strand board. The award winner is chosen from among nominations submitted by industry representatives. The selection committee includes the APA chairman, vice chairman, president, and an industry leader, who this year were, respectively, John Murphy, Murphy Plywood, Sutherlin, Ore.; Jonathan Martin, R.O. Martin Lumber Company, Alexandria, La.; David Rogoway, APA, Tacoma, Wa.; and Paul Ehinger, Paul F. Ehinger & Associates, Eugene, Ore.

#          #            #

APA Annual Meeting Slated for October

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: August 16, 2010
Number: 2010-09

APA Annual Meeting Slated for October

An industry spectrum of issues and opportunities will be presented at the APA Annual Meeting, Oct. 17 – 20, 2010 at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, Arizona. Eric Belsky, Managing Director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, will deliver the keynote address in the general session on Oct. 19.  Later that day, Scott Sedam, President of TrueNorth Development, will address the Marketing Advisory Committee and share his experiences from consulting with builders to bring efficient, profit-producing management practices to their businesses.

In addition to a full agenda of committee and subcommittee meetings, the meeting will include Info Fair 2010, a product and services exhibition sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA). Exhibitors will include equipment manufacturers, product suppliers, and service providers. Golf and tennis tournaments are also part of the meeting line-up.

New to this year’s meeting agenda is an all-day Safety and Health Workshop, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20. Sponsored by APA’s Safety/Health Advisory Committee, the workshop will cover critical safety topics such as dust exposure and motivating mill personnel to buy in to safety programs and best practices. Member company safety and health personnel are encouraged to participate in the workshop. Winners of the 2009 APA Safety and Health Awards will be recognized at the Chairman’s Dinner on Oct. 19.  

APA’s annual meeting is attended by members of APA and EWTA, and invited guests.

###

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA (www.apawood.org) represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Applauds Efforts to Curb Wood Product Imports Derived from Illegally Logged Timber

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C15-2007
DATE: October 19, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


APA Applauds Efforts to Curb Wood Product Imports Derived from Illegally Logged Timber 

A major North American wood products trade association today applauded efforts to curb the import of wood products manufactured from illegally logged timber. 

Dennis Hardman, president of APA—The Engineered Wood Association, an internationally accredited quality testing and inspection organization, said worldwide illegal logging is causing not only environmental damage around the world but also an unfair competitive disadvantage to the North American timber and wood products industries. 

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a non-governmental organization based in the United Kingdom, estimated in a report it issued earlier this month that 10 percent of U.S. wood product imports, or some $3.8 billion worth, derive from illegally logged timber. 

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to address the issue, which is compounded by the lack of U.S. government authority to take enforcement action.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of structural engineered wood products, including plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, and structural composite lumber.  Among its functions are market support and development, including support of member interests in global trade issues. 

APA earlier this year, for example, also voiced support for an International Trade Commission (ITC) review of Chinese hardwood plywood imports.  Hardman noted at the time that he believed an ITC review would demonstrate that imported Chinese plywood often is improperly and in many cases even fraudulently labeled, posing serious potential product performance problems.  The ITC investigation, which began last April, is due to be completed and a report issued in June 2008. 

###

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.

Softwood Plywood Industry Celebrates 100th Anniversary

The year was 1905. Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 26th President of the United States. Congress granted statehood to Oklahoma, leaving New Mexico and Arizona as the only remaining territories. Archeologists unearthed the royal tombs of Yua and Tua in Egypt. Berlin and Paris were linked by telephone.

And in Portland, Oregon, a small wooden box company produced the first commercial softwood plywood, launching what would become a thriving Oregon, Pacific Northwest and eventually national and international industry.

The history of the plywood industry is one of dramatic rise, of adjustment in the face of changing resource supplies and marketplace competition, and ultimately of perseverance. 2005 marks its 100th anniversary.

The idea of using wood veneers to achieve special effects and to increase wood's natural strength and stiffness is almost as old as civilization. Ancient Egyptian and Chinese furniture, built with wood veneers, is displayed in museums. The English and French are reported to have worked wood on the general principle of plywood in the 17th and 18th centuries. And historians credit Czarist Russia for having made forms of plywood prior to the 20th century.

Early modern-era plywood was made of hardwoods and generally was used in decorative applications. But then in 1905, Portland Manufacturing Company, a small wooden box company along the shore of the Willamette River in Portland, Ore., produced what it called "3-ply veneer work" made of ubiquitous Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir. The product was displayed at the World's Fair held in Portland that year to commemorate the arrival of Lewis and Clark in Oregon 100 years earlier.

Orders started coming in from door, cabinet and trunk manufacturers. Soon other mills began making the product and the young industry spread north to Washington and then across the border into Canada. The first Canadian plywood was produced in 1913 at Fraser Mills in New Westminster, British Columbia.

In the 1920s automobile manufacturers began using plywood for running boards. By 1925, 11 U.S. plants were producing 153 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) per year. Production lagged during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but new markets and new business gradually developed with the help of a new trade association—the Douglas Fir Plywood Association.

Founded in Tacoma, Wash. in 1933, the nonprofit trade association developed a nationwide promotion program and aided mills in assuring consistent product quality. Another major breakthrough occurred in 1934 with the discovery of a waterproof glue, which greatly expanded product application opportunities. And in 1938 a new commercial standard was developed, facilitating promotion of the product as a standardized commodity rather than by individual brand names.

By 1940 plywood was being used as subfloors, wall sheathing, roof sheathing, paneling and in other building construction applications. The industry that year counted 25 mills and production topped one billion square feet. Eighty percent of production originated in the state of Washington.

With the outbreak of war in 1941, plywood production was quickly diverted to the war effort. The product was used in PT boats, assault ships, airplanes, barracks, military buildings, shipping crates, footlockers and countless other military applications.

The industry grew dramatically after the war as American GIs came home and the post-war baby and housing booms took off. The number of mills grew from 40 in 1947 to 100 in 1954 and production shot up from 1.6 billion feet to almost four billion. Oregon that year counted 47 mills, Washington 36 and California 17.

In Britsh Columbia, meanwhile, five companies in 1950 founded the Plywood Manufacturers Association of British Columbia (PMBC), which eventually evolved into the present-day Canadian Plywood Association, or CANPLY. The Canadian Standards Association published the first Canadian Plywood Standard in 1953 based on specifications developed by PMBC.

By 1960, U.S. softwood plywood production exceeded 7.8 billion square feet, a figure analysts only five years earlier had predicted would not be attained until 1975. And Canadian production in 1960 topped one billion square feet.

For more than a half century the softwood plywood industry was located exclusively in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia and relied primarily on the region's vast supply of Douglas-fir. Research and development efforts, however, eventually gave rise to new technology that solved the problem of how to effectively bond veneer from other softwood species. In 1964, with that obstacle overcome, Georgia-Pacific Corporation opened the nation's first southern pine plywood mill in Fordyce, Arkansas.

The Douglas Fir Plywood Association changed its name that same year to American Plywood Association (APA) in recognition of the emergence of the southern pine plywood industry. (The Association was renamed again in 1994 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.)

Today, the South accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. softwood plywood production, or about 10 billion square feet. Most of the remaining one-third—some 4.8 billion feet—is manufactured in the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Oregon, which produced 2.6 billion feet in 2004, has been the number one producing state for the last half century. Canada this year is expected to produce approximately 2.5 billion feet.

Although oriented strand board, or OSB, has since 1980 largely displaced plywood as a structural sheathing in housing construction, 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 in 2005. Plywood is used for subflooring, wall and roof sheathing, siding, soffits, and stair treads and risers.

The largest single U.S. market for softwood plywood today—some 5.6 billion square feet—is the industrial sector, including such applications as furniture frames, truck trailer linings, RV floors, agricultural bins, shipping containers, and pallets. Remodeling is another major market, consuming approximately 3.4 billion square feet. Nonresidential construction, including panels for concrete forming, consumes approximately 1.4 billion feet. And approximately 400 million square feet are forecast to be exported to foreign markets. The country also imports about 2.1 billion square feet of plywood, primarily from South America.

U.S. and Canadian plywood mills today are in most cases marvels of modern computer and processing technologies designed to maximize efficient use of precious wood fiber resources. Plants in recent years, particularly in the West, have also largely retooled to accommodate the smaller diameter logs that have resulted from increased preservation of our national forests. Contrary to popular belief, annual national forest timber harvests have declined some 85 percent since 1987, and most mills today in all regions of the U.S. rely primarily on private forestland and tree farms for their log supplies.

Plywood is widely regarded as the original "engineered wood product" because it was one of the first—and certainly the most commercially successful—to be made by bonding together cut or refashioned pieces of wood to form a larger and integral composite unit. Cross-laminating layers of wood veneer actually improves upon the inherent structural advantages of wood by distributing along-the-grain strength in both directions.

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. In the late 1970s and early 80s, for example, the plywood principle gave rise to what today is a worldwide oriented strand board industry. Instead of solid sheets of wood veneer, OSB is made of wood strands bonded together under heat and pressure in cross-laminated layers.

Other engineered wood products today include wood I-joists, glued-laminated timber, commonly called glulam, and laminated veneer lumber. These products not only yield superior performance properties but also make better use of precious forest resources.

And what of softwood plywood's future? The domestic industry has shrunk in recent years in the face of stiff competition from OSB, rising imports, and the decline of national forest timber harvests. However, the industry today, as many observers point out, is technologically advanced, operates more efficiently, and by necessity has cultivated significant high-margin specialty niche markets. In other words, the plywood industry today exhibits the traits of a survivor. It knows how to succeed. And that bodes well for its future.

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.

Structural Wood Panel Industry Operating at Near Full Capacity

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C11C-03
DATE: September 30, 2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Structural Wood Panel Industry Operating at Near Full Capacity

The U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel industry operated at essentially full capacity during the third quarter, the result of several converging factors, according to APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

Production of structural plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) was constrained only by essential equipment maintenance or in some cases the lack of economically viable log supplies, the association said. Production of both products combined during the first half of the year was at 88.6 percent of capacity, which is near the historical average.

Among the factors contributing to the rapid rise in operating ratios, the association said, were the strong housing market, weather-related logging restrictions in the South earlier in the year, low panel inventories last spring when bad weather in the South and East slowed panel demand in the housing market, and logging restrictions resulting from forest fires in the western U.S. and Canada this summer.

Of these, the sizzling housing market was the single most significant panel supply and demand factor. U.S. housing starts rose in July for the fourth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.89 million units, the highest rate in 17 years. Residential construction accounts for about half of all market demand for structural wood panels. Plywood and OSB are used extensively throughout North America as subflooring, wall sheathing and roof sheathing.

Random Lengths, a Eugene, Oregon-based publisher of North American forest products market information, also reported that the U.S. government purchased some 24 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) of plywood and OSB in mid-August, although some of that volume was purchased from overseas suppliers, according to the report. That volume in isolation, however, would not have much impact on total supply since the industry this year is expected to produce a record 40.7 billion square feet, or 3.4 billion feet on average per month.

More recently, Hurricane Isabel along the U.S. East Coast also contributed to the unusual confluence of demand factors as home and business owners rushed to purchase plywood and OSB for boarding up windows and doors. Structural wood panels will now also be needed for post-storm repairs.

#          #            #

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association whose U.S. and Canadian members produce plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber. Its primary functions are quality auditing, applied research, and market support and development.

Note to editors and reporters: As a trade association operating in accordance with antitrust regulations, APA does not monitor, report or comment on product prices or price trends. Questions about prices should be posed to companies that provide such information, such as Random Lengths Publications, Inc. (888-686-99250) or C.C. Crow Publications, Inc. (503-646-8075).

Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Yearbook Now Available from APA

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C10-2007
DATE: June 27, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Yearbook Now Available from APA 

Historical demand and production data for U.S. and Canadian engineered wood products are contained in the Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Yearbook—2007 released recently by APA – The Engineered Wood Association.

The 48-page publication includes a wealth of industry information, including U.S. and Canadian softwood plywood and OSB production and capacity, U.S. regional production, panel imports by country of origin, panel exports by destination, U.S. and Canadian production of glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber, product consumption by end-use markets, panel and engineered wood producing mills in the U.S. and Canada, producers ranked by size, panel production by state, mill starts and closures, and much more.

The handy reference tool includes data up through 2006, with estimates for 2007. In some cases, the historical data go back as far as 1990.

Prepared by APA Market Research Director Craig Adair, the yearbook (APA Economics Report E173) is available for $200 as a PDF only. To view the table of contents or to order online, go to the Publications section of the APA web site at www.apawood.org.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Yearbook Now Available from APA

Release #: C3-08
Date:  April 15, 2008
Contact: Jack Merry, 253-620-7413,  jack.merry@apawood.org

Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Yearbook Now Available from APA

Historical demand and production data for U.S. and Canadian engineered wood products are contained in the Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Yearbook—2008 released recently by APA. 

The 44-page publication includes a wealth of industry information, including U.S. and Canadian softwood plywood and OSB production and capacity, U.S. regional production, panel imports by country of origin, panel exports by destination, U.S. and Canadian production of glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber, product consumption by end-use markets, panel and engineered wood producing mills in the U.S. and Canada, producers ranked by size, panel production by state, mill starts and closures, and much more. 

The handy reference tool includes data up through 2007, with estimates for 2008.  In some cases, the historical data go back as far as 1990. 

Prepared by APA Market Research Director Craig Adair, the yearbook (APA Economics Report E174) is available for $200 as a PDF only.  To view the table of contents or to order online, go to the Publications section of the APA web site at www.apawood.org.

# # #

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, rim board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Structural Wood Panel and Engineered Wood Production Forecast: Down This Year, Up in 2008

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C5-2007
DATE: April 24, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, Phone: (253) 620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org

Structural Wood Panel and Engineered Wood Production Forecast: Down This Year, Up in 2008 

North American structural wood panel (plywood and oriented strand board) production is expected to total 40.2 billion square feet (3/8" basis) this year, down 2.2 billion feet from 2006 and 2.9 billion from the record mark of 43.1 billion feet in 2005, according to the latest annual five-year forecast by APA–The Engineered Wood Association. 

Declines are also forecast for engineered wood framing products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber (LVL). 

The outlook is based primarily on the expectation that U.S. single and multifamily housing starts will fall this year to 1.52 million units, compared with 1.8 million last year. New residential construction accounts for 77 percent of I-joist demand, 75 percent of LVL demand, 70 percent of OSB demand, and 61 percent of glulam demand. Softwood plywood, by contrast, is consumed in greater volume by industrial markets, with only about 25 percent of production going to new residential construction. 

North American OSB production is forecast this year to total 24.55 billion square feet, down 7 percent from last year. Plywood output is expected to total 15.69 billion feet, off about 1.8 percent from 2006. 

Among structural engineered wood products, glulam production is forecast to decline 7 percent, I-joists almost 6 percent, and LVL nearly 12 percent.
 
The industry's production to capacity ratio also is forecast to drop this year to 89 percent, down from 93 percent last year and from 98 and 97 percent respectively during the peak of the housing boom in 2004 and 2005. This year's ratio, which matches the historical average, is likely to continue about the same over the next five years as substantial new industry production capacity is added to meet rising demand. 

Offshore imports of plywood and OSB, which peaked in 2005 at 2.72 billion square feet, fell to 1.77 billion feet last year and are expected to decline further to 1.17 billion feet this year, reflecting the substantially weaker North American market for offshore producers.  Nearly 80 percent of panel imports are plywood. 

In the longer term, the outlook appears more promising, based primarily on the expectation that the housing market will begin recovery next year and continue to grow in the years that follow.  U.S. single and multifamily housing starts are forecast to climb to 1.65 million units in 2008 and to peak again at 1.9 million in 2011. 

A yearbook of structural wood panel and other engineered wood product historical production and market data will be available May 15 from APA for $200.  Check the APA web site at www.apawood.org for future ordering information.

U.S. and Canadian Structural Wood Panel
and Engineered Wood Production, 2006-2007
 
 
2006 (actual)
2007 (forecast)
 
Softwood Plywood (million square feet)
15,973
15,692
Oriented Strand Board (million square feet)
26,420
24,550
Total Structural Wood Panels (million square feet)
42,393
40,242
Glulam Timber (million board feet)
488
454
Wood I-Joists (million linear feet)
1,176
1,110
Laminated Veneer Lumber (million cubic feet)
88.2
77.7

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 145 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Multifamily Construction on Fast Pace in Post-Katrina Louisiana and Mississippi

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C12-2007
DATE: September 10, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Multifamily Construction on Fast Pace in Post-Katrina Louisiana and Mississippi

Multifamily construction is leading the way back for replacement housing in the Hurricane Katrina-torn Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Multifamily building permits are projected this year to exceed those issued in 2006 by almost 30 percent in Louisiana and more than 200 percent in Mississippi. And this year’s permit volumes are up some 2.5 times from those in 2004, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

The multifamily construction explosion is even more pronounced in the New Orleans and Gulfport-Biloxi metropolitan areas, where permits this year are expected to exceed last year’s by 460 and 580 percent, respectively.

"Multifamily has become the means to provide the most shelter in the shortest period of time," explains Craig Adair, market research director at APA—The Engineered Wood Association. "And that’s critical to housing the labor force that is needed to support the rebuilding efforts, he noted."

APA is among a number of wood products industry associations that collectively, as the Wood Products Council (WPC), are working to bring wood construction solutions to the Gulf Coast’s massive reconstruction challenge. The Council also has launched a multi-year nonresidential wood construction educational and promotional campaign throughout North America.

The WPC's Gulf Coast program consists of several components, including consumer promotion of raised wood floors for mitigating storm water damage, training of builders on raised floor and hurricane-resistant wood wall and roof construction systems, and collaboration with code officials and building inspectors to help assure proper wood product specification and application.

The raised wood floor component of the program (www.raisedfloorliving.com) is headed up by the Southern Pine Council, a joint promotional body of the Southern Forest Products Association and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association. It is based in Kenner, Louisiana. APA (www.apawood.org), based in Tacoma, Washington, is primarily responsible for builder education and training, while the Washington, D.C.-headquartered American Wood Council (www.awc.org) is the alliance's chief building code liaison group.

In contrast to the multifamily sector, permits for single-family construction in the two states and in both the New Orleans and Gulfport-Biloxi metropolitan areas remain down from last year, although permit issuances are near or higher than those in the year prior to the storm. The exception is New Orleans, where the population is now only about 60 percent of what it was prior to Katrina.

One of the chief obstacles to faster recovery is that base flood elevations have yet to be established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which in turn clouds the ability to insure new and repaired structures. High land costs and a shortage of skilled construction workers also have hampered the rebuilding effort.

The raised wood floor system is the centerpiece of WPC’s rebuilding education efforts because compared with other options—concrete slab atop dirt fill, slab on backfilled perimeter wall, or ring levee—it often is the most practical and cost-effective way to protect buildings and meet local building ordinances in flood prone areas. The system provides other benefits as well—simplicity, insulating properties, ease of improving or repairing utility lines, durability, uplifting comfort and classic style, among others.

Promotion of wind-resistant lateral load design also is a key element of the program. APA, which has conducted high wind and seismic load tests in its Research Center for years, recently developed a wall bracing web site (www.wallbracing.org), installed state-of-the-art combined shear and uplift test equipment, and co-authored a wood wall bracing guide with the International Code Council (ICC).

# # #

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

New Plywood Roof Protects Pierce County’s Emergency Food Supply

APA News Release

Release #: 2011-21
Date: October 10, 2011
Contact: Kelly Devlin, 253-620-7475, kelly.devlin@apawood.org

New Plywood Roof Protects Pierce County’s Emergency Food Supply

Since 1982, the Emergency Food Network (EFN) has helped to provide food to the hungry in Washington State’s Pierce County, but when the area’s sole nonprofit food distributor needed a new roof for its 22,000 square foot distribution center, it was EFN’s turn to ask for help. The community answered with foundation grants, financial contributions, and in-kind donations of product – including plywood roof sheathing from APA Member Boise Cascade – to help protect the county’s emergency food supply.

More than 140,000 people seek emergency food assistance in Pierce County every month. To meet this need, EFN procures, transports, and distributes about 14 million pounds of food valued at $18.5 million annually to 67 area food banks, meal sites and shelters. “Our mission is to provide a reliable food supply so that no person in Pierce County goes hungry,” says Development Director Jeff Klein.

The distribution center in Lakewood, Washington, is EFN’s primary base of operations. The warehouse and surrounding lot contain over 20,000 square feet for dry storage, as well as cold storage units capable of holding 130,000 pounds of fresh and frozen food. At any given time, pallets of canned beans, soups, fresh produce, frozen salmon patties and peanut butter tower above warehouse volunteers and forklift operators. When the roof began to show wear and tear, replacing it became critical to preserving the food EFN distributes to the community.

"The long-term stability of our structure is essential in order to protect Pierce County’s emergency food supply,” says Klein. “Our old roof pre-dated our organization’s founding in 1982. It was leaking and was not energy efficient.”

The new roof was erected in September. Community support – including Boise Cascade’s “extremely generous contribution” of 19/32” APA-certified plywood – covered the $300,000 cost of construction, enabling EFN to continue feeding the hungry.

Plywood is easy to handle and consistent in size and performance, making it an ideal building material for the distribution center roof, where speed of construction was a priority. The plywood also provides the roof with strength and durability, ensuring that EFN’s emergency food supply will be safe and dry for many years to come.

That’s good news for residents of Pierce County, where, Klein says, the need for emergency food services continues to grow. “Demand for food is up 43 percent in the past two years,” says Klein. “That’s why one of our strategic priorities is to protect Pierce County’s food supply to the best of our ability.”

A durable, dry new roof will help EFN do it, and Klein is thankful for the help they have received. “We hope that all who contributed realize that their efforts go a long way towards ending food insecurity in Pierce County.”

###

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA (www.apawood.org) is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

North American Panel Production Down 1.8 Percent in 2006

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C1-2007
DATE: January 18, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Phone: (253) 620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org

North American Panel Production Down 1.8 Percent in 2006

North American structural wood panel production totaled 42.35 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis) last year, down 755 million feet, or 1.8 percent compared to 2005, according to yearend data released today by APA—The Engineered Wood Association. 

The decline ended a four-year streak of record-setting production. 

Although housing starts, which consume approximately half of industry production, declined 12 percent for the year, panel demand was buoyed by reasonably good conditions in the nonresidential, industrial and repair and remodeling markets. 

Panel imports, according to preliminary data, also appear to have declined in 2006 by more than 30 percent.  Excluding U.S.-Canadian trading, panel exports rose slightly last year to 532 million square feet. 

Oriented strand board (OSB) production for the year totaled 26.4 billion feet, up nearly 27 million feet, or 1 percent, from 2005.  Plywood output, however, fell by 1.02 billion feet, or 6 percent. 

Among other engineered wood products, glulam production declined less than 1 percent, wood I-joist output dropped 7 percent, and laminated veneer lumber volume fell about 4 percent. 

Combined OSB and plywood production is expected to total just under 40 billion feet this year, according to a forecast APA released in December.  However, continuing uncertainty about the prospects for the residential construction market is a forecast wild card.  APA will release a new five-year forecast this spring. 

# # #


Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 


 

Sixteen Engineered Wood Product Mills Earn Safety Awards

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C8-2003
DATE: April 15, 2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Sixteen Engineered Wood Product Mills Earn Safety Awards

Sixteen structural engineered wood product mills representing nine U.S. and Canadian companies have taken top honors in the 2002 Mill Safety Competition sponsored by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

Begun in 1982, the annual contest honors the management and employees of facilities with the lowest incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Awards recognize both annual and three-year average safety performances.

The competition is open to all structural engineered wood product mills in the U.S. and Canada, including plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and specialty products. Nearly 170 facilities participated in the 2002 competition.

Awards are given in three categories—Divisional, Three-Year Average Divisional, and Top Ten. Two mills—Georgia-Pacific Corporation’s Grenada OSB facility in Duck Hill, Miss. and Sierra Pine Limited’s specialty plant in Springfield, Ore.—earned two awards each. Georgia-Pacific Corporation mills won a total of seven awards and Weyerhaeuser Company facilities earned three. Other companies earning awards included Boise, Hood Industries, Inc., Hunt Forest Products, International Paper Company, McKenzie Forest Products, and Norbord Industries, Inc.

APA President David Rogoway praised the competition winners for “setting the very highest of safety standards through vision, hard work, and tireless commitment.” The winning facilities will be recognized during APA’s annual meeting in San Diego in September. The awards themselves will be presented personally to representatives of each mill by an APA management representative.


2002 DIVISIONAL WINNERS
Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
Boise, Independence Veneer, Independence, Ore., veneer, 119,357 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Grenada OSB, Duck Hill, Miss., oriented strand board, 328,251 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
Weyerhaeuser Company, Evergreen, Alabama, wood I-joists, 469,252 hours worked, 0.43 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Warm Springs, Ga., plywood, 752,503 hours worked, 0.27 incidence rate.

THREE-YEAR AVERAGE (2000-2002) AWARD WINNERS
Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
SierraPine Limited, Springfield, Ore., specialty products, 27,577 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Grenada OSB, Duck Hill, Mississippi, oriented strand board, 316,832 hours worked, 0.42 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
Weyerhaeuser Company, Zwolle, La., plywood, 576,198 hours worked, 0.81 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Madison, Ga., plywood, 974,877 hours worked, 0.75 incidence rate.

2002 TOP TEN AWARD WINNERS

  • McKenzie Forest Products, Myrtle Point Veneer, Myrtle Point, Ore., veneer, 58,824 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • SierraPine Limited, Springfield, Ore., specialty products, 27,958 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Hood Industries, Inc., Wiggins, Miss., plywood, 691,196 hours worked, 0.58 incidence rate.
  • Norbord Industries, Inc., Nacogdoches, Texas, oriented strand board, 299,906 hours worked, 0.67 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Simsboro, La., wood I-joists, 268,338 hours worked, 0.75 incidence rate.
  • Hunt Forest Products, Pollock, La., plywood, 527,418 hours worked, 0.76 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Taylorsville, Miss., plywood, 1,022,649 hours worked, 0.78 incidence rate.
  • International Paper Company, Chapman, Ala., plywood, 679,582 hours worked, 0.88 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Whiteville, N.C., plywood, 847,347 hours worked, 0.94 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Roxboro, N.C., wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber, 620,805 hours worked, 0.97 incidence rate.
#          #            #

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Sixteen Engineered Wood Product Mills Earn Saftey Awards

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C6-2007
DATE: April 24, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Note to Editors:  The following release contains news of forest products companies headquartered or doing business in your area.

Sixteen Engineered Wood Product Mills Earn Saftey Awards 

Sixteen structural engineered wood product mills representing six companies have taken top honors in the 2006 Mill Safety Competition sponsored by APA — The Engineered Wood Association.

Begun in 1982, the annual contest honors the management and employees of facilities with the lowest incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Awards recognize both annual and three-year average safety performances. Eleven of the 16 winning mills posted perfect zero incidence rates.

The competition is open to all structural engineered wood product mills in the U.S. and Canada, including plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and specialty products. Nearly 150 facilities participated in the 2006 competition.
 
A total of 18 awards are given in three categories — Divisional, Three-Year Average Divisional, and Top Ten. Companies earning multiple awards included LP (six awards), Weyerhaeuser Company (five), Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC (three), and PlyVeneer Products (two). The other winners were Norbord Inc. and Boise Cascade LLC.

Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, Corrigan, Texas, which produces plywood, and PlyVeneer Products, Springfield, Oregon, a veneer mill, won two awards each. (The Corrigan mill was recently purchased by Georgia-Pacific from International Paper Company.)

The winning facilities will be recognized during APA's annual meeting in Indian Wells, California in November.

2006 DIVISIONAL WINNERS

Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
Weyerhaeuser Company, Elma, Washington, veneer, 149,217 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
LP, Silsbee, Texas, oriented strand board, 328,420 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd., Golden, British Columbia, laminated veneer lumber, 595,070 hours worked, 0.34 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, Madison, Georgia, plywood, 997,341 hours worked, 0.20 incidence rate.

THREE-YEAR AVERAGE (2004-2006) AWARD WINNERS

Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
PlyVeneer Products, Springfield, Oregon, veneer, 23,077 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
Weyerhaeuser Company, Simsboro, Louisiana, laminated veneer lumber, 214,544 hours worked, 0.31 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
LP, Wilmington, North Carolina, I-joist and laminated veneer lumber, 490,243 hours worked, 0.54 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC (International Paper Company in 2006), Corrigan, Texas, plywood, 962,290 hours worked, 0.28 incidence rate.

2006 TOP TEN AWARD WINNERS

  • LP, Athens, Georgia, oriented strand board, 316,339 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Edson, Alberta, oriented strand board, 307,965 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Arcadia Plant, Simsboro, Louisiana, oriented strand board, 296,319 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Norbord Inc., Nacogdoches, Texas, oriented strand board, 269,985 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • LP, Red Bluff, California, I-joist, 237,873 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • LP, Hines, Oregon, I-joist and laminated veneer lumber, 224,542 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Claresholm, Alberta, parallel strand lumber, 150,352 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Boise Cascade LLC, St. Helens Veneer, St. Helens, Oregon, veneer, 84,419 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • PlyVeneer Products, Springfield, Oregon, veneer, 28,635 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC (International Paper Company in 2006), Corrigan, Texas, plywood, 966,789 hours worked, 0.21 incidence rate.

# # #

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Softer Housing Market Expected to Moderate 2005 Engineered Wood Product Demand and Production

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C10-04
DATE: September 20, 2004
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, Phone: (253) 620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org


Softer Housing Market Expected to Moderate 2005 Engineered Wood Product Demand and Production

North American structural wood panel (plywood and oriented strand board, or OSB) production is expected to finish 2004 at 41.7 billion square feet (3/8" basis), setting a new record for the third consecutive year, according to the latest fall forecast by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

The predicted total, if reached, would exceed 2003 production by almost 900 million square feet, or two percent.

Production next year is forecast to decline by about one billion square feet to 40.7 billion, reflecting an expected rise in interest rates and a softening of the residential construction market in both the U.S. and Canada. U.S. housing starts are projected in the new forecast to total 1.895 million next year, down by about 160,000 units, while Canadian starts are forecast to slip from a record 227,000 this year to 181,000 in 2005.

Under that scenario, residential market demand for plywood and OSB is expected to fall from 22.9 billion feet this year to 21.7 billion feet next year. That decline is expected to be accompanied by a modest drop in remodeling market demand as well. However, demand in the industrial, nonresidential construction, and export markets is expected to rise by a combined 450 million square feet.

Oriented strand board production next year is forecast to rise by only about 170 million square feet, while plywood production is expected to decline by 1.2 billion feet. The structural wood panel industry as a whole is forecast to operate at 89 percent of capacity, down from 93 percent this year. About 1.1 billion square feet of new industry production capacity is expected to be added next year, compared to only about 350 million feet in 2004. Almost all of the new capacity will be OSB.

Plywood and OSB imports, meanwhile, continue to climb. The U.S. is forecast to import 1.64 billion feet of structural wood panels this year, excluding shipments from Canada. Most of that—1.36 billion feet—will be plywood, with most of that volume coming from Brazil, followed by Chile and China. U.S. plywood imports are expected to climb another 4.5 percent next year and to continue rising for the next several years. Plywood imports as recently as 2000 were only about 115 million square feet.

Among other engineered wood products, production of glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is forecast to rise by roughly 7, 11 and 24 percent this year compared to 2003. Of those three categories of products, only LVL production is expected to increase next year, and by only about 2.5 percent. That increase is expected to come from market share gains. Glulam timber and wood I-joist output is forecast to slip about five percent, reflecting the somewhat weaker residential construction market.

#          #            #

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 140 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Softwood Plywood Industry Celebrates 100th Anniversary

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C2-2005
DATE: March 9, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Softwood Plywood Industry Celebrates 100th Anniversary

The year was 1905. Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 26th President of the United States. Congress granted statehood to Oklahoma, leaving New Mexico and Arizona as the only remaining territories. Archeologists unearthed the royal tombs of Yua and Tua in Egypt. Berlin and Paris were linked by telephone.

And in Portland, Oregon, a small wooden box company produced the first commercial softwood plywood, launching what would become a thriving Oregon, Pacific Northwest and eventually national and international industry.

The history of the plywood industry is one of dramatic rise, of adjustment in the face of changing resource supplies and marketplace competition, and ultimately of perseverance. 2005 marks its 100th anniversary.

The idea of using wood veneers to achieve special effects and to increase wood's natural strength and stiffness is almost as old as civilization. Ancient Egyptian and Chinese furniture, built with wood veneers, is displayed in museums. The English and French are reported to have worked wood on the general principle of plywood in the 17th and 18th centuries. And historians credit Czarist Russia for having made forms of plywood prior to the 20th century.

Early modern-era plywood was made of hardwoods and generally was used in decorative applications. But then in 1905, Portland Manufacturing Company, a small wooden box company along the shore of the Willamette River in Portland, Ore., produced what it called "3-ply veneer work" made of ubiquitous Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir. The product was displayed at the World's Fair held in Portland that year to commemorate the arrival of Lewis and Clark in Oregon 100 years earlier.

Orders started coming in from door, cabinet and trunk manufacturers. Soon other mills began making the product and the young industry spread north to Washington and then across the border into Canada. The first Canadian plywood was produced in 1913 at Fraser Mills in New Westminster, British Columbia.

In the 1920s automobile manufacturers began using plywood for running boards. By 1925, 11 U.S. plants were producing 153 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) per year. Production lagged during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but new markets and new business gradually developed with the help of a new trade association—the Douglas Fir Plywood Association.

Founded in Tacoma, Wash. in 1933, the nonprofit trade association developed a nationwide promotion program and aided mills in assuring consistent product quality. Another major breakthrough occurred in 1934 with the discovery of a waterproof glue, which greatly expanded product application opportunities. And in 1938 a new commercial standard was developed, facilitating promotion of the product as a standardized commodity rather than by individual brand names.

By 1940 plywood was being used as subfloors, wall sheathing, roof sheathing, paneling and in other building construction applications. The industry that year counted 25 mills and production topped one billion square feet. Eighty percent of production originated in the state of Washington.

With the outbreak of war in 1941, plywood production was quickly diverted to the war effort. The product was used in PT boats, assault ships, airplanes, barracks, military buildings, shipping crates, footlockers and countless other military applications.

The industry grew dramatically after the war as American GIs came home and the post-war baby and housing booms took off. The number of mills grew from 40 in 1947 to 100 in 1954 and production shot up from 1.6 billion feet to almost four billion. Oregon that year counted 47 mills, Washington 36 and California 17.

In Britsh Columbia, meanwhile, five companies in 1950 founded the Plywood Manufacturers Association of British Columbia (PMBC), which eventually evolved into the present-day Canadian Plywood Association, or CANPLY. The Canadian Standards Association published the first Canadian Plywood Standard in 1953 based on specifications developed by PMBC.

By 1960, U.S. softwood plywood production exceeded 7.8 billion square feet, a figure analysts only five years earlier had predicted would not be attained until 1975. And Canadian production in 1960 topped one billion square feet.

For more than a half century the softwood plywood industry was located exclusively in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia and relied primarily on the region's vast supply of Douglas-fir. Research and development efforts, however, eventually gave rise to new technology that solved the problem of how to effectively bond veneer from other softwood species. In 1964, with that obstacle overcome, Georgia-Pacific Corporation opened the nation's first southern pine plywood mill in Fordyce, Arkansas.

The Douglas Fir Plywood Association changed its name that same year to American Plywood Association (APA) in recognition of the emergence of the southern pine plywood industry. (The Association was renamed again in 1994 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.)

Today, the South accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. softwood plywood production, or about 10 billion square feet. Most of the remaining one-third—some 4.8 billion feet—is manufactured in the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Oregon, which produced 2.6 billion feet in 2004, has been the number one producing state for the last half century. Canada this year is expected to produce approximately 2.5 billion feet.

Although oriented strand board, or OSB, has since 1980 largely displaced plywood as a structural sheathing in housing construction, 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 in 2005. Plywood is used for subflooring, wall and roof sheathing, siding, soffits, and stair treads and risers.

The largest single U.S. market for softwood plywood today—some 5.6 billion square feet—is the industrial sector, including such applications as furniture frames, truck trailer linings, RV floors, agricultural bins, shipping containers, and pallets. Remodeling is another major market, consuming approximately 3.4 billion square feet. Nonresidential construction, including panels for concrete forming, consumes approximately 1.4 billion feet. And approximately 400 million square feet are forecast to be exported to foreign markets. The country also imports about 2.1 billion square feet of plywood, primarily from South America.

U.S. and Canadian plywood mills today are in most cases marvels of modern computer and processing technologies designed to maximize efficient use of precious wood fiber resources. Plants in recent years, particularly in the West, have also largely retooled to accommodate the smaller diameter logs that have resulted from increased preservation of our national forests. Contrary to popular belief, annual national forest timber harvests have declined some 85 percent since 1987, and most mills today in all regions of the U.S. rely primarily on private forestland and tree farms for their log supplies.

Plywood is widely regarded as the original "engineered wood product" because it was one of the first—and certainly the most commercially successful—to be made by bonding together cut or refashioned pieces of wood to form a larger and integral composite unit. Cross-laminating layers of wood veneer actually improves upon the inherent structural advantages of wood by distributing along-the-grain strength in both directions.

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. In the late 1970s and early 80s, for example, the plywood principle gave rise to what today is a worldwide oriented strand board industry. Instead of solid sheets of wood veneer, OSB is made of wood strands bonded together under heat and pressure in cross-laminated layers.

Other engineered wood products today include wood I-joists, glued-laminated timber, commonly called glulam, and laminated veneer lumber. These products not only yield superior performance properties but also make better use of precious forest resources.

And what of softwood plywood's future? The domestic industry has shrunk in recent years in the face of stiff competition from OSB, rising imports, and the decline of national forest timber harvests. However, the industry today, as many observers point out, is technologically advanced, operates more efficiently, and by necessity has cultivated significant high-margin specialty niche markets. In other words, the plywood industry today exhibits the traits of a survivor. It knows how to succeed. And that bodes well for its future.

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.

Standard Structures President Enright Assumes Chairmanship of APA

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C21-07
DATE: December 11, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Standard Structures President Enright Assumes Chairmanship of APA

James (Jim) Enright, president of Standard Structures Inc., Windsor, Calif., has assumed the position of chairman of the Board of Trustees of APA. 

Enright, who was elected vice chairman during the association’s annual meeting in Indian Wells, Calif. in mid-November, replaces Rick Huff , who resigned as APA chairman upon his departure recently from Tolko Industries Ltd.

Enright holds a bachelor of science in business administration degree from the University of Redlands, Redlands, Calif.  He is a past chairman of the APA Engineered Wood Systems (EWS) I-Joist/Laminated Veneer Lumber Management Committee and also served as chairman of the APA Marketing Advisory Committee.  He has served on the board of trustees since November 2003. 

Prior to his appointment as president of Standard Structures, Enright was general sales manager at Rosboro Lumber Company, Springfield, Ore.  Prior to Rosboro, he spent seven years in engineered wood sales and in marketing and sales management at Willamette Industries Inc., Portland, Ore.  He also spent 15 years at Duke Pacific Inc., Chino, Calif., including five as vice president of sales. 

Standard Structures is a major manufacturer and marketer of engineered wood products, including glulam timber, wood I-joists and open web trusses, for the commercial and multi-family construction market.  Formed in 1947, the company is the oldest glulam manufacturer in the United States operating under its founding name and ownership. 

A new APA vice chair has not yet been elected, but the Board of Trustees will address that vacancy as soon as possible, said APA President Dennis Hardman. 

### 

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Housing Market, Improving Economy Extend Record Panel Demand Levels

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C9-04
DATE: April 28, 2004
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, Phone: (253) 620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org


Housing Market, Improving Economy Extend Record Panel Demand Levels

The near-record rate of U.S. housing starts, which topped 2 million units on a seasonally adjusted basis in March, continues to be the single most important factor in the months-long surge in demand for structural wood panel products.

The March housing starts rate, up 6.4 percent from February of this year and 15 percent from March 2003, underscores the strength of a housing market boom that began in May of last year and has continued almost unabated since then. Housing starts last year totaled 1.98 million, including a record-high 1.499 million single-family units, and starts this year could match or exceed that mark, most forecasters believe. APA’s latest forecast is for 2004 starts to reach 1.97 million, including 1.47 million single-family units, 350,000 multifamily units, and 147,000 manufactured homes.

In response to the unprecedented strength of the housing market, U.S. and Canadian production of plywood and oriented strand board has also reached record levels. Structural wood panel production totaled a record-high 40.9 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis) last year, and output for the first quarter of 2004 totaled 10.37 billion, the fourth highest quarterly volume on record. Historically, production is greatest in the second and third quarters during the peak of the construction season.

With interest rates edging up in April and the prospect that they may continue to climb, many analysts believe the torrid first quarter rate of housing starts cannot be sustained. However, predictions over the last several months that interest rate increases would rise, and thereby soften the housing market, have not materialized.

While new residential construction consumes more than half of total structural wood panel production, including 64 percent of OSB output, APA’s forecast is for demand also to rise this year in each of the industry’s other major domestic markets—remodeling, nonresidential construction, industrial, and exports. Demand in those markets is expected to increase this year by about 650 million feet, or 3.2 percent, based on overall improvement in the economy.

On the supply side of the equation, industry production capacity is expected to increase by approximately 600 million feet this year, or about twice the growth last year. Mill improvements or “capacity creep” in OSB plants could add another 300-400 million feet of capacity. In the longer term, capacity growth is forecast to rise more modestly than in previous periods, during which time overcapacity plagued the industry, forcing many companies to delay or abandon capacity addition plans. However, it is also expected that the industry’s overall demand/capacity ratio will moderate. The industry operated at 92 percent of capacity last year, and at a much higher ratio when demand peaked during the third and fourth quarters. The average annual ratio over the next five years is forecast to be about 89 percent.

The U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel industry is comprised of a diverse mix of integrated public companies and small privately owned businesses. The industry as a whole operates some 150 mills in 22 states and seven provinces. Individual company decisions to add or close capacity are based on the ability to procure economically viable wood fiber, product mix strategies, competitiveness in market areas, the efficiency and cost of processing equipment, and a host of other return on investment factors.

Structural wood panels are among a number of commodity products and construction materials that have been subject recently to varying levels of supply and demand price increases. Others include steel and other metals, framing lumber, wallboard and insulation. High demand for panel and other products has also placed strain recently on North American railcar and truck transport capacity, adding yet another dimension to the tight supply situation.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association whose U.S. and Canadian members produce plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support services. As a trade association operating in accordance with antitrust regulations, APA does not comment on future market prices or price trends. Questions about prices should be posed to companies that monitor and report such data, such as Random Lengths Publications, Inc. (888-686-9925, www.randomlengths.com) or C.C. Crow Publications, Inc. (503-646-8075, www.crows.com).

Houston Green Builder, Wood Industry Team Up on Raised Wood Floor Demonstration House

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C13-2007
DATE: October 15, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

A Houston home builder is expecting to break ground in November on an innovative wood frame demonstration house that goes against the grain of the local market. 

The house will feature a pier and beam raised wood floor system in an area where concrete slab on grade construction predominates.  Why?  To showcase the substantial benefits of the system in the event of flooding, which is a recurring threat in the low-lying Houston area. 

“Raised floors are a simple and cost-effective way to mitigate the risk of flood damage,” explains Michael Strong, GMB, vice president of Green Haus Builders (http://www.greenhausbuilders.com/).  “They also lend themselves to architecturally attractive designs and, most importantly, they have a longer history of proven foundation design than any other method on the market today,” he adds. 

Widely known in the Houston market for its commitment to innovative green building practices, Green Haus Builders is getting support for the project from APA—The Engineered Wood Association (http://www.apawood.org/) and several of its members.  A nonprofit trade association based in Tacoma, Washington, APA launched a raised wood floor builder and designer information and education program following Hurricane Katrina and the other devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005. 

The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), meanwhile, is heading up a raised wood floor consumer education program and has launched a web site for that purpose.  The site is located at http://www.raisedfloorliving.com/.  APA and SFPA are frequent collaborators on joint wood industry market support and development programs.

Manufacturers contributing product for the project include APA members Boise Cascade LLC, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, LP, Norbord Inc., R.O. Martin Lumber Company, LLC, and Anthony Forest Products.  SFPA members are contributing Southern yellow pine wall and roof framing.

The house also will be certified to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements for residential construction, as well as the Green Building Initiative Standards of the Greater Houston Builders Association, thereby helping to demonstrate that traditional and engineered wood products lend themselves to stringent green building criteria. 

During construction and once completed, open houses are planned to showcase the innovative structure to area design and construction professionals and the home buying public. 

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 softwood plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and structural composite lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Industry Contribution Medals Presented to Fields, Ehinger, Deardorff and G-P at Plywood Centennial

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C3-2005
DATE: March 21, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Industry Contribution Medals Presented to Fields, Ehinger, Deardorff and G-P at Plywood Industry Centennial Banquet

Softwood plywood industry leaders Fred Fields, Paul Ehinger, Don Deardorff, and Georgia-Pacific Corporation were presented industry contribution medals at the plywood industry centennial banquet held March 18 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Ore.

Organized by APA—The Engineered Wood Association and Plywood Pioneers Association in recognition of the softwood plywood industry’s 100th anniversary, the gala evening event was attended by more than 300 people, including manufacturers, suppliers, retirees, and other industry friends and stakeholders from throughout North America and beyond.

Fields, longtime president of Coe Manufacturing Company, received the Gustav Carlson Medal for Process Innovation in honor of his lifetime contributions to the technological advancement of the plywood industry. Gustav Carlson was co-owner of Portland Manufacturing Company, the small wooden box company in Portland, Ore. that produced the first commercial softwood plywood in 1905.

Ehinger and Deardorff were each awarded a W.E. Difford Medal for Industry Contributions, named after the legendary head of the Douglas Fir Plywood Association before and after World War II. Ehinger, a 31-year career executive with Edward Hines Lumber Company, Westfir, Ore. and principal of Paul F. Ehinger & Associates consulting, has served on numerous industry boards and committees over his long career, including a stint in the early 70s as president of the Board of Trustees of APA.

Deardorff, a founder and later president and sole owner of Fourply, Inc., Grants Pass, Ore., and CEO of Eagle Plywood Specialties, was similarly recognized for his years of service to various industry associations and causes, including APA, the American Wood Council, and the National Forest Products Association. He was chairman and president, respectively, of the APA and NFPA boards in the late 70s and early 80s.

Georgia-Pacific Corporation was presented the Bronson Lewis Medal for Industry Growth in recognition of the company’s pivotal role in expanding the demand for and production of plywood, particularly in the South. One of the largest manufacturers of plywood in the world today, G-P in 1963 built the country’s first southern pine plywood mill, in Fordyce, Ark., and has played an instrumental role in the growth of the southern pine plywood industry over the past four decades. The medal, named in honor of APA’s executive vice president from 1969 to 1984, was accepted on behalf of G-P by Terry Christiansen, longtime executive in the company’s structural panels division.

The centennial event was emceed by APA Chairman John Murphy, Murphy Plywood, Sutherlin, Ore., and William Bennett, retired executive of Champion International Corporation and president of the Plywood Pioneers Association.

Keynote speaker for the evening was Oregon historian and author Chet Orloff. An adjunct professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, Orloff is director emeritus of the Oregon Historical Society, founding president of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission, and director of the Pamplin Institute, whose goal is to advance citizen involvement in public affairs and to raise public awareness of Oregon history. His father, Monford Orloff, was long associated with the western plywood industry and served as chairman of Evans Products.

The evening also featured a half-hour video history of the industry that included interviews with several active and retired industry executives. Earlier in the day, a commemorative plaque at the site of the first softwood plywood mill in the St. Johns district of Portland also was dedicated.

Financial sponsors of the banquet and other centennial activities were Georgia-Pacific Corporation; Ainsworth Lumber Company Ltd.; Eagle Plywood Specialties; Murphy Plywood; Canadian Plywood Association; Corvallis Tool Company; Hardel Mutual Plywood Corporation; Louisiana-Pacific Corporation; Martco Plywood; McKenzie Forest Products; Pacific Wood Laminates, Incorporated; Rosboro Lumber Company; Roseburg Forest Products Company; Swanson Group, Inc.; Boise Cascade; Borden Chemical, Inc.; Canfor Corporation; Coe Manufacturing Company; Dynea Overlays; Engineered Wood Research Foundation; Hood Industries, Incorporated; Plum Creek; Potlatch Corporation; Timber Products Company; Ventek, Inc.; Willamette Valley Company; and Yakima Resources.

More information about the plywood centennial can be found on APA’s web site at www.apawood.org/plywoodcentennial.


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 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.

Infrastructure Damage Greatest Immediate Challenge to Supplying Gulf Coast

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C12-2005
DATE: September 6, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Infrastructure Damage Greatest Immediate Challenge to Supplying Gulf Coast with Structural Wood Panels

Disruption of transportation systems and damage to basic infrastructure pose the greatest immediate challenges to supplying the region struck by Hurricane Katrina with plywood, oriented strand board and other structural engineered wood products for emergency repair and security needs, Dave Rogoway, president of APA—The Engineered Wood Association said today.

The three states most affected by the Category 4 hurricane—Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama—have approximately 25 plywood and oriented strand board mills which last year combined produced approximately 6.5 billion square feet (3/8" basis) of panels annually, or about 22 percent of total U.S. production. "A few mills shut down or curtailed operations as a result of wind damage, power outages or the inability of employees to report to work. But most mills in the three states were unaffected or were only temporarily affected," Rogoway said. "We do not yet know the short-term impact on production in the region, but we expect most affected mills to resume production fairly quickly."

"The immediate problem," he said, "is the impact of the storm on access to and from affected areas. Road, rail and river traffic has been impaired. That is likely to affect delivery of wood fiber and other raw materials to mills as well as the shipment of finished product to distribution points." There has also been some curtailment of wholesale and retail distribution channel operations, according to reports.

In the longer term, Rogoway said, questions still remain regarding the scope of the devastation to Gulf Coast housing, commercial structures and other buildings, and to the region’s forests. "There will be huge rebuilding needs, obviously, all along the Gulf Coast, but those needs are difficult to quantify at this time. The rebuilding is likely to take years, so we expect the demand for structural wood panels and other engineered wood products to be spread over a considerable length of time," he said. A related problem, he said, is the scarcity of skilled construction workers in an already tight labor market.

The U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel industry, which last year produced 42.7 billion square feet (3/8” basis) of product, has been operating at near full capacity last year and this due primarily to the extremely strong housing market. Single- and multi-family housing starts totaled almost two million units last year and are expected to match that volume again in 2005. The panel industry in the U.S. and Canada, however, is forecast to add substantial new capacity—upwards of seven billion square feet—over the next three years. And housing starts are expected to decline by as many as 200,000 units in 2006 and 2007.

Still unknown, Rogoway said, is the extent of damage to the region’s forests, when salvage operations might begin, and the long-term implications to harvest levels. Also still unknown, he said, is the impact of the storm on oil and gas supplies, which are used to produce adhesives used in structural wood panel manufacture.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Katrina Lesson: Build Stronger, Better

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C2-2006
DATE: February 17, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Katrina Lesson: Build Stronger, Better

Last year’s record-setting hurricane season has given new impetus to longstanding efforts to advance wood construction systems and techniques resistant to natural disasters. One of the wood industry groups most involved in these efforts has been APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

“Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and all the others have really put the idea of robust construction on the front burner again,” said APA President Dennis Hardman. “And that’s good for wood, because there are many ways that wood frame construction can cost effectively address the need for strength and safety in areas prone to natural disasters.”

APA, Hardman noted, has been working closely with the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a nonprofit insurance industry group that strives to mitigate losses from natural disasters through improved construction. APA engineers, for example, participated on an IBHS-sponsored damage assessment investigation in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina to determine the causes of structural failures. The Association also has provided technical information to the Institute’s Fortified…for safer living program, which establishes design and construction guidelines that enable homes to increase their resistance to a variety of natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes, wildfire, and hail storms.

The IBHS Fortified...for safer living Builder’s Guide lists requirements for floors, walls and roofs in accordance with disaster risk in various parts of the country. For areas subject to high winds, including hurricanes and tornados, for example, the guide requires that all exterior wood framed walls be fully sheathed with minimum 15/32” thick 32/16 rated wood structural panels. And roof decks must be fully sheathed with 40/20 rated wood structural panels having a minimum thickness of 19/32”.

“Fortified” homes are now in seven states and some insurers provide premium discounts on homes built to “Fortified” specifications. The prospect of lower insurance premiums is just one of the factors that increasing numbers of home buyers are likely to consider when buying homes in the future, notes Hardman. “A more important one, we think, is personal safety and protecting property assets. All of those hurricane and tornado damage images on television last year have had a significant impact on public awareness of the importance of a home’s structural integrity.”

APA’s field intelligence—APA has specialists in key markets around the country—reinforces that impression, according to Hardman. “It used to be that consumers were primarily interested in aesthetic values, room size, and lifestyle amenities. But there’s growing interest now in what’s behind the walls and above the ceilings.” And that, he thinks, presents opportunities for cultivating “pull through” consumer demand for robust wood systems.

One such opportunity is raised wood floors, versus slab on grade construction, in areas subject to the kind of inland flooding that was common during last year’s hurricane season. Raised construction as a means to reduce flood damage has received considerable media attention in the Gulf Coast region and is likely to become an important component of rebuilding mandates in some areas. That could help generate increased demand for wood framing and structural wood panel floors.

The rising public emphasis on construction quality is due in part, Hardman believes, to concerns that arose in the 90s over moisture-related building envelope performance issues, such as decay, mold and mildew. Those concerns led to development of the Association’s Build A Better Home program, a builder training and education effort, and to collaboration with other industry organizations and government agencies through the Residential Moisture Management Network, an alliance headed up by the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis.

Those efforts have gone a long way in addressing the problem, Hardman believes, and he thinks APA and allied interests, such as IBHS and other wood industry organizations, also can play an important role in encouraging wind- and seismic-resistant construction.

APA’s interest in hurricane- and earthquake-resistant design goes back decades. The Association has been involved in natural disaster damage assessments since the 1960s; has conducted extensive fastener holding, wind uplift, projectile resistance, and other high-load wood assembly testing at its Research Center in Tacoma; and over the years has developed programs, such as Code Plus, to encourage “premium” construction.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Obituary: Bill Griebeler, Retired APA Planning Director

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C2-2004
DATE: March 3, 2004
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

 

Wilbur L. “Bill” Griebeler, retired director of planning at the American Plywood Association (now APA—The Engineered Wood Association), died February 20 at his home in Forest Grove, Ore. He was 85.

Born in Gaston, Ore., Mr. Griebeler joined APA in 1951 as a field representative in San Francisco, when the Association was known as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. Following two years in sales with Harbor Plywood Corporation, he rejoined the Association in 1958 as manager of the Agricultural Field Services Department. He later held the positions of assistant secretary, member relations director and, from 1972 until his retirement in 1976, director of planning.

A graduate of Oregon State University, Mr. Griebeler served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer in the Pacific during World War II. He also taught in the Oregon State University Department of Agricultural Engineering for 10 years.

He is survived by a daughter, Jane VanWinkle, and a cousin, Michael J. Hutchens.

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Obituary: Bob Raymond, Retired Assistant Director of APA Quality Services Division

APA Media Center News Release

DATE: April 6, 2005
Release #: C6-05
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

 

Obituary
Bob Raymond, Retired Assistant Director of APA Quality Services Division

Robert C. (Bob) Raymond, retired assistant director of the Quality Services Division at the American Plywood Association (now APA—The Engineered Wood Association), died April 3 in Tacoma. He was 77. Raymond joined what was then the Douglas Fir Plywood Association as a laboratory technician in 1950, shortly after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in forest products technology from the University of Washington. He was subsequently a research technologist, Tacoma laboratory manager, manager of the Quality Laboratories Department, and, beginning in 1969, assistant director of the Quality Services Division. He retired in 1989 after 38 years with the Association.

Raymond played a major role in the expansion of the Association’s regional quality laboratories and was centrally involved in the establishment and refinement of adhesive and test development research. He was the author of numerous research reports on structural panel adhesives and other manufacturing topics, served as the chairman of the Forest Products Research Society Gluing Technical Committee, and was a member of the D-14 Committee on Adhesives of the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Raymond was a U.S. Army veteran and longtime Boy Scout master. He was a recipient of the prestigious Silver Beaver Award of the Mount Rainier Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

He is survived by his wife, Pat, 5 children, 5 stepchildren, 11 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. At his request, no funeral service will be held.

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Panel Associations Plan Atlanta Safety Seminar

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C14-2007
DATE: October 16, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Panel Associations Plan Atlanta Safety Seminar 

A seminar on mill safety for the composite wood panel industry will be held Nov. 27-28 in Atlanta, Georgia.  

The 1-1/2-day seminar, at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel, is cosponsored by APA—The Engineered Wood Association, Canadian Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association, Composite Panel Association, Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association, and Structural Board Association. 

The program will cover a number of safety topics common to all panel plants, including safety management and leadership, employee involvement and effective meetings, accident audit evaluation, culture change and other topics.  The seminar is for corporate and plant safety professionals, mill managers, team leaders, training personnel and others with responsibilities related to mill safety. 

The registration fee is $249 for sponsoring association members and $300 for non-members.  To register or for more information, including sponsorship and tabletop exhibit opportunities, visit the Composite Panel Association web site at www.pbmdf.com or contact Composite Panel Association Certification Programs Director Chris Surak at 301-670-0604, csurak@cpamail.org

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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.

Panels, Glulam, LVL Set Production Records in 2005

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C1-2006
DATE: January 30, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Panels, Glulam, LVL Set Production Records in 2005M

North American structural wood panel production totaled 43.1 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis) in 2005, up 434 million feet from the record mark set in 2004, according to data released recently by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

It was the fourth consecutive record year for the industry.

Glulam timber and laminated veneer lumber production also set new production records. Glulam output rose 17 percent, to 470 million board feet, while LVL production totaled 90.6 million cubic feet, up 5 percent from 2004. I-joist production declined by 1.5 percent.

The record panel volume was due primarily to the U.S. housing market. Housing starts for the year totaled some 2.06 million units, the second highest ever, eclipsed only by the nearly 2.36 million units built in 1972. APA’s most recent U.S. housing forecast is for 1.945 million starts in 2006, down 5.8 percent.

Canadian housing starts fell slightly to 225,481 following a 17-year record of 233,431 in 2004.

OSB production for the year totaled 26.15 billion square feet, up 779 million feet, or 3.1 percent, from 2004. Plywood output declined two percent—345 million feet—to 17.97 billion feet.

Panel production could have risen substantially more if not for increased imports. Based on 10 months of data, imports climbed an estimated 33 percent to 2.51 billion square feet for the year. Plywood imports, 80 percent of which came from Brazil, totaled 1.78 billion feet, up 15 percent. OSB imports more than doubled, from 341 million feet in 2004 to 732 million last year. Germany supplied about 30 percent of OSB imports, a threefold increase from 2004, followed by Brazil and France.

Panel exports, meanwhile, continued to decline, from 601 million square feet in 2004 to 509 million last year.

APA will release a new five-year forecast this spring.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 140 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Production Outlook: Structural Wood Panels and Engineered Wood Products

Release #: C5-08
Date:  August 20, 2008
Contact: Jack Merry, 253-620-7413,  jack.merry@apawood.org

Production Outlook: Structural Wood Panels and Engineered Wood Products

North American structural wood panel (plywood and oriented strand board) production is expected to total 31.66 billion square feet (3/8” basis) this year, down 18 percent from last year and 26 percent from the record 43.1 billion square feet produced in 2005, according to the annual fall forecast of APA—The Engineered Wood Association. 

Production next year may be even slightly less, according to the forecast, with output falling another three percent to 30.87 billion feet.  That outlook is based on the expectation that U.S. single-family and multifamily housing starts will total just 880,000, down from about 910,000 this year.  Housing starts are down by more than half since the peak of the housing market boom in 2005.  Single-family starts have experienced the most severe declines, falling from 1.716 million in 2005 to an anticipated 610,000 this year. 

Softwood plywood production is forecast to total 12.57 billion square feet this year, down nearly 14 percent from last year, while oriented strand board (OSB) output is expected to reach 19.1 billion feet, a decline of 20 percent.  The larger drop of OSB production is a reflection of that product’s greater reliance on the residential construction market.  Approximately 80 percent of the 12.59 billion square feet of structural wood panels expected to be used in residential construction this year is OSB. 

Production of both plywood and OSB next year is forecast to decline an additional 2-3 percent. 

Declines are also forecast this year and next for engineered wood framing products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber (LVL).  Glulam production is expected this year to fall by 22 percent to 300 million board feet, I-joist production by 30 percent to 675 million linear feet, and LVL production by 27 percent to 55 million cubic feet. 

The still unknown housing market low point remains a forecast wild card.  Residential construction remains the single largest market for structural wood panels, and the percentage of North American production going to residential construction is expected to fall to 40 percent, compared with 48 percent last year and 61 percent in 2005. 

The outlook for next year could be somewhat better if the Housing Recovery Act of 2008 has the desired effect of stemming 400,000 foreclosures, perking up the credit system and getting more buyers into the market, the forecast suggests.  In that case, there might be 100,000 additional single-family and multifamily housing starts, resulting in almost one billion square feet of additional structural wood panel demand.  Under that scenario, glulam, wood I-joist and LVL production also would be expected to rise by 15 million board feet, 35 million linear feet and 5 million cubic feet, respectively. 
 
The industry’s production to capacity ratio is expected to drop this year to just 73 percent, down from 86 percent last year and a high of 97 percent during the peak of the housing boom in 2004-2005.  The substantially lower demand resulting from collapse of the housing market has made structural wood panels an extremely good bargain over the past several months compared with other building materials.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of steel and concrete products has increased 100 and 35 percent, respectively, over the last four years while the cost of wood products over the same period has fallen six percent. 

Excluding trans-border shipments between the U.S. and Canada, structural plywood and OSB imports by the two countries are forecast this year to total 530 million square feet, down 37 percent from last year and 80 percent from 2005.  The drop continues a trend that began in 2006 and is most pronounced in the U.S. as a result of the housing market collapse and low valuation of the U.S. dollar, which drives up import costs.  The escalation of transportation costs also is a factor.  That trend is expected to reverse direction next year, however, with imports continuing to rise in ensuing years in response to improving U.S. housing market conditions and a strengthening U.S. dollar. 

U.S. and Canadian panel exports, again excluding trade between the two countries, are expected this year to total 1.25 billion feet, up just slightly from last year but an increase of 138 percent from 2005.   That trend, too, is expected to moderate with improving domestic market conditions and a halt in the decline of the value of the U.S. dollar. 

The longer term forecast is for the U.S. housing market to begin a recovery in 2010, with housing starts rising to 1.55 million in 2011 and 1.9 million two years later.  That would help boost North American structural wood panel production to a record 45.4 billion square feet in 2013. 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, rim board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Rosboro’s Enright Appointed Chairman of APA Marketing Advisory Committee

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C3-2004
DATE: March 9, 2004
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Rosboro’s Enright Appointed Chairman
of APA Marketing Advisory Committee

James (Jim) Enright, general sales manager at Rosboro Lumber Company, Springfield, Oregon, has been appointed chairman of the Marketing Advisory Committee of APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

A graduate of the University of Redlands, Redlands, Calif., Enright is a past chairman of the APA Engineered Wood Systems (EWS) I-Joist/Laminated Veneer Lumber Management Committee and also has served on the APA Residential Market Subcommittee. He was elected to the APA Board of Trustees last November.

Prior to joining Rosboro Lumber Company, he spent 15 years at Duke Pacific Inc., Chino, Calif., including five as vice president of sales, and seven years in engineered wood sales and marketing management at Willamette Industries Inc., Portland, Ore.

Founded in 1933, APA represents approximately 140 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

The APA Marketing Advisory Committee, in concert with the APA staff, is charged with developing the Association’s annual Strategic Marketing Plan for approval by the APA Board of Trustees. Subcomittee chairs are Mark McLean, Roseburg Forest Products Company, Roseburg, Ore., Industrial Market; Robert Fouquet, Ainsworth Lumber Company Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Residential Construction/Remodeling Market; Claire Vermedahl, Alamco Wood Products, Incorporated, Albert Lea, Minn., Nonresidential Construction Market; and Doug Calvert, Calvert Company, Inc., Vancouver, Wash., International Market.

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Roseburg Forest Products' Allyn Ford Appointed to APA Board

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C9-2007
DATE: June 26, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Roseburg Forest Products' Allyn Ford Appointed to APA Board 

Allyn Ford, president and CEO of Roseburg Forest Products Company, Roseburg, Oregon, was appointed recently to the Board of Trustees of APA — The Engineered Wood Association.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Ford became Roseburg's chief executive in 1997 following the death of his father, Kenneth Ford, who founded the company in 1936. He is a 1964 graduate of Yale University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial administration. He also holds an MBA from Stanford University.

Ford's career at the family-owned company began in 1968. He was executive vice president prior to becoming president and CEO. He has served on the Oregon State Board of Forestry and chaired the Advisory Board for Forestry Intensified Research (FIR), an organization dedicated to advancing reforestation in southwestern Oregon. He also is a past chairman of the Douglas Timber Operators Steering Committee, the Public Timber Purchasers Group, and the National Forestry Association, and has served on numerous other business and civic organization boards and committees, including The Ford Family Foundation, a scholarship and charitable grants organization.

Ford succeeds Lindsay Crawford on the APA Board of Trustees. Crawford, vice president of manufacturing at Roseburg, retired recently.

Roseburg Forest Products manufactures a diverse line of building materials and specialty products, including lumber, hardwood and softwood plywood, engineered wood products, decorative melamine, medium density fiberboard, particleboard and specialty panels. The company has offices and manufacturing facilities in six states, including, in addition to Oregon, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana and South Carolina. It is also one of the country's largest timberland owners, with more than 700,000 acres of sustainably managed timberlands.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Safety Challenges Issued at APA Annual Meeting

APA News Release

Release #: C11-09
Date: December 4, 2009
Marilyn LeMoine, 253-620-7476, marilyn.lemoine@apawood.org

Safety Challenges Issued at APA Annual Meeting

At the recent APA Annual Meeting banquet honoring the winners of the association’s safety awards, APA Chairman Jeff Wagner issued three safety challenges:

  1. Reduce the industry average Total Incident Rate (TIR) to 1.00 by 2011. The rate was 1.99 for the 2008 reporting year. Wagner noted the rate has been trending down the last five years and, while the industry can take pride in that accomplishment, continuous improvement in safety should be an industry mandate.
  2. Achieve 100 percent participation in the program by APA member mills next year. Only 75 percent of eligible mills submitted data this year.
  3. Double the number of entries in the “Innovation in Safety” category from 10 this year to 20 next year. “This award category is about sharing best practices in safety and health,” said Wagner, “So the more entries received, the more good ideas we can share for the well-being of our employees."

In presenting these challenges, Wagner said, “The only thing stopping us from meeting these targets is ourselves. I urge you to step up to the plate and let’s all work to keep our folks safe.” Wagner is Executive Vice President, OSB for LP, headquartered in Nashville, TN and is serving his first year as Chairman of APA.

The APA safety awards are presented each year at the association’s annual meeting during the Chairman’s Dinner. Categories include awards based on lowest weighted incident rate, safest company, and innovations in safety. New this year was formation of the Incident Free Honor Society, recognizing all APA member mills recording zero incidents. An impressive 16 mills were inducted into the society this year.

Accepting awards for the winning companies were Kerlin Drake, Anthony Forest Products; Bonnie Schwartz, Georgia-Pacific; Brian Luoma, LP; Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord; Allyn Ford, Roseburg Forest Products; and Mark DiCarlo, RoyOMartin.

A complete list of winning mills and companies, as well as all Innovations in Safety entries, can be found at APA’s website:  www.apawood.org.

Jeff Wagner, LP, APA Board Chairman presenting Safety Awards
Jeff Wagner, LP, APA Board Chairman
presenting Safety Awards.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Tom Williamson Honored with Bronson J. Lewis Award

APA News Release

Release #: C10-09
Date: December 4, 2009
Marilyn LeMoine, 253-620-7476, marilyn.lemoine@apawood.org

Tom Williamson Honored with Bronson J. Lewis Award

A highlight of the APA annual meeting general session was the presentation of the Bronson J. Lewis Award, an award that was established to recognize individuals for their leadership and outstanding contribution to the engineered wood products industry. This year’s winner is Thomas G. Williamson, who just retired from APA after a 42-year career in the engineering and wood products industries. Williamson’s career has included work with the American Institute of Timber Construction (AITC), His own engineering and design firm – LamFab Wood Structures, and for the past 17 years, APA, where he most recently served as Vice President of APA Quality Assurance and Technical Services. His numerous professional activities and affiliations include chairmanship of the ASCE Standards Committee for Load and Resistance Factor Design or Wood Construction, chairman of the Structural Engineering Institute’s Codes and Standards Division Executive Committee, and chairman of the ASCE Codes and Standards Activities Committee. Doug Calvert, APA Trustee and president of Calvert Company, accepted the award for Mr. Williamson, who was unable to attend the meeting.

Tom Williamson is the 2008
Bronson J. Lewis Award Winner.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Trade Association Applauds Request for ITC Review of Chinese Hardwood Plywood Imports

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C3-2007
DATE: March 12, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Trade Association Applauds Request for ITC Review of Chinese Hardwood Plywood Imports 

The president of a leading North American wood products trade association said his organization applauds a request for an International Trade Commission (ITC) review of Chinese hardwood plywood imports.
 
Dennis Hardman, president of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, an internationally accredited quality testing and inspection organization, said he thinks an ITC review would demonstrate that imported Chinese plywood often is improperly and in many cases even fraudulently labeled. And that poses serious potential product performance problems, he said.
 
Also at stake are U.S. jobs since illegal subsidies give unfair advantage to importing countries and thereby damage the ability of domestic producers to compete, Hardman said. That's a major concern in states like Oregon with substantial plywood industries. APA has provided import statistics and other relevant information to the office of Oregon's U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who has helped champion the campaign against illegally subsidized plywood imports.
 
The ITC review was requested March 6 by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) also has filed a World Trade Organization (WTO) hardwood plywood subsidies case against China.
 
APA represents manufacturers of softwood plywood, which is commonly used in construction and industrial applications. However, hardwood and softwood plywood compete in some applications, such as concrete forming and the furniture frame market. APA's position, Hardman said, is that substandard plywood imports, whether hardwood or softwood, give the entire plywood industry a black eye.
 
Hardman said that although the requested ITC review targets only Chinese hardwood plywood and would cover a variety of concerns, such as dumping, illegal subsidies, tariff misclassification, and illegal logging, he hopes it would help draw greater attention to the significant problem of Chinese industry counterfeit trademarks, absence of trademarks, inaccurate grade claims and substandard product performance.
 
"This is an especially serious issue in markets where products are used in load-bearing structural applications because it raises life-safety concerns," he said.
 
He cited recent APA sampling tests of non-trademarked imported Asian concrete form panels in which the average glue bond performance of the sample did not meet the minimum performance standard of U.S. Product Standard PS 1. Test results also indicated that the samples had an average load capacity approximately 40 percent below the level of APA PS 1 Plyform® plywood.

The problem of substandard plywood imports extends to grades used for other applications as well, such as construction sheathing, and to other countries besides China, Hardman said. He said APA is continuing to conduct imported panel sample tests in an effort to help protect the market from poor quality products.
 
Plywood users and specifiers, meanwhile, should beware of imported products that may be misrepresented and that may not meet North American product and performance standards, he said.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Uniform Enforcement of New California Formaldehyde Emissions Limits Remains a Concern of APA

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C7-2007
DATE: May 1, 2007
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Uniform Enforcement of New California Formaldehyde Emissions Limits Remains a Concern of APA 

The president of APA – The Engineered Wood Association said today his organization remains concerned over the ability of California state regulators to enforce stringent new formaldehyde emissions rules equally among domestic and foreign manufacturers of certain composite wood products.
 
The new emissions limits, which are scheduled to be phased in starting in 2009 and fully implemented in 2012, were adopted last week by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a department of the state's Environmental Protection Agency.
 
"Enforcement remains an issue," Hardman said, "because substantial volumes of the wood products in question in California are imported. And we know there is product coming into the country that is sub-standard in other respects."
 
Products targeted by the measure include particleboard, medium density fiberboard and hardwood plywood, products typically made with urea formaldehyde adhesives. It will also affect manufacturers of furniture, cabinets and other consumer products that use those composite wood panels.
 
The regulations, called the "Airborne Toxic Control Measure to Reduce Formaldehyde from Composite Wood Products," exempt structural engineered wood products such as softwood plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber since formaldehyde emissions from those products are negligible.
 
The new regulations will establish the most stringent formaldehyde emissions limits on wood products in the United States and, when fully implemented, the strictest limits in the world, according to CARB. The Composite Panel Association, which represents manufacturers of particleboard and medium density fiberboard, predicts the measure will impose an annual cost of $2.5 billion on the domestic economy "while returning negligible health benefits to the citizens of California."
 
The measure requires that all domestic and foreign manufacturers certify their products by a "third party" laboratory approved by CARB and then label the items as meeting California's emissions requirements. Panel manufacturers, importers, distributors, fabricators and installers can all be held responsible for assuring that their products comply.
 
APA, Hardman said, is concerned about certification loopholes that could permit non-complying imported products, especially material from China, to enter the California market. Chinese hardwood plywood competes with domestic softwood plywood in some markets.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) began an investigation of Chinese hardwood plywood imports April 18 that, among other things, is exploring fraudulent stamping of panels. The results of that investigation are due in June 2008.
 
APA has cautioned the marketplace to beware of Chinese and other panel imports that are improperly and in many cases even fraudulently labeled. Hardman cited recent APA sampling tests of non-trademarked imported concrete form panels in which the average glue bond performance of the sample did not meet the minimum standard of U.S. Product Standard PS 1. Test results also indicated that the samples had an average load capacity of approximately 40 percent below the level of APA PS 1 Plyform® plywood and had formaldehyde emissions levels up to 500 times higher than those of domestic production.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Wood Products Industry Set to Play Key Role in Gulf Coast Rebuilding

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C6-2006
DATE: August 22, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Industry Communications, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Wood Products Industry Set to Play Key Role in Gulf Coast Rebuilding

A group of wood products industry trade associations and their members are poised to aid reconstruction of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.

“The wood products industry stands ready and able to assist in rebuilding; we’re just waiting for government policy and regulatory issues to be resolved,” said Dennis Hardman, president of APA—The Engineered Wood Association and chairman of the Wood Products Council (WPC), an industry alliance.

Comprised of APA, the American Wood Council, Southern Pine Council, Canadian Wood Council, and Western Wood Products Association, WPC has already sponsored a rebuilding summit in New Orleans and will be meeting again soon in Chicago to further refine its plans.

The New Orleans summit brought together industry representatives, builders, and experts and officials from FEMA, the insurance industry, and state government to review the status of new building code requirements, insurance issues, reconstruction funding programs, and related topics.

The wood promotion program, Hardman said, consists of several components, including consumer education on raised wood floors for mitigating storm water damage, training of builders on hurricane-resistant wood wall and roof construction systems, and collaboration with code officials and building inspectors to help assure proper wood product specification and application.

The raised wood floor component of the program (www.raisedfloorliving.com) is headed up by the Southern Pine Council, a joint promotional body of the Southern Forest Products Association and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association. It is based in Kenner, Louisiana. APA (www.apawood.org), based in Tacoma, Washington, is primarily responsible for builder education and training, while the Washington, D.C.-headquartered American Wood Council (www.awc.org) is the alliance’s chief building code liaison group.

Wood construction offers numerous benefits, Hardman noted, including strength, affordability, availability of products, fast construction schedules, durability and aesthetic appeal. And unlike steel, he added, wood construction has a long tradition in the Southeast and Atlantic Coast regions, so the supply infrastructure, building trades knowledge base, and consumer acceptance are already in place.

Damage assessment observations by APA staff following Hurricane Katrina confirmed other independent reports that wood frame buildings meeting recent code requirements performed exceptionally well under the wind forces of the storm. APA participated on two damage assessment teams—one organized by the Institute for Business and Home Safety, a nonprofit insurance industry group, the other under the auspices of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Empirical evidence suggests that code changes implemented after Hurricane Andrew (in 1992) resulted in improved structural performance,” an APA damage assessment report notes. Most of the observed damage, it says, was caused by storm surge. Roof sheathing loss, as in past hurricanes, was directly attributable to non-code conforming attachment schedules and practices. Observations also underscored the inadequacy of non-structural wall sheathing, such as foam, to resist high wind loads.

The full report, “Hurricane Katrina: Structural Performance of Wood-Frame Buildings in the Aftermath,” may be downloaded free of charge from APA’s web site at www.apawood.org.

Some 280,000 single-family and multifamily units were completely destroyed by last year’s hurricanes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, according to APA estimates based on Red Cross damage assessments and other local sources. The estimated wood product demand for rebuilding is 1.8 billion board feet of lumber, 1.5 billion square feet (3/8” basis) of structural wood panels (plywood and oriented strand board), and 200 million board feet of engineered wood framing products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber. About 20 percent could be added to those volumes to account for nonresidential construction and repairs.

Those requirements, although large, are well within the industry’s ability to meet, according to Jonathan Martin, chairman and CEO of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, Alexandria, Louisiana, and chairman of the APA Board of Trustees. “The forest products industry is particularly strong in the Southeast, with ample timber supply, dozens of wood product manufacturing facilities, and an established transportation infrastructure and distribution supply chain,” he said.

In addition, the structural wood panel industry in the South is expected to add substantial new production capacity over the next two to three years, which will contribute to job growth and help stimulate the regional economy, Martin said. Among those new projects is a Martin Company oriented strand board plant that is scheduled to open this year in Oakdale, Louisiana.

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Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Completes Phase I Whole House Wall Bracing Tests

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes
Email: Kevin.hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7413
Date: April 18, 2008
Number: 2008-05

APA Completes Phase I Whole House Wall Bracing Tests

(TACOMA) – APA has released a report that summarizes Phase I test results for a variety of wall bracing configurations using APA’s 3-dimensional full-scale house and a state-of-the-art loading apparatus. The 45-page report is available at the following link: APA 3D Wall Bracing Tests.

This extensive study evaluates how various bracing configurations work as a whole and provides the industry with a better understanding of a house’s true 3-dimensional system performance, as well as specific test data for wall bracing methods.

While the focus of these tests was mainly on the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) wood structural panel wall bracing, a number of variables were studied, including:

• Hold down devices in building corners
• Return corners, both 2 feet and 4 feet
• Panel placement at corners or away from corners
• Single diagonal 1x4 bracing
• Isolated wood structural panel bracing
• Continuous wood structural panel bracing
• Continuous wood structural panel bracing cut around openings
• Wall braced only by 6:1 aspect ratio portal frames
• Wall braced with 50 percent 6:1 aspect ratio portal frames mixed with other continuous wood structural panel bracing

A total of 23 different tests were conducted. As expected, portal framed walls outperformed all other tested bracing methods. The portal frame method employs a superior load resistance strategy through increased sheathing, anchor bolts and nails for each of the segments along the wall. These types of frames are common in high wind and seismic areas where maximum load resistance is essential to life safety. 

Narrow walls (4:1 aspect ratio) continuously sheathed with plywood or OSB performed well, exhibiting approximately twice the strength as walls with isolated four-foot and diagonal bracing methods.  Another finding: the placement and grouping of braced walls had more of an effect on load resistance than did the use of hold downs or corner bracing.

How these test results will influence future building codes is currently the subject of discussion among key industry groups working together on safe, cost effective bracing for wood-framed buildings.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

APA Issues New System Report: Using Wood Structural Panels with Raised-Heel Trusses

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Kelly Devlin, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: kelly.devlin@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7475
Date: March 31, 2014
Number: 2014-4

APA Issues New System Report: Using Wood Structural Panels with Raised-Heel Trusses

Construction method provides simple steps to meeting the lateral and wind uplift load requirements of the IRC

Use of Wood Structural Panels for Energy-Heel Trusses, Form SR-103 APA—The Engineered Wood Association outlines an efficient, cost-effective construction solution for using wood structural panels with raised-heel (or energy-heel) trusses in a new System Report, Use of Wood Structural Panels for Energy-Heel Trusses, Form SR-103.

Conventional trusses can compress insulation, diminishing its R-value and creating a cold area in the building envelope at the point where the truss meets the top wall plate. Energy-heel trusses provide sufficient space for full-depth insulation without compromising the effectiveness of the attic insulation R-value. For this reason, construction with raised-heel trusses is an increasingly popular practice.

Because the International Residential Code (IRC) requirements for attaching raised-heel trusses are complex, APA System Report SR-103 provides a pre-engineered solution to this problem: combine raised-heel trusses with wood structural panels to resist loads that act on the truss connection. The construction method outlined meets the lateral load and wind uplift load requirements of the IRC without additional cutting or blocking, and strong, stable wood structural panels are very easily joined to the building.

“For builders looking to save energy when using raised-heel trusses, it makes sense to multi-task the structural wall sheathing to close off the attic area in a way that reduces air infiltration, laterally stabilizes the trusses, and creates a better connection between the roof and wall framing,” says APA Senior Engineer Ed Keith, P.E.

Using the simple steps outlined in APA System Report SR-103, building designers can check a few parameters to see if the included prescriptive attachment schedule for raised-heel trusses will meet all of the IRC load path requirements for the top of the wall. The report also provides anchor bolt spacing requirements for the base of the wall to complete both the lateral and wind uplift load paths.

For more information about using wood structural panels with raised-heel trusses, and for a free download of APA System Report SR-103: Use of Wood Structural Panels for Energy-Heel Trusses, go to www.PerformanceWalls.org. Printed copies of the report are also available from APA.

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About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the US and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Launches DIY Plans for Outdoor Living

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2007-02
DATE: May 29, 2007
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

APA Launches DIY Plans for Outdoor Living 

(Tacoma, Wash.) APA – The Engineered Wood Association recently launched a new web site for the weekend warrior. The new site, www.apahomeprojects.org contains three free APA Handy Plans for backyard structures. The plans are suitable for the moderate to advanced do-it-yourselfer.

The web site allows visitors to preview the materials list and photo gallery before deciding which plan to build. The timeless designs take the do-it-yourselfer a step beyond the typical utility storage shed and provide both functional and attractively designed additions to the outdoor living area of the home. All three plans are compact to fit many back or side yard profiles. In addition to attractive styling, they incorporate plenty of counter space and extra storage bins to fit a host of equipment and applications.

Each of the three plans, The Gabled Garden Shed, Kitchen Pavilion and Garden Storage Shed, is a PDF set of shop drawings which include detailed layouts for floor, wall and roof construction, complete materials lists, helpful photos and construction tips.

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Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products.  APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion. 

APA helps support Habitat for Humanity’s 25th Annual ‘Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project’

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes
Email: Kevin.hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7413
Date: May 6, 2008
Number: 2008-07

APA helps support Habitat for Humanity’s 25th Annual ‘Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project’ in Gulf Coast

(TACOMA) – APA joins former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, his wife, Rosalynn, thousands of volunteers from around the world and partner families to support Habitat for Humanity’s 25th annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in the Gulf Coast.  The five-day event from, May 11-16, 2008 will serve to construct and rehabilitate 60 houses and frame up to 48 more in the host cities of Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula, Miss.

To help build the homes, APA has arranged five raised wood floor decks that will serve as construction stages during the Framing Frenzy which takes place on the beach in Biloxi, Mississippi near the famed Biloxi Lighthouse. During the Frenzy, volunteers will frame wall sections for each of the floor layouts and those will be stored for future use. Three I-joist decks were provided by LP and two box truss decks were provided by the Southern Pine Council.

In addition to building in Biloxi and Pascagoula, the Carters will work on houses and visit build sites in New Orleans and Covington, La., Bay St. Louis, Miss., and Mobile, Ala., to help raise awareness of the ongoing recovery efforts taking place in along the Gulf Coast.  Houses also will be built and repaired by volunteers in several communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama as part of the event.  In total, more than 250 houses will be built or rehabilitated by the end of the year as part of Habitat for Humanity’s 2008 Carter Work Project.

In addition to supporting the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, APA is working to educate builders and designers along the Gulf Coast about the merits of raised wood floors and high wind construction methods. APA is using seminars, demonstration projects and large scale events such as the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project to help build momentum for wood framed construction.

To track the extensive Gulf Coast efforts APA and partners have created a new web site, E3House.org which references the primary tenets of the rebuilding efforts:

  • Elevate – build to a higher standard with raised wood floors
  • Educate – provide ongoing training for builders, designers, and code officials
  • Endure – emphasize wood-framed construction’s sustainable/green qualities.


25 Years of Building with the Carters
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have been helping Habitat for
Humanity shine the spotlight on the need for affordable housing since 1984. APA also has a long history as a Habitat for Humanity supporter having delivered product, volunteers and resources for a wide range of Habitat projects and events across the country.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

APA Receives ANSI Accreditation

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2007-01
DATE: May 3, 2007
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

APA Receives ANSI Accreditation 

(Tacoma, WA) APA - The Engineered Wood Association was recently accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developer. APA joins the approximately 200 standards developers accredited by ANSI. The designation marks an important milestone in APA's ongoing efforts to advance engineered wood industry interests in the building codes and standards arena.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) coordinates the development and use of voluntary consensus standards in the United States and represents the needs and views of U.S. stakeholders in standardization forums around the globe. Approximately ten organizations are accredited each year.

"This is very exciting news for APA and its members," said Dr. Borjen Yeh, director of APA’s Technical Services Division. "The ANSI accreditation validates one of our core strengths – application research and product standards development."

In order to maintain ANSI accreditation, standards developers are required to consistently adhere to a set of requirements or procedures known as the "ANSI Essential Requirements," that govern the consensus development process. Standards developers accredited by ANSI must meet the Institute’s requirements for openness, balance, consensus and other due process safeguards.

"In the area of consensus building, APA has a long and successful track record collaborating with code bodies, trade organizations, government agencies, manufacturers and end users," said Yeh.

One of APA’s first tasks is to develop a new performance standard for engineered wood siding based on APA’s PRP-108 Performance Standards and Policies for Structural Use Panels. According to Dr. Yeh, this new ANSI standard when completed will elevate the industry standard into the national level under a well-recognized consensus process through ANSI, which is eligible for broad acceptance by the building codes, regulatory agencies and government agencies.

Also under consideration is a performance standard for Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) in wall applications. These exterior wall components, manufactured in the U.S. for years, provide an extremely energy efficient building envelope by adhering rigid foam insulation between sheets of wood structural panels or other materials.

"We applaud APA’s efforts to help this industry grow through the development of a standard," said SIPA Executive Director Bill Wachtler. "A standard will allow us to pull the best practices in design, construction and manufacturing from a broad group of stakeholders, paving the way for wider acceptance among code officials, designers and builders."

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Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

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Wall Bracing Made Simple in New Web Site

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2006-9
DATE: July 13, 2006
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

Wall Bracing Made Simple in New Web Site 

(Tacoma) APA – The Engineered Wood Association recently launched a new web site for industry professionals that covers code required wall bracing – a key component of home construction that helps keep walls square during high wind and earthquake events. The new site is located at www.wallbracing.org.

The site provides descriptions of wall bracing construction and the associated International Residential Code (IRC) requirements. Developed by wall bracing experts at APA, the web site helps people easily understand, design, build and enforce braced wall systems.

Unique to this web site is detailed information on bracing that is specific to building professionals and homeowners. This easy-to-navigate system allows architects, builders, code officials, engineers and homeowners to simply click for information that is directly related to their line of work or home project.

"The web site offers something for everyone at all levels of wall bracing knowledge; everything from bracing basics to complicated code regulations are covered in a very simplified manner," said Tom Kositzky, Director, Field Services Division.

The wallbracing.org site includes links to APA's free Wood University course on wall bracing; APA publications relevant to each audience; APA's CAD web site with downloadable CAD files of wall bracing details; an event calendar with dates of upcoming seminars covering wall bracing; and contact information for APA's free and knowledgeable Product Support Help Desk.

APA has been instrumental in developing simple and economical solutions for narrow walls – such as those next to garage, entry door and window openings – that meet code bracing requirements without the use of hold-down devices. APA's solution, known as the APA Narrow Wall Bracing Method (NWBM), permits walls as narrow as 16 inches without requiring hold-down devices, provided the entire house is sheathed with structural wood panels.

"This system is being used increasingly by builders across the country because it doesn't require any special materials or techniques and can easily be constructed on-site," said Kositzky. "It also has a proven performance standard that is tough to compete with."

For complete bracing details, visit www.wallbracing.org.

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APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products.  APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion. 

Wood Structural Panels Recognized for Combined Shear and Uplift in Hurricane Zones

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2007-03
DATE: June 1, 2007
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org  

Wood Structural Panels Recognized for Combined Shear and Uplift in Hurricane Zones 

(Tacoma, Wash) – The use of wood structural panels (plywood or OSB) to resist both shear and uplift in high wind zones is now endorsed by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) as an acceptable alternative to metal straps used in high wind load regions.

In 2005, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) published a document titled, Guidelines for Hurricane Resistant Residential Construction. This document is based on the Standard Building Code Congress International legacy standard SSTD 10-99, the first US standard written to address hurricane-resistant residential structures and still referenced in both the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC). In the 2005 "Guidelines," the IBHS updated this existing standard to more closely reflect current IBC and ASCE-7 wind loads, wind speed maps, and conventions.
 
The legacy standard and the more current IBHS Guidelines essentially take over where the IRC left off, in that they provide prescriptive building requirements for areas with wind speeds of 100 mph and greater. The IBHS Guidelines have been adopted for use by the State of Florida.

The legacy SSTD 10 standard contained provisions permitting the use of wood structural panels for the simultaneous resistance of shear and uplift forces caused by high wind events. Such an application would provide an alternative to the large number and/or size of steel straps required to resist wind uplift, especially in multi-story structures. If used, this would reduce both the cost and time of construction.

As the original article was based on analysis only, the IBHS opted to exclude it from the 2005 Guidelines, pending the results of full-scale tests. In 2006, APA worked with IBHS to contract full-scale combined shear and uplift testing at Clemson University to verify the analytical work done previously by APA staff.  The tests were successfully completed and the previous tables were then adopted with minor modifications by the IBHS through the issuance of errata. The errata is available through the International Code Council web site at http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/codes/errata/IBHS_Guidelines040507.pdf.

Design Details

On the heels of the IBHS recognition, APA has published a new Technical Note that provides builders and designers with guidance on how to incorporate wood structural panel sheathing or siding to meet shear and uplift requirements while reducing the number of metal uplift straps in the design.

Only a small fraction of the panel shear capacity is actually used in a shearwall.  This is because nailed connections in lumber have shear capacity limitations.  While putting a panel in tension does reduce shear capacity, there is sufficient residual shear capacity left in the panel to permit their use for combined shear and uplift.  APA’s eight-page Technical Note explains how to design the shear walls, determine the uplift, calculate the nailing schedule and walks the reader through a design example.

The publication, "Wood Structural Panel Sheathing or Siding Used to Resist Combined Shear and Uplift" (Form H335) is available as a free PDF download through APA’s publication store. Visit www.apawood.org and click on the publications link. Registration is free and subscribers can choose to receive monthly publication updates.


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APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion. 

Sprinkler Details for I-joists Available

For Release: Immediately 
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kevin.Hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: January 15, 2008 
Number: 2008-01


Sprinkler Details for I-joists Available

(TACOMA) – APA has published a new Technical Note that provides more than 30 details for attaching sprinkler systems to APA Performance Rated I-Joists used in commercial and multifamily applications.

The new publication, Sprinkler Installation for APA Performance Rated I-Joists, fills a need for more sprinkler attachment options. The recommendations expand on guidelines in the
NFPA 13 - Installation of Sprinkler Systems handbook which are written for dimensional lumber joists.

“Up until now, details for incorporating I-joists with commercial sprinkler systems were limited to only a few I-joist manufacturers,” said Darian Wentland, Market Development Engineer with Jager Engineered Wood Products. “People were designing their own connection systems.”

This led to inconsistency from job to job, poor installation practices and confusion among industry professionals. To address this information gap, APA worked closely with manufacturers in developing the details.

“We drew on the knowledge and field experience of several member manufacturers in developing this much needed information for the marketplace,” said Tom Williamson, Vice President of APA’s Technical Services Division.   “Now we have an alternative to the code reports that works with any APA Performance Rated I-Joist.”

The Technical Note (form H730) is only available online and may be downloaded free of charge by visiting APA’s new web site, www.apaIjoists.org. This new site is host to CAD illustrations, a variety of technical literature, an APA I-joist manufacturer’s directory and manufacturer’s Product Reports.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Structural Wood Panel Industry Sets Record Production Mark in 2004

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C1-2005
DATE: February 14, 2004
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Structural Wood Panel Industry Sets Record Production Mark in 2004

U.S. and Canadian production of structural wood panels (plywood and oriented strand board) totaled a record 42.7 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis) in 2004, up some 1.8 billion feet, or 4.5 percent, from 2003, according to APA—The Engineered Wood Association. It was the third consecutive record year for the industry.

The record volume was attributable primarily to the U.S. housing market, which recorded 1.953 million starts last year, up 5.7 percent, or 105,000 units. Single-family starts totaled an all-time high of 1.608 million, up 7.3 percent from 2003.

The Canadian housing market also boomed last year, with starts up 6.7 percent to some 233,000 units, a 17-year high.

The new residential construction market is expected to have another good year in 2005, although not quite as good as last year. The National Association of Home Builders forecasts housing starts to decline three to four percent in response to slightly higher mortgage interest rates. Fixed rate loans averaged 5.8 percent last year and are projected by NAHB to average about 6.3 percent in 2005. Multifamily construction is expected to continue strong in 2005 since, as interest rates rise, more people are likely to rent rather than purchase. OSB production for the year rose 7.3 percent, to 25.37 billion square feet, while plywood volume increased 6/10 of one percent in 2004, to 17.3 billion feet.

U.S. and Canadian structural panel consumption increased 6.4 percent for the year, with the difference between increased demand and production bridged by panel imports, which were up 68 percent. Most of that increase was plywood entering the U.S. from Brazil.

Glulam, I-joist and LVL production also set records. Glulam production rose 17 percent to 402.3 million board feet. I-joist production totaled 1.28 billion linear feet, up 19 percent. And LVL output climbed 28 percent to 86.3 million cubic feet. Production records for those three products were set in both the U.S. and Canada.

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Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 140 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

U.S. Consumers Favor Wood Floors, National Survey Shows

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes
Email: Kevin.hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7413
Date: April 1, 2008
Number: 2008-04

U.S. Consumers Favor Wood Floors, National Survey Shows

(TACOMA) – U.S. consumers prefer wood framed first floors over concrete slabs by a wide margin, according to the results of a consumer preference survey conducted recently for three major wood products associations by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). 

The survey, commissioned by APA, the Canadian Wood Council and the Southern Forest Products Association, found that for the U.S. as a whole, 42 percent of consumers prefer a wood framed first floor, compared with 25 percent for concrete.  The remaining one-third of respondents indicated they had no preference, were not sure, or didn’t know. 

The preference for wood does not correspond with actual practice, however.  While concrete is preferred by just 25 percent of consumers, concrete represents 53 percent of total first floor area. 

“The apparent disconnect between consumer preference and actual practice suggests an opportunity to move builders toward wood with carefully targeted wood promotion campaigns,” said APA President Dennis Hardman, who also serves as president of the Wood Products Council (WPC), an alliance of North American wood products associations. 

APA and the Southern Pine Council are, in fact, spearheading a major raised wood floor promotion campaign along the Gulf Coast, where raised floors also offer the advantage of better protection against flooding.  The joint program includes builder seminars and discussion groups, demonstration projects, technical research, consumer advertising and publicity, publications and online resources. 

The program’s web site at www.raisedfloorliving.com features wood product specifications, construction details and images, span tables, case studies, green building information, links to additional resources and other information.   (The Southern Pine Council is a joint promotional body of the Southern Forest Products Association and the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association.)
           
The preference for wood floors varies widely by region, with a high of 60 percent in the North Central region and a low of 19 percent in the West South Central region, which encompasses Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the survey.  But even in those regions where concrete slabs are the norm in actual practice, the survey suggests there’s a demand for wood that is not now being met, but could be.  “It’s a matter of taking the case to builders,” Hardman said.  In the West South Central region, for example, just eight percent of single-family first floors are currently built with wood, although 19 percent of consumers say they prefer wood over concrete. 

In addition to consumer preference and improved protection against flooding, the wood products industry cites a number of other advantages of raised wood floors, including simplicity, insulating properties, ease of improving or repairing utility lines, durability, and classic style. 
           
The floor preference question was part of a comprehensive consumer survey related to housing features that NAHB conducts every three or four years. 

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

New Structural Insulated Panel Design Guide Available

For Release: Immediately 
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kevin.Hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: January 29, 2008 
Number: 2008-02


New Structural Insulated Panel Design Guide Available

(TACOMA) – APA and the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) have issued a new product guide on structural insulated panels (SIPs). The 20-page guide follows last year’s prescriptive specifications and installation details for SIPs that were accepted into the International Residential Code (IRC). 

“The guide is intended for a variety of audiences including designers, builders and their customers,” said Tom Williamson, vice president of APA’s Quality Assurance and Technical Services Divisions. The product guide, Structural Insulated Panels, presents informative whole wall R-value and energy-use studies conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy which verify SIPs unparalleled energy efficiency. Also included are details covering floor, wall and roof construction and special design considerations for commercial, residential and mechanical system applications. These details and more are now part of APA’s extensive CAD detail library which boasts more than 150 drawings. These drawings, available in multiple formats, may be downloaded free of charge at www.apacad.org.

The prescriptive specifications adopted by the IRC (2007 IRC Supplement Section R614), cover SIP wall construction in residential structures. The new SIP product guide provides tables on applicability limits, transverse loads, header design values, wall panel design values and SIP wall thickness requirements for roof and light-frame story support.

“The connection details and design values included in the product guide are essential for builders and designer professionals looking to incorporate SIPs in their projects,” said SIPA Executive Director Bill Wachtler. 
APA has recently initiated the process of developing an ANSI consensus standard for SIPs that will further facilitate their use by architects, engineers, and construction professionals.  A minimum design specification standard will allow any SIP manufacturer to compete side by side with other construction systems.  Additionally, the consensus standard will be submitted to the major building codes for consideration for adoption as a reference standard.

Visit the Publications Library at APA’s Web site: www.apawood.org. Registration is free.
Other options for ordering:

Single copies are $2.00, request form # H650.
• Mail: APA Publications Department,
 7011 S. 19th, Tacoma, Washington, 98466
• Email: lit.orders@apawood.org
• Fax: (253) 565-7265

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

New Web Site Offers Information on Plywood and OSB in Non-construction Applications

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2006-10
DATE: July 20, 2006
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

New Web Site Offers Information on Plywood and OSB in Non-construction Applications

(Tacoma) APA – The Engineered Wood Association recently launched a comprehensive new web site on engineered wood panels used in non-construction applications. Located at www.performancepanels.com, the web site encompasses furniture fixtures and cabinets, material handling, signage, and transportation applications such as truck trailer, RV and marine uses.

Structural wood panels, such as plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), are useful for a variety of non-construction applications because panels offer workability, long-term performance, durability, economy and a high degree of design flexibility.

The web site provides information on the varying components of engineered wood panels and how they benefit industrial users. PerformancePanels.com also provides a comprehensive list of the panels’ technical attributes, including tables and other data that will allow users to choose the right panel for their application. Specification information and links to APA member manufacturers of panels are also available.

"In a global economy, companies cannot afford to overlook opportunities to use quality materials designed for high performance," said Mark Halverson, Eastern region manager for APA's Field Services Division. "Performance panels are easily shaped, incorporated with other products, and are both strong and light in weight. With unlimited sizes, surface qualities and performance capabilities, performance panels are ideal for nearly every application."

# # #

Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

New Web Site Unveils Career Opportunities in the Wood Industry

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2006-8
DATE: July 12, 2006
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

New Web Site Unveils Career Opportunities in the Wood Industry

(Tacoma) APA – The Engineered Wood Association recently launched the APA Career Center – a new web site that allows users to discover career opportunities in the wood industry in the U.S. and parts of Canada. The site is located at www.apawood.org/jobs.

APA teamed with its member companies to create the searchable career site. Employment opportunities are broad and include a range of positions: mill machinery operators, business management team members, engineers, scientists, marketing experts, support staff and many others.

"The Career Center was created to provide a simple tool for users to search for job opportunities in the wood industry, as well as for employers to post job listings and expand their pool of talented candidates," said LaDauna Wilson, APA Web Coordinator.

For students and others interested in the wood industry, the web site also provides links to colleges and universities in North America that offer programs related to forestry, science, technology and business practices for wood products.

A 30-day job posting costs $95. Member companies of APA and the Engineered Wood Technology Association can post openings for a reduced $45 rate.

# # #

Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

Rebuilding the Gulf on Raised Wood Floors

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes
Email: Kevin.hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7413
Date: May 5, 2008
Number: 2008-06

Rebuilding the Gulf on Raised Wood Floors

(TACOMA) – APA, the Southern Pine Council (SPC) and their many manufacturing and industry partners are delivering construction strategies, product support and educational outreach to help rebuild flood- and wind-ravaged communities of the Gulf Coast.

The SPC is heading up a raised wood floor consumer education program and has launched www.raisedfloorliving.com in support. On the design/build front, APA will conduct an all-day seminar in Houston on May 20, 2008. APA technical experts will provide information on raised wood floors, designing for high winds, avoiding callbacks and taking advantage of market trends in wood-framed construction. For seminar information visit APA’s www.apawood.org, or contact Anne Balart at (504) 309-8965.

Raised wood floors offer several advantages over slab foundations. The system provides an extended living space with a porch out front and a deck off the back, easy home improvements when modifying utilities, natural isolation from moisture and insect sources at ground level, reduced risk of flood damage and greater joint comfort for an aging population worried about knee, ankle and back pain.

Michael Strong, owner of GreenHaus Builders in Houston has embraced raised wood floor construction. “The expansive soils in Houston are notoriously rough on slab foundations,” said Strong. “We are using a pier and beam foundation with the wood floors on top. This foundation type is less susceptible to movement and cracking,” he added. “The use of piers makes leveling and repairs very simple.”

Widely known for innovative building practices – he built Houston’s first LEED Gold Home – Strong is building a 3,000 square foot traditional style wood-framed house that will feature raised wood floors. The house will serve as a demonstration over the course of the build.

Strong will open the house at various stages throughout the summer to showcase construction applications, product choices and discuss green building guidelines. Houston’s CBS affiliate, KHOU, will follow construction progress through a series of segments on its morning show, Great Day Houston. In addition, APA has created a website to track the progress of this and other Gulf Coast projects. Visit www.e3house.org for more information.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Revised Plywood Standard Now Available

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2007-04
DATE: August 1, 2007
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org  

Revised Plywood Standard Now Available

(Tacoma, WA) APA – The Engineered Wood Association has announced that the Office of Standards and Services of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has completed the revisions to Voluntary Product Standard PS 1-95 Construction and Industrial Plywood. Originally submitted by APA in 1966, and sponsored by APA ever since, the standard provides expanded and updated requirements for producing, marketing and specifying structural plywood for construction and industrial uses. PS 1, which also covers overlaid plywood panels, has undergone four revisions since its inception.

The revised standard, U.S. Product Standard PS 1-07 Structural Plywood, reflects the industry’s continuous evolution in manufacturing and end-use applications. For instance, the standard provides new overlay grade notations that reflect improvements in overlay technologies. High Density Overlay (HDO) grades are now differentiated into HDO-Concrete Form and HDO-Industrial, while MDO grades are differentiated into MDO-Concrete Form and MDO-General.

“PS 1-07 provides increased grade clarity so that producers can better serve market demands for specific attributes, such as strength, durability, reuse and finish,” said Steve Zylkowski, Director of Quality Services Division for APA.  “As manufacturers begin phasing in these changes, end-users can expect to see new grades rolling out of mills in the latter part of this year.
 

A list of the major changes follows.

  • Name Change –Voluntary Product Standard PS 1-07 Structural Plywood.  This revision to "Structural Plywood" is more consistent to marketplace terminology.
  • Deletion of Interior and Intermediate Bond Classifications – These were removed because the industry transitioned to moisture resistant adhesives in the 1950s, making interior and intermediate bond adhesives extremely rare. In addition, the terminology "Interior Bonded with Exterior Glue" was replaced with its common marketplace term "Exposure 1."
  • Repairs - The size permitted for synthetic repairs was modified to create compatibility with permissible wood repairs.
  • Exterior Plywood Grades - Table 3 on Exterior Plywood Grades was revised to incorporate new grades of overlaid plywood and concrete form grades.
  • Underlayment - Section 5.6.3 on Underlayment was revised to clarify the grade and intended end-use.
  • Minimum grade for Exposure 1 – Table 2 on Exposure 1 grades was revised to permit D-D grade only for plywood qualified through performance testing specified in PS 1 or PS 2. This change creates compatibility with the minimum grade permitted in PS 2.

To order, (minimum order $4.00) request:
U.S. Product Standard PS 1-07, Form H860, single copy $4.00
• Web:  www.apawood.org (free pdf download in publications section)
• Mail: APA - The Engineered Wood Association, Publications Department,
7011 S. 19th, Tacoma, Washington, 98466
• Email: lit.orders@apawood.org
• Fax: (253) 565-7265


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APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion. 

Bracing Proposals, SIPs gain ICC Acceptance

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2007-06
DATE: June 1, 2007
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org  

Bracing Proposals, SIPs gain ICC Acceptance

(Tacoma, WA) – The International Code Council (ICC) voted to adopt several significant residential code proposals submitted by APA – The Engineered Wood Association at the ICC Final Action Hearings, May 22, 2007. Among the key proposals:

  • Structural insulated panels (SIPs) 
    The prescriptive specifications and installation details submitted by the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) and APA–The Engineered Wood Association will be included in the 2007 supplement to the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC). These exterior wall components provide an extremely energy efficient building envelope by adhering rigid foam insulation between sheets of wood structural panels or other materials.

"This will have a significant impact on SIP home construction,” said Tom Williamson, APA’s Vice President of Technical and Quality Services, who conducted the testing that supported the code change proposal.  “Structural insulated panels will now be side by side with other forms of construction in the residential building code and builders will have SIPs as a code-recognized option."

Builders using SIP walls in residential projects will no longer be required to conduct additional engineering to show equivalency to the International Residential Code, facilitating the use of SIPs in residential construction.

Code officials voted to accept the proposed Public Comment, revising the original proposal denied by the IRC Building & Energy Committee in September of 2006.  According to SIPA Executive Director Bill Wachtler, the revised Public Comment addressed the issues posed by the IRC Building & Energy Committee and other industry groups at the September Code Development Hearings. 

"SIPA has worked closely with SIP manufacturers and other interested industry groups to come up with code language that provides an adequate standard for structural insulated panels used in residential construction," Wachtler explains. "Completing this has been a tremendous milestone for the SIP industry and will lead the way to further code acceptance and industry standards."

The American National Standards Institute recently accredited APA as a standards developer and APA conducted a battery of SIP tests, the results of which were used in support of the Public Comment. APA will soon lead efforts to develop the industry’s first performance standard for SIPs in wall applications.

Testifying in support of the Public Comment along with APA were testimonies from Dow Chemical, the Polyisocyanurate Molders Association (PIMA), and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Research Center. Funding for the testing was granted by the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) program, a division of the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development dedicating to improving housing technology for American families. 


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APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion. 

APA to Present Structural Panel Use and Specification Seminar at IWF

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kevin.hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: May 13, 2008
Number: 2008-08

APA to Present Structural Panel Use and Specification Seminar at IWF

(TACOMA) – APA – The Engineered Wood Association, the Composite Panel Association (CPA) and the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association (HPVA) will present technical information covering product specification and performance as it relates to specific applications on opening day of the International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair (IWF) in Atlanta on August 20, 2008.

Representatives from the three leading wood products trade associations will present their latest information related to structural panels (softwood plywood and oriented strand board), composite panels (MDF and particleboard) and hardwood decorative veneer.

APA Eastern Region Manager Mark Halverson, a veteran with more than 15 years in furniture and industrial product applications, will explain aspects of panel manufacturing, customization and proper specification to help shops increase production efficiencies and maximize profits.

Gary Heroux, CPA vice president of Product Acceptance, will discuss how current market requirements for physical and mechanical performance as well as lower emission levels are driving MDF and particleboard changes.

HPVA President Kip Howlett will discuss grading structure, specifications, product certification and new methods for practical applications.

This two-hour seminar for shop personnel, designers, specifiers, purchasing managers, distributors and architectural woodworkers will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 20. To register visit http://www.performancepanels.com/index.cfm?content=app_pp_upholstered.

IWF, the largest woodworking trade show in the Western Hemisphere, is recognized around the world as the preeminent event for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment, supplies and innovative new technology. Total attendance at the World Congress Center in Atlanta is expected to reach more than 43,000. For more information about the IWF visit http://www.iwfatlanta.com/.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

APA Trains Gulf Coast Builders

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2006-11
DATE: December 18, 2006
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

APA Trains Gulf Coast Builders

(Covington, LA) A crowd of thirty-five builders gathered in Covington, Louisiana for a two-hour continuing education seminar presented by APA – The Engineered Wood Association and the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) on December 6. Poole Lumber Company and APA member Norbord Inc. sponsored the event.

Builders in the area, still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, seek methods to improve their homes' hurricane resistance. Norbord's Field Marketing Manager Heath Parker led off the training session with a brief review of the code wind provisions for Southern Louisiana and the strength and design flexibility that wood structural panels provide. 

APA's Mark Halverson offered an overview of engineered wood products highlighted by the crowd favorite, Top Ten Framing Errors. The audience peppered Mark with questions about wall sheathing, siding, floor framing and proper ventilation.

Cathy Kaake, Director of Engineered & Framing Markets for the Southern Forest Products Association, followed by explaining the flood resistant construction section of the 2006 International Residential Code, and reviewing the benefits of raised floor construction and treated Southern Pine.

Most of the builders were using engineered wood products in some form, but not many were familiar with building on raised wood floors. This subject generated a lot of good questions and builders acknowledged that they would consider building on raised wood floors if proven to be more economical than current slab-on-grade practices. This event marked the first joint wood products industry builder training session in the Gulf Coast region. Over the long term, the wood products industry is committing time, resources and manpower to Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts.

# # #

Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

Assessing Water Damage After A Flood

For Release: Immediately 
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kevin.Hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: December 10, 2007 
Number: 2007-8

Assessing Water Damage After A Flood

(TACOMA) – The widespread flooding following the Northwest winter storm has affected thousands of structures and left many homeowners and business owners with the challenge of evaluating and repairing the damage. While many of the structures damaged in the flooding will require professional contractors for rebuilding and repair, individuals can perform some water damage assessment. 

Wood construction is durable and will normally be structurally sound after severe water exposure during a flood. Structural plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) used in floors, walls and roofs are made with water-resistant adhesives that retain their strength when wet. Although the panels will be rougher from water exposure, they are still structurally sound. Panels saturated with water will feel less stiff than those in a dry condition. Once the panels are dry, strength typically returns and only minor repairs may be necessary. (It should be noted that some plywood panels manufactured prior to about 1972 for interior use may contain adhesives which are not fully water-resistant. These panels can be identified by the term “Interior” in the grademark.)

APA Trademark Identification
To tell if your APA plywood has water-resistant adhesives, look for the APA trademark. APA, formerly the American Plywood Association, is the quality assurance agency that many wood structural panel manufacturers use. Older plywood may bear the DFPA trademark (APA’s original name was the Douglas Fir Plywood Association). The trademarks will typically be in black ink printed in one or more places on one side of the panel.
APA trademarked plywood with water-resistant adhesives will contain the words “Exposure 1” or “Exterior”. OSB is made with water-resistant adhesives and will also say “Exposure 1” (or “Exterior” for siding).

Fungal Decay Prevention
Once floodwaters recede, fungal decay organisms are presented with an ideal moisture condition. Therefore, it is important that the wood dry as soon as possible to ensure that the wood decay does not affect structural capacity.

How to preserve sound structures:
1. Clean out all mud and debris in contact with panels, studs, joists and beams. This will allow the wood to dry and permit inspection for structural damage.
2. Remove carpeting, pad and vinyl. This is vital to allow the panels to dry.
3. Remove wet interior finish (such as gypsum wallboard) from walls, remove wet insulation and clean out any mud and debris. This will encourage free air circulation to speed the drying process.
4. Remove wet insulation from crawl spaces (and the attic too, if it is wet).
5. Remove standing water from crawl spaces. Standing water will prevent floors from drying.
6. Open up any other wet cavities to allow air to circulate freely.
7. Finally, make every effort possible to speed the drying process. Drying speed is relative to the thickness of the wood being dried, the humidity, the temperature and the amount of air circulation. Heating the structure, if possible, will greatly speed drying. Use fans and dehumidifiers to help move the air. If heat or dehumidifiers are not available, open all doors and windows to encourage air circulation. Depending on conditions, the drying process can take from a week or two to several months.

Testing the Moisture Content
The use of a moisture meter is the easiest way to determine moisture content. Panels are dry when the moisture content is 15 percent or less, and usually safe from the threat of decay when 20 percent or less.
Most general contractors and flooring installers have meters. They can also be ordered from a contractor supply or hardware store. Mud may contain sewage or micro-organisms. To minimize the possibility of odor problems, hose out all wall cavities and connection joints, such as between wall studs and bottom plates. Other common causes of odor are mold and mildew. To minimize this potential, thoroughly dry all concealed spaces.

Appearance Characteristics After Drying Out
Panels won’t look as good as new, but they should be serviceable. Because they are a wood product, both plywood and OSB will swell, especially around the edges, and the surface will become uneven. Localized blistering of plywood may be evident. (Raised or blistered veneer over knotholes and core gaps in the outer veneer of plywood are not delamination. A core gap is an open veneer joint extending partially or completely through the interior of a panel.)

What About Buckling?
Floor panels may have expanded and buckled out of plane between supports. There are two ways your contractor can remedy buckling:

1. First, run a circular saw (set to the panel thickness) along the panel joints. This is called “kerfing,” and will help relieve the pressure that causes buckling. If tongue-and-groove edges are cut, they must be blocked from underneath, or a layer of APA underlayment must be installed over the top with the underlayment joints offset from the subfloor joints. However, kerfing and drying may not completely remedy buckling.

2. The second remedy involves installing blocking under the buckled portions of the floor to push the panels flat again:
a. Enter your house’s crawlspace or basement.
b. Identify the buckled area from underneath and measure the distance between the two joists that support the buckled floor section.
c. Cut a piece of lumber that is the same dimension as the floor joists (i.e.: a 2x10 joist. Cut a “block” from another 2x10).
d. Nail this support block to joists underneath the swollen panel joint.
e. Go upstairs and “push” the panel flat again by nailing it to the block underneath.

Prevent Floor Squeaks
One source of floor squeaks may be a loose space created around nails in the floor panels. This is a result of the swelling and shrinking the panels experience in the wet/dry cycle. To combat floor squeaks, re-nail with ring-shank nails after the panels and lumber are dry. Squeaks may also arise in the cross-blocking or bridging between floor joists and between walls and floors. Precautionary re-nailing at those points may be advisable if they will be inaccessible after the renovation.

How To Tell If Plywood Is Delaminated
Delamination is a separation of the individual “plies” or veneers in plywood. This condition is not common. Dry delaminated floor panels may feel soft or spongy when stepped on. The face ply may appear wrinkled. If you suspect delamination, walk over the areas of concern, after the plywood is dry. Panels with exceptionally soft spots may need replacement. Localized swelling, or blistering over knotholes and core gaps, is not delamination and does not compromise the structural integrity of the panel. If necessary, blisters over knotholes may be repaired by injecting glue under the affected areas. It is also highly unlikely that panels will delaminate at some future time. Subsequent soakings seldom cause additional damage.

# # #
Note: Information herein is intended to provide guidance about the serviceability of wood structural panels after a flood. This piece is not intended to address potential health and indoor air quality concerns that may arise in this circumstance. This type of information is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross. “Repairing Your Flooded Home” is available free from FEMA Publications, P.O. Box 70274, Washington, D.C. 20024. (Extensive damage may require professional services to assess and repair wood construction.)

Other APA References:
Customer Service Tip X501: Assessing Damage after a Flood
Technical Note X485: Condensation – Causes and Control
Technical Note R495: Controlling Decay in Wood Construction
Technical Note R465: Checking in Glued Laminated Timber
Technical Note D481: Buckling of Plywood Sheathing
Technical Note F410: Buckling of Plywood Panel Siding
Technical Note J805: Field Repairs of Plywood
Technical Note L805: Mildew Discoloration of Wood Siding
Research Report Z820: Plywood in Hostile Environments 

Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion. 

Career Center Generates Opportunities in the Wood Industry

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2007-05
DATE: August 8, 2007
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org  

Career Center Generates Opportunities in the Wood Industry

(Tacoma) APA – The Engineered Wood Association's Career Center – a web site that allows users to discover career opportunities in the wood industry throughout North America – continues to grow as the site celebrates its one year anniversary. Job postings for employers are free of charge. The site is located at www.apawood.org/jobs.

APA teamed with its member companies to create the searchable career site. Employment opportunities are broad and include a range of positions: mill machinery operators, business management, engineers, scientists, marketing experts, support staff and many others. Industries served include engineered wood products, mill maintenance, project engineering, and pulp/paper.

"The Career Center was created to provide a simple tool for users to search for job opportunities in the wood industry, as well as for employers to post job listings and expand their pool of talented candidates," said LaDauna Wilson, APA Web Coordinator.

For students and others interested in the wood industry, there are now links to 16 major colleges and universities in North America that offer programs related to forestry, science, technology and business practices for wood products.

Companies may post job openings for up to 90 days. Each employer posting includes a link to the corporate web site, applicant instructions with 20 job categories to choose from.


###

APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion. 

Construction Underway on GreenHaus Builders’ Next Green Home

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kevin.Hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: June 26, 2008
Number: 2008-09

Construction Underway on GreenHaus Builders’ Next Green Home

(TACOMA) – The ground has broken on Houston’s next certified green residence, a 3,000 square foot, traditional style, two-story home that will meet national and local green certification standards for design and construction. The home will also serve as a demonstration for professionals interested in engineered wood products and applications and how green building translates from the drawing board into a certified home.

Michael Strong, a principal with GreenHaus Builders has tentatively scheduled the first open house for July 14 to showcase the raised wood floor system. Partnering with Strong are APA, The Southern Pine Council (SPC) and a number of engineered wood manufacturers.

Strong, winner of the 2008 Green Building Advocate of the Year from the National Association of Home Builders, built Houston’s first LEED Gold Home. Widely known for innovative building practices, he has embraced raised wood floor construction.

“The expansive soils in Houston are notoriously rough on slab foundations,” said Strong. “We are using a pier and beam foundation with the wood floors on top. This foundation type is less susceptible to movement and cracking,” he added. “The use of piers makes leveling and repairs very simple.”

Raised wood floors offer several advantages over slab foundations. The system provides an extended living space with a porch out front and a deck off the back, easy home improvements when modifying utilities, natural isolation from moisture and insect sources at ground level, reduced risk of flood damage and greater joint comfort for an aging population worried about knee, ankle and back pain.

Strong will open the house at various stages throughout the construction process to discuss additional topics such as wind resistant wall framing and cladding, moisture control and durability and energy efficiency.

The SPC is adding to the overall awareness through an extensive consumer advertising commitment. Houston’s CBS affiliate, KHOU, will follow the home’s progress through a series of live segments on its morning show, Great Day Houston. Strong will also promote the home on his weekly radio show, Home Improvement Hotline.

In addition, APA has created a website to track the progress of this and other Gulf Coast demonstration projects. Visit www.e3house.org for more information.

###

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Dealers Help Simplify Code Compliance

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2006-2
DATE: May 21, 2006
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

Dealers Help Simplify Code Compliance

(Tacoma) Thanks to an enterprising distributor in Georgia, bracing narrow garage walls per code has never been easier.

"Thousands of decisions go into the home building process," said Phil Kramb, president, Material Building Specialties (MBS), Marietta, Georgia. "Our company looks for ways to simplify those decisions."

The company recently introduced a line of 'kits' centered on APA - The Engineered Wood Association's code permitted narrow wall bracing method. This site-built, narrow wall bracing method, which has grown in popularity since its introduction in the 2004 International Residential Code Supplement, is used in homes fully sheathed with plywood or OSB. The kit was a natural fit for MBS, which distributes specialized building products such as fasteners, locksets, house wraps, and framing hardware. The idea to offer the kits came to Kramb after getting calls from his lumberyard customers.

"They were asking for 1000 lb. header straps, anchor bolts, plate washers, and epoxy," said Kramb. When told that builders needed the hardware to meet code required narrow wall bracing around the garage opening, Kramb packaged the necessary hardware and fasteners and began offering them to lumberyards. The kits are available for one, two, or three car garages. Kramb includes APA's one-page builder tip for narrow wall bracing, which illustrates corner details, foundation anchorage, top plate connections, nailing schedules and sheathing details.

One of the largest yards in the area, Plymart, worked with MBS to train Plymart's sales staff on the narrow wall bracing method.

"Code Officials were flagging builders for improper wall construction on the garage," said Kramb.

For Kramb, it's all about product pull-through. "The more ways I can package my products to address specific problems, the more products I can sell, the happier I can make those customers."

# # #

Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

Engineered Wood Construction Guide Now Available

For Release: Immediately 
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA
Email: Kevin.Hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: September 28, 2007 
Number: 2007-07

Engineered Wood Construction Guide Now Available

(Tacoma) APA has issued the 2007 “Engineered Wood Construction Guide”, the major reference manual for using engineered wood products in residential and commercial construction.

The biennial publication provides recommendations for floor, wall, and roof construction, along with specifications for glulam, I-joists, wood structural panels, rim board and a new section on structural composite lumber. This section provides product descriptions for laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), laminated strand lumber (LSL) and oriented strand lumber (OSL). Engineering principles behind diaphragms and shear walls, fire-resistant construction systems, wind-resistive roofs, and noise transmission control, are also discussed. The 2007 edition includes several revised design tables including expanded recommendations for using APA plywood underlayment.

APA offers the guide online in its entirety or as sections covering floor, wall and roof construction. Visit the Publications Library at APA’s Web site: www.apawood.org. Registration is free.
Other options for ordering:
Single copies are $8.00, request form # E30.
• Mail: APA Publications Department,
 7011 S. 19th, Tacoma, Washington, 98466
• Email: lit.orders@apawood.org
• Fax: (253) 565-7265

# # #

Ed Note: for a high res image of the publication email kevin.hayes@apawood.org
Founded in 1933, APA (formerly the American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

Improperly Labeled Scaffolding Planks Imported From China Fail To Meet U.S. Standards

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes
Email: Kevin.hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7413
Date: March 26, 2008
Number: 2008-03

Improperly Labeled Scaffolding Planks Imported From China Fail To Meet U.S. Standards

(TACOMA) – Non-certified Chinese laminated veneer lumber (LVL) used as scaffolding planks failed to meet the design property embossed on the product after APA put several samples through mechanical evaluations. The results are summarized in APA’s Product Advisory, Imported Chinese LVL Scaffold Plank, available online at apawood.org.

"This does raise concern for life safety issues,” said Dr. Borjen Yeh, Director of Technical Services for APA. Even though the sample size was limited, the performance of the tested planks was substantially below the value proclaimed by the manufacturer and therefore end users are advised to be wary of all non-certified product.

Earlier this year APA evaluated LVL scaffold planks imported into the U.S. from China to compare the adhesive and mechanical properties relative to similar products manufactured in the U.S. and Canada. The planks were labeled 2.2E which means they should have a modulus of elasticity (MOE) of 2.2 million pounds per square inch (psi). (MOE is a measure of stiffness under load.) The 30 test specimens averaged 1.8 million psi, which is about 20% below the proclaimed value.  Based on the strength test results, the allowable bending strength is 2,100 psi, which is nearly 30 percent less than domestic LVL planks of comparable (2.2E) grade.

In two adhesive durability tests, the imported LVL planks did not meet U.S. Voluntary Product Standard PS 1 for glue bond durability. The delamination results indicated that the panels were probably manufactured with waterproof adhesives but the glue bond quality was inconsistent.

In addition to their poor strength and durability performance, the tested samples did not bear the mark of an independent certification agency.  According to the OSHA scaffold plank regulations and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A10.8 Standard for scaffolding safety, “all laminated scaffold shall bear the seal of an independent nationally recognized agency certifying compliance with the design criteria referenced in the standard.”

The LVL scaffold tests come on the heels of last year’s imported concrete forming panel tests. APA tested the strength, adhesive durability and formaldehyde emissivity of Chinese overlaid concrete forming panels and found that they did not meet the standards set forth in PS 1. The Product Advisory, Imported Chinese LVL Scaffold Plank (Form No. SP-1139) as well as a summary of concrete forming panel tests may be found on APA’s web site, apawood.org.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Minnesota Vacancy Filled

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2006-5
DATE: May 22, 2006
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org

Minnesota Vacancy Filled

A vacancy in the Minnesota territory of the APA Field Services Division was filled recently with the hiring of Engineered Wood Specialist Tom Milton, formerly a longtime instructor with the University of Minnesota's Extension Service. Milton holds a master's degree in wood science and brings a wealth of background in wood products marketing and building science to his new position.

APA – The Engineered Wood Association is a nonprofit trade association whose members provide APA Field representatives as a service to industry at no charge. These trained professionals offer guidance in the proper use and application of engineered wood products.

Tom’s primary duties will include conducting educational seminars for builders, architects, engineers, code officials, specifiers, buyers, wholesale & retail distributors, and government.

He resides in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Phone: 763-496-1024
Cell: 763-439-2081
tom.milton@apawood.org

# # #

Founded in 1933, APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

New Energy, Bracing and Wall Sheathing Publications from APA

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: eNews@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: December 30, 2008
Number: 2008-18

New Energy, Bracing and Wall Sheathing Publications from APA

(TACOMA) – APA has published three new brochures for residential and light commercial contractors. Build Profit with Wood Walls provides an overview of the many considerations – design flexibility, structural capacity, code requirements, green building, reduced callbacks – impacted by the wall sheathing. Build Energy Efficient Walls and Brace Walls with Wood dig deeper into their respective subjects with thoughtful advice and practical solutions to achieve higher performance and economic goals using plywood or OSB sheathing.

“Builders often act as their own architect, engineer, superintendent and code expert,” said Mark Halverson, Eastern Region Field Services Manager. “The choice of wall sheathing, whether they realize it or not, impacts all of the hats they wear.”

The three new publications are part of APA’s system approach to home building. The new brochures will be packaged with geographically specific technical recommendations. For example, builders in high wind zones will benefit from technical publications on uplift and wind pressure. In other cases, information pertaining to seismic loads will be included.

Build Energy Efficient Walls provides the five basic steps to constructing energy-saving wood wall systems that meet code, endure nature’s forces and save homeowners money. Brace Walls with Wood provides guidance on how builders can use wood structural panels to meet code and maximize design flexibility.

To order the publications, visit the Publications Library at APA’s Web site, apawood.org. Registration is free.

Other options for ordering:

  • Mail: APA Publications Department, 7011 S. 19th, Tacoma, Washington, 98466
  • Email: lit.orders@apawood.org
  • Fax: (253) 565-7265

Single copies are $2.00. Request Brace Walls with Wood (form #G440), Build Energy Efficient Walls (form # J440) and Build Profits with Wood Walls (form # J435).

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Lee Industries No Longer A Bridesmaid

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2003-18
DATE: September 2, 2003
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org


A design team from Lee Industries has finally captured the grand prize in the fifth annual APA/udm Under the Covers Upholstered Furniture Design Contest after attaining runner-up status the previous two years.

Receiving Merit awards of $500 each were Bassett Furniture, Woodmark and Brayton International.

The contest, a joint effort of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, udm magazine and a select group of industry sponsors including Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Martco Partnership and International Paper, recognizes innovative upholstered frame design featuring the affordable use of engineered wood materials.

Prior to 2001, Lee Industries had no reason to enter the Under the Covers Contest. Their frames, like many in the industry were composed of solid wood. Norman Coley, son of the founder Bill Coley, could see that the industry was embracing new production techniques using engineered wood panels and CNC routers. His dad, however, was unconvinced.

“My dad started the company and he decided that conventional solid wood was better than plywood so, between us, we had a little competition,” said Coley.

Choosing one design, Norm constructed a frame from 7/8” frame-grade plywood, while his father constructed one from 5/4" hardwood lumber. They had the frames tested for strength and the engineered wood frame won hands down. Today Lee Industries fabricates 65 percent of their furniture frames from engineered wood panels. Coley reports that they typically use seven-ply panels with three parallel inner plies for maximum cutting efficiency and strength.

Frame Symposium a hit with manufacturers

Seeking to expand their knowledge of frame design and production, more than 85 people representing 38 companies attended the APA/udm Frame Symposium held in conjunction with the Under the Covers awards reception in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fifteen of the udm Top 50 upholstered furniture manufacturers were in attendance, including Broyhill, Ashley Furniture, Thomasville, Barcalounger, Norwalk, and Southern Furniture.

The day-long symposium included presentations on CAD design, frame testing, CNC techniques, joinery and engineered wood materials.

“We learned a great deal from the designers, particularly Lewis Mabon, who gave an outstanding presentation on the use and capabilities of 3D software,” said Frank Jenkins, Senior Engineer for Broyhill Furniture Industries, Inc.

Encouraged by the positive response, organizers are looking into another symposium mid 2004.

“We have had requests to bring a symposium down south, so we are going to explore some of the options,” said Mark Halverson, Eastern Regional Manager for APA.

# # #
APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

Glulam Trusses Take Center Stage

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2003-12
DATE: June 27, 2003
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org


Breathtaking exposed glulam trusses are the featured performers in a new APA – The Engineered Wood Association case study of The Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas.

The new 131,000-sq.-ft. community events center in Town Lake Park represents a marriage of construction materials led by the design adaptive glulam trusses for the roof canopy. The dramatic, exposed wood roof canopy also features laminated wood decking and OSB roof sheathing. The unique, asymmetrical design gives the center the “pavilion in the park” look that citizen groups desired.

To order the publication:

  • Mail: P.O. Box 11700, Tacoma, Washington, 98411-0700
  • Single copies are $0.50, request form # EWS C120
  • Email: litorders@apawood.org
  • Fax: (253) 620-7233
  • Free pdf downloads are available online at www.apawood.org

# # #
APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

City Of Houston Approves First Residential Closed Crawl Space

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: eNews@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 25, 2008
Number: 2008-17

City Of Houston Approves First Residential Closed Crawl Space

Crawl space systems, with NO vents to the outside, can provide greatly improved moisture control and significant energy savings.

(HOUSTON) – GreenHaus Builders became the first Houston builder to gain approval for a sealed, conditioned crawl space in a residential structure in the nation’s fourth largest city. Owner Michael Strong, builder of Houston’s only LEED Gold Certified home and ardent green building advocate, believes this type of foundation will become common practice, especially in the hot and humid south.

“I try to educate my customers on the latest green technologies that fit their design criteria and budgets,” said Strong. “The homeowners for the current project really embraced the concept of healthy indoor air and reduced energy consumption. The conditioned crawl space was a natural fit with the raised wood floors we had already installed,” he added.

On December 10, 2008 Advanced Energy, a non-profit company focused on applied building science, will present a free seminar on closed crawl spaces to Houston builders and designers. In conjunction, APA, a non-profit trade association, will lead a session on moisture management in the building envelope. The classroom then shifts to Strong’s jobsite, where attendees will see the closed crawl space and various moisture control measures installed. Strong is midway through constructing a 3,000 square foot traditional style wood-framed house that has a preliminary LEED Silver rating. The two-story, four-bedroom home is also serving as a demonstration project for APA, the Southern Pine Council and many of their member companies to showcase raised wood floors, green building applications, engineered wood and southern pine product choices.

The key components of a closed crawl space system work in tandem to control the variety of water sources that affect crawl spaces:

•    Exterior water management prevents intrusion of liquid water
•    Air sealed walls minimize the entry of humid outside air
•    Vapor retarders minimize the evaporation of water from the ground or perimeter wall
•    Mechanical drying systems provide ongoing, active removal of water vapor
•    Drains or pumps remove water coming from plumbing leaks or floods

Getting through the code hurdles was not an easy task.

“The city officials were unfamiliar with closed crawl space strategies and asked numerous questions,” said Frank Aranza, Senior Account Manager for Dow Building Solutions. “We made some modifications to our previous crawl space detail.” The full strategy includes proper grading to low points, a covering of heavy grade polyethylene that runs 12-inches up the CMU block walls, and two-inch thick rigid insulation mechanically fastened to the CMU perimeter. Three-inch gaps at the bottom and top of the rigid insulation will allow for pest inspections and the rim cavity will receive spray-foam insulation to minimize air loss.

Advanced Energy studies also indicate that closed crawl spaces offer significant energy savings. For the 12 months analyzed, the floor-insulated closed crawl space houses used an average of 15 percent less energy for space conditioning than the control houses. The wall-insulated closed crawl space houses used on average 18 percent less energy than the control houses over the same 12-month period.

Visit apawood.org to register for the seminar event which includes lunch at the jobsite.

###

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA, Allies Increase Structural Options, Energy Efficiency at Code Hearings

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: eNews@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: October 14, 2008
Number: 2008-14

APA, Allies Increase Structural Options, Energy Efficiency at Code Hearings

(TACOMA) – APA worked closely with allied industry groups to expand bracing options for builders using wood structural panels and produced the single largest increase in energy efficiency in code development history at the recently concluded International Code Council (ICC) Final Action Hearings in Minneapolis. These results will appear in the 2009 ICC code books.

Major structural changes included the adoption of new length requirements for continuously sheathed brace wall lines greater than 10 feet tall. Previously, code did not specifically permit continuously sheathed walls greater than 10 feet tall. In addition, narrow braced wall segments can now be stacked in a building. Updates to the residential code were made to ensure the proper thickness and attachment schedules for wood structural panel sheathing were used on exterior walls in high wind regions. In addition, code officials approved an exemption that permits the use of wood poles as cell phone antennas up to 75 feet tall. 

“Changes made by, or supported by, APA to the International family of codes removed numerous road blocks to the use of engineered wood building materials in modern construction, as well as providing the builders with a broad range of structurally competent solutions to common problems,” said APA’s Ed Keith, P.E., manager of codes and engineering. “Additional changes were added that provided further protections for the potential owner of homes constructed to the 2009 codes.  APA attributes their accomplishments to a policy of consensus building with a broad range of industry organizations, consumer groups, builders, and building officials. 

Energy Front

“The Advanced Building Coalition (ABC) working with the Department of Energy and the Northwest Energy Group played a significant role in bringing about the single greatest increase in energy efficiency in both the Energy Conservation Code and the Residential Code, thus working to keep the residential energy and the energy conservation codes aligned,” said Mark Halverson, APA’s Eastern regional manager. “APA is proud to be a charter member of ABC. Another competing interest group, the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC), submitted changes in an attempt to encourage federal intervention into the process. ABC opposes bypassing the ICC consensus process through politics, which would be harmful to both the ICC and authority of local jurisdictions,” he added. 

The most significant energy changes were related to duct testing, high efficiency lighting, air sealing, and window U-factors in the south central U.S. APA supported the ABC which worked to pass cost-effective energy proposals while defeating an assortment of proposals submitted by EECC. Their “30% Solution,” which provided excessive energy code advantages for various insulation and glass products, was defeated along with another EECC proposal to remove the energy code completely from the International Residential Code (IRC).

ABC’s 30% Plus Vision platform supports additional increases in the two energy codes by 2012. These future code changes will add additional stringency to energy savings while also properly addressing life safety, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility in a usable code.

###


ABC is a broad group of building component manufacturers and other interested parties whose objective is to promote significantly increased building energy efficiency, sustainability, and other improvements in buildings. Contact ABCoalition@mac.com for more information.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA, ICC Lateral Bracing Guide Explains Application of 2009 IRC

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 4, 2009
Number: 2009-07

APA, ICC Lateral Bracing Guide Explains Application of 2009 IRC

A Guide to the 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions explains how to use the International Residential Code (IRC) to provide the bracing necessary for a residential structure to resist the lateral loads that can result from wind and seismic events. The new, illustrated guide, developed to improve understanding and application of the 2009 IRC lateral bracing requirements, is now available for purchase from the ICC store. The publication is the result of a publishing agreement between the International Code Council (ICC) and APA --The Engineered Wood Association.

Bracing is one of the most critical, yet most misunderstood, safety elements in one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses constructed under the IRC,” said Mark A. Johnson, the Code Council’s Senior Vice President of Business and Product Development. “A Guide to the 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions brought together the best technical resources from the Council and APA to develop this important publication for building safety. Inspectors, plan checkers, builders, designers and others involved in residential construction will find this guide is a very helpful resource.”

The IRC contains numerous prescriptive lateral bracing provisions. The type and amount of bracing required for a given residential structure are contingent on many factors, including location of the structure, size, bracing locations within the structure, and more. Bracing must be applied correctly and consistently to sufficiently protect the building from lateral loads, according to the Council and APA. This guide address all IRC-approved wall bracing methods, including wood structural panel sheathing with plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) panels.

“The IRC bracing requirements are a common source of confusion and misapplication,” said Ed Keith, Senior Engineer for the APA Technical Services Division, who co-authored the book with APA Engineered Wood Specialist Greg Bates. “In some parts of the country, where the IRC has not been previously adopted, the 2009 IRC will be the first time many builders, designers and code enforcement personnel have been exposed to wall bracing requirements. In this book, we demystify the prescriptive bracing provisions.”

A Guide to the 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions addresses bracing options available to the builder/designer, the amount of bracing required with adjustments and variations, rules for the use of bracing, whole house bracing considerations and many other related topics. The full-color book features numerous specific examples and more than 200 figures, tables and photos.

Although some content was adopted from the previous edition, A Guide to the 2006 IRC Wood Wall Bracing, Keith noted the book was rewritten extensively to reflect the 2009 IRC provision’s significant changes in organization, scope and detail. “Those familiar with bracing from earlier editions of the IRC may be surprised to find that the 2009 bracing requirements are considerably different, he said. “The provisions are now based on real engineering principles and the user is provided many different choices and opportunities to tailor the bracing to meet both the structural and architectural requirements of the designer and owner.”

The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

A Guide to the 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions (Product #7102S09) is available for purchase for $41.00 ($33.00 for ICC members) from the ICC store. View the ICC informational flyer for additional information.

SILPRO Products Provide New Installation Options for I-joists

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 14, 2009
Number: 2009-01

SILPRO Products Provide New Installation Options for I-joists

(TACOMA) – A new system designed to insulate, improve installation efficiency, provide additional safety, and increase vertical and lateral load support for I-joists is now on the market. Developed by SILPRO LLC, the I CHOICE™ System encompasses a series of products called I CHOICE™ Rim Board, I CHOICE™ Support Block, and I CHOICE™ Insulated Blocking Panel.

“These products make installation so much easier,” said Comer Brown, SILPRO president. “This system eliminates the need for measuring and marking I-joist locations on the plates and then projecting those markings on the rim board. It also creates a highly efficient time-saving method of insulating the perimeter of a floor.”

The system features three components:

  • I CHOICE™ Rim Board is a pre-machined perimeter wood rim board with pre-located modular recessed receptacles shaped to match the end cross-section of a specific wood I-joist. The “locking” concept of the receptacle eliminates repetitive measurement for joist location, resists I-joist roll-over from lateral forces during and after sub-floor attachment, provides exact vertical I-joist alignment, offers a reduction in installation time, and lowers total in-place cost.
  • I CHOICE™ Support Block is a prefabricated machined I-joist side profiled multi-purpose wood component engineered to provide vertical load support, assure I-joist integrity, increase web support, and serve as an I-joist end-attachment platform for securing other building components such as Rim Board to cantilevered joists or sub-fascia to rafter tails. Unlike conventional “squash blocks”, attachment of the Support Block to the wood I-joist is made through the web instead of the flanges, thus preserving the integrity of the flanges.
  • I CHOICE™ Insulated Blocking Panel is a combination structural wood and foam blocking panel insert that is prefabricated, engineered and designed to insulate and block the perimeter of the floor between the ends of wood I-joists inside the Rim Board. It is available with profiled corners for standard applications between I-joists, or with flanged side edges for high load applications to be used in conjunction with I CHOICE™ Support Blocks. The product has excellent insulating qualities and provides an easy one-step installation that offers multiple benefits.

The Insulated Blocking Panel and Support Block utilize reclaimed trims and waste from engineered wood panel manufacturing which might help builders qualify for green rating points.

APA has an exclusive agreement with SILPRO LLC for the licensing of the I CHOICE™ products to APA member manufacturers and, via its members, to remanufacturers.

“We are delighted and proud to be affiliated with APA,” said Comer Brown. “It’s a world-class organization with a long history and outstanding reputation in engineered wood products testing, certification, application research and marketing services.”

SILPRO products are available from Pasquier Panel Products out of Sumner, Washington, an approved supplier to many of the nation’s top 500 original equipment manufacturers. Pasquier specializes in the fabrication of all West Coast and Pacific Rim panel species: plywood, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, hardboard and composites.


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SILPRO LLC was founded in 2004 by long-time wood products and construction industry innovators Comer Brown and Larry Brown (no relation). SILPRO’s Comer Brown spent 38 years with Boise Cascade in production, retail and wholesale management. Larry Brown, the company’s vice president, has more than 35 years of experience in material specification, home design, onsite building supervision and manufactured housing. 

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Southern Pine Framing Builds a Better Home

Southern Pine Council News Release
DATE: February 18, 2002
CONTACT: Cathy Kaake, P.E.: 504/443-4464; ckaake@sfpa.org

Southern Pine, the strongest structural lumber species for engineered and framing applications, is prominently featured throughout the newly opened four-bedroom demonstration house, built on the grounds of the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. Southern Pine finger-jointed lumber was used for the wall studs, and machine stress rated (MSR) lumber was used for the engineered roof trusses.

Finger-jointed lumber is manufactured using kiln-dried trims from sawmill operations. Defects are removed and finger-joints are cut into each end, then a structural adhesive is applied and pieces are joined together under pressure. The result is an environmentally friendly product, plus a dimensionally stable, straight wall stud. These studs save the builder time and money by reducing waste. Finger-jointed lumber is interchangeable with solid-sawn lumber, and is accepted by all major U.S. code organizations. Southern Pine finger-jointed studs are most commonly available in lengths of 92-5/8”, 96”, 104-5/8” and 108”. Rigid quality control procedures are monitored by certified grading agencies.

For the Madison home, 2x6 Southern Pine finger-jointed studs, supplied by New South, Inc., were used for the exterior walls. With the added capacity for insulation, a rating of R-20 was achieved, exceeding the Wisconsin Energy Code. Interior walls used 2x4 Southern Pine finger-jointed studs, supplied by Georgia-Pacific Corporation.

The distinctive roofline of the home was achieved using engineered trusses, built of 2x4 and 2x6 Southern Pine machine stress rated (MSR) lumber. Trusses simplified construction of the vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom, and reduced overall construction time. The open-web design of a truss expedited installation of HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems, too.

In addition to visual grading, MSR lumber undergoes machine grading to determine stiffness and bending properties. The result is a highly predictable, uniform piece of lumber ideally suited for demanding structural applications. MSR lumber assures the performance and reliability of engineered components such as trusses.

For the Madison project, MSR lumber used in roof trusses was supplied by Georgia-Pacific Corporation.

For more information about this unique research demonstration house, visit www.buildabetterhome.org. A tour of the home can be arranged by contacting Karen Martinson at FPL, 608-231-9450 (e-mail: klmarti3@facstaff.wisc.edu).

The Southern Pine Council (SPC), one of the project partners in the Madison home, offers additional information about using Southern Pine products for structural applications. Online, visit www.southernpine.com for more information. Request a free copy of “Southern Pine Finger-Jointed Studs” (ask for publication #212). Direct inquiries to: SPC, Box 641700, Kenner, LA 70064. Phone 504/443-4464 or FAX: 504/443-6612; e-mail: info@southernpine.com.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Digital photographs of this home’s construction showing details of the finger-jointed studs and trusses are available upon request. Contact Richard Wallace at 504/443-4464; e-mail: rwallace@sfpa.org.

The Southern Pine Council (SPC) is a joint promotional body coordinated and supported by producing members of the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) and the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA). Both associations represent manufacturers of Southern Pine lumber. P.O. Box 641700 Kenner, LA 70064 • 504/443-4464 FAX: 504/443-6612

www.southernpine.com

Performance Panels a Bargain Amid Soaring Material Prices

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kevin.Hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: July 14, 2008
Number: 2008-10

Performance Panels a Bargain Amid Soaring Material Prices

Recent price trends for wood, steel and concrete(TACOMA) – While the cost of industrial materials in the U.S. continues to climb, one material – wood – remains a smart investment for the savvy professional. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last four years, prices for plastic resins and materials are up 51 percent, fabricated steel is up 49 percent, aluminum is up 38 percent, and corrugated containers are up 24 percent. Wood products on the other hand have declined six percent.

“Performance Panels continue to be a great value, especially in industrial applications where end users face the dilemma of higher costs and in some cases product scarcity,” said Dennis Hardman, president of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, Washington. The market for structural wood products benefit from a large domestic production and distribution network.

“Performance Panels are ideally suited for furniture, pallets, signs, containers, reels and mezzanine floors,” said Hardman. Structural plywood and OSB are excellent values, Hardman said, because of their numerous performance advantages, including strength and stiffness (pound for pound wood is stronger than steel), phytosanitary and formaldehyde exemptions, high impact resistance, workability and proven durability in all kinds of climates.

Another important consideration that deserves greater weight in environmental debates, Hardman said, is the long-term effects of raw material extraction and manufacture.

“If we view the full life-cycle from cradle to grave, wood products have no equal,” said Hardman. North American forest growth continues to exceed timber harvests by a wide margin. Technological advances have increased the industrial output per unit of wood 40 percent in the last 50 years. Hardman also pointed out that wood products are the only renewable, recyclable industrial material and compare favorably with non-wood products based on such environmental criteria as embodied energy and emissions of carbon dioxide.

“Trees are generated by solar energy, create oxygen and consume carbon dioxide as they mature.  According to one study wood products make up 47 percent of the industrial raw materials manufactured in the U.S. yet consume only four percent of the energy required to produce those materials. And once wood is converted into products, that carbon is stored. When the product’s useful life is over, nearly all the wood can be recycled,” he added.
 
Structural engineered wood product formaldehyde emissions are so low that the products are exempt from U.S. HUD and California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde regulations. For more information visit http://www.performancepanels.com/

For a high-resolution PDF of the recent price trends for wood, metal, corrugated containers, plastic and aluminum click here.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Tips for Better Floor Construction Available

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: 2003-10
DATE: June 25, 2003
CONTACT: Kevin Hayes, Phone:(253) 620-7445, E-mail: kevin.hayes@apawood.org


APA – The Engineered Wood Association has issued two revised Builder Tips, which provide specific details on material selection and installation techniques to greatly improve the quality of floor construction.

Steps to Construct a Solid, Squeak-Free Floor System” offers guidelines for:

  • Sheathing selection based on the type of finish material used
  • Fastener types and recommended spacing
  • Adhesive selection and application

Rim Board Installation and Connection Details” includes step-by-step instructions and diagrams to facilitate the correct use of materials. The rim board brochure offers guidance on proper installation, an essential component of the structural integrity of the building.

To order the publications:

  • Mail: P.O. Box 11700, Tacoma, Washington, 98411-0700
  • Single copies are $0.10 each, request “Steps to Construct a Solid, Squeak-Free Floor System” form # Q300 L; “Rim Board Installation and Connection Details” #Z730 B
  • Email: litorders@apawood.org
  • Fax: (253) 620-7233
  • Free pdf downloads are available online at www.apawood.org

# # #
APA - The Engineered Wood Association (formerly American Plywood Association) is a nonprofit trade association whose domestic and international members produce a variety of engineered wood products. APA's primary functions are quality inspection and testing, applied research and product promotion.

Structural Wood Products A Bargain Amid Soaring Material Prices

APA Media Center News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Kevin Hayes, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kevin.Hayes@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7445
Date: July 8, 2008
Number: 2008-10

Structural Wood Products A Bargain Amid Soaring Material Prices

Recent price trends for wood, steel and concrete(TACOMA) – While the cost of construction in the U.S. continues to climb, one building material – wood – remains a smart investment for the savvy professional. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last four years, steel products have doubled in price and concrete products are up 35 percent while wood products have declined six percent.

“Structural wood products continue to be a great value, especially in commercial applications where end users face the dilemma of higher costs and in some cases product scarcity,” said Dennis Hardman, president of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, Washington.

McGraw-Hill noted that as of June, steel prices are back into “crisis mode” as the 20-city average is up nearly 15 percent over last year for three types of structural steel and grade-60 rebar. A surge in scrap metal prices and lack of imports are blamed for the latest crisis.  This is in sharp contrast to the market for structural wood products, which benefit from a large domestic production and distribution network.

“Wood is ideally suited for low-rise commercial buildings such as resorts, mixed-use offices, schools, healthcare, senior living facilities and adaptive re-use,” said Hardman. Structural plywood,  OSB, wood I-joists, glulam beams and dimension lumber also are excellent values, Hardman said, because of their numerous performance advantages, including strength and stiffness (pound for pound wood is stronger than steel), superior performance as a nail base for finish siding materials, high impact resistance, ease of installation and proven durability in all kinds of climates.

Another important consideration that deserves greater weight in environmental debates, Hardman said, is the long-term effects of raw material extraction and manufacture.

“If we view the full life-cycle from cradle to grave, wood products have no equal,” said Hardman. North American forest growth continues to exceed timber harvests by a wide margin. Technological advances have increased the industrial output per unit of wood 40 percent in the last 50 years. Hardman also pointed out that wood products are the only renewable, recyclable structural building material and compare favorably with non-wood products based on such environmental criteria as embodied energy and emissions of carbon dioxide.

“Trees are generated by solar energy, create oxygen and consume carbon dioxide as they mature.  To convert the raw wood fiber into useable building products requires only seven percent of the energy required for steel production and 20 percent of the energy required for cement production. And once wood is converted into building products, that carbon is stored. When the building’s useful life is over, nearly all the wood can be recycled,” he added.
 
Structural engineered wood product formaldehyde emissions are so low that the products are exempt from U.S. HUD and California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde regulations.

For a high-resolution graphic displaying the recent price trends for wood, steel and concrete click here.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

Structural-Use Panels and 303 Siding Receive Evaluation Report from ICC-ES

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: eNews@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 17, 2008
Number: 2008-16

Structural-Use Panels and 303 Siding Receive Evaluation Report from ICC-ES

(TACOMA) – Structural-use panels, including Sturd-I-Floor, Rated Sheathing and 303 Siding manufactured by APA’s members, received an evaluation report (ESR-2586) from ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES). APA’s previous report, referred to as a legacy report for structural-use panels, was folded into this new report.

Building officials, architects, contractors, specifiers, designers and others utilize the ICC-ES Evaluation Reports to provide a basis for using or approving structural-use panels in construction projects following  model building code requirements.

“APA and its members can now reference the evaluation report to ensure building officials and the building industry that structural-use panels meet I-Code requirements,” said John Nosse, ICC-ES President. “Building departments have a long history of using evaluation reports, and ICC-ES operates as a technical resource for the building department.” 

ICC-ES thoroughly examined APA’s product information, test reports, calculations, quality control methods and other factors to ensure the product is code compliant. “APA is considered the voice of the engineered wood industry and the leading source of technical information on structural-use panels used in floor, wall, and roof construction and siding applications,” said Dr. BJ Yeh, Director of Technical Services for APA.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Wood Construction Nets $2.7M Savings for Arkansas School District

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: eNews@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: December 31, 2008
Number: 2008-19

Wood Construction Nets $2.7M Savings for Arkansas School District

New middle school part of $10 million campus renovation

Christmas came wrapped in wood for the Fountain Lake School District in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  

A bid for a campus renovation including the construction of a new wood-framed middle school and improvements to the existing high school, among other projects, came in at roughly $100 per square foot for the 63,362 square foot project. Compared to the preliminary estimates for a concrete and steel building at $142 per square foot, the changeover to wood saved the school district nearly $2.7 million.

"The timing could not have worked out any better," said school board member Bruce Westerman, an engineer with Mid-South Engineering Company who is acting liaison between the district and the construction manager. "Now that bids are approved, work will begin in early January."

The project’s construction manager, Nabholz Construction, sent out 16 different bid packages and received roughly 75 competitively priced bids. Even though steel prices have fallen recently, wood still remained the top value proposition. APA’s Ed Underwood, an engineered wood specialist serving the Arkansas market explains why.

“Wood is ideally suited for school construction because of numerous performance advantages, including strength and stiffness (pound for pound wood is stronger than steel), superior performance as a nail base for finish siding and roofing materials, high impact resistance, ease and speed of installation, proven durability in all kinds of climates and it’s a real energy saver. The designer also has many options for using wood within the International Building Code,” said Underwood.

Westerman pointed out that treated fire-retardant wood will not be used in the project. “Some people had expressed concern over fire code issues. APA provided information on how conventional wood meets building codes based on size and occupancy,” said Westerman.

In addition to a wood-frame design, the project features impact resistant gypsum interior walls, a two-tone brick veneer, a metal roof over a tongue-and-groove wood deck and considerable use of exterior glass.  The pitched roof/ceiling of the second floor Library/Media Center will have exposed glulam beams and timber decking.
   
Underwood also noted another important consideration – wood’s environmental footprint. Using sustainably harvested wood in construction is a simple and cost effective way to fight climate change since growing trees absorb carbon and wood products store it.   

In all, the campus project will include, according to Westerman:
• 22 new middle school classrooms
• 4 new middle school special education rooms
• 7 new high school classrooms
• 2 new science labs
• 2 new computer labs
• 2 new art rooms
• 2 new libraries/media centers
• 1 new journalism room
• 35 new offices, work, storage and conference rooms
• 18 new restrooms

The Fountain Lake School District is one of seven K-12 independent school districts in Garland County, Arkansas. The district serves an area of 186 square miles and is located northeast of the city of Hot Springs which supports a year round population of approximately 50,000 people.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Teams with WoodWorks to Overturn Ban on Wood Construction in South Carolina Schools

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 11, 2009
Number: 2009-09

APA Teams with WoodWorks to Overturn Ban on Wood Construction in South Carolina Schools

The South Carolina Public School Facilities Committee voted last month to strike through language in their school construction manual that has prohibited the use of light-frame wood construction for school buildings since the 1960s. Efforts by WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, with assistance from APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bryan Readling, were key to influencing the legislative change that will reduce school construction costs while allowing a broader range of building designs that continue to meet high standards for safety and service life.

Although a tragic school fire in 1923 likely influenced the original legislation restricting wood use, the current committee recognized the International Building Code as being the modern authority on school construction and safety and elected to adopt the code’s language with no significant amendments for Type-III and Type-V construction. Heavy timber construction was already allowed.

“When properly detailed and constructed, wood framed buildings give the school district a facility that meets all International Building Code requirements concerning life safety, while at the same time freeing up budget dollars to be used on needed educational spaces,” said architect Chris Voso, an advisor to the committee. “The decision to remove the restrictions on wood construction in schools (presents) another option for designing schools that meet today's sustainable construction goals in a cost-effective way.”

The overturned ban continues a trend that started last year in Arkansas, where APA’s Ed Underwood worked with APA member Anthony Forest Products, the American Wood Council and the Arkansas Forestry Commission to educate state officials and revise legislation to allow wood construction in Arkansas public schools.

“Arkansas recognized that wood offers a lot of benefits, especially to school districts trying to cope with decreasing budgets and increasing numbers of students,” said Pat Schleisman, PE, regional director of Woodworks Southeast. Schleisman noted that policies prohibitive to wood construction in schools are often based on long-standing misperceptions. “The reality is that wood schools can easily meet the same exacting standards for safety and service life as other materials, but provide much needed advantages related to cost, speed of construction, design flexibility, energy efficiency and sustainability.”

“This change is great for South Carolina school districts, which can now get more school for less money,” added APA’s Bryan Readling, noting that several Arkansas schools -- that were originally designed in steel or concrete -- were converted to wood framing following the legislative change, resulting in significant cost savings. For example:

  • El Dorado High School, 318,000 square feet: wood framing saved $20 per square foot for a total savings of $6,360,000.
  • Newport Elementary School, 125,000 square feet: wood framing saved $21 per square foot for a total savings of $2,625,000.
  • Fountain Lake Middle School, 48,000 square feet: wood framing saved $40 per square foot for a total savings of $1,920,000. (Note: bidding occurred before drop in steel prices.)

WoodWorks, APA and the South Carolina Forestry Association worked together to demonstrate the many advantages of wood schools to the South Carolina Public School Facilities Committee. “We started this process by taking a delegation from the Southeast on a tour of California wood schools—to let people see for themselves the kind of warm and inviting learning environments that can be created while providing all of these other benefits,” said Schleisman. “Wood schools offer excellent performance in earthquakes and high winds, so they’re common in California.”

Ultimately, the benefits of the Public School Facilities Committee ruling are expected to extend well beyond the schools in South Carolina. “This change is also great for the local economy, which is heavily dependent on forestry and wood manufacturing,” stated Readling. According to the South Carolina Forestry Association, 67 percent of the state is forested, and the wood sector is the state’s largest manufacturing employer.

To learn more about wood school design, visit the APA School Design page.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Product Reports Ease Code Approvals

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: eNews@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: September 24, 2008
Number: 2008-12

APA Product Reports Ease Code Approvals

Reports available for panels, siding, structural composite lumber, I-joists and glulam products

(TACOMA) – In an effort to provide industry professionals with current product performance evaluations for engineered wood products, APA Product Reports® are available free of charge at APA's website, www.apawood.org.

“These report evaluations are based on test data and/or analysis that we perform on a regular basis,” said Dr. Borjen Yeh, Director of APA’s technical services division. “This information will help designers, code officials and building professionals determine product conformance with national product standards and building codes,” added Yeh.

Yeh pointed out that APA Product Reports are intended to supplement existing code evaluation reports, and they signify that the product is in compliance with the national building codes.

The 37 APA Product Reports are assigned based on the following product classes:
  • L-Series: Products manufactured from lumber, veneer or other wood base for use as lumber or timber substitutes, such as glulam, I-joists, and structural composite lumber (SCL)
  • N-Series: Products manufactured from non-veneer (mat-formed) substrates, such as oriented strand board (OSB)
  • V-Series: Products manufactured from all veneers, such as plywood
  • C-Series:  Products manufactured from composite substrates, such as hardboards, mixed with at least a veneer lamina

The typical report covers the product’s description, qualifications, design properties, installation recommendations, fire-resistant construction, supporting load tables, span ratings and limitations.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. 

APA Launches Redesigned Website

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: eNews@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: September 15, 2008
Number: 2008-11

APA Launches Redesigned Website

(TACOMA) – After a comprehensive redesign, involving improved navigation and search functionality for publications, products and applications, APA unveiled its new-look website today.

The main site, www.apawood.org, with more than 2000 Google® indexed pages, offers an extensive online compendium pertaining to engineered wood products, which include plywood, OSB, laminated veneer lumber, I-joists, rim board, glued laminated beams and other products.

“We’ve added so much information over the last several years and learned more about how people search that new navigational methods became imperative,” said LaDauna Wilson, APA’s website and publications coordinator. 

In addition to products and applications, the home page menu also encompasses education, media, green topics, a member directory and APA programs. A new quick link allows visitors one-click access to 13 subsidiary sites and popular programs such as Professional Associates, Build a Better Home, Wood University, Performance Panels, Engineered Wood Technology Association and APA CAD. A third home page search option allows users to view specific results in Publications, Member Directory, Products, Applications and News and Events.

APA Sites Meet Demand for Information

Through August 2008 all APA sites have averaged 115,790 unique visitors per month - a 66 percent increase in two years.

“APA’s websites are content-rich,” said Marilyn LeMoine, APA’s market communications director. “We offer thousands of pages of product and design information, plus more than 400 downloadable publications.” APA owns the following 13 URLs, which are updated on a continual basis:

http://www.apawood.org/
Main website, offers more than 400 publications and a wide variety of information on APA members and their products.

http://www.apacad.org/
Home to 173 CAD details available for free download in .DXF, .DWF, .DWG and .PDF formats.

http://www.apahomeprojects.org/
Plans and building information for three Do-It-Yourself outdoor Handy Plans.

http://www.apaijoists.org/
I-joist installation and design guides.

http://www.buildabetterhome.org/
APA’s moisture management program for professionals offers detailed floor, wall and roof assemblies to mitigate moisture intrusion.

http://www.engineeredwood.org/
Engineered Wood Technology Association, APA’s related supplier organization.

http://www.e3house.org/
Showcases the Gulf Coast project homes featuring raised wood floor systems supported by APA and Raised Floor Living.

http://www.freefrommold.org/
Consumer counterpart to Build a Better Home explains how to maintain a moisture-free home.

http://www.glulambeams.org/
Glued laminated timber installation and design guides.

http://www.plywoodpallets.com/
Information on engineered wood pallets.

http://www.wooduniversity.org/
Online education portal, offers three courses covering ten units, accredited for continuing education hours by AIA and AIBD.

http://www.performancepanels.com/
Dedicated to industrial markets and provides information on engineered wood panels used in non-construction applications.

http://www.wallbracing.org/
Code required wall bracing information for designers, builders, engineers and code officials.

Stay Current with APA

To receive up to the minute news and information from APA, visitors have two options.  Within the Media Center visitors can enter their email address by selecting the Email Alert button. From time to time, APA will send press releases, announcements and other pertinent information.

The second option is the Publications Update through the Publications library. This monthly enewsletter contains links to new and recently updated publications. APA requires users to register for access to our publications in PDF format where they are given an option to receive the enewsletter. After completing the quick, one-time registration, users may access APA publications at any time by entering their username (e-mail address) and password. There is no charge for PDF downloads or registration and users may opt-out of the Publications Update at any time. All APA databases remain the property of APA and the information is held in strict confidence.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.


Zylkowski Selected to Succeed Kuchar as APA Quality Services Director

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C6-2003
DATE: March 14, 2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Zylkowski Selected to Succeed Kuchar as APA Quality Services Director
Steven C. Zylkowski, director of Engineered Wood Systems at APA—The Engineered Wood Association, has been appointed director of the Association’s Quality Services Division, effective March 24, succeeding Alex Kuchar.

Kuchar, an APA employee since 1983 and director of Quality Services since 1995, is departing APA to assume a position of OSB Team Leader at Weyerhaeuser Company, Federal Way, Wash. He oversaw development and implementation of APA’s Quality Management System (QMS) and Real Time Quality Assurance (RTQA) programs during his tenure as Quality Services Director.

Zylkowski, who holds a master’s degree in forest products from Oregon State University, joined APA in 1983 as an associate scientist in the Technical Services Division. He was named manager of the Research and Development Department in 1990 and director of Engineered Wood Systems in 1999. The latter position will not immediately be filled when Zylkowski assumes his new position.

APA’s Quality Services Division provides third-party quality assurance services to approximately 135 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist and laminated veneer lumber mills in the U.S., Canada and abroad. The division employs approximately 50 quality assurance experts and operates regional quality testing laboratories in Atlanta, Ga.; Shreveport, La.; Duluth, Minn. and at APA headquarters in Tacoma, Wash.

Founded in 1933, APA also provides market and technical support services to its members.

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ANSI/APA PRP-210 Engineered Wood Siding Standard Approved for Reference in 2012 International Codes

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 3, 2009
Number: 2009-06

ANSI/APA PRP-210 Engineered Wood Siding Standard Approved for Reference in 2012 International Codes

A new American National Standard for engineered wood panel siding, Standard for Performance-Rated Engineered Wood Siding (ANSI/APA PRP-210),  was approved by an ICC committee for acceptance into the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC) at the 2009 Code Development Hearings in Baltimore, MD. The standard was developed by APA under the consensus process of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and was approved for publication by ANSI in December 2008. APA is accredited by ANSI as a standards developer of American national consensus standards that can be recognized by the national building code, regulatory bodies and government agencies.

Based on APA’s PRP-108 Performance Standards and Policies for Structural-Use Panels, ANSI/APA PRP-210 provides requirements and test methods for qualification and quality assurance for performance-rated engineered wood siding intended for use in construction applications as exterior siding. There were previously no American National Standards covering these products. APA served as the secretariat of the Standards Committee that started developing the new standard in December 2007. The committee is comprised of members representing a balanced interest of manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, government, academia and inspection agencies.

The results of the Code Development Hearings, which ran from October 24 through November 11, 2009, are now subject to public comments before final action is taken by the ICC governmental members at the Final Action Hearings on May 14 through 23, 2010 in Dallas, TX for the IBC, and on October 28 through November 1, 2010 in Charlotte, NC for the IRC and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). For more information, refer to APA’s Standards Development page at www.apawood.org/standards.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Weak Housing Market Makes for Structural Wood Panel Bargains

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C9-11
DATE: November 13, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, (253) 620-7413, jack.merry@apawood.org

Weak Housing Market Makes for Structural Wood Panel Bargains

The recent decline in U.S. housing starts has reversed the relationship between the supply of and demand for structural wood panels (plywood and oriented strand board) and other engineered wood products, yielding extremely good bargains for those products compared to the recent past. 

The structural wood panel composite price in October was $260 per thousand square feet, the lowest since April 2003, 3-1/2 years ago, according to data compiled by Eugene, Oregon-based Random Lengths Publications, Inc.  The composite price through the first 10 months of 2006 was $325 per thousand, down more than 20 percent from the 2005 yearly average and down almost 30 percent from 2004. 

“Structural engineered wood products are clearly a great value,” noted Dennis Hardman, president of APA—The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, Washington.  “The soft housing market has had a major moderating effect on demand for the products, and the market has adjusted accordingly,” he said. 

More than half of U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel production is consumed by new residential construction.  According to APA’s latest forecast, U.S. housing starts this year are expected to total 1.87 million, down almost 10 percent from the 2.068 starts in 2005, the second highest ever recorded. 

At the peak of the housing market boom in 2004 and 2005, the structural wood panel industry operated at nearly full capacity in attempt to meet record market demand.  With the housing market now substantially cooled, the forecast is for the industry to operate at closer to 90 percent of capacity, which is near the historical average. 

As a trade association operating in strict accordance with antitrust regulations, APA cannot and does not forecast future prices, Hardman emphasized.  But, he said, “like all commodity markets, engineered wood product price fluctuations are a function of constantly changing supply and demand.” 

That changed relationship during the recent past has produced a very favorable value proposition not only for residential builders, but for users and specifiers of the products in the industry’s other major markets, such as nonresidential construction, remodeling, and industrial applications, Hardman said.  Those markets remain strong compared to housing, he added. 

Structural plywood and OSB also are excellent values, Hardman said, because of their numerous performance advantages, including strength and stiffness (especially important in areas subject to high wind or seismic events), superior performance as a nail base for finish siding materials, high impact resistance, ease of installation, and proven durability in all kinds of climates. 

Those attributes led most residential builders to stick with plywood and oriented strand board even when the cost of the products were substantially higher in 2004 and 2005, according to Hardman.  With the recent cost declines, the industry sees reason to expect that many builders, remodelers, industrial fabricators and others now using alternative materials will switch to structural wood panels.

The environmental merits of engineered wood products, which also include wood I-joists, glulam timber and laminated veneer lumber, are another strong selling point, Hardman noted.  “Engineered wood makes more efficient use of the available resource with little waste,” he said. 

“And in this time of heightened concern about global warming and climate change, wood products compare favorably with non-wood products based on such criteria as embodied energy and emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants during manufacture.  Trees also generate oxygen while storing carbon.  Once they’re converted into building products, that carbon is stored. 

“In addition, due to aggressive replanting and strict forest management practices, North American forest growth continues to exceed timber harvests by a wide margin.  That’s an important consideration that deserves greater weight in the international debate about the long-term environmental effects of raw material extraction and manufacture,” he noted.

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APA is a nonprofit trade association whose U.S. and Canadian members produce plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber.  Its primary functions are quality assurance, applied research, and market support and development. 

Wood Industry Organizations to Merge Tokyo Office

APA Media Center News Release

DATE: February 21, 2003
RELEASE #: C4-2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Wood Industry Organizations to Merge Tokyo Office

Three leading wood products industry organizations have announced plans to combine resources in support of an American Softwood Japan Office (ASJO) in Tokyo.

Each organization—the Softwood Export Council (SEC), Southern Pine Council (SPC), and APA—The Engineered Wood Association—will be a one-third partner in the joint effort, which will combine the product-specific information and promotion functions of all U.S. softwood products.

“Industry consensus was that a combined softwood products office would send a much stronger message to the Japanese marketplace,” said SEC President Craig Larsen.

APA announced in January that it will close its separate office in Tokyo, effective March 10, due to budgetary reasons. The combined office agreement thus helps assure continued promotional and technical support in Japan for North American engineered wood products, APA International Marketing Director Ed Elias said.

Japanese nationals are now being recruited to fill technical representative and program manager positions for the consolidated program. Technical and code activities related specifically to engineered wood products will continue to be handled by Charles Barnes, who has served as APA’s representative in Tokyo for several years. He will office at APA’s headquarters in Tacoma after the Association’s Tokyo office closes. The new ASJO office will be housed in the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office in Tokyo. SEC will be the primary activity coordinator, contract holder and accounting administrator.

The joint office is scheduled to open April 1.

Sixteen Engineered Wood Product Mills Earn Safety Awards

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C4-06
DATE: April 26, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Sixteen Engineered Wood
Product Mills Earn Safety Awards

Sixteen structural engineered wood product mills representing eight companies have taken top honors in the 2005 Mill Safety Competition sponsored by APA—The Engineered Wood Association.

Begun in 1982, the annual contest honors the management and employees of facilities with the lowest incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Awards recognize both annual and three-year average safety performances.

The competition is open to all structural engineered wood product mills in the U.S. and Canada, including plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and specialty products. Nearly 150 facilities participated in the 2005 competition.

A total of 18 awards are given in three categories—Divisional, Three-Year Average Divisional, and Top Ten. Companies earning multiple awards included Georgia-Pacific Corporation (eight), Weyerhaeuser Company (three), and LP (two). Two Georgia-Pacific Company mills—Brookneal, Virginia and Emporia, Virginia—earned two awards each. Other companies earning awards were Anthony Forest Products Co., Boise Cascade Company, Hood Industries, Inc., International Paper Company, and PlyVeneer Products Inc.

The winning facilities will be recognized during APA’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Tex. in October. The awards themselves will be presented personally to representatives of each mill by an APA management representative.


2005 DIVISIONAL WINNERS
Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
PlyVeneer Products Inc., Springfield, Oregon, veneer, 33,486 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
Anthony Forest Product Co., El Dorado, Arkansas, glulam, 211,970 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
LP, Wilmington, North Carolina, laminated veneer lumber, 512,159 hours worked, 0.39 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Emporia, Virginia, plywood, 963,588 hours worked, 0.21 incidence rate.


THREE-YEAR AVERAGE (2003-2005) AWARD WINNERS
Division I – Veneer and Specialty Plants
Boise Cascade Company, White City Veneer, White City, Oregon, veneer, 154,716 hours worked, 2.15 incidence rate

Division II – Under 400,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Brookneal, Virginia, oriented strand board, 257,194 hours worked, 0.26 incidence rate.

Division III – 400,000 to 600,000 Hours
Weyerhaeuser Company, Zwolle, Louisiana, plywood, 597,032 hours worked, 0.67 incidence rate.

Division IV – Over 600,000 Hours
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Emporia, Virginia, plywood, 945,829 hours worked, 0.28 incidence rate..


2005 TOP TEN AWARD WINNERS

  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Brookneal, Virginia, oriented strand board, 257,765 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Simsboro, Louisiana, laminated veneer lumber, 219,350 hours worked, 0.00 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Crossett, Arkansas, oriented strand board, 1,704,860 hours worked, 0.23 incidence rate.
  • Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd., Golden, British Columbia, laminated veneer lumber, 699,263 hours worked, 0.29 incidence rate.
  • Hood Industries, Inc., Wiggins, Mississippi, plywood, 682,855 hour worked, 0.29 incidence rate.
  • International Paper Company, Springhill, Louisiana, plywood, 1,054,803 hours worked, 0.38 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Madison, Georgia, plywood, 997,341 hours worked, 0.40 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Whiteville, North Carolina, plywood, 831,362 hours worked, 0.48 incidence rate.
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Monticello, Georgia, plywood, 771,220 hours worked, 0.52 incidence rate.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company, Grayling, Michigan, oriented strand board, 358,279 hours worked, 0.56 incidence rate.

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Meadow Lake OSB Facility To Join APA—The Engineered Wood Association

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C5-2003
DATE: March 7, 2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Meadow Lake OSB Facility To Join APA—The Engineered Wood Association
Meadow Lake OSB Limited Partnership has selected APA—The Engineered Wood Association to provide third-party quality auditing, as well as technical and market support services, to the partnership’s new oriented strand board (OSB) mill near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

The mill will begin commercial production later this year. It will have an annual production capacity of 600 million square feet (3/8-inch basis), making it one of the largest OSB plants in North America. Tolko Industries Ltd., whose OSB mill in High Prairie, Alberta has been a member of APA since 1995, is one of the partners in the Meadow Lake facility and will manage and operate the OSB mill. Other partners are Meadow Lake Tribal Council Resource Development Inc., Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) OSB Products Inc., and North West Communities Holdings Ltd.

Incorporated in 1961, Tolko Industries produces a variety of lumber, plywood, OSB and specialty kraft paper products for Canadian, U.S. and foreign markets. Based in Vernon, British Columbia, the company employs approximately 2300 people and expects to employ a workforce of about 130 people at the 350,000-square-foot Meadow Lake facility.

“We are pleased to enlist the quality auditing and other services of APA for this new venture,” said Tolko Corporate Services General Manager Bob Patterson. “APA has a long-standing reputation for excellence that is highly supportive of the vision and strategic priorities of both Tolko Industries and the Meadow Lake Partnership.”

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, WA, APA—The Engineered Wood Association is a nonprofit trade association whose U.S. and Canadian members produce plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support services.

Structural Panel, Engineered Wood Production Forecast to Rise

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C7-2003
DATE: April 1, 2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Note to Editors: The annual production and market report on which this release is based will be available to the public via APA’s web site (www.apawood.org) on or about May 1.

Structural Panel, Engineered Wood Production Forecast to Rise
North American structural wood panel (plywood and oriented strand board) production is expected to reach a record-setting 40.8 billion square feet (3/8” basis) this year, up nearly 420 million feet or about one percent from 2002, according to the latest annual five-year forecast by APA—The Engineered Wood Association. Glulam timber, wood I-joist and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) production also is forecast to rise. The forecast is based on the expectation that continued low interest rates will support 1.67 million U.S. housing starts this year, and that the economy will grow about three percent, giving a modest boost to demand in the remodeling, industrial and nonresidential construction markets. Housing starts last year totaled 1.7 million, a 16-year high. The war in Iraq and ongoing threat of terrorist attacks are, of course, wildcards that could have both short and longer-term impacts on demand and production.

Residential construction in the U.S. and Canada combined is forecast to consume 21.4 billion square feet of structural panels, down less than one percent from last year. Residential construction will consume nearly 53 percent of total North American production. The remodeling market is expected to consume 9.2 billion square feet, the industrial market 6.8 billion, and the nonresidential construction market 3.3 billion. The volumes in each of those three markets represent about a three percent increase over last year. International market demand is expected to remain steady at about 700 million square feet. Oriented strand board production is forecast to rise 990 million square feet this year, to 23.7 billion, or 58 percent of total structural wood panel production. Plywood output will decline about 570 million feet, to 17.1 billion square feet.

Introduced around 1980, OSB production matched that of plywood for the first time in 1999 and its share of total North American panel production is expected to continue to rise over the next five years. The vast majority of OSB panels continue to be used in construction and remodeling applications, while plywood dominates the industrial market with an 85 percent share of total structural wood panel demand. Those applications include materials handling, such as pallets, bins and crates; furniture and fixtures; and transportation equipment, such as truck trailer liners.

Engineered wood framing products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber, now represent about five percent of North American structural lumber demand. That share is expected to continue to rise slowly, reaching six percent by 2006.

Glulam production this year is forecast to total 343 million board feet, up about 1.5 percent from last year. New technology and product development efforts, such as glulam made with LVL and synthetic fiber reinforced polymer tension lams, provide a basis for expecting glulam to continue making market share inroads.

Wood I-joist production is expected to reach 1.03 billion linear feet this year, an increase of nearly five percent from 2002. More than 80 percent of I-joist output is used in new residential floor construction, with the balance in nonresidential construction, remodeling and new residential roof and wall applications. Production of laminated veneer lumber, used primarily as headers and beams and as the flanges of I-joists, is forecast to rise nearly seven percent in 2003.

Complete forecast data are contained in APA’s Regional Production and Market Outlook for Structural Panels and Engineered Wood Products, 2003-2008 (Economics Report E69). The annual forecast report contains economic forecast assumptions, market segment analysis and demand data, historical production and capacity data by product category, regional production statistics, export and import figures, and other information. The full report will be available for $175 as a PDF file from APA’s web site at www.apawood.org around May 1.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 140 structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Structural Wood Panel Industry Continues to Gain Wall Sheathing Market Share

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C9-2005
DATE: July 20, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org
Craig Adair, Market Research, Phone (253) 620-7418, E-mail: craig.adair@apawood.org


Structural Wood Panel Industry Continues to Gain Wall Sheathing Market Share

Structural wood panel industry share of the U.S. single-family wall sheathing construction market rose by two percent last year, from 67 to 69 percent, according to data compiled for APA—The Engineered Wood Association by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, Inc.

Market share also rose by one percent in 2003 and has grown from just 51 percent 10 years ago. The growth of OSB and plywood market share runs counter to the belief several months ago that relatively higher prices or availability concerns might erode share. However, growing recognition among builders of the performance benefits of structural wood panels and the successful introduction and promotion of the APA Narrow Wall Bracing Method that helps builders meet new requirements of the International Residential Code (IRC) appear to be driving market share growth.

The APA Narrow Wall Bracing Method (www.apawood.org/bracing) permits builders to use narrower corner bracing than is normally allowed next to openings, such as garage doors, provided the house is fully sheathed with structural wood panels. APA began promoting the method in 2003.

“Builders recognize the value of structural wood panels and more are switching every day,” APA Vice President Dennis Hardman noted. Among the advantages of plywood and OSB wall sheathing appreciated by builders, he said, are the products’ unmatched strength and stiffness properties, particularly in areas subject to high wind or seismic events; superior performance as a nail base for finish siding materials; elimination of the need for let-in bracing; high impact resistance; ease of installation; proven durability in all kinds of climates; and superior noise reduction properties.

Builder recognition of those performance advantages was underscored by a survey conducted by the NAHB Research Center last year that found some 60 percent of builders who fully sheath walls with structural wood panels believe doing so can contribute significantly to reducing customer callbacks. Some 88 percent of survey respondents who fully sheath their homes indicated racking strength under high wind and seismic loads is a distinct advantage of structural wood panel wall sheathing, and some two-thirds said plywood and OSB wall sheathing reduces building code problems.

North American structural wood panel industry production capacity, meanwhile, is forecast to rise substantially over the next five years. Plans for the addition of about 10 billion square feet of new capacity have been announced. Current industry capacity is approximately 44 billion feet.

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Glulam: One of the Oldest Engineered Wood Products

Glued-engineered wood products constitute an ever-increasing percentage of the wood products used in all forms of building and non-building construction. One of the many reasons for this growth is attributed to the fact that each of these products is resource efficient with highly predictable structural performance characteristics. As the available fiber base for the production of wood products continues to decline, it becomes increasingly important to utilize this resource in the most efficient glued-engineered wood products possible.

One of the oldest and most versatile of the family of glued engineered wood products is glued laminated timber or glulam. According to historic records, glued laminated timber was first developed in Switzerland in 1893. Some of the original structures built in Europe in the early 1890's are still in service today. For example, one of the oldest known glulam structures still surviving is a 153-foot arch span auditorium in Basel, Switzerland. Glulam was introduced into the U.S. in 1934 with one of the first structures built in this country being a research building at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI. This structure consisted of Tudor arches for the primary structural framing elements. Another structure built at approximately the same time was a high school gymnasium in Menomonee Falls, WI. Both of these structures are still in service today.

Because glulam has a history of more than 100 years, many design professionals and specifiers consider glulam to be an old-fashioned material not suitable for today’s modern construction demands. However, as the examples in this article attest, glulam continues to be a highly innovative and versatile construction material with many end uses ranging from headers in residential construction to major domed sports stadiums seating over 15,000 people. The following describes just a few of the uses of glulam:

Straight beams - Because of their high strength and greater span capability as compared to sawn lumber, their relatively low cost compared to other engineered wood products and their versatility, glulam beams are becoming the material of choice by home designers and homebuilders.

Available from distribution centers in all major geographical areas in a variety of sizes, stock glulam beams can be used for exposed ridge and rafter beams, for both exposed and concealed floor beams, for garage door headers and for other structural members such as stair stringers and long length columns. Curved members may also be ordered for those uses requiring a curved shape.

A recent innovation has been the introduction of I-joist compatible (IJC) glulam. With the increasing use of I-joists in residential floor construction, the glulam industry now supplies IJC beams that match the depth of I-joists to permit flush ceiling construction. These beams are also available in widths that match 2x4 and 2x6 wall construction to minimize the need for furring.

Another recent innovation for the residential market has been the introduction of high strength glulam beams developed to more directly compete with other engineered wood products and steel. These beams utilize laminated veneer lumber (LVL) as the outermost laminations. This results in a glulam member with higher bending strength (3000 psi) as compared to conventional glulam, which has a bending strength of 2400 psi.

One of the most successful of all engineered wood systems is the panelized wood roof system used for industrial construction in the Western U.S. This system typically uses glued laminated timber beams for the primary framing members. These are designed as simple and double-cantilevered beams with pre-engineered steel hinge connectors used to interconnect these members. Secondary framing members may be glulam purlins, glulam trusses or deep wood I-joists. Decking is either plywood or OSB. These structures typically are used to enclose very large manufacturing and warehousing operations. One of the largest of these structures is the General Electric Distribution Center in Orange County, CA, which has a roof area of approximately 1,100,000 sq. ft. (approximately 25 acres).

When the Recreational Equipment Corporation, better known as REI, decided to build a new REI flagship store in Seattle, WA glulam was the structural material selected. As one of the leading suppliers of outdoor equipment the company wanted to use an environmentally friendly material. They also wanted to preserve the warm and comfortable feel of their original store in a much larger space. To achieve all of these goals the architects used a combination of glulam trusses, glulam beams and large glulam columns all exposed to view to provide the warmth and aesthetic characteristics associated with wood. A similar design was then used for their facility in Minneapolis, MN.

Glued laminated timbers can be produced in very large sizes with the limiting control being the ability to transport these members from the manufacturing plant to the jobsite. Some of the largest beams manufactured in the U.S. were each 12-1/4" x 84" x 143 ft. in size. These were used for the roof framing of a church in the Louisville, KY area and each beam weighed over 36,000 lbs. This ability to make long length members allows the designer to use glulam to create large open spaces so prevalent in modern construction.

When the architects for a large advertising firm in Portland, OR were challenged with renovating a 90 year old four story building as the new headquarters for this firm, they turned to glulam. An extensive system of glulam beams and columns was first installed throughout the interior of the building to reinforce the original masonry wall construction and ensure the building would meet current structural code requirements. Then, glulam beams spanning over 100 ft were used to create an open 5th floor atrium area as the showcase feature of this renovation project.

Curved shapes - Glulam has the unique capability of being able to be manufactured in a variety of curved shapes ranging from a simple curved beam to a complex arch configuration. One example of curved members is the pitched, tapered and curved (PTC) beams configuration. An indoor ice rink in the St. Louis area used PTC beams with a span of approximately 140 ft. and a peak depth of almost 8 feet indicating the size of member that can be produced.

Arches allow the designer to expand the span capabilities using glulam. Radial arches spanning between 150 ft and 300 ft have been used of frame a variety of recreational and commercial structures. A recent example of a curved glulam arch structure is the Disney Ice Arena in Anaheim, CA. This structure has twin ice rinks, one used as a practice facility for the NHL Mighty Ducks hockey team and the other for public skating. The primary framing members consist of a series of interconnected curved arches with a total span of 197 ft. The arches are spaced 22 ft. on center with glulam purlins and 1-1/8” T&G plywood decking completing the structural framing.

Another recent example of the use of curved glulam is the Port of Portland bulk storage terminal. Designed to store potash prior to export to Asia, the structure uses 100 glulam arches spanning 160 ft as the primary roof framing elements. Glulam purlins spaced 48” on center span the 32 ft distance between arches. The use of 1-1/8” T&G plywood sheathing completed the structural framing. Wood was selected for this structure because potash is a highly corrosive material that would severely corrode unprotected steel whereas wood can be exposed to potash without the need for expensive protective treatments. With a total length of almost 2000 feet and a floor area of 320,000 sq. ft (approximately 7 acres) it is one of the largest wood framed structures in the Pacific Northwest.

And when architects wanted to create a roof shape that simulated the appearance of a 90 meter ski jump for the construction of the US Ski Hall of Fame, glulam was the obvious choice.

Innovative applications - One of the largest clear-span wood structures ever constructed is the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. This structure uses a reticulated glulam framing system and has a clear span of 530 ft. with a total rise of 110 ft. with the maximum size of the main members being only 8-3/4" x 30". The most recent example of this type of construction is the dome facility at the University of Northern Michigan, which has a clear span of approximately 535 feet.

For overall volume of glulam, the Trestle Project constructed at Kirtland, Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. is the winner. This behemoth of a structure used over 6 million board feet of pressure treated glulam, approximately 12,500 beams. The structure served as a test platform on which the Air Force positioned fully operational aircraft such as C5-A’s and 747’s with their engines running. These aircraft are then bombarded with electromagnetic waves to determine the effect of this interference on aircraft electronics. In order to eliminate the electromagnetic effect of the Earth, the platform is approximately 160 ft. above the ground. Also, the structure had to be totally non-magnetic and thus the wood beams were interconnected with laminated beech wood bolts.

Another use of glulam illustrating its versatility is the Van Norman Reservoir Cover in Los Angeles. Supplying approximately 90% of the drinking water for the city of Los Angeles, this reservoir was covered with a roof using glulam as the primary structural elements. This roof covers approximately 665,000 sq. ft. or 15 acres. Alaska yellow cedar was used to manufacture the glulam members since it is a naturally durable species that would not be subject to decay hazards, without the need for pressure preservative treatment, when exposed to the high humidity conditions under this roof. This structure, while located only a few miles from the epicenter of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, suffered no damage showing the structural integrity of glulam framing even when subjected to high earthquake forces.

Utility structures - Still yet another key market for glulam is the electric utility industry. The ability to easily create curved and tapered shapes has allowed the glulam industry to generate a family of pre-cambered tapered power poles for the electric utility industry. This type of pole eliminates the problems associated with down-guys for dead-end or angle structures. Right of way requirements are reduced and the cambered poles enhance the aesthetics of the power lines.

Pedestrian bridges– Glulam has a long history of successful use in pedestrian bridge applications. These range from simple girder bridges to unique arch structures. In many cases, these pedestrian structures can be completely pre-assembled for shipment to the job-site. They can then be set in place with a crane thus greatly minimizing the construction time. A unique example of glulam pedestrian bridges is located at the Nike Corporation in Beaverton, OR. Committed to physical fitness, running tracks are located throughout the Nike complex and the structures carrying these tracks across the roadways are glulam bridges clad in aluminum to achieve the aesthetic character of the high tech complex.

Highway bridges - Glulam is also finding new acceptance in highway bridge construction, particularly on secondary road systems. One successful bridge technology uses longitudinal glulam girders and a transverse glulam deck. Another system uses deep vertically laminated deck members spanning longitudinally from bearing to bearing for relatively short span applications. Both of these systems have been used in the construction of hundreds of highway bridges during the past 20 years.

In 1989, the concept of using a stress-laminating technology was introduced using narrow glulam beams as deck laminations. Using this approach, glulam beams spanning continuously between supports are transversely tied together under high pressure using pre-stressing rods to form a composite bridge deck. The first example of this type of construction in the U.S. was the Teal River bridge constructed in Wisconsin. Since construction of this bridge, hundreds of similar bridges have been constructed throughout North America.

Bridges using glulam in stress-laminated deck applications have demonstrated excellent performance. Because horizontally laminated glulam beams allow for deeper sections, longer bridge spans are possible. These continuous long length beams can also be used to span across intermediate supports resulting in very high stiffness multiple span bridges, further reducing bridge deck deflections. One three span bridge built in Wisconsin using this technology uses individual beams having a length of over 90 feet with intermediate supports located at approximately 30 ft. on center.

The advent of stress-laminating also offered new opportunities to achieve composite T-beam action between the deck and stringers. The clear span of glulam bridges is typically controlled by design considerations related to the depth of the superstructure and by economical limitations on the bridge depth. Creating T and other composite configurations allowed designers to overcome these limitations, thus permitting much greater span capabilities for glulam bridges.

Glulam was the natural choice to create T-sections using vertical glulam beams for the webs and glulam deck panels for the flanges. The composite action between the flange and the web is developed through friction by stress-laminating the section with stressing bars through the flanges and webs. A box section similar to the T-section has also been used, but with flanges and stressing bars added to the bottom of the section to create a higher overall section modulus and moment of inertia. The concept of stress-laminated T-section and box-beam bridges has been well received and numerous bridges using this technology have been built. One of the longest glulam T-beam bridges is an 85 ft clear span structure built in Arkansas in 1993.

One of the most novel examples of glulam bridge construction is the Hiroshima, Japan highway bridge built for the 1994 Asian Games. This is a cable suspended bridge located near the Hiroshima International Airport. The bridge uses a glulam truss system suspended from 125 ft. high concrete towers. The main center span of this bridge is 275 ft. and the overall length of the bridge is 475 ft. Designed in the U.S., all of the glulam members were manufactured and preservative-treated in the U.S. and shipped to Japan, ready for assembly.

Railroad bridges

- And not to be left out, the RR industry has recently discovered the advantages of glulam for their bridge construction programs. Faced with the rehabilitation of hundreds of miles of trestles and bridges the RR industry is turning to modern glulam to replace sawn timber stringers. And to achieve higher load capacities on these structures, glulam stringers are being used as reinforcement members installed adjacent to existing timber stringers. Glulam stringers are also an excellent choice for new bridge construction, particularly for the short haul railroads where span requirements typically fit the use of glulam. Another evolving use of glulam by the RR’s is for longer crossties such as needed on some bridge structures and in switching yards

Glulam – an old-fashioned material? Hardly. Glulam has been and continues to be the most versatile and designer friendly of all of the glued-engineered wood products. Changes in manufacturing technologies continue to evolve to enhance the perception of glulam as an environmentally friendly material. And it continues to be a cost-competitive alternative to many other building materials. In reality the possible applications for glulam in modern construction whether it be a building, a utility structure, a bridge or some other new application are truly only limited by the imagination of the design community and the manufacturing ingenuity of the glulam industry.

Plywood Patented, Then Forgotten

The first patent for what could be called plywood was issued December 26, 1865, to John K. Mayo of New York City. A re-issue of that patent, dated August 18, 1868, described Mayo’s development as follows: “The invention consists in cementing or otherwise fastening together a number of these scales of sheets, with the grain of the successive pieces, or some of them, running crosswise or diversely from that of the others…” Mayo may have had a vision but apparently not much business sense since history does not record that he ever capitalized on his patents.

Ancient Origins of Plywood

Archeologists have found traces of laminated wood in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs. A thousand years ago, the Chinese shaved wood and glued it together for use in furniture. The English and French are reported to have worked wood on the general principle of plywood in the 17th and 18th centuries. And historians credit Czarist Russia for having made forms of plywood prior to the 20th century as well. Early modern-era plywood was typically made from decorative hardwoods and most commonly used in the manufacture of household items, such as cabinets, chests, desk tops and doors. Construction plywood made from softwood species did not appear on the scene until the 20th century.

Demographics, the Housing Market, and Demand for Building Materials

Click here to download an article by Craig Adair and Al Schuler which was published in the May 2003 issue of the Forest Products Journal.

Hood Industries’ Galloway Ends 18-Year Stint on APA Board

John N. Galloway, president of Hood Industries, Inc., Hattiesburg, MS, recently resigned from the Board of Trustees of APA—The Engineered Wood Association, ending one of the longest APA Board service records in the history of the association.

Galloway was elected to the board in 1984 and served in a variety of leadership positions during his tenure, including chairman of the Marketing Advisory Committee, chairman of the Finance Committee, and vice chairman and chairman of the Board of Trustees. He served as chairman from 1990-1992.

Galloway was praised by APA President David Rogoway for his “valuable counsel and exemplary leadership” during his 18-year stint on the APA Board.

Elected to succeed Galloway is John Hammack, vice president of Hood Industries’ Manufacturing Division. He is responsible for the company’s timber procurement, manufacturing and sales for both lumber and plywood operations. Hammack is a past chairman of the Southern Forest Products Association and past president of the Mississippi Lumber Manufacturing Association.

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Engineered Wood Association Appoints New Trustees

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C3-2001
DATE: February 21, 2001
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone: (253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

The Board of Trustees of APA—The Engineered Wood Association appointed three new trustees during its last meeting held recently in Phoenix, Arizona. They are:

  • Lindsay Crawford, vice president of operations at Martco Partnership, Alexandria, Louisiana. He is responsible for the company’s forestry, plywood, oriented strand board, hardwood lumber, and lumber treating operations.
  • Scott Schroeder, vice president of manufacturing at Roseburg Forest Products Co., Roseburg, Oregon. He is responsible for all phases of manufacturing for five plywood mills, one green end, lumber operations, and the company’s new I-joist/laminated veneer lumber mill scheduled for startup this quarter.
  • Jim Shepherd, president and chief executive officer of Slocan Forest Products Ltd., Richmond, British Columbia. He replaces Jim Barber, vice president and regional manager, Slocan Group, who resigned due to other professional duties.
#          #            #

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA and its related organization, Engineered Wood Systems, represent approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout North America and abroad.

Builders Have Good Reason to Stick with Structural Wood Panel Sheathing, Trade Association Says

B>APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C12-2003
DATE: October 6, 2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

Builders Have Good Reason to Stick with
Structural Wood Panel Sheathing, Trade Association Says

Builders thinking of switching from plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing to other products in order to save money during historically short cyclical price upswings may be better advised to stay the course, APA—The Engineered Wood Association cautions.

That view comes in the wake of recent structural wood panel demand increases that have led to tighter supplies and, as a consequence, to a rapid increase in the cost of the products on the open market, as widely reported in the media.

Housing market demand for structural wood panels typically falls off after the peak summer building season, APA notes, and that cycle is expected to return the marketplace to a more normal balance of supply and demand. The association also reports that the industry’s production capacity is greater now than ever in its history.

The cost of structural wood panels historically has been a bargain, the association said. The industry has operated for much of the past several years with excess capacity, which in turn exerted significant downward pressure on the price of the products.

The North American structural wood panel industry operated during the third quarter at virtually full capacity, constrained only by essential equipment maintenance downtime or in some cases the lack of economically viable log supplies, the association reported. Even with the recent high market demand pressures, the structural wood panel monthly composite price average for the first three quarters of this year was up only 17 percent from the average monthly price of the previous six years, according to data compiled by Random Lengths Publications, Inc. And the average monthly price for this year through September was actually six percent lower than the monthly average in 1999, Random Lengths data show.

But even at higher than historically average prices, structural wood panels remain an excellent value because of the numerous performance advantages of the products, APA said. Switching to other products also can pose a number of challenges and issues, reports the NAHB Research Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders. “These issues are related to their application, their structural limitations, and material characteristics, which impact thermal and moisture performance,” a Research Center Technote cautions. “When considering alternatives to traditionally used sheathing products, specifiers should factor in building design and local climate conditions,” the Technote goes on to advise.

Among the advantages of structural wood panel sheathings, says APA, are their unmatched strength and stiffness properties (especially significant in areas subject to high wind or seismic events), superior performance as a nail base for finish siding materials, elimination of the need for let-in bracing, high impact resistance, ease of installation, and proven durability in all kinds of climates. The use of structural wood panel sheathing also offers builders a selling point to a home buying public increasingly aware of the importance of the structural integrity of building materials. That point, market data suggest, has come to be appreciated by the home building industry. According to NAHB Research Center data, structural wood panel wall sheathing market share, for example, has risen from 35 percent in 1998 to more than 60 percent today.

Among the factors contributing to the rapid rise in marketplace demand for plywood and OSB, APA said, have been the strong housing market, weather-related logging restrictions in the South earlier in the year, low panel inventories last spring when bad weather in the South and East slowed panel demand in the housing market, and logging restrictions resulting from forest fires in the western U.S. and Canada this summer. Of these, the sizzling housing market has been the single most significant panel supply and demand factor. U.S. housing starts rose in July for the fourth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.89 million units, the highest rate in 17 years. Residential construction accounts for about half of all market demand for structural wood panels.

More recently, Hurricane Isabel along the U.S. East Coast also contributed to the unusual confluence of demand factors as home and business owners rushed to purchase plywood and OSB for boarding up windows and doors. Structural wood panels also have been needed for post-storm repairs. The structural wood panel industry, the association said, shares the concerns of home builders over panel supplies and will continue to do all in its power to meet the supply and customer service needs of the North American home building industry.

More information about plywood and OSB sheathing, including techniques for building moisture-resistant houses, can be found on APA’s web site at www.apawood.org.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association whose U.S. and Canadian members produce plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber. Its primary functions are quality assurance, applied research, and market support and development. As a trade association operating in accordance with antitrust regulations, APA cannot and does not forecast future prices. Questions about prices should be posed to companies that provide such information, such as Random Lengths Publications, Inc. (888-686-99250) or C.C. Crow Publications, Inc. (503-646-8075).

Dennis Hardman to Succeed David Rogoway as APA President

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C11-05
DATE: September 1, 2005
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Dennis Hardman to Succeed David Rogoway as APA President

Dennis J. Hardman, vice president of marketing at APA—The Engineered Wood Association, has been elected by the APA Board of Trustees to succeed David L. Rogoway as president of the Association when Rogoway retires Dec. 31, APA Chairman John Murphy announced this week.

A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Hardman joined APA as advertising and public relations manager in 1981 following 13 years in advertising and sales promotion with Weyerhaeuser Company. He was appointed director of the Association’s Information Services Division (now Marketing Communications) in 1984 and vice president of marketing in 1992.

“The membership of APA is fortunate to have someone of Dennis’ experience, vision and commitment to assume leadership of one of the finest trade associations in the forest products industry,” Murphy said.

Rogoway joined APA in 1969. He was appointed director of the Information Services Division in 1976, vice president of marketing in 1984, and president in 1992. His retirement at the end of the year will cap a 36-year career with the Association. Recognition of his service to the Association and the industry will be given at the APA annual meeting in Tucson in November.


Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA represents North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Elias Appointed Secretary of APA—The Engineered Wood Association

APA Media Center News Release

RELEASE #: C5-06
DATE: June 8, 2006
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org


Elias Appointed Secretary of APA—The Engineered Wood Association

Edward G. Elias, director of the International Marketing Division at APA—The Engineered Wood Association, was recently appointed the Association’s secretary and director of the Financial & Administrative Services Division.

Elias, who holds a master’s degree in wood science from Colorado State University, joined APA as an associate scientist in 1977. He became manager of research and development in 1987 and was appointed director of the International Marketing Division in 1993.

As APA secretary, he will direct the Financial & Administrative Services Division, with responsibility for the Association’s budget management, accounting, human resources, records, and computer and office services functions.

As director of international marketing, a position he retains, Elias is responsible for administering USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) cooperator program funding in support of the Association’s foreign market development efforts.

Elias is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Forest Products and a recipient of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Trade Policy Teamwork Award. He also received the United States Youth Soccer Association “Coach of the Year” award in 1983.

Based in Tacoma, Wash., APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

EWP Market Improvement is "Slow, but Steady"

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: August 6, 2012
Number: 2012-13

EWP Market Improvement is "Slow, but Steady"

APA President shares thoughts on the state of the engineered wood industry and the outlook for improved markets.

Every cliché in the book has been thrown at this long and painful recession. That being said, is it safe to state that there truly is a sure road to “slow, but steady improvement” in the demand for engineered wood products? All of the forecasts, including those from APA-The Engineered Wood Association, point to a tempered “yes” as we look ahead to year-end 2012 statistics and the outlook for the next five years.

There’s lots of room for improvement. North American structural wood panel production last year was 26.07 billion square feet on a 3/8” basis. That was almost identical to 2010, and was still well below 43 billion feet at the peak of the housing market in 2005. In a recent interview, APA’s President Dennis Hardman shared his views on the state of the industry and the association, and weighed in on prospects for the future.

Hardman acknowledged the continued large demand gap, noting other significant challenges facing the industry.  “There is also the ongoing challenge of safeguarding industry interests in codes and standards,” he said. “Recently, for example, we’ve been working to gain fairer treatment of wood products in the International Energy Conservation Code. In addition, the industry faces numerous regulatory challenges, such as ever more stringent formaldehyde emissions limits and growing green building requirements, among others. And there is the continuing federal timber supply problem in much of the West.”

Challenges notwithstanding, Hardman points to the forecast increase in housing starts and says that things are looking up. “We believe we have hit or are very close to hitting the bottom of the housing market and are forecasting a 20 percent increase in U.S. housing starts this year compared with 2011. Looking farther ahead, we think U.S. single-family and multifamily starts could reach 1.4 million by 2016. The problem right now is the continuing high inventory of unsold existing homes, including the millions that are in foreclosure. We also need to see stabilization and then increases in home values in order to renew consumer confidence and investment,” he said.

When asked about what dealers might expect in engineered wood product supply as we climb out of the recession, Hardman predicted a gradual recovery will minimize problems with availability.

“Right now, because of significant production curtailments throughout the industry, supply and demand are pretty well balanced.  Because the housing recovery is still forecast to be sluggish,  it should allow curtailed mills to bring production back in an orderly fashion and avoid some of the product shortages experienced coming out of past recessions that had much steeper recovery curves,” Hardman explained.

But the supply is growing. APA is forecasting U.S. and Canadian plywood and OSB production to rise this year by about 1.9 billion square feet, and to continue to increase next year and beyond. By 2016, we expect U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel production to be back at around 37 billion square feet, or about a 40 percent increase from 2011.

The Association also expects glulam, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber to experience strengthening demand as the economy in general and the housing market in particular improve. Production of I-joists looks especially promising, almost doubling by 2016 from the 2011 volume.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA President Announces Retirement Plans

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: April 1, 2013
Number: 2013-11

APA President Announces Retirement Plans

Dennis Hardman has served as president of the association since December 2005. 

Dennis Hardman, president of APA-The Engineered Wood Association, announced this week that he will be retiring at the end of the year. Hardman has served as president of the association since December, 2005, and has been with APA since 1981.

“Dennis has provided outstanding leadership to the association throughout the protracted recession and will be leaving APA in a strong, healthy position,” said APA Chairman Mary Jo Nyblad. “We appreciate all that he has done to provide value to the industry and fulfill the mandate of APA while building the membership to its strongest position in history.”

According to Nyblad, the APA Board of Trustees has established an executive search committee to identify Hardman’s replacement and will be posting the job this month.  Confidential letters of interest and resumés should be sent to the APA Executive Search Committee c/o APAjob@lpcorp.com. Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2013.

A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Hardman joined APA as advertising and public relations manager in 1981 following 13 years in advertising and sales promotion with Weyerhaeuser Company. He was appointed director of the Association’s Information Services Division (now Marketing Communications) in 1984 and vice president of marketing in 1992 before assuming the role of president in 2005. His service to APA and the wood products industry will be recognized at the Association’s annual meeting in Huntington Beach, California in November.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Releases 2013 Market Outlook

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: April 23, 2013
Number: 2013-17

APA Releases 2013 Market Outlook

Growth in wood production, including a 17 percent boost in I-joist manufacturing, expected as economy and housing continue to improve. 

The small but positive uptick in the economy and residential construction closed 2012 on an optimistic note for the first time since the recession began, and that slow-but-steady growth is expected to continue through 2013. With indicators pointing to rising housing starts through the year and into 2014, APA-The Engineered Wood Association predicts a second straight year of growth in all four of the wood product sectors it represents.

“Last year saw across-the-board increases in structural panels, I-joists, glulam, and LVL. In 2013, not only will that trend continue, but at a slightly faster pace in most cases,” said Craig Adair, APA’s market research director. “Residential construction will drive much of that growth, with pent-up demand for housing, moderately rising house prices, and growing consumer confidence having the most influence.”

Residential Market Forecasts

Housing is beginning to lead the economy and is expected to provide an economic catalyst for years to come. The residential market is gaining strength from a very low bottom, and interest rates are still low. While housing is not immune from potential tax increases and government spending cuts, momentum is favorable for a healthy increase in starts.

APA is forecasting single-family housing starts to reach 665,000, a 24 percent gain, as homeowners take a positive view toward purchasing a home, the job market improves, and home prices firm up in many cities. Multifamily starts are expected to improve 35 percent to 330,000 units.

The remodeling market is also showing small signs of life, although the outlook is brighter into the second half of 2013 and in years following. The NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index is above 50 for the first time since 2005, meaning that more remodelers expect business to be higher or better in the future than lower. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts repair and remodeling expenditures to reach 2007 levels, around $145 billion, a dramatic improvement over 2008-2012 levels.

Non-residential, Industrial, & Exports

Non-residential’s mild, 3 percent uptick in starts in 2012 is expected to be repeated in 2013; school construction and healthcare will lead in total square footage, although the education sector will experience a small decline. Collectively, non-residential starts are expected to recover to more than one billion square feet within the next four years.

The industrial market will see only modest growth in 2013 due to a number of factors, from government budget cuts that impact manufacturing to the millwork industry’s dependence on remodeling as well as nonresidential construction. Overall, manufacturing is expected to grow about 2 percent this year, down from 4 percent in 2012; improvement to 5 percent growth is anticipated in 2014.

Finally, indicators point to U.S. structural panel manufacturers exporting about the same quantity of material in 2013 as in 2012.

Wood Products Expectations

Wood products demand is expected to accelerate as rapid housing growth is followed by renewed repair and remodeling energy, an upturn in the nonresidential construction cycle, and industrial demand that increases with consumer spending and higher GDP growth.

Domestic (U.S. and Canada) production of OSB and plywood is expected to reach 30.5 billion square feet in 2013, a 10 percent rise over 2012.

Glulam is predicted to see a 10 percent increase over 2012, reaching 248 million board feet. The growth is due entirely to housing, with little support from non-residential.

Growth in the I-joist market is forecast around 17 percent in 2013 to 651 million linear feet, slightly slower than 2012’s 22 percent increase. Most of the gains will come from housing, with raised-floor construction continuing to provide a notable boost.

Increased housing starts also will drive demand for LVL, the majority of which is used for beams, headers, and rimboard. LVL production should reach 54.9 million cubic feet in 2013, a 10 percent growth over 2012.

For additional details, APA’s Yearbook, which contains historical data and a look at 2013, is available to non-members for $250 through www.apawood.org.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Fact Sheet

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 14, 2013
Number: 2013-10

APA Fact Sheet

Learn more about APA - The Engineered Wood Association.

Locations

APA’s corporate headquarters are in Tacoma, Washington. The headquarters campus includes an office building and a 42,000-square-foot Research Center. A regional quality testing laboratory is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

History

APA was founded 1933 in Tacoma, Washington as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. Its name changed to American Plywood Association in 1964 with the introduction of southern pine plywood. The name was changed again in 1994 to APA—The Engineered Wood Association to more accurately reflect the geographic range (both U.S. and Canada) and product mix (plywood, oriented strand board, wood I-joists, glulam timber, structural composite lumber) of its members. The Research Center at the present campus in West Tacoma opened in 1969. The headquarters office building on the same campus opened in 1979.

Mission and Functions

APA is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade association that represents U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of structural engineered wood products, including plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), glued-laminated timber (glulam), wood I-joists and structural composite lumber. Its primary functions are product certification and testing, applied research, and market support and development. As a 501(c)(6) association, APA does not engage in lobbying activities.

Membership

APA has approximately 156 member mills in 23 states and seven provinces. An APA related nonprofit organization, Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), is comprised of product, equipment and service suppliers to the engineered wood products industry.

Employees

APA has a staff of approximately 73, including 48 at its headquarters in Tacoma and the remainder, including regional laboratory staff, quality auditors and field services personnel, elsewhere around the U.S. and Canada.

Income

APA income is based on member dues and other client fees.

Governance

APA is governed by its members through a Board of Trustees and several member advisory committees that set policy, review strategy and oversee implementation of strategic plans and programs.

Web Site

www.apawood.org

Learn More

Visit the About APA web page.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Fact Sheet

APA News Release

Release #: 2012-5
Date: March 21, 2012
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, 253-620-7476, marilyn.thompson@apawood.org

APA Fact Sheet

Locations

APA’s corporate headquarters are in Tacoma, Washington. The headquarters campus includes an office building and a 42,000-square-foot Research Center. A regional quality testing laboratory is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

History

APA was founded 1933 in Tacoma, Washington as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. Its name changed to American Plywood Association in 1964 with the introduction of southern pine plywood. The name was changed again in 1994 to APA—The Engineered Wood Association to more accurately reflect the geographic range (both U.S. and Canada) and product mix (plywood, oriented strand board, wood I-joists, glulam timber, structural composite lumber) of its members. The Research Center at the present campus in West Tacoma opened in 1969. The headquarters office building on the same campus opened in 1979.

Mission and Functions

APA is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade association that represents U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of structural engineered wood products, including plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), glued-laminated timber (glulam), wood I-joists and structural composite lumber. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. As a 501(c)(6) association, APA does not engage in lobbying activities.

Membership

APA has approximately 152 member mills in 21 states and seven provinces. An APA related nonprofit organization, Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), is comprised of product, equipment and service suppliers to the engineered wood products industry.

Employees

APA has a staff of approximately 72, including 43 at its headquarters in Tacoma and the remainder, including regional laboratory staff, quality auditors and field services personnel, elsewhere around the U.S. and Canada.

Income

APA member dues income is based on mill production volume.

Governance

APA is governed by its members through a Board of Trustees and several member advisory committees that set policy, review strategy and oversee implementation of strategic plans and programs.

Web Site

www.apawood.org

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA's Dr. Borjen Yeh Honored with ASTM International’s Award of Merit

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 14, 2013
Number: 2013-9

APA's Dr. Borjen Yeh Honored with ASTM International’s Award of Merit

Yeh receives highest award granted by the Society to an individual member for distinguished service and outstanding participation in ASTM International committee activities.

Dr. Borjen Yeh, P.E., APA Technical Services DirectorDr. Borjen “BJ” Yeh, P.E., Technical Services Director for APA-The Engineered Wood Association, has been named as a recipient of ASTM International’s Award of Merit. The Award of Merit was established in 1949 by the ASTM Board of Directors and is the highest award granted by the Society to an individual member for distinguished service and outstanding participation in ASTM International committee activities. In the 64 years since the award was established, there have been only 15 recipients from the wood committee. Merit Award recipients also receive the honorary title of Fellow of ASTM International.

“We congratulate BJ on this outstanding achievement and join ASTM in recognizing the leadership and tremendous volume of work that he has brought to the ongoing mission of developing and maintaining sound international standards,” said Dennis Hardman, APA President.

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

In announcing the award to Dr. Yeh, ASTM Chairman of the Board Mary C. McKiel said, “Your extensive knowledge and commitment to excellence in standards development have had a major impact in your field and have made ASTM International a technical leader in today’s global business world.”

Dr. Yeh has been with APA for 23 years, serving as director of the Technical Services Division since 2003. He is currently the chair of the ASTM D07.02 Subcommittee on Lumber and Engineered Wood Products, and member of several technical committees and professional societies in the U.S., Canada, and International Standards Organization. He is the secretariat for ANSI/APA Standards Committees on Structural Insulated Panels, Engineered Wood Siding, Engineered Wood Rim Boards, and Cross Laminated Timber. He was the recipient of the L.J. Markwardt Award of ASTM in 2006. Dr. Yeh earned his M.S. at Iowa State University and Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington, and has written numerous journal articles and research reports. He is considered to be one of the foremost wood engineering experts in the world.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Announces Organizational Changes

APA Media Center News Release

DATE: January 23, 2003
RELEASE #: C2-2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

 

APA Announces Organizational Changes
APA—The Engineered Wood Association announced today it will close its international offices in Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom, effective March 10, and that it is making other organizational changes in response to market conditions and budget constraints imposed by membership and dues income declines.

Recent APA member mill closures and withdrawals will reduce the Association’s income by about 10 percent this year, said APA President Dave Rogoway. Closure of the international offices and other cost-cutting measures, which include both staff and program reductions, are “designed to enable us to continue providing the core quality, technical and market support services of greatest value to our members,” Rogoway said. APA represents about two-thirds of U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel production. Its related nonprofit organization, Engineered Wood Systems (EWS), represents manufacturers of glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber.

Rogoway said APA foreign market support services in key markets will continue at a reduced level based on priorities established by member advisory committee members. APA will maintain its cooperator status with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), which provides international market development funding to APA and other industry associations. The Association also is seeking Canadian government funding sources, Rogoway said.

APA closed offices in Germany and Belgium in 2001 in response to rising European production capacity, the long-standing strength of the U.S. dollar, and low-cost foreign imports into the European market. Rogoway said the historical levels of industry investment in foreign markets can no longer be justified by the declining return, and that the Association’s resources will focus more aggressively on domestic opportunities and challenges.

The Association also announced that the Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of Thomas G. Williamson to the newly created position of Vice President, Quality Assurance and Technical Services. Williamson previously was Director of APA’s Technical Services Division and Executive Vice President of Engineered Wood Systems. Reporting to Williamson are Alex Kuchar, Director, Quality Services Division; Steve Zylkowski, Director, Engineered Wood Systems; and Borjen Yeh, Director, Technical Services Division.

The Quality Services Division previously reported to George Sleet, Vice President and Secretary. Sleet announced he will retire at the end of January.

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APA VP/Secretary Sleet Announces Retirement

APA Media Center News Release

DATE: January 21, 2003
RELEASE #: C1-2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

 

APA VP/Secretary Sleet Announces Retirement
George Sleet, vice president and secretary of APA—The Engineered Wood Association announced he will retire, effective January 31, ending a 38-year career with the association.

Sleet joined APA as a laboratory technician in 1964, the same year the Douglas Fir Plywood Association became the American Plywood Association and the first Southern pine plywood mill, owned by Georgia-Pacific Corporation, opened in Fordyce, Arkansas. He later served as a research technician and was promoted in 1984 to director of the Quality Services Division. He was appointed to the position of vice president and secretary in 1992.

As vice president and secretary, Sleet oversaw APA’s Quality Services and Financial and Administrative Services Divisions.

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From Doors to Running Boards: The First Plywood Markets

During its first 15 years the softwood plywood industry relied primarily on a single market—door panels. But in 1920, “super salesman” Gus Bartells of Elliott Bay Plywood in Seattle began generating customers in the automobile industry. Bartells had earlier established the first plywood dealerships around the country, and was equally successful in getting car manufacturers to use plywood for running boards. The market took off and the industry enjoyed steady growth during the Jazz Age. By 1929, there were 17 plywood mills in the Pacific Northwest and production reached a record 358 million square feet (3/8-inch basis).

1905: An Industry Is Born

In 1905, the city of Portland, Oregon was getting ready to host a World’s Fair as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Several local businesses were asked to prepare exhibits for the event, including Portland Manufacturing Company, a small wooden box factory in the St. Johns district of the city. Part owner and plant manager Gustav Carlson decided to laminate wood panels from a variety of Pacific Northwest softwoods. Using paint brushes as glue spreaders and house jacks as presses, several panels were laid up for display. Called “3-ply veneer work,” the product created considerable interest among fairgoers, including several door, cabinet and trunk manufacturers who then placed orders. By 1907, Portland Manufacturing had installed an automatic glue spreader and a sectional hand press. Production soared to 420 panels a day. And an industry was born.

APA Board of Trustees Announces APA President-Elect

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: July 29, 2013
Number: 2013-21

APA Board of Trustees Announces APA President-Elect

35-year APA veteran Ed Elias is elected to serve as the Association's next president. 

Ed EliasThe APA Board of Trustees announced this week that Ed Elias has been elected to serve as APA President following the retirement of Dennis Hardman later this year. Elias is a 35-year APA veteran, having worked in APA’s technical, international marketing and financial divisions. He is currently the Association’s Vice President & Corporate Secretary. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Forest Management and Wood Science from Stephen Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas and a Masters in Wood Science degree from Colorado State University.

“The APA Board undertook an extensive and diligent search process for this position. The search validated the fact that there is tremendous strength and talent on the APA staff, and we’re pleased to promote an internal candidate to follow Dennis as APA President,” said Mary Jo Nyblad, APA Chairman and Plywood Sales and Marketing Manager for Boise Cascade LLC.

“With our recent membership gains, the voice of APA is stronger than ever, and that strong voice will create new challenges and opportunities for the Association in the years ahead. We’re confident that Ed has the skills and experience to lead us into this new era,” she added.

Hardman has been the APA President since November, 2005. He will turn over the reins at the Association’s annual meeting in Huntington Beach, California, Nov. 2-5.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Board of Trustees Elects New Officers

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 21, 2013
Number: 2013-24

APA Board of Trustees Elects New Officers

Sonya Bachlmayr and Marilyn Thompson Sonya Bachlmayr, who was recently hired to serve as Financial and Administrative Services Director, has been appointed Treasurer. Bachlmayr comes to APA from the Washington State Farm Bureau, where she served as the Director of Finance. Prior to working for the Farm Bureau, she was the Accounting Manager for APA. Bachlmayr is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Mumbai. She joined the APA staff in September and has assumed duties previously managed by Ed Elias, who will take over as APA president following Dennis Hardman’s retirement at the end of the year.

  Marilyn Thompson, Market Communications Director, has been elected to serve as Corporate Secretary. Thompson has been with APA for 28 years, working as a writer and Publications Manager before assuming the role of Division Director. Prior to joining APA she was a Product Promotion and Publicity Supervisor for Hewlett-Packard. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, where she studied technical journalism and forestry.

Both Bachlmayr and Thompson will continue in their roles as directors of their divisions.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA and EWTA Members Gather in California for 2013 Annual Meeting

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 19, 2013
Number: 2013-25

APA and EWTA Members Gather in California for  2013 Annual Meeting

Nearly 400 attend three-day event in "Surf City APA”. 

APA 2013 Annual Meeting General SessionNearly 400 APA members, Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) members, staff, and spouses gathered Nov. 2 – 5 at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, Calif., for the 2013 APA Annual Meeting. Following a meeting theme of “Surf City APA: Catch the Wave of Opportunity,” the event included meetings of the EWTA Adhesives and Technical Subcommittee, EWTA Advisory Committee, Glulam and I-Joist/SCL Management Committees, and the Marketing Advisory Committee and subcommittees, along with a panel discussion on regulatory issues in California.

A large number of attendees participated in the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament, the Ole Sorensen Memorial Tennis Tournament, and the Cripple Coot Shoot. Scott Poole, RoyOMartin, won the Hole-in-One prize of $10,000 for his perfect shot on the 11th hole in the golf tournament.

In the General Session and in the Marketing Advisory Committee meeting, attendees heard fresh perspectives on the economy and housing outlook from economist Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial, and University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers. Swonk said that major factors impacting the economic comeback and the housing outlook include the hollowing out of the middle class and problems of affordability for many prospective homebuyers, including young first-time buyers. She noted that student loan debt now exceeds $1.2 trillion, slowing the ability of younger homebuyers to invest in their first home.

Swonk’s forecast calls for a 25 percent increase in housing starts in 2014. “Further recovery is slowed by uncertainty around federal fiscal policy. We haven’t had a government budget since April 2009,” she said. “The federal government is the biggest drag on our economy.” (Since the meeting she has downgraded her forecast to a 17 percent increase.)

Also addressing attendees in the general session were APA Chairman Mary Jo Nyblad, Boise Cascade; APA President-Elect Ed Elias; and APA President Dennis Hardman. 

Nyblad praised APA and its members for pulling through the downturn with agile resiliency. “Throughout the recession, APA not only held on to its members, but also did the unthinkable for such challenging times – we grew! As an association, we clearly defined our priorities and kept our focus,” she said. She acknowledged APA President Dennis Hardman, who is retiring at the end of the year, for his steady leadership and success in increasing member share across all product lines. Looking ahead, Nyblad stated that to ensure continued growth and value, “we as APA members must stick to our priorities, think strategically, and bring the full force of this industry team to all of our activities – playing both to the offensive and defensive strategies.”

Ed Elias elaborated on the strategies for the future, building on the four goals of the Association’s strategic plan. He emphasized the importance of the third goal, strengthening the voice of the industry. “With the strong membership gains that Mary Jo described … APA is truly the voice of the North American engineered wood industry. The strength of our voice has provided us with recent opportunities to address new market constraints, such as acceptance of APA structural panels as a nail base for siding, expanding the role of APA Product Reports to minimize construction stoppages, and collaborating with the Canadian lumber industry to attack Japanese domestic subsidy programs,” he said.

Dennis Hardman closed the General Session with his reflections on the state of the Association … and a little parting advice. He thanked the suppliers, APA membership, the Board of Trustees, APA President Dennis Hardman at the 2013 Annual Meetingand APA staff for all of the support and hard work that helped the Association maintain its vitality and strength through the recession. He urged APA members to maintain their strategic focus. “We currently have the strongest membership in the history of the association simply because we have continued to add value through a focused set of services,” he said. “If we were to move beyond our current scope to include other products, I believe competing priorities may dilute our focus and diminish that value.” 

The EWTA Info Fair, a product and services exposition, featured 65 exhibitors, far exceeding last year’s count of 48. The EWTA members and exhibitors also hosted a welcome reception and sponsored the sporting events. Twenty-one EWTA member companies were Silver sponsors, 17 were Gold sponsors and two shared Platinum sponsorship.

Safety and Health Workshop

A workshop organized by the APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee at the recent annual meeting drew more than 45 people. The program, chaired by Mike Wacker of Plum Creek, was devoted to presentations from safety and health professionals. The lead-off presentation from Donna Bailey of RoyOMartin described the mill’s New Employee Mentoring Program that recently won APA’s Innovation in Safety Award. Other presentations provided hands-on expertise on mitigating dust hazards, reducing fire hazards and minimizing pedestrian-traffic risks within the mill.

Safety Award and EWTA Innovation Winners Recognized at Chairman’s Dinner

The annual meeting concluded with the Chairman’s Dinner, where winners of the 2012 APA Safety and Health Awards were honored. APA Vice Chair Tom Temple, Potlatch, reported that 65 APA-member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad participated in the Safety Award program for 2012. There were 23 entries in the Safety Innovation Award category. Temple noted that 17 mills earned a place in the Incident Free Honor Society, representing a combined total of 4.4 million hours worked without an accident. Accepting awards for their companies were Robert Fouquet, Ainsworth; Greg Anthony, Boise Cascade; Mike Dawson, Norbord; Tom Temple, Potlatch; Terry Secrest, RoyOMartin; and Steve Doffitt, LP. Click here for a complete listing of the 2012 APA Safety and Health Award categories and winners.

Four EWTA member companies were honored as Supplier and Innovation of the Year Award winners. Westmill Industries took top honors in the Supplier Equipment/Tooling category; Willamette Valley Company was the winner in the Materials/Supplies category; and Panel World magazine was the Consulting/Services category winner. Ventek was the Innovation of the Year Award winner for its multi-point diverter system. All companies that entered the Innovation of the Year competition had the opportunity to present their entries during EWTA’s Adhesives and Technical Subcommittee meeting.

View the 2013 APA Annual Meeting Photo Gallery.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

2011 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

APA News Release

Release #: 2012-08
Date: April 25, 2012
Contact:  John Hopp, 253-620-7447, john.hopp@apawood.org

2011 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

Program honors manufacturers for safety strides. 

APA Safety and Health Award Winners LP, Nashville, Tennessee and Canfor-LP OSB Limited Partnership, Fort St. John, British Columbia won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories while Roseburg Forest Products Co., Riddle, Oregon, earned the coveted Innovation in Safety Award in the 2011 Safety and Health Awards Program sponsored annually by APA for the structural wood panel and engineered wood products industry.

LP, a leading North American manufacturer of structural wood panels and engineered wood products, earned top honors among companies with four or more mills with a 2011 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) of 2.35. Canfor-LP, which produces oriented strand board, won its award in the category for companies with three or fewer mills. The company posted a perfect 0.00 WIR for 2011.

Roseburg’s Riddle engineered wood products mill took the innovation prize for the implementation of the “Glass Walls” program. Every shift in every department has a cell lead that is responsible for monitoring safety, quality, delivery and cost information daily and briefing the rest of the crew through a “Report Out”. Safety is the first item of discussion at every Report Out, and each team member is encouraged to voice all safety concerns. Daily safety topics are also discussed. Along with the addition of mini safety audits, the Glass Wall program has significantly increased safety awareness and communication at the Riddle mill.

Innovation Award entries can be submitted by a mill, a group of mills or an entire company. Eighteen Innovation entries were submitted in 2011 from four member companies.

The awards program, begun in 1982, honors the managements and employees of companies and mills with the lowest severity-weighted incidence rates based on guidelines established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It employs a Weighted Incident Rate that is calculated using both the number and severity of recordable incidents. Since 2008 was the first year that WIR was used, awards and reports for 2009 through 2011 continue to also show Total Incident Rate (TIR), the measure used in previous years.

Sixty-seven APA member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad participated in the 2011 program. A total of 26 mills representing 9 APA member companies— Abitibi - LP Engineered Wood; Anthony Forest Products Co.; Anthony EACOM Inc.; Calvert Company, Inc.; Canfor-LP OSB Limited Partnership; LP; Norbord; Roseburg Forest Products Co.; and RoyOMartin—earned awards in various competition categories of the 2011 program. Some of the mills were multiple award winners.

All major product categories produced by APA’s membership were represented among the winning mills, including oriented strand board, plywood, glulam timber, wood I-joists and structural composite lumber.

In addition to the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement, Annual Safety and Health Honor Roll, Three-Year Safety Average, and Incident Free Honor Society. Sixteen mills achieved a zero incident rate for the year and thus were named to the Incident Free Honor Society. The annual honor roll, three-year average and safety improvement categories are divided into two divisions based on hours worked annually—more than or fewer than 400,000 hours.

While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills in order to provide a broad-based industry performance benchmark. A total of 89 mills reported data for 2011. The 2011 industry Total Incident and Weighted Incident Rates were 2.31 and 10.37, respectively, down slightly from 2.44 and 10.94, respectively, in 2010.

The winning facilities and companies will be recognized and their safety accomplishments celebrated during the Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s annual meeting in November in Amelia Island, Florida. Award plaques also will be presented to the winning mills by APA President Dennis Hardman or other APA management staff.

The 2011 safety awards program was the fourth year under a revitalized safety program effort spearheaded by an APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee comprised of several APA member company safety professionals. Under the committee’s guidance, three main goals were established:  make the APA program the premier safety awards program in the industry, encourage the sharing of best practices as a means to improve the industry’s safety culture and programs, and most importantly, improve the industry’s overall safety performance.

The complete list of 2011 Award Winners can be found on the Association’s website at www.apawood.org. Additional program information is available on the APA Safety and Health webpage.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA (www.apawood.org) represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

2012 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: John Hopp, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: john.hopp@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7447
Date: April 23, 2013
Number: 2013-18

2012 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

Program honors manufacturers for safety strides in the structural panel and engineered wood industry. 

APA Safety and Health Award Winners APA-The Engineered Wood Association recently announced the winners of its 2012 Safety and Health Awards, a program that encourages and recognizes safety and operational excellence in the North American structural panel and engineered wood industry.

Nashville, Tenn.-based LP and Canfor-LP OSB Limited Partnership of Fort St. John, B.C., won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories while RoyOMartin, Oakdale, Louisiana, earned the coveted Innovation in Safety Award.

LP, a leading North American manufacturer of structural wood panels and engineered wood products, earned top honors among companies with four or more mills with a 2012 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) of 2.61. Canfor-LP, which produces oriented strand board, won its award in the category for companies with three or fewer mills. The company posted a perfect 0.00 WIR for 2012.

The RoyOMartin, Oakdale oriented strand board mill’s “Safety Mentor” program was selected from twenty-three Innovation in Safety Award entries for the top prize. In the program, Safety Mentor Team Leaders are accountable for ensuring that new employees and team members receive proper safety orientation and training. The Safety Mentor program was implemented last June and has already proven to increase awareness of the company’s safety culture: safety audit participation by new team members has increased by 50 percent, while safety incidents among that group have decreased by 86 percent.

Begun in 1982, the awards program honors the managements and employees of companies and mills with the lowest Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) that is calculated using the number and severity of recordable incidents reported on the mill’s annual OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) report. Since 2008 was the first year that WIR was used, awards and reports for 2009 through 2012 continue to also show Total Incident Rate (TIR), the measure used in previous years.

Sixty-five APA member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad participated in the 2012 program. A total of 23 facilities representing nine APA member companies—Abitibi - LP Engineered Wood; Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.; Boise Cascade LLC; Canfor-LP OSB Limited Partnership; LP; Norbord; Potlatch Corporation; RoyOMartin; and Weyerhaeuser—earned awards in various competition categories. Some of the mills were multiple award winners.

In addition to the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement, Annual Safety and Health Honor Roll, Three-Year Safety Average, and Incident Free Honor Society. Seventeen mills achieved a zero incident rate for the year and thus were named to the Incident Free Honor Society. The annual honor roll, three-year average and safety improvement categories are divided into two divisions based on hours worked annually—more than or fewer than 400,000 hours.

While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills in order to provide a broad-based industry performance benchmark. A total of 65 mills reported data for 2012. The 2012 industry Total Incident and Weighted Incident Rates were 2.12 and 8.40, respectively, down from 2.31 and 10.37, respectively, in 2011.

The winning facilities and companies will be recognized and their safety accomplishments celebrated during the Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s annual meeting in November in Huntington Beach, Calif.  Award plaques also will be presented to the winning mills by APA President Dennis Hardman or other APA management staff.

The 2012 Safety and Health Awards program was the fifth year of the program under a revitalized safety effort spearheaded by an APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee, comprised of several APA member company safety professionals. Under the committee’s guidance, three main goals were established: make the APA program the premier safety awards program in the industry, encourage the sharing of best practices as a means to improve the industry’s safety culture and programs, and most importantly, improve the industry’s overall safety performance.

View the complete list of the 2012 Award Winners. Additional program information is available on the APA Safety and Health webpage.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

A Short History of APA

APA News Release

Release #: 2012-4
Date: March 21, 2012
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, 253-620-7476, marilyn.thompson@apawood.org

A Short History of APA

APA Engineered Wood ProductsAPA — The Engineered Wood Association is the nonprofit trade association of the U.S. and Canadian engineered wood products industry. Based in Tacoma, Washington, the Association is comprised of and represents manufacturers of structural plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), structural composite panels, glued laminated (glulam) timber, wood I-joists, and laminated veneer lumber (LVL). (See the glossary backgrounder for explanation of these products.)

APA was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association to advance the interests of the burgeoning Pacific Northwest plywood industry. Adhesive and technology improvements eventually led to the manufacture of structural plywood from Southern pine and other species, and in 1964 the Association changed its name to American Plywood Association (APA) to reflect the national scope of its growing membership.

The Association’s membership expanded again in the early 1980s with the introduction of oriented strand board (OSB), a product the Association helped bring to market through development of new panel performance standards. A decade later, APA formed a related nonprofit organization now called Engineered Wood Systems (EWS) to accommodate manufacturers of non-panel engineered wood products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber.

To better reflect the broadening product mix and geographic range of its membership, the Association changed its name again in 1994 to APA—The Engineered Wood Association. The acronym “APA” was retained in the name because it was so widely known and respected in the marketplace.

Today, APA and EWS represent approximately 152 engineered wood product mills in the U.S., Canada and abroad. The Association’s mandate, among other activities, includes:

•    Third-party quality auditing and testing
•    New product qualification
•    Product and systems research
•    Development and maintenance of product and performance standards
•    Design and engineering data
•    Product installation recommendations
•    Code and regulatory body liaison
•    Market research
•    Industry statistics
•    Product application literature
•    Product publicity, advertising and other promotion
•    Educational trade seminars and meetings
•    User and specifier field assistance
•    Annual mill safety competition
•    Annual industry supplier exposition (Info Fair)
•    Industry communications

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA (www.apawood.org) represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Allyn Ford Named Winner of APA’s Bronson J. Lewis Award

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: October 15, 2012
Number: 2012-17

Allyn Ford Named Winner of APA’s Bronson J. Lewis Award

President and CEO of Roseburg Forest Products recognized for leadership and outstanding contribution to the engineered wood products industry. 

Allyn C. Ford, President and CEO of Roseburg Forest Products, has been named the 2012 winner of APA’s prestigious Bronson J. Lewis Award. The award was established by the trade association to recognize individuals for their leadership and outstanding contribution to the engineered wood products industry.

In announcing the winner, APA President Dennis Hardman noted Ford’s leadership in both the industry and Oregon communities.

“Allyn Ford is a true statesman of the wood products industry. His example of leadership through commitment to best practices and innovation sets a high standard for the industry and provides a model for others to follow,” Hardman said. “In addition to his industry leadership, he has made considerable philanthropic contributions to his community, his state, and to higher education,” he noted.

Ford has served as president and CEO of Roseburg Forest Products since 1997, assuming the role after the death of his father, founder Kenneth Ford. Before becoming president he served in various roles within the company, including forest resources, construction, manufacturing, and labor relations. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale and a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University.

Roseburg Forest Products is one of the largest producers of softwood and hardwood plywood in North America. Under Ford’s leadership, the company has constructed and maintained operation of a large LVL/I-joist plant; expanded the company’s presence in the Southeast with the acquisition of composite and flakeboard plants; added melamine lamination capabilities with the acquisition of a particleboard plant in Missoula, Montana; and grown the sawmill in Dillard, Oregon to one of the largest producers of lumber studs in the U.S., with an annual production of 450 million board feet.

Mr. Ford participates in a number of charitable and business organizations, including the APA Board of Trustees, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, The Ford Family Foundation, Umpqua Bank Board Chair (retired), Board of Higher Education for the State of Oregon, Oregon Board of Forestry (1975-1982), Advisory Board for Forestry Intensified Research, Douglas Timber Operators (Chairman of the Steering Committee), Public Timber Purchasers Group, and the National Forestry Association. He has also been awarded the History Maker Medal by the Oregon Historical Society.

His philanthropic activities and charitable work include leading contributions for the Cheryl Ramberg Ford and Allyn Ford Alumni Center at the University of Oregon and a $5 million commitment from Cheryl and Allyn Ford to create an endowment for the dean’s position at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. In acknowledging the gift, OSU President Ed Ray said, “This visionary gift from Allyn and Cheryl Ford illustrates that in tough economic times smart people redouble efforts to preserve the path to excellence. Their investment assures that the college will have outstanding leadership for the next century and beyond.”

Ford also matches 75 percent of every dollar that Roseburg employees donate to local charities and organizations through the Annual Employee Giving Campaign.

Roseburg Forest Products owns and manages 625,000 acres in Oregon and Northern California. The company employs 2,500 people in 80 communities across the country.

APA is nonprofit trade association representing approximately 150 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. The award is named for Bronson J. Lewis, whose 24 years of service as executive vice president of APA spanned both the introduction of southern pine plywood and the advent of oriented strand board. This year’s award will be presented to Mr. Ford on Nov. 12 in the general session at APA’s annual conference in Amelia Island, Florida.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 150 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Structural Wood Panel Industry Sets Record Production Mark in 2002

APA Media Center News Release

DATE: January 24, 2003
RELEASE #: C3-2003
CONTACT: Jack Merry, Phone:(253) 620-7413, E-mail: jack.merry@apawood.org

 

Structural Wood Panel Industry Sets Record Production Mark in 2002
U.S. and Canadian production of structural wood panels (plywood and oriented strand board) totaled a record-setting 40.34 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis) in 2002, up 3.5 percent from 2001, according to a yearend tally just completed by APA—The Engineered Wood Association. The old record of 40.33 billion feet was set in 2000.

While the weak economy limited demand in the nonresidential construction market, industry production for the year was able to set the new record largely because of the surprisingly strong housing market and strengthening demand in the remodeling and industrial markets. Residential construction accounts for approximately half of total market demand for structural panels. Housing starts in 2002 totaled 1.7 million, a 16-year high.

APA’s latest forecast, issued last fall, is for North American production to rise by another 400 million feet to 40.7 billion in 2003, based on expectations that housing starts will remain in the 1.6 million range and economic recovery will spur additional demand in the industrial and nonresidential construction markets. Obvious wild cards include the ongoing threat of terrorist attacks and the possibility of war with Iraq. The latter, if it occurs, should not be a major economic factor provided hostilities are successfully and quickly concluded.

Over the longer term, the most recent forecast is for panel production to edge slowly upward, reaching 42.5 billion feet over the next five years. Demand for housing is expected to continue strong, with starts remaining close to 1.6 million units annually. A long-standing trend toward larger homes, however, could level off, thereby mitigating a major historical structural wood panel demand factor.

U.S. and Canadian OSB production is expected to total 23.5 billion feet in 2003, or nearly 58 percent of total structural wood panel output. That percentage is expected to continue rising over the next five years, but at a slower rate than in the past as OSB construction sheathing markets become increasingly saturated. Plywood demand has been limited over the past several months by lack of capital investment in industrial markets, where plywood manufacturers have become increasingly adept at carving out specialty and niche markets. Although the prospects for continued improvement in those markets are good, total plywood production is expected to remain in the 16-17 billion square feet range through 2005. In addition to competition from OSB, the plywood industry has lost nearly all of its European markets to foreign producers and now also faces rising plywood and OSB imports here at home.

Total softwood plywood and OSB imports into the U.S. and Canada last year (excluding the countries’ trans-border shipments) totaled 700 million square feet, up almost 80 percent from the year before and 260 percent from 2000. About 60 percent of that imported volume was plywood.

Exports, meanwhile, continued to decline in 2002. The two countries’ combined plywood and OSB exports (excluding again trans-border shipments) fell to 703 million feet, down 20 percent from the year before. Engineered wood framing products, such as glulam timber, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber, now meet about five percent of North American structural lumber demand. That share is expected to continue rising, albeit slowly, reaching six percent by 2006.

Glulam production, aided in the coming year by an expected rebound in nonresidential construction, is forecast to rise about two percent, to 345 million board feet in 2003. Production of I-joists, which now command about 43 percent of the raised floor market, is expected to exceed one billion linear feet for the first time, up from 981 million linear feet in 2002. And laminated veneer lumber output is forecast to rise to 66 million cubic feet, up nearly seven percent from 2002.

Engineered wood product demand growth is spurred by constraints on the supply of timber suitable for the manufacture of large dimension lumber, growing awareness by the design/construction community of the products’ performance benefits, and the products’ environmental merits, including more efficient use of available resources and favorable comparison with non-wood products when measured by life cycle assessment criteria.

Complete 2002 production data are contained in APA’s fourth quarter 2002 statistics report. The quarterly reports are available to non-APA members for $90 per year. APA’s next annual five-year forecast will be released around April 1.

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Tolko Plywood Mills to Join APA

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: September 26, 2013
Number: 2013-22

Tolko Plywood Mills to Join APA

Tolko OSB mills have received "invaluable" suppoprt from APA. 

The Tolko Industries Ltd. plywood mills in Heffley Creek and Armstrong, British Columbia are joining APA – The Engineered Wood Association, effective October 19, 2013, the company and APA announced this week. Tolko’s OSB mills in High Prairie and Slave Lake, Alberta and Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan are already members of APA.

The Tolko mills produce plywood for flooring, underlayment, sheathing, and specialty industrial applications. Tolko has been manufacturing plywood and veneer products for more than 50 years.

“Tolko has recently launched the T-Ply product family of innovative plywood panel products for flooring, sheathing and underlayment giving a good, better, best choice to builders. The support services our OSB mills have received from their APA membership has been invaluable; we look forward to the APA helping us meet our goal of supplying superior products that meet the demands of builders,” said Hardy Wentzel, Tolko’s Vice President Sales, Marketing & Logistics.

“Tolko has been an active and valued member with their oriented strand board products, and we are pleased to welcome the Heffley Creek and Armstrong plywood mills into APA membership,” said APA President Dennis Hardman. “This vote of confidence on the part of Tolko will significantly strengthen APA’s voice in Canada and in the broader plywood industry. We look forward to bringing the full value of APA services to them and welcome their participation in our Association activities and advisory committees,” he said. Tolko’s Vice President of OSB and Kraft Papers, Jim Baskerville, currently serves on the APA Board of Trustees.

APA (formerly the American Plywood Association) represents more than 80 percent of all plywood and oriented strand board produced in Canada and the U.S. Core services for APA members include product certification as well as market and technical support.

Tolko Industries, Ltd. is a private, Canadian-owned forest products company based in Vernon, British Columbia with approximately 3,000 employees. Tolko is a major producer and marketer of lumber, veneer, plywood, oriented strand board, and kraft papers, with manufacturing operations across Western Canada.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Nyblad Assumes APA Chairmanship

APA News Release

Release #: 2011-24
Date: December 14, 2011
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, 253-620-7476, marilyn.thompson@apawood.org

Nyblad Assumes APA Chairmanship

undefinedAPA – The Engineered Wood Association recently appointed Mary Jo Nyblad as Chairman of the APA Board of Trustees. Ms. Nyblad has served on the APA Board for six years, the last two as Vice-Chairman. During that time she has also chaired the APA Marketing Advisory Committee and the APA Finance Committee.

As a trade association, APA is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of 15 executives from structural panel and engineered wood products companies in the United States and Canada.  Ms. Nyblad is the first woman to chair the APA Board in its 78 year history.

Her current responsibilities at Boise Cascade include sales and marketing for plywood and particleboard, as well as the transportation department for those products.  She has an undergraduate degree from Whitman College and an MBA from Idaho State University.

“Mary Jo brings a wealth of product knowledge, strategic marketplace experience and a genuine commitment to the success and growth of our industry”, said APA President Dennis Hardman.  “APA is extremely fortunate to have a leader of such caliber to guide us through the current challenging business environment for structural wood products.”

Other members of the APA Board of Trustees include:

  • Tom Temple (Vice-Chairman), Vice President Wood Products, Potlatch Corporation
  • Doug Calvert, President, Calvert Company, Inc.
  • Mike Dawson, Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Logistics, Norbord
  • Allyn Ford, President, Roseburg Forest Products Company
  • Don Grimm, President, Hood Industries, Inc.
  • Dennis Hardman, President, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
  • Jim Lake, President & COO, Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.
  • Mark Luetters, President, Wood Products, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC
  • Jonathan Martin, Chairman & CEO, Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, L.L.C.
  • John Murphy, President, Murphy Company
  • Tom Ray, Vice President, Montana Operations, Plum Creek
  • Mike St. John, Vice President, Montana Operations, Pacific Woodtech Corp.
  • Brad Thorlakson, President & CEO, Tolko Industries Ltd.
  • Jeff Wagner, Executive Vice President – OSB, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA (www.apawood.org) represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.


Market Outlook: APA Forecasts 15 Percent Increase in Housing

APA News Release

Release #: 2012-6
Date: March 26, 2012
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, 253-620-7476, marilyn.thompson@apawood.org

Market Outlook: APA Forecasts 15 Percent Increase in Housing

Structural panel and engineered wood product demand expected to grow in 2012. 

For the first time in several years, all of the major end-use markets for wood products are expected to move in concert and increase this year. Housing, the largest market for many products, is expected to increase 10 percent this year when U.S. and Canadian starts are combined. Details of the new forecast for APA product category groups and major end-use markets were published earlier this month.

“There is a little more life to engineered wood demand this year. Last year, we were just treading water,” said Craig Adair, APA’s Market Research Director. “This year, we’re expecting demand to pick up from 4 percent to 11 percent depending on the product.”

Although the Great Recession in the U.S. ended in mid-2009, the recovery has been uneven, and only now is the U.S. economy showing signs of sustainable growth. Adair noted that single-family housing is still plagued with several obstacles, including banks that are reluctant to lend and more foreclosures on the way. Single-family construction is expected to improve in 2012, but it should have a more meaningful recovery in 2013.

"It may not be a lack of consumer demand that’s holding housing back; it’s more likely a financial system that currently doesn’t freely accommodate residential mortgages, and it could take years to repair and reorganize the system,” Adair said. Meanwhile, the demand for rental housing is so great that apartment construction has picked up along with a wave of investment in existing single-family rental housing.

Nonresidential construction is showing signs of a turnaround in 2012. Remodeling and industrial markets are expected to increase again in 2012. Exports to Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean should continue to improve.

The table below paints the picture for U.S. and Canadian housing starts in 2012 compared to last year.

Housing Starts in the U.S. and Canada*

    Single-Family Multifamily Total
 United States
 2011  431 178 609
 United States  2012  470  230  700 (+15%)
 Canada  2011  95  99  194
 Canada  2012  98  87  185 (5%)

*Thousands of starts

Demand and production of North American structural panels and engineered wood products are expected to increase in 2012. Structural panels are expected to increase 7 percent in 2012 as all end-use markets demand more volume. Overall, structural panel production is forecast at 28.0 BSF in 2012.

The outlook for glulam timber is better in 2012 than in 2011 because both residential and nonresidential construction are forecast to increase. North American production is forecast at 213 MMBF in 2012, a 5 percent increase from 2011.

I-joist market share is forecast to increase modestly in 2012 to 53 percent of raised floors. As the housing market improves, I-joist market share is expected to grow steadily. The forecast for 2012 is an 11 percent increase to 509 MMLF.

In the Structural Composite Lumber family, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) production is expected to follow the demand for beams and headers, rim boards and I-joist flanges.  Production is forecast to increase 4 percent in 2012 to 43.4 MMFT3.

APA’s five-year Market Outlook is available through APA’s Member Only website. APA’s Yearbook, which contains historical data and a look at 2012, is available to non-members for $250. Additional reports are available through APA’s website

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA (www.apawood.org) represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Interview with APA President Dennis Hardman

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: May 30, 2012
Number: 2012-10

Interview with APA President Dennis Hardman

APA-The Engineered Wood Association President Dennis Hardman shares his views on the state of the industry and the association.

It’s been a tough few years for the structural wood panel and engineered wood products industry. What’s your assessment of the challenges facing the industry at this point?
DH:
Where do I start? Market demand, of course, is still the primary problem. North American structural wood panel production last year was 26.07 billion square feet on a 3/8” basis. That was almost identical to 2010, and we’re still way below the 43 billion feet at the peak of the housing market in 2005. So we have a long road of recovery ahead of us. There is also the ongoing challenge of safeguarding industry interests in codes and standards. Recently, for example, we’ve been working to gain fairer treatment of wood products in the International Energy Conservation Code. In addition, the industry faces numerous regulatory challenges, such as the Boiler MACT issue, ever more stringent formaldehyde emissions limits, growing green building requirements, among others. And there is the continuing federal timber supply problem in much of the West. So there’s no shortage of challenges.

What’s the industry production forecast for this year and beyond? Are things looking up?
DH:
We’re now forecasting U.S. and Canadian plywood and OSB production to rise this year by about 1.9 billion square feet, and to continue to increase next year and beyond. By 2016, we expect U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel production to be back at around 37 billion square feet, or about a 40 percent increase from 2011.

What about the other engineered wood products that APA represents?
DH:
Same thing. Glulam, wood I-joists and laminated veneer lumber should all experience strengthening demand as the economy in general and the housing market in particular improve. Production of I-joists looks especially promising, almost doubling by 2016 from the 2011 volume.

So, you’re expecting some improvement now in the housing market?
DH:
Yes, we believe we have hit or are very close to hitting the bottom of the market. We’re forecasting a 15 percent increase in U.S. housing starts this year compared with 2011. Looking farther ahead, we think U.S. single-family and multifamily starts could reach 1.4 million by 2016. The problem right now is the continuing high inventory of unsold existing homes, including the millions that are in foreclosure. We also need to see stabilization and then increases in home values in order to renew consumer confidence and investment.

What about exports? Those have been strong, correct?
DH:
Yes. North American plywood and OSB exports, excluding shipments between the two countries, totaled 1.23 billion square feet last year, the highest volume in 12 years. That’s been fueled by the weak domestic markets, which have made manufacturers here more aggressive in selling overseas. As domestic demand improves, more of that product is likely to remain in North America, so exports are expected to slow. Conversely, imports have declined recently, but are likely to pick up again as the North American market improves and becomes more attractive to offshore producers.

The industrial market is especially important to plywood manufacturers. How’s that market looking?
DH:
Solid. Demand in industrial markets declined by about 7 and 8 percent, respectively, in 2008 and 2009, but rose by 6 percent in 2010 and another 3 percent or so last year. We expect the rate of growth to remain at about 3 percent per year over the next several years.

You cited regulatory matters as among other industry challenges, including energy codes. What’s the issue there?
DH:
That has to do with the International Energy Conservation Code, or IECC, which in late 2010 approved changes that in effect unfairly favor foam sheathing over structural wood panels. We did a study that indicated those changes could represent a potential U.S. market demand loss of approximately 905 million square feet of structural wood panels. That’s almost 20 percent of the structural wood panel wall sheathing market. So it’s a big deal.

How are you addressing that challenge?
DH:
We helped last year to establish an independent coalition of wood products industry manufacturers and associations, called the Coalition for Fair Energy Codes. It has a twofold purpose: first, to ensure that identified priority states adopt energy codes that allow for the continued use of cost-effective building envelope design options that include oriented strand board, plywood and lumber framing, and second, to influence development of future energy codes, including the 2015 IECC, to ensure structural wood products and systems are appropriately regulated and not disadvantaged in their acceptance and use in the marketplace.

What does the coalition do exactly?
DH:
It has several functions, including federal government-level education, monitoring and attempting to influence state energy codes and legislation, assembling technical data and information in support of credible energy code policy positions, establishing alliances with other industry partners and supports, and communicating key messages to stakeholder groups. I’m happy to report that our state efforts have been largely successful to date, but we still have a lot of work to do.

What are APA’s strategic priorities this year?
DH:
Our priorities are based on a strategic plan that has four chief goals as established by our Board of Trustees. The first is maintaining an independent certification program that assures member compliance with product and performance standards, and that also performs a leading role in setting industry standards. The second is protecting and growing wood product market share. The third is strengthening the voice of the industry through APA membership expansion and strategic partners. And finally, the fourth goal is exercising fiscal responsibility and maintaining organizational effectiveness.

You mentioned membership expansion. Has APA’s membership been affected by the recession?
DH:
Actually, we’ve increased our membership quite substantially, with approximately 20 new member mills added to the ranks since 2009. Those are fairly evenly split between the U.S. and Canada, and represent most of the products for which APA provides services. During that same period, we have not lost a single mill other than through closure. So we’re quite proud of that record. We consider it a remarkable statement of faith in the strategic direction and value proposition of APA during a period of extreme financial pressure on most wood product manufacturing companies. Our strong membership base positions APA very well for the eventual climb out of this down market.

You also mentioned strategic partnerships. What are some of those and what are their purposes?
DH:
One of the longest standing examples is our participation in the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service cooperator program, which each provides sizeable grants in support of our international market development efforts. Another example is the Wood Products Council, of which APA is a charter member. The council administers a nonresidential construction market program, called WoodWorks, that is designed to increase wood product demand in that market. Still another example is the Canada Wood Group, an alliance of mostly Canadian wood products industry associations that coordinates funding for international market development projects sponsored by the Canadian and British Columbian governments. APA is a member of the Coalition for Advanced Wood Structures, a university, industry and government partnership whose mission is to identify and execute cooperative research and technology leading to improvement of wood structures. We also have a close relationship with industry suppliers through the Engineered Wood Technology Association, which is a related APA organization that serves as a networking and information exchange vehicle for manufacturers and suppliers. And also, as I mentioned, we participate in the Coalition for Fair Energy Codes in partnership with the American Wood Council. In fact, the day-to-day operations of CFEC are managed by an APA staff member, and APA provides program budget accounting and financial reporting services for the group. We also have longstanding relationships with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, American Wood Council, Green Building Strategy Group, Institute for Business and Home Safety, National Association of Home Builders, Canadian Wood Council, American Forest & Paper Association, FPInnovations in Canada, to name a few.

With regard to organizational effectiveness, how has APA adjusted or responded to the budget constraints that you must have faced when the economy collapsed?
DH:
Well, like almost everyone else in this industry and throughout the country, we had to go through some painful staff and budget cuts, and then adjust our priorities in accordance with the most important needs of our members. That gave rise to the four-point strategic plan that I mentioned earlier. Obviously, quality certification is among the most important of those member needs, so we’ve devoted a lot of resources to making sure that we continue to operate the best quality certification program in the industry. I would add that the APA Board continues to review incremental investment that would be necessary to restore APA functions and activities to some pre-recession baseline level, once conditions permit. That’s important to our being as prepared as possible to capitalize on market development and other strategic opportunities as the economy and market improve.

Speaking of the APA Board of Trustees, who serves on it?
DH:
The APA Board is comprised of 15 executive-level members who reflect the broad product mix, geographic range and diverse size of APA member companies. We also have an APA member advisory committee system that is actively involved in formulating recommendations and developing program plans related to market development, technical services, quality services, glulam and I-joist/LVL, mill safety, etc.

Given the very difficult business conditions over the past few years, what APA accomplishments are you most proud of?
DH:
I’d have to say the strong member support that we’ve had during this period is certainly high on the list. That speaks, I think, to the dedication and expertise of the APA staff, and also to the excellent strategic guidance we’ve received from the APA Board and advisory committees. I’m also proud that despite budget constraints, we have continued to refine and improve our quality certification services, and have remained a globally recognized leader in the standards promulgation arena. I think we have done a good job of protecting market share through a variety of highly targeted promotional programs. And I’m proud of the increased recognition within APA and among APA’s members of the importance of safety, although I really need to give credit there to former APA Chairman and current APA Trustee Jeff Wagner of LP, who is passionate on that subject. Jeff was the leading force in reorganizing the annual APA mill safety awards competition and in forming a new APA mill safety advisory committee.

Finally, what’s the biggest lesson from the last few years of depressed markets?
DH:
Clearly, within APA, we’ve learned a lot about efficiencies and essential member values. As market demand improves we will definitely apply those lessons to rebuilding.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Incoming APA President Offers Engineered Wood Outlook for 2014

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: December 16, 2013
Number: 2013-27

Incoming APA President Offers Engineered Wood Outlook for 2014

This month, APA-The Engineered Wood Association bids farewell to its president of eight years, Dennis Hardman, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the organization. Stepping into the presidency is Ed Elias, a 35-year veteran of APA who has served numerous roles, including technical, financial, and international marketing. We asked Elias to offer his perspectives on how APA and the engineered wood industry viewed 2013 and what dealers can expect during 2014.

What expectations does APA have for the housing market in 2014?

Along with the rest of the world, we’re forecasting housing demand in 2014 and global economic growth in general with cautious optimism. The economy is slowly improving, and the housing market is recovering in many areas. Incoming APA President Ed EliasAPA is forecasting 1.1 million housing starts in the U.S. in 2014, up 16 percent from an expected 945,000 starts in 2013. In Canada, we are expecting overall housing starts to remain similar to 2013 at 187,000.

That being said, confidence among consumers and builders is still fragile, and challenges, from a tight lending market to labor issues, remain. Of particular note is the fact that multi-family construction is up 32 percent relative to single-family starts at 16 percent for 2013. This trend is expected to continue yet for several years. The driving force for this expectation is the assumption that as household growth among young people picks up, their first move is going to be into a rental apartment and not toward the purchase of a single-family house.

On the positive side, home prices are generally higher by 12 percent relative to a year ago. Real gross domestic product is expected to average 2.8 percent through 2018, which is potentially high enough to improve the employment rate to levels where housing starts by 2015 could be as high as 1.0-1.2 million units per year. By 2018, APA forecasters are projecting that single family housing starts could reach 1.05 million per year and multi-family starts at 0.5 million starts per year.

Demand growth in other end-use sectors, such as repair and remodeling, nonresidential construction and industrial markets, is expected to average 3 percent in 2014.

How will APA approach these changing market scenarios?

As an Association, that means keeping a focus on our core goals and services while remaining open to opportunities to expand our programs to new and developing engineered wood products and systems.

Specifically, related to housing the Association is pursuing the maintenance and expansion of structural wood-based panel wall sheathing. But, we have also continued to support the growth of engineered wood floor systems, reduced callbacks through installation education and the proper specification of standard compliant products by engineers, architects and builders. By way of an example, through our APA Simplified Wall Bracing program we are promoting the value proposition for the use of fully sheathed walls in low to moderate wind zones (up to 100 mph wind speeds). Four states incorporated these provisions into their building codes this past year: North Carolina, Georgia, Idaho and Montana.

The Association has also promoted the expanded application of wood structural panel sheathing used in combination with systems other than foam sheathing to meet energy code and structural building requirements through our Advanced Framing construction program.

More at the trade level, we have also focused on expanding the technical information available on mobile platforms such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Basic mobile Builder Tips related to the prevention of panel buckling, proper panel and nail spacing, squeaky floors and care and handling of stock on the building site were successfully introduced in 2013.

What are the biggest challenges for engineered wood manufacturers in the present economy and marketplace? How will those challenges affect building products dealers and their customers, if at all?

Recovering from our recent recession, there are no shortages of challenges. Overall market demand remains the primary challenge faced by the North American engineered wood products industry. North American structural wood panel production in 2013 is forecast to reach 21.3 billion square feet on a 3/8 inch thickness basis. We remain well below the 43 billion square feet of production during 2005 and the peak of our housing market that totaled 2.3 million housing starts that year. 

Government fiscal policy is a challenge that we cannot directly address but clearly impacts labor markets, interest rates and consumer confidence. We believe that the trend of depressed employment rates across all age classes, most notably those in the under-35 age group, continues to adversely impact household growth and homeownership.

Global supply and demand of wood products may also impact future consumption patterns of North American construction materials. The cost of raw materials and labor, and the availability of transport for product distribution will need to be balanced against trade policies between developing and developed nations. Competitive use of wood fiber for nonstructural applications such as wood pellets to meet clean energy targets could also impact the future availability. Other potential constraints deal with expanding regulatory concerns on formaldehyde emissions and those of methanol, as well as green building legislation.

There are no shortages of challenges, prioritizing them will be a key role of the Association, its Board of Trustees and membership.

What’s the industry production forecast for 2014 and beyond? Which categories are expected to be the strongest performers?

For 2014, we are forecasting U.S. and Canadian plywood and OSB production to rise by 1.9 billion square feet reaching 25.7 billion square feet, an increase of 9 percent from 2013. By 2018, U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel production is expected to reach 27.4 billion square feet.

For 2014, North American production of engineered wood products of glued laminated timber, structural composite lumber and wood I-Joists are also forecast to improve by 5 percent, 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively as the North American economy improves. Overall glulam demand in North America is expected to grow from 251 million board feet in 2013 to 328 million board feet in 2018. Structural wood I-Joist production is expected to grow from 625 linear feet in 2013 to 887 million linear feet in 2018. Laminated veneer lumber volumes will increase from 61.5 million cubic feet in 2013 to 79.8 million cubic feet in 2018.

The forecasted increase in housing starts is expected to be the main driver for this increasing demand for engineered wood in North America. We also believe that recovery in the non-residential construction market will lag behind but follow home building. In this latter sector, we expect to see a 31 percent growth by 2018 in comparison with 2013.

What are some of APA’s chief highlights from 2013?

Through our internal staff and our partnerships with members and other organizations, APA continued to produce a wide breadth of resources, helping to ensure wood-framed structures that are strong, efficient, affordable, and long-lasting. Among our many accomplishments in 2013:

  • Expected 1.5 million unique visits this year to APA’s website, www.apawood.org, almost 5,000 visits per day, every day of the year.
  • Nearly 6,000 end users have had technical issues addressed by the APA Product Support Help Desk
  • Numerous new and updated technical publications, adding to our library of more than 500, including the distribution of close to 150,000 publications through direct downloads from our website.
  • Mobile Builder Tips: Easily accessible, back-to-basics installation tips for installing dealers and contractors facing a tight labor market and inexperienced crews.
  • Developed a bi-national ANSI standard for cross laminated timber and published a performance rated structural insulated panel ANSI standard for use in wall applications.
  • Promotion and education supporting several APA wall sheathing systems to expand the specification and application of structural wood panels: Simplified Wall Bracing System, Force Transfer Around Opening shear wall design procedures, and advanced framing techniques to meet the more stringent energy codes. 
  • Establishment of a strategic partnership with Wood Works, a coalition that is promoting wood frame solutions to the nonresidential market.
  • In-person events: APA’s field services staff hosted six dealer training events in the past year and presented a variety of educational sessions around the U.S., including “Top 10 Framing Mistakes” at the International Builders’ Show, “Wood Framing for More Efficient Homes” in New England, “Wood Podiums for Mid-Rise Construction” at Woodworks Wood Solutions Fairs, and “2012 IRC Wall Bracing” at the Building Officials Association of Texas.
  • Carbon Challenge competition: In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Lab, APA hosted competitions in Baltimore and Providence, R.I., that challenged architects to consider the carbon footprint of materials in addition to affordability, livability, and longevity. See the winners at www.apawood.org/carbonchallenge.

What specific programs and resources can engineered wood retailers and end users expect from APA in 2014?

  • Continued emphasis supporting the cost effective use of structural wood wall sheathing to meet state energy and building codes.
  • Promote the preference of continuously sheathed wood structural panel walls to builders and code officials through field calls, publicity, seminars and publications.
  • Promotion of the specification and proper application of engineered wood products in APA wall, roof and floor systems both in residential as well as commercial construction applications. The latter will be in conjunction with the industry-wide Woodworks campaign.
  • Increased incorporation of web-based programs, mobile applications and social media (e.g. YouTube videos) to influence target audiences.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Carbon Challenge Competition Promotes Sustainability of Baltimore’s Iconic Row Houses

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 15, 2013
Number: 2013-6

Carbon Challenge Competition Promotes Sustainability of Baltimore’s Iconic Row Houses

Architecture contest challenges building designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials in N. Bethel St. row house.

The Carbon Challenge Baltimore Design Competition, which challenges architects to rethink their perceptions of how construction materials impact the environment and promotes the use of wood as a component of sustainable design, kicked off in Baltimore City today.

Cash prizes totaling $10,000 will be awarded for designs based on their life-cycle assessment score and for designs demonstrating the best curb appeal, the most affordability and the best use of wood.

As a joint campaign of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory and APA-The Engineered Wood Association, the Carbon Challenge will educate home designers, builders and communities about how sustainable design strategies can address the long-term environmental impact of a building and disaster resilience.

Competition participants will design an urban row house to help the city restore distressed neighborhoods and implement its sustainability plan. Using life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, designers will be able to determine the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions from the products in their design.

"Wood should be a major component of American building and energy design,” said USDA Under Secretary Harris Sherman, who oversees the Forest Service. “The use of wood products continues to benefit the environment by storing carbon long after a building has been constructed, and helps sustain a critical source of jobs in rural America. This project could be a blueprint for developing communities in cities across America.”

The USDA announced a new emphasis on the use of green building materials in March 2011, requiring all new USDA buildings to use wood in their construction and promoting new research into the use of wood as an environmentally friendly building material. Forest Service studies show that using wood products for building materials, instead of fossil-fuel intensive alternatives, results in a smaller carbon footprint.

“When the industry and the public think about the environmental footprint of a home, it’s often the energy use that’s considered. But that discounts the amount of CO2 emitted to create the structure’s materials—called embodied carbon,” says Bob Clark, Senior Engineered Wood Specialist for APA. “By specifying products—such as wood—that emit less carbon during manufacture and even store carbon within them, designers can make homes much more sustainable.”

The Carbon Challenge will begin with a kick-off celebration for area architects and builders on January 15, from 3-6 p.m. at Humanim at the American Brewery, 1701 N. Gay St. The competition is open to architects, building designers and engineers. Registration is open January 16 through February 8; design entries are due March 4. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in the spring.

“The Carbon Challenge is an ideal way to educate designers and the public about embodied energy and embodied carbon,” said Mike Ritter, assistant director for the Forest Products Laboratory. “By using a real-world scenario and experiencing the life-cycle assessment first hand, participants will be able to apply these important concepts to their own home designs going forward, thus helping to reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint.”

Following the competition, FPL and APA will host a series of educational seminars in the greater Baltimore area to continue educating designers on the principles of low-carbon, low-energy design.

The Carbon Challenge is held in partnership with the City of Baltimore and AIA Baltimore, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products, Boise Cascade, and Roseburg Forest Products.

For more information on the Carbon Challenge and to enter, visit www.apawood.org/carbonchallenge/baltimore/.

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About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

2010 Raised Floor Living Design Challenge Winners Announced

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Kelly Devlin, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kelly.Devlin@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7475
Date: May 24, 2010
Number: 2010-03

2010 Raised Floor Living Design Challenge Winners Announced

2010 
Raised Floor Living Design Challenge WinnersRaised wood floor home designs from Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina have won the 2010 Design Challenge presented by Raised Floor Living. Kathleen Reardon and John Dazey of RD Architecture, LLC submitted the winning design in Houston and Heather Wojick provided the winner in Charlotte.

In the competition, designers in Houston and Charlotte were invited by Raised Floor Living to design a home that celebrates a raised wood floor foundation, incorporates wood products and systems in structural and aesthetic applications, meets the demanding local climate conditions, reflects the heritage of its region, and considers an environmentally friendly design. Raised Floor Living is a promotional program sponsored by APA and the Southern Pine Council.

A panel of judges assembled by APA determined the winning design for each market. The judges commented that Reardon and Dazey’s winning design for Houston presented “an affordable and realistic design that would fit into the surrounding neighborhood.” Regarding Wojick’s winning design for Charlotte, the judges noted that it “capitalizes upon the added height of a raised floor foundation to lend a welcoming presence to the front porch as entry. Extending the porch roof across the front reduces the scale of the adjacent garage, and ends the rivalry of this home’s street identity between pedestrian and garage doors. People live here!”

Winners received $5,000 towards the design of working drawings for the winners of Raised Floor Living’s concurrent Design your Dream Home promotion in both Houston and Charlotte markets.

The Design Challenge runner-ups were Ted Mengers of Pyranak Design Group in Houston and Kevin Holdridge of KDH Residential Designs in Charlotte.

More about Raised Floor Living

Raised Floor Living is a promotional program sponsored by the Southern Pine Council in partnership with APA. The program’s objective is to provide home builders, home designers and home buyers with the resources they need to make informed decisions about building, designing and selecting raised wood floor homes. For more information, visit www.RaisedFloorLiving.com


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Advanced Framing Boosts Efficiencies, Conserves Resources

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Kelly Devlin, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: kelly.devlin@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7475
Date: June 11, 2012
Number: 2012-12

Advanced Framing Boosts Efficiencies, Conserves Resources

Cost-effective techniques help builders balance energy and structural building code requirements.

Advanced framing with 2x6 wood studs spaced 24 inches on center is one of the most cost-effective solutions for builders and installing dealers trying to balance energy and structural building code requirements. Installers who utilize advanced framing techniques optimize framing material usage, reduce wood waste and, with effective insulation detailing, boost the building’s efficiency. When properly designed and constructed, advanced framed walls that are fully sheathed with wood structural panels, such as plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), provide the structural strength necessary to safely withstand the forces of nature.

What Is Advanced Framing?

Advanced framing is a system of construction framing techniques designed to optimize material usage and increase energy efficiency. Structures built with advanced framing techniques are more resource efficient and offer more space for cavity insulation than similar structures built with conventional framing.

Conventional framing, the industry standard for framing residential construction, typically consists of 2x4 or 2x6 wood framing spaced 16 inches on center, three-stud corners, multiple jack studs, double or triple headers, unnecessary cripple studs and other redundant members.

Advanced framing reduces the unnecessary structural redundancies inherent in conventional framing by placing framing members only where they’re needed. The most commonly adopted advanced framing technique is 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center. Other commonly used techniques include insulated three-stud corners or two-stud corners with ladder blocking, multiple wall intersection options, single headers and insulated headers, minimal use of jack studs and cripples, and the elimination of redundant studs and unnecessary blocking and bridging. Although some advanced framing techniques can be adopted independently, the greatest savings – in both cost of construction and energy – will be realized when the system is applied holistically. 

Advanced framing – also known as optimum value engineering (OVE)  – was developed by the NAHB Research Center in the 1970s for the purpose of optimizing material usage while maintaining structural integrity. Today, growing interest in energy conservation is leading more and more builders and installers to adopt advanced framing techniques.

APA recommends installers consult their local building official early in the design phase to verify and obtain acceptance of 24-inch framing techniques in their jurisdiction.

Advantages of Advanced Framing

The key advantages of advanced framing include:

1. Energy Efficiency
Advanced framing is a proven method for cost-effectively meeting energy code requirements. By maximizing space for cavity insulation and minimizing the potential for insulation voids, advanced framing delivers significant energy performance and cost savings for the builder. 

Walls built with 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center have deeper, wider insulation cavities than conventional 2x4 framing spaced 16 inches on center; increasing the amount of insulation inside the wall improves the whole wall R-value (see Figure 1). In addition to maximizing space for cavity insulation, advanced framing simplifies the installation of insulation and air sealing. Conventional framing can leave voids and small cavities in the framing at wall intersections and corners that can be difficult to insulate and seal effectively. By installing fewer framing members, it is easier for the builder to apply complete insulation coverage and achieve a tighter building envelope.

As energy codes have become increasingly stringent, advanced framing has grown more popular in climate zones where high prescriptive wall R-values are mandated or desired. While framing with 2x6 studs spaced 16 inches on center is already common in many northern states with more restrictive energy demands, increasing stud spacing to 24 inches on center, insulating effectively and fully sheathing with wood structural panels, such as plywood or OSB, allows installers to cost-effectively balance energy and structural code requirements.

In addition, advanced framing can help builders meet the requirements necessary to earn the Energy Star label for new homes.

2. Cost Effectiveness
Advanced framing is less expensive because it is more resource efficient than conventional framing. By framing with 2x6 wood studs spaced 24 inches on center, builders optimize framing material use and reduce framing installation labor.

Advanced framing can help to increase the efficiency of other trades as well; more space between framing members means fewer studs for plumbers and electricians to drill through and fewer cavities for insulators to fill. Additional savings may result from a reduction in construction waste and Dumpster costs.

3. Structural Integrity
The advanced framing method combined with continuous wood structural panel sheathing delivers an optimal solution: a cost-effective framing system that will produce more energy-efficient homes without compromising the strength or durability of the structure.

Where builders align the vertical framing members under the roof trusses or rafters, a direct load path is created in which compression and tension loads are directly transferred through the vertical framing members. The result is a stronger structure with fewer framing members subject to stresses.

When properly constructed, advanced framed walls that are fully sheathed with wood structural panels provide the structure with the strength to safely withstand design loads. Of all the available wall sheathing products, wood structural panels are afforded the most flexibility within the building code for 24-inch on center wall framing, providing solutions to code limitations that restrict most other wall bracing materials and popular siding products.

4. Sustainability
Wood construction systems such as advanced framing techniques fit well with green building strategies. Wood is a renewable resource that is manufactured in efficient processes that require less energy than is required for other building materials, such as steel and concrete. Wood-frame construction that utilizes advanced framing techniques delivers even greater environmental dividends by optimizing material usage and reducing construction waste. Many advanced framing construction techniques may be eligible for points under the leading green building standards and guidelines, such as the National Green Building Standard™ (ICC 700-2008) and the U.S. Green Building Council LEED® for Homes Rating System.

Getting Started

Advanced Framing Construction Guide, M400To ease the transition to new methods, some advanced framing techniques can be adopted independently. “Builders can incorporate the techniques in stages rather than all at once,” said Mark Halverson, field services manager for APA-The Engineered Wood Association. “For example, if meeting cold climate energy code requirements is the priority, adopting 2x6 framing at 24 inches on center while continuing to use double top plates will increase wall R-values without requiring roof, floor and wall framing to be aligned. The builder can add additional advanced framing techniques later to further reduce costs and increase energy efficiency.”

APA details several advanced framing techniques in the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400. The 24-page guide is available for free download or print purchase at www.apawood.org/publications. Additional information about advanced framing can be found at www.performancewalls.org, an APA website dedicated to the design and construction of strong, safe, energy efficient, and durable walls and structures.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Advanced Framing Featured in New APA Video

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: December 11, 2013
Number: 2013-26

Advanced Framing Featured in New APA Video

Video highlights cost-effective solution for builders trying to balance energy and structural code requirements. 

View Advanced Framing: Meet Structural Code & Energy RequirementsAPA has produced a new online video designed to educate builders about the advantages of advanced framing. In Advanced Framing: Meet Structural Code & Energy Requirements, Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark and Product Support Specialist Merritt Kline provide an overview of advanced framing techniques and discuss how they can help to optimize material usage and increase energy efficiency.

"Advanced framing is a great concept for builders who are trying to meet today's strict energy codes, while maintaining a home that is cost effective, durable, and sustainable," says Clark. "It's about removing redundant and unnecessary framing members, and replacing them with more cavity insulation. This provides walls that have higher whole wall R-values and reduced thermal bridging."

While the four-and-a-half minute video provides a general introduction to advanced framing concepts, APA's Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400, details several specific advanced framing techniques, including 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center, insulated three-stud corners and two-stud corners with ladder blocking, single headers and insulated headers, and multiple options for wall intersections. The video and construction guide are available at PerformanceWalls.org, a website that compiles APA’s extensive library of wall construction-related content into a single online resource. PerformanceWalls.org also features twenty free advanced framing CAD details.

View the APA video: Advanced Framing: Meet Structural Code & Energy Requirements

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA and ICC Team to Publish IRC Lateral Bracing Guide

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: October 29, 2012
Number: 2012-16

APA and ICC Team to Publish IRC Lateral Bracing Guide

Third edition of the book aims to improve understanding and application of the 2012 IRC lateral bracing requirements.

A Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions A new illustrated book, co-published by the International Code Council (ICC) and APA—The Engineered Wood Association, provides an explanation of the lateral bracing provisions of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC). The Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions, the third edition in the series, details the correct application of the code-bracing requirements, explores the history and theory behind wall bracing, and provides real-world bracing examples. The book is now available in hardcopy and digital format.

"Bracing is one of the most critical, yet most misunderstood, safety elements in one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses constructed under the IRC,” says Mark A. Johnson, ICC Executive Vice President and Director of Business Development. “The Guide is an important and helpful resource for inspectors, plan checkers, builders, designers and others involved in residential construction. The ongoing collaboration between APA and ICC benefits public safety and the industry. We are pleased to build on a long-standing relationship with APA.”

The IRC contains numerous prescriptive lateral bracing provisions intended to help residential structures resist lateral loads that can result from wind and seismic events. The type and amount of bracing required for a given structure depends on many factors, including location and size of the structure, and the location of bracing segments within the structure. Bracing must be applied correctly and consistently to sufficiently protect the building from lateral loads, according to ICC and APA.

“Most of the buildings in the U.S. are residential, and most of them are built to the IRC. Wall bracing is what makes those buildings perform well against wind and seismic loads,” says co-author Ed Keith, Senior Engineer for the APA Technical Services Division. “So I would say that the bracing provisions are very important."

"These provisions are complex, given the great number of aesthetic, cultural, economic and energy-related variables that factor in,” says Keith. “This guide makes these provisions easy to understand.”

A Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions addresses bracing options available to the builders and designers, the amount of bracing required with adjustments and variations, rules for the use of bracing, the new simplified wall bracing provisions, whole house bracing considerations and many other related topics. The full-color book features numerous specific examples and more than 200 figures, tables and photos.

While a portion of the book’s content was adopted from the previous edition, A Guide to the 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing, Keith says that the 2012 version reflects several refinements to the 2009 provisions. He also notes that the book was reformatted extensively to better accommodate the user in search of specific code references. “In the book, the bracing provisions are explained in the same order as they appear in the IRC, and the top of each page is annotated with the page content, so looking up a specific provision of the code is much simpler."

"The book is written to help the more causal user understand the bracing provisions,” Keith adds, “but we have also provided plenty of background information and theory to clarify the principles of bracing to engineers, architects and building officials."

The International Code Council is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe and sustainable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, structural composite lumber, and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are product certification and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

A Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions is available for purchase in hardcopy for $42.00 ($33.50 for ICC Members, Product ID #7102S12) or digital PDF form for $39.95 (Product ID #8799P12) directly from the ICC. The 2009 edition of the guide is also available. Visit www.iccsafe.org for more information.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Announces Florida Carbon Challenge

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: September 2, 2010
Number: 2010-11

APA Announces Florida Carbon Challenge

Who can design a home with the lowest carbon footprint? That’s the challenge being presented to Florida home designers by APA in the Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition.

The competition will call for single-family home designs suitable for construction in Northeast Florida. To aid designers in determining how various building components and designs impact the carbon footprint of a home, APA is working with the Athena Institute to provide a Residential EcoCalculator, a free software tool that uses life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to determine the environmental impact of design choices. The software will include data for many combinations of common building materials for floors, walls, and roofs, as well as finish materials.

Complete details and design requirements for the challenge will be presented at a series of kick-off events in several Florida locations in October and November. Additionally, competition updates and event information will be available online. Entries must be submitted by December 22, 2010.

The winning entries will be announced in January 2011 at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. APA will award $15,000 in cash prizes to the winning designers. In addition, the grand prize winning design will be evaluated in a comprehensive life cycle assessment study that compares the design in full wood-frame construction versus construction on concrete slab with concrete block walls. The results of the LCA study will be shared in a series of seminars planned for 2011.

The Carbon Challenge is funded by the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, and is being conducted in conjunction with the Raised Floor Living program, a cooperative promotion effort between APA and the Southern Forest Products Association.

To learn more, visit www.apawood.org/carbonchallenge.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

The Athena Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides the building community with software, databases, and customized consulting services that support the evaluation of the environmental impacts of new and existing buildings through life cycle assessment (LCA).

APA Assumes Responsibility of ANSI Glulam Standards

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 11, 2013
Number: 2013-1

APA Assumes Responsibility of ANSI Glulam Standards

A national standards developer accredited by ANSI, APA will provide uninterrupted support to the industry with up-to-date product standards and design specifications.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)The American Institute of Timber Construction (AITC) has transferred three American National Standards from AITC to APA with an effective date of January 1, 2013. The standards include:

  • ANSI A190.1 – 2012 (previously ANSI/AITC A190.1) American National Standard for Wood Products, Structural Glued Laminated Timber, renamed to ANSI A190.1
  • ANSI 405 – 2008 (previously AITC 405) American National Standard, Standard for Adhesives for use in Structural Glued Laminated Timber, renamed to ANSI 405
  • ANSI 117 – 2010 (previously AITC 117) American National Standard, Standard Specification for Structural Glued Laminated Timber of Softwood Species, renamed to ANSI 117

“APA has had a good working relationship with AITC for many years.  We’re pleased to take the responsibility for these standards, which are vital to the glulam industry,” said APA President Dennis Hardman. “We’re taking steps to ensure a smooth transition of the standards committee and to provide uninterrupted support to the industry with up-to-date product standards and design specifications.”

APA is a national standards developer accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and has a long and extensive history in building codes and standards development activities. It serves, for example, as the sponsor for the standing committees of U.S. Voluntary Product Standard PS 1 for Structural Plywood, the consensus softwood plywood standard, and Voluntary Product Standard PS 2, the U.S. harmonized performance standard developed under the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. It has developed performance standards over the years for numerous products, including ANSI/APA PRP 210-2008 for engineered wood siding, ANSI/PRR 410-2011 for engineered wood rim boards, ANSI/PRG 320-2012 for cross-laminated timber, and APA PRI-400 for prefabricated wood I-joists.

APA also serves as a third-party quality auditing and testing agency. It is recognized as a certification body, inspection agency, and/or testing organization by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), Standards Council of Canada (SCC), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), State of Florida, Miami-Dade County (Florida), New York City, City of Los Angeles, Japan and Dancert (for certification of APA member products in the European Union).

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Contributes to Success of International Symposium in Seattle

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: April 11, 2011
Number: 2011-07

APA Contributes to Success of International Symposium in Seattle

APA and its related supplier organization, the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), played key roles in the well-attended Joint International Symposium on Wood Composites & Veneer Processing and Products held April 5-7 in Seattle.

The composites symposium has been sponsored annually for decades by Washington State University while the veneer processing event has been held since 2004 in France, Canada, China and Finland.  The three-day symposium in Seattle, which for the first time combined the two separate functions, attracted some 200 attendees from around the world.

As one of the organizers of the joint event, APA helped recruit attendees from among its U.S. and Canadian members, including Boise Cascade, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, LP, Pacific Woodtech and West Fraser Timber Company.  Also in attendance were representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, United States, Sweden and the Republic of Korea.

EWTA, meanwhile, assisted in soliciting sponsorships from among its industry supplier members, including Huntsman, GreCon, Dieffenbacher, Pallman America, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, Arclin, Flamex, Willamette Valley Company, Siempelkamp, Electronic Wood Systems, USNR, Georgia Pacific Chemicals, Metriguard and Samuel Strapping Systems.

Helping to organize the symposium coincided with APA’s and EWTA’s educational and industry leadership missions, said APA Quality Services Director Steve Zylkowski, who served as a member of Symposium Organizing Committee.  Zylkowski also hosted a tour of the APA Research Center in Tacoma the day after the symposium that attracted some 30 participants.

The symposium program was as broad and diverse as the geographical range of the attendees, featuring 38 major presentations and nearly 20 poster sessions.  Six opening day keynote speakers, including APA Market Research Director Craig Adair, covered the current state and future prospects of the forest products industry.

In addition to Adair, who spoke on major markets for North American wood products, other keynote speakers and their topics were RISI Economist Bernard Fuller, on the outlook for global panel industry recovery; Weyerhaeuser Company Senior Vice President Miles Drake, on options for forest products diversification; FPInnovations Vice President Alan Potter, on future trends in forest products research and development; Nelson Pine Industries Managing Director Murray Sturgeon, on innovative applications of laminated veneer lumber; and American Softwoods China Office Director Xu Fang, on codes and standards affecting wood product use in China.

The second day was devoted to technical topics under two concurrent tracks—one devoted to wood composite materials, the other to veneer-based products.  The final day featured presentations on sustainability, environmental issues and regulatory challenges.  Among those speakers were APA Product Evaluation Manager Tom Skaggs, on the impact of building code changes on the wood structural panel wall sheathing market; American Chemistry Council Senior Director David Fischer, on the work of ACC’s formaldehyde panel; FPInnovations Building Systems Department Manager Erol Karacabeyli, on the rise of cross laminated timber (CLT) for multi-story wood construction; and FPInnovations Energy and Environment Group Leader Jennifer O’Connor, on the emergence of environmental product declarations.

“Our goal is to maintain the symposium as an industry-driven conference and not to turn it into a purely scientific event that attracts only researchers,” said Vikram Yadama of WSU’s Composite Materials and Engineering Center (CMEC) in explaining the roles of APA and FPInnovations, the Canadian not-for-profit forest industry research organization that also served as a symposium organizer.  Yadama said the same purpose—broadening the scope and reach of the conference—also was served by combining the WSU composites symposium with the veneer processing and products symposium.

Robert Tichy, also of the WSU’s CMEC, echoed the same view with regard to future symposia.  Although plans for next year’s event, including possible cosponsors or organizers, will not be finalized until later this year, Tichy said he supports broadening the range of products and topics covered and ongoing efforts to attract a larger and more diverse attendance.  He said bioenergy and adhesives technology, for example, are likely to command greater attention at future symposia.  The results of an attendee survey will be used to help plan future events.

In addition to Zylkowski, Yadama and Tichy, the Symposium Organizing Committee was comprised of Karl Englund of Washington State University’s Composite Materials and Engineering Center; Chunping Dai of FPInnovations; Remy Marchal, from Arts & Metiers ParisTech; and Matti Kairi, Technical University of Helsinki.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Launches Website for European Specifiers

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 6, 2013
Number: 2013-8

APA Launches Website for European Specifiers

Online resource offers European construction market product and compliance information for North American engineered wood products and panels.

www.apawood-europe.orgAPA-The Engineered Wood Association recently launched www.apawood-europe.org, a website featuring information on North American engineered wood products and wood structural panels for European specifiers.

The online resource provides easy access to relevant performance characteristics for U.S.-trademarked, CE-marked products, including plywood and OSB, I-joists, and structural composite lumber. Among the site’s offerings:

  • An overview of the major wood product categories, including education on properties, grades, and performance characteristics
  • Information on engineered wood’s compliance with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), taking effect July 1, and other EU regulations
  • An extensive library of technical publications, including installation guidelines and case studies
  • Sustainability information, including life cycle analysis, forest management, and compliance with EU timber regulations
  • A Help Desk manned by engineered wood specialists
  • An online Wood University with additional learning opportunities

“Importers and designers in Europe frequently approach us with requests for information about wood structural panels and engineered wood products,” said Charles Barnes, APA’s international marketing director. “This website will provide much of the general information they need and serve as an avenue for linking to North American manufacturers.”

The website replaces a European website that was originally developed in the 1990s. The new site is in English; additional platforms will be added as needed and as North American manufacturers explore other market opportunities in Europe.

In addition to providing product information and explanations of the European standards and regulations, the website also offers links to materials on APA’s other websites, including its flagship site, www.apawood.org, and its CAD details library, www.apacad.org.

Visit the new website at www.apawood-europe.org.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Launches Wood Design Web Portal for Building and Design Professionals

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: April 24, 2012
Number: 2012-07

APA Launches Wood Design Web Portal for Building and Design Professionals

APA Designers Circle to provide timely technical information and recommendations for wood-frame design and construction systems.

APA Designers Circle is a wood design web portal for building and design professionalsAPA Designers Circle, a new educational resource for architects, engineers, builders and building code officials, is now available at www.apawood.org/DesignersCircle. The free, subscription-based program is a one-stop online resource center offering timely technical information and recommendations for wood-frame design and construction systems, along with news, industry events, and links to a range of product and design recommendations.

“APA Designers Circle is a portal to extensive resources on wood-frame construction,” said APA Field Services Manager Mark Halverson. “In addition to design, application and product information, the site serves as a platform for the exchange of information and ideas for architects, engineers, building officials, members of the academic/research community and manufacturing experts involved with engineered wood products.”

Once logged in, subscribers have access to a spectrum of Designers Circle web pages:

  • News and Events: The latest publications and updates from APA and the engineered wood industry.
  • Engineered Wood Products: Extensive information and details on sheathing, joists and beams/columns, including design properties, product reports, publication downloads and standards.
  • Wood-Framed Construction Systems: Information and guides to residential and commercial wood-framed systems, including details for advanced framing, panelized roofs and post-frame building systems, as well as floors, walls and roofs.

Designers Circle subscribers also will receive discounts on literature CDs, a bi-monthly newsletter and direct links to APA’s Product Support Help Desk. Educational opportunities, including continuing education credits through online training and webinars, are planned.

APA Designers Circle replaces and expands the offerings of APA’s Professional Associates program. Design professionals who are members of APA’s Professional Associates are automatically enrolled in the APA Designers Circle program.

To learn more and to become part of this construction design community, visit www.apawood.org/DesignersCircle.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Presents Framing Strategies at the International Builders' Show

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: February 15, 2012
Number: 2012-2

APA Presents Framing Strategies at the International Builders' Show

Two APA seminars, "Advanced Framing: Time to Green-up Your Structure" and "Top 10 Framing Errors and 5 Ways to Avoid Them", draw large audiences at the 2012 IBS.

APA presents a seminar on advanced framing at the 2012 IBS.Two APA presentations on residential framing drew large audiences at the 2012 NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) International Builders' Show (IBS) earlier this month in Orlando, Florida.

Approximately 150 people attended Advanced Framing: Time to Green-up Your Structure, a seminar that highlighted framing techniques that produce energy efficient, structurally sound homes while lowering material and labor costs. Advanced framing -- which includes 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center, insulated three-stud corners, two-stud corners with ladder blocking, wall intersection options, single headers, single top plates, eliminating unnecessary materials and several other framing techniques -- combined with wood structural panel sheathing provides one of the most cost-effective solutions for builders trying to balance increasingly stringent energy codes with structural building code requirements.

“That was our first seminar on advanced framing and there was a lot of interest,” said APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark, who co-presented the seminars with APA Engineered Wood Specialist C.W. Macomber. “Builders took note when they realized that advanced framing and wood structural panel sheathing can help them meet energy code requirements, as well as the ENERGY STAR® thermal enclosure checklist requirements.”

Details presented in the seminar are featured in the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400, a new APA publication now available for free download at www.apawood.org.

The second presentation, Top 10 Framing Errors and 5 Ways to Avoid Them, addressed preventing squeaky floors, buckling roofs, nail pops, and other common framing mistakes through the proper design and installation of wood structural panels and engineered wood products. The seminar, which has been well received at past builder shows, drew an audience of 110. Content from that presentation is currently featured in Top 10 Framing Errors and How To Prevent Them, an article authored by Clark appearing in the February 2012 edition of Professional Builder Magazine.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Presents ICC Wall Bracing Seminar

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 4, 2010
Number: 2010-17

APA Presents ICC Wall Bracing Seminar

The International Code Council (ICC) has contracted with APA --The Engineered Wood Association to present a series of seminars on the 2009 International Residential Code® (IRC®) wall bracing requirements. The first full-day seminar was presented by APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Vince Ellebracht last month in Fargo, North Dakota to 32 members of the North Dakota Building Officials Association.

“The purpose of these seminars is to update building officials on the many changes to the wall bracing provisions in the 2009 IRC,” said Ellebracht. The seminars provide an in-depth review and analysis of the bracing requirements for wood-framed residential structures. “The application of wall bracing provisions is a complex topic, but the seminar audience (in North Dakota) became more comfortable with it.”

Two more seminars have been scheduled for ICC code chapters in the Pacific Northwest and additional seminars are planned. Code official, design professional and home builder groups and associations can contract for the seminar directly with the ICC. Course registration and information is available at www.iccsafe.org or by calling 1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 33818.

The seminars, part of the ICC professional code education program, are based on A Guide to the 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions, a book jointly published by the ICC and APA last year. The illustrated guide was developed to help designers, builders, building officials and others using the code in the application of lateral bracing requirements. The book, which features more than 200 full-color figures, tables and photos, is available for purchase at www.iccsafe.org (product #7102S09).

The ICC, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the ICC.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Launches Free Product Reports App

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 10, 2011
Number: 2011-06

APA Launches Free Product Reports App

APA Product Reports App As more and more design and building professionals go mobile, APA is answering the call with a new product targeting the growing number of smartphone users. Last month, APA launched its first mobile app: the APA Product Reports® App for iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod touch® is now available for free download from the Apple App Store℠.

The APA Product Reports App provides quick field access to the APA reports that document engineered wood products’ conformance with codes and standards. Users can search for APA Product Reports by keyword, report number, or browse through a list of active reports. The app also provides users with direct access to the APA Product Support Help Desk by phone or e-mail communication.

“There are studies that show that the sales of smartphones have overtaken PCs, and in the last year we’ve seen a significant increase in the use of mobile devices accessing APA’s websites,” said APA Website & Publications Coordinator LaDauna Wilson on the decision to produce a smartphone app. “We are looking at ways in which we can provide our users with easy mobile access to APA’s resources.”

Most mobile phone users in the US still own a traditional feature phone, but according to a report by eMarketer, smartphone ownership will rise from 31 percent of the mobile population this year to 43 percent by 2015. The report estimates that nearly 110 million Americans will have a smartphone by the end of that year.

In 2010, over 200,000 APA Products Reports were downloaded from www.apawood.org/productreports. The reports assist building officials and design professionals in determining a product's compliance with building codes and national, international or industry recognized standards. APA issues the reports for engineered wood products -- including plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), glulam, I-joists, and structural composite lumber (SCL) -- that are manufactured under a quality program audited by APA.

The APA Product Reports App is compatible with Apple mobile devices. APA is currently evaluating the possibility of developing additional apps for Apple products as well as other mobile devices.

Download the free APA Product Reports App from the App Store.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Launches Free Product Reports App for Android

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 2, 2012
Number: 2012-18

APA Launches Free Product Reports App for Android

Mobile application also available for for iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod® touch devices.

APA Product Reports AppAPA launched its first mobile application for Android devices this month, expanding its offering of mobile Apps for building professionals. The APA Product Reports App for Android can be download free from the Google Play Store and Amazon’s Appstore for Android. The app was previously released for iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod® touch, and can be downloaded free for those devices from the iTunes App Store.

The  provides quick access to the APA reports that document engineered wood products’ conformance with codes and standards. Users can search for APA Product Reports by keyword, report number, or browse through a list of active reports. The app also provides users with direct access to the APA Product Support Help Desk by phone or email. 

“There are studies that show that the sales of smartphones and tablets have overtaken PCs, and in the last year we’ve seen a significant increase in the use of mobile devices accessing APA’s websites,” said APA Website & Publications Coordinator LaDauna Wilson on the decision to develop APA smartphone applications. “We are constantly looking at ways in which we can provide our users with easy mobile access to APA’s resources and are pleased to now offer this app for Android devices.”

In the first three quarters of 2012 close to 15,000 APA Products Reports have been downloaded from www.apawood.org/productreports. The reports assist building officials and design professionals in determining a product's compliance with Free APA Product Reports App now available for Android.building codes and national, international or industry recognized standards. APA issues the reports for engineered wood products -- including plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), glulam, I-joists, and structural composite lumber (SCL) -- that are manufactured under a quality program audited by APA. 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Launches Mobile Builder Tips

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: May 13, 2013
Number: 2013-19

APA Launches Mobile Builder Tips

Publication series for construction professionals now optimized for faster viewing from tablets and smartphones.

Mobile-Friendly APA Builder TipsAPA has introduced a new mobile format for its series of Builder Tips. The new format optimizes viewing from mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. Free mobile Builder Tips can be viewed at www.apawood.org/buildertips.

Each Builder Tip addresses a single common topic or challenge in today's building environment – such as panel buckling, squeaky floors, and nail pops – and is designed to help construction professionals save money and improve quality on the job through improved construction practices.

In announcing the new mobile Builder Tips, APA Market Communications Director Marilyn Thompson noted that they will be valuable tools in a “Back to Basics” emphasis on key construction recommendations. “We know that the labor shortage in the construction sector will result in a surge of relatively inexperienced builders and framers who need simple, easy-to-use information and training,” Thompson said. “By making our Builder Tips more accessible to tablet and smartphone users, we’re confident we can get our key construction recommendations out to more contractors.”

The new mobile-friendly format allows Builder Tips to be browsed, opened and viewed quickly from internet-connected devices in the office or field. Seven Builder Tips have already been optimized for mobile viewing, with more to follow next month. All Builder Tips are still available for free download in PDF format (optimal for printing or saving for offline viewing) from the APA Publications Library

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APA Publishes Advanced Framing Construction Guide

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Kelly Devlin, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: kelly.devlin@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7475
Date: February 22, 2012
Number: 2012-3

APA Publishes Advanced Framing Construction Guide

Resource guide offers techniques for more efficient, cost-effective framing practices.

Advanced Framing Construction Guide, M400 APA’s new publication, the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, highlights advanced framing techniques that residential contractors can employ to produce energy-efficient, structurally sound homes with lower material and labor costs than conventionally framed houses.

In practice since the 1970s, advanced framing – also known as optimum value engineering (OVE) –optimizes material usage in home construction, providing for more efficient installation, tighter envelopes, and less waste without compromising structural strength and durability. Today, as builders try to balance increasingly stringent energy codes with structural building code requirements, interest in advanced framing is growing.

“Builders are realizing that advanced framing can help them meet energy code requirements while maintaining structural integrity,” said Mark Halverson, APA Field Services Manager. “It’s also a cost-effective way for builders to meet the ENERGY STAR® thermal enclosure checklist requirements.”

The 24-page guide details several advanced framing techniques, including 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center, insulated three-stud corners, two-stud corners with ladder blocking, wall intersection options, single headers, single top plates and eliminating unnecessary materials. Continuous wood structural panel wall sheathing is recommended to provide the structural strength necessary to safely withstand the forces of nature.

Acknowledging the concerns sometimes associated with switching to new building methods, the guide outlines opportunities for adopting advanced framing techniques independently. “Builders can incorporate the techniques in stages rather than all at once,” said Halverson. “For example, if meeting cold climate energy code requirements is the priority, adopting 2x6 framing at 24 inches on center while continuing to use double top plates will increase wall R-values without requiring roof, floor and wall framing to be aligned. The builder can add additional advanced framing techniques later to further reduce costs and increase energy efficiency.”

The Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400 can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format or purchased in printed format for $2.00 at www.apawood.org/publications.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Publishes Updated Engineered Wood Construction Guide

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: October 26, 2011
Number: 2011-22

APA Publishes Updated Engineered Wood Construction Guide

Engineered Wood Construction Guide, Form E30The Engineered Wood Construction Guide, APA’s comprehensive and widely recognized guide to engineered wood construction systems, has been updated and is now available on the APA website. First published in 1962, this is the 32nd printing of the popular guide.

The 84-page guide features information on engineered wood products and recommendations for their use in a wide range of applications in residential and commercial construction. It includes information on plywood and oriented strand board (wood structural panels), glulam, I-joists, structural composite lumber, typical specifications, and design recommendations for floor, wall, and roof systems, diaphragms, shear walls, fire-rated systems, and methods of finishing.

The Engineered Wood Construction Guide, Form E30, can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format or purchased in printed format for $12.00 from the APA Publications Library.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Issues Construction Recommendations for High Wind Resistance

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: September 2, 2011
Number: 2011-20

APA Issues Construction Recommendations for High Wind Resistance

Two new APA publications feature construction recommendations for high wind resistance Two new publications include recommendations following observations of damage caused by 2011 tornados. 

Damage observations conducted by APA after the April 16, 2011 tornados in Eastern North Carolina and the powerful EF-4 and EF-5 storms that struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27 found that a lack of attention to detail along the uplift load-path often leads to weakness on the route through which high-wind forces must travel within the framing and into the foundation. Following a review of the findings, the Association has published a set of construction recommendations for improving tornado or hurricane resistance in light-frame wood construction. The damage assessment report, Tornados of the South: Structural Performance of Newly Constructed Homes in North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia, Form SP-1154 and the design recommendations, Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction, Form M310, are both available for free download from APA.

The investigation by APA Engineered Wood Specialist Bryan Readling, P.E., focused on the performance of homes constructed within the last 10 years. The most common roof-to-wall framing failures were attributed to the use of toe-nailed connections, still prescriptively allowed in many non-hurricane areas. In addition, many homes observed were poorly anchored to the foundations. This was especially true in Alabama where nails were used, instead of anchor bolts, to attach the bottom plate of walls to the concrete or masonry foundation.

Another common theme observed along the tornado paths is that homes constructed with non-structural exterior wall sheathing failed at wind speed much lower than called for in the building codes. Walls that are fully sheathed with OSB or plywood and constructed with proper connections have stronger resistance to the damaging forces of high winds.

Summary of Field Observations

In a field survey of damaged structures, Readling found that structural failure along the critical load-path was often located at the roof-to-wall connection.  Most of these connections were made using toe-nails through the roof framing and into the top plate of the exterior walls.  Toe-nail connections are weak because they rely upon the withdrawal capacity of nails, which is limited.  Light-gauge metal connectors provide good performance in wood framing because load is applied perpendicular to the nail shank, instead of pulling the nail straight out.  Toe-nail rafter connections are still prescriptively allowed in most non-hurricane areas by modern building codes.  It is generally recognized that these connections do not provide the capacity to resist the range of pressure requirements of the International Building Code.

Metal roof-to-wall connectors should be installed in-line with the load-path.  Failure was observed when metal roof framing connectors were installed on the inside face of the wall top plate instead of on the exterior of the wall and in-line with the load-path in the structural wall sheathing.

A common observation, especially in hardest hit areas, was the loss of the exterior walls due to poor attachment to the foundation.  In many cases hand-driven cut masonry nails were used to attach the bottom of support walls to the concrete or masonry foundations, but in a few locations the nails were observed to be pneumatically driven framing nails.  Modern building codes generally require anchor-bolts to be embedded into concrete or grouted concrete masonry units.

Breaches or openings in the building envelope, and the resulting pressurization of the building interior caused catastrophic failure of homes in many examples.  Openings in walls due to failure of doors, windows, and non-structural cladding systems were common.  These often resulted in heavy damage to home interiors due to rainwater infiltration and flying debris penetration.  Larger breaches from loss of weak garage doors and exterior cladding systems often acted to initiate catastrophic failure and exacerbated deficiencies along the aforementioned load-path.

In homes with gable roofs, failures were most notable at the bottom of the gable-end roof and ceiling framing where they are connected to the top of the gable-end wall below. This joint is often not well connected laterally to the rest of the building and is weak to resist negative pressure on the exterior gable-end surfaces.

The gable-end is also a vulnerable location for non-structural cladding systems because the walls within the roof cavity are not backed by drywall like the exterior walls within the living space.  Material failure was commonly observed when non-structural foam wall sheathing was used in conjunction with low-strength siding.  Besides being vulnerable to wind pressure, these products provide little resistance to the flying debris.

In most observations where buildings were at least partially intact, wood wall and roof sheathing loss could be attributed to improper attachment.  When nails were used as prescribed in the building codes good performance was observed.  Staples performed poorly since they generally offer less resistance to pull-out than nails and must be used in greater quantity.  Greater structural failure often resulted from poor roof sheathing attachment to the last rafter or gable-end truss.

Building for Greater Tornado or Hurricane Resistance

Readling noted that in many cases engineers can point to one of several common weak links as the cause of catastrophic failure in homes that were on the periphery of these powerful tornados.  The following APA recommendations address these weak links and provide tips for building a wind-resistant shell:

  1. Nail wall sheathing with 8d common (0.131 in. x 2-1/2 in.) nails at 4 inches on center at end and edges of wood structural panels as roof sheathing and 6 inches on center in the intermediate framing.  This enhanced nailing will improve the resistance of the wall sheathing panels to negative wind pressure. The use of deformed shank nails will even further improve the performance of the sheathing nailing at a minimal cost. Staples offer less resistance to blow-off than nails and so a greater number of them are required to achieve the same level of resistance.
  2. Sheath gable end walls with wood structural panels, such as plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). In the 2011 tornados, gable end wall failures were frequently observed when non-structural sheathing was used.
  3. Tie gable end walls back to the structure. One of the weakest links in residential structures during high wind events is the connection between the gable-end and the wall below.
  4. For the roof framing to wall connection, use a hurricane/seismic framing anchor or equivalent connector, attached on the exterior (sheathing side) of the exterior walls. The roof-to-wall connection under high wind loads is subject to both uplift and shear due to positive or negative wind pressure on the walls below.
  5. Nail roof sheathing with 8d ring shank (or deformed shank) (0.131 in. x 2-1/2 in.) nails at 4 inches on center along the edges of the wood structural wall sheathing and 6 inches on center along the intermediate framing.
  6. Nail upper story sheathing and lower story sheathing into common wood structural panel Rim Board®. The most effective way to provide lateral and uplift load continuity is to attach adjacent wall sheathing panels to one another over common framing.
  7. Continuously sheath all walls with wood structural panels including areas around openings for windows and doors.
  8. Extend wood structural panel sheathing to lap the sill plate. The connection of the wall sheathing panel to the sill plate is important because this is where uplift forces are transferred into the sill plate and into the foundation through the anchor bolts.
  9. Space ½ in. anchor bolts 32 inches to 48 inches on center with 0.229 in. x 3 in. x 3 in. square plate washers with slotted holes.

These design recommendations are illustrated in the guide, Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction, Form M310, available for free download from the APA website at www.apawood.org.  The damage assessment report, Tornados of the South: Structural Performance of Newly Constructed Homes in North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia, Form SP-1154, is also available for download.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA to Announce Carbon Challenge Winner at 2011 IBS

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 5, 2011
Number: 2011-01

APA to Announce Carbon Challenge Winner at 2011 IBS

Who can design a home with the lowest carbon footprint? That was the challenge presented by APA to Florida designers in the Carbon Challenge Design Competition. The winners will be revealed on January 13, 2011 at the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) International Builders' Show (IBS) in Orlando, Florida.

The awards ceremony will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 13 in Orlando’s Rosen Centre Hotel, room Salon 9. Cash prizes totaling $15,000 will be awarded to the top three finalists and the winners of three design categories: Best Use of Wood Products, Best Curb Appeal and Most Cost-Effective Design. All of the winning designs will be on display.

The Carbon Challenge sought a single-family house design with the lowest carbon footprint (least CO2 emissions). A panel of judges reviewed the entries to determine the winners, evaluating each design’s performance score based on a scientific life-cycle assessment (LCA), cost-effectiveness, and adherence to the architectural standards of a typical Florida development.

To aid contestants in determining how various building components and designs affect a home’s carbon footprint, APA teamed with the Athena Institute to develop the ATHENA® EcoCalculator for Residential Assemblies, a free software program that provides instant LCA results for commonly used building structure and envelope assemblies. Carbon Challenge participants used the Residential EcoCalculator to determine their design’s LCA greenhouse gas potential impact measure, a score based on cradle-to-grave life-cycle (from extraction of raw materials, to product manufacture, to completion of structure, to structure demolition) including fossil fuel energy use.

In addition to a cash prize, the grand prize winning design will be evaluated in a comprehensive LCA study conducted by the Athena Institute comparing the design in full wood-frame construction to construction on concrete slab with concrete block walls. The results of the study will be presented in a series of APA seminars this spring throughout Florida.

The Carbon Challenge is being conducted in conjunction with the Raised Floor Living program, a cooperative promotion effort between APA and the Southern Forest Products Association. Program sponsors and contributors include the Advanced Housing Research Center: Forest Products Lab, Forest Products Association of Canada, Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, St. Joe Company, NEFBA Wood Council and the Florida Wood Council.

In addition to hosting the awards ceremony, APA will exhibit at the IBS. APA will occupy booth #W5949, along with the Southern Forest Products Association. APA will also present two seminars at the IBS: Winning with Energy, Costs and Customer-Satisfaction through Raised Wood Floors (January 12, 8 to 9:30 a.m. in West 308 C-D) and Top 10 Framing Errors and 5 Ways To Avoid Them (January 13, 8 to 9:30 a.m. in West 304 C-D). The 2011 IBS will run from January 12 through 15, 2011.

Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition information and updates are available online at www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

The Athena Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides the building community with software, databases, and customized consulting services that support the evaluation of the environmental impacts of new and existing buildings through life cycle assessment (LCA).

APA Releases New Simplified Wall Bracing Method

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: September 7, 2012
Number: 2012-14

APA Releases New Simplified Wall Bracing Method

New wall bracing method provides more design flexibility and simpler code compliance.

SR-102: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Using Wood Structural Panel Continuous SheathingAPA-The Engineered Wood Association has published a new System Report, detailing a simplified wall bracing method using continuous wood structural panel sheathing. APA System Report SR-102 provides building officials, builders and designers with an enhanced approach and the supporting technical information to brace walls of single family houses in areas of low wind and seismicity, while providing more flexibility for building design and construction.

In developing the System Report, APA’s technical staff enhanced the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) simplified wall bracing provisions (Section R601.12) to increase their applicability to a larger percentage of home designs. To provide greater architectural latitude, APA’s Simplified Bracing Method calls for continuously sheathed wood structural panel bracing with an increased, yet common, sheathing thickness (7/16”), a larger nail (8d), and a closer (4 inches) nailing schedule. This approach increases the performance of the bracing panels on the first story of a two-story structure due to the additional restraint provided by the mass and stiffness of the structure above, through strength from increased fastening, and through the use of thicker sheathing. The improved performance that this bracing method achieves means that it can be used on a greater percentage of homes with multiple window and door openings on the front and back elevations, than is allowed with the simplified bracing method in the IRC.

"APA’s objective was to further streamline the simplified wall bracing provisions in the 2012 IRC and develop a method that would be easier for builders and designers to apply. We also recognized the need for more design flexibility in the placement of braced wall lines around window and door openings,” explained Dr. BJ Yeh, P.E., APA’s Technical Services Director.  The System Report greatly reduces the complicated wall bracing provisions in the 2012 IRC from 34 pages to 7 pages.

The recommendations in the System Report are based on a multi-year research and testing initiative carried out by the Association. A variety of wall assemblies were tested at the APA Research Center in Tacoma, Washington to characterize the lateral performance of walls that are continuously sheathed with 7/16” minimum wood structural panels fastened with slightly larger nails and a tighter nailing schedule.

The Simplified Bracing Method detailed in the System Report is for use only with continuously sheathed wood structural panel bracing, and is applicable to construction in many areas of the country. The report explains how to design for adequate bracing and includes three tables that builders and designers can easily use to compute the length of braced wall sections in each wall line.

For more information about APA's Simplified Wall Bracing Method, download a free PDF copy of the APA System Report: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Using Wood Structural Panel Continuous Sheathing, Form SR-102. Printed copies of the report and educational training programs on the use of the new method are also available: contact APA for more information. Learn more about wall bracing at www.PerformanceWalls.org.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Expanded

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 22, 2013
Number: 2013-13

APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Expanded

Updated System Report SR-102 further increases usability of "this simple approach to wall bracing."

SR-102: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Using Wood Structural Panel Continuous SheathingAPA has revised System Report SR-102 to further increase the applicability of the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method.

Originally published in September 2012, System Report SR-102 details the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method, a simplified method for bracing walls of single-family houses in areas of low wind and seismic activity, while providing more flexibility for building design and construction.

Based on a multi-year research and testing initiative carried out by the APA, the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method expands on the 2012 International Residential Code Simplified Bracing Method (IRC Section R602.12) to provide an approach to bracing that is even more valuable to builders and building officials by, in many cases, decreasing the amount of required wall bracing and the minimum length of braced wall panels. In addition, the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method increases the applicability of the IRC simplified wall bracing provisions to as much as 4 times as many house plans, including those with multiple window and door openings on the front and rear elevations.

The recent updates to System Report SR-102 expand usability of the APA method even further, increasing applicability to basic wind speeds of up to 100 mph and to Wind Exposure Category C regions. The updated System Report SR-102 also permits partial credit for shorter wall segments in continuously sheathed walls.

“These changes were requested by builders and code officials to further increase the usability of this simple approach to wall bracing," said Tom Kositzky, APA Director of Field Services. “Builders, especially regional or national builders, need solutions that work in less than 90 mph and 100 mph wind zones, as well as with different wind exposure categories. The update brings the APA Simplified Bracing Method closer to being a universal solution for builders and designers.”

To provide greater architectural latitude, the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method calls for continuously sheathed wood structural panel bracing with an increased, yet common, minimum sheathing thickness (7/16 inch) and a closer (4 inches o.c.) perimeter nailing schedule. This approach increases the performance of the bracing panels on the first story of a two-story structure due to the additional restraint provided by the mass and stiffness of the structure above, through strength from increased fastening, and through the use of thicker, continuous plywood or OSB sheathing.

In developing the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method, a variety of wall assemblies were tested at the APA Research Center in Tacoma, Washington to characterize the lateral performance of walls that are continuously sheathed with 7/16-inch minimum wood structural panels fastened with a specified nailing schedule. While the APA method is not a part of the building code, it is based on the 2012 IRC and other modifications permitted by IRC Sections R301.1.3 Engineering Design and R104.11 Alternate materials, design, and methods of construction.

The 12-page brochure,  APA System Report: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Using Wood Structural Panel Continuous Sheathing, Form SR-102, is currently available as a free downloadable PDF from APA. Printed copies of the report and educational training programs on the use of the new method are also available. Contact APA for more information.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Studies in Sustainability: Wood is Demonstrating Its Green Credentials by Example

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 14, 2010
Number: 2010-6

Studies in Sustainability: Wood Is Demonstrating Its Green Credentials by Example

There can be no doubt today that the sustainability movement and green building in particular are here to stay.  Green building criteria are, in fact, now codified in numerous building codes and national standards, and increasing numbers of local jurisdictions are adopting green building requirements.

Nor can there remain much doubt—given both the objective data and a growing body of real world case studies—that wood, and engineered wood in particular, can and does make an important contribution to the worthy goals of sustainability and green building.

The common sense and scientific support for the green credentials of wood is substantial, long-standing and well documented.

  • Wood’s strongest suit is perhaps its most obvious—wood is the only naturally renewable building material.  That fact is made all the more compelling by the corollary truth, contrary to common misperception, that forest growth in North America has exceeded forest harvest for decades.
  • Advancements in wood product manufacturing technology continue to improve wood’s sustainability quotient.  The industrial output per unit of wood input has increased 40 percent over the past half century.  That trend has accelerated with the advent, acceptance and wide use in recent years of modern engineered wood products, which use more of the available resource with less waste and which in many cases can be produced from fast-growing, underutilized and less expensive wood species.
  • Wood products are made from forest resources harvested under a number of internationally recognized sustainable forest management certification programs, including the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and the American Tree Farm System.  These programs provide assurance that wood fiber resources are sustainably grown and harvested.
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) research shows that by a number of “cradle to grave” sustainability measures, wood is substantially more environmentally friendly than alternative construction materials.  Wood products, for example, make up 47 percent of all industrial raw materials manufactured in the United States, yet consume only four percent of the total energy needed to manufacture all industrial raw materials.
  • As noted in one of the real world case studies below, wood products are recyclable, a fact of increasing importance and relevance to carbon sequestering efforts.
  • And as also noted below, wood can be and today is easily and commonly incorporated into residential and nonresidential building designs recognized under a number of green building rating systems.  

Despite all of the above arguments, uninformed bias against the green merits of wood still exists in some quarters.  But for skeptics looking for proof in the pudding, they need not look far.

Take, for example, the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) in Newport Beach, California, completed in 2008 for a non-profit of the same name that serves at its community’s foremost authority on ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education.  The 8500-square-foot mixed use complex contains administrative offices, classrooms, a museum and a gift shop—all protected and aesthetically enhanced by an exposed wood roof system and wood-frame shear walls.

The complex—a main building housing public areas separated from an administrative building by a breezeway—uses Structural I APA Rated exposed plywood roof sheathing, dimensional lumber subpurlins, glulam purlins and wood I-joist roof framing.  Wood shear walls employ dimensional lumber studs and plywood sheathing.

Budget considerations were a factor in many of the building’s design features.  The exposed wood roof framing system, for example, reduced the need for traditional ceiling materials and finishes.  In some areas, partial-height wood wall studs also were purposely left exposed to showcase the structure’s dedication to design efficiency and low environmental impact.  This not only helped lower initial construction costs, but also minimizes ongoing interior maintenance expenses.

The many sustainable features of the center, including the structural wood envelope, are themselves now a highlight of the ENC’s educational programming and are identified in signage placed throughout the structure.  One exhibit, for example, notes the structure’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum designation, the highest level of LEED certification and a first in Orange County, California.  The project received 55 out of 69 possible LEED certification points, and met or exceeded standards in six LEED categories, including materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and energy and atmosphere.  (LEED was developed and is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.)

Across the country in Annapolis, Maryland, meanwhile, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation also successfully employed wood in pursuit of sustainability goals for its Philip Merrill Environmental Center.  The foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, wanted a building design that supported its sustainability message by minimizing the impact on surrounding habitats.

Our philosophy is that the greenest building is the least amount of building we truly need, built with the fewest number of materials,” said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President and CEO William Baker.  To that end, a variety of structurally efficient engineered wood products was used—plywood subfloors, parallel strand lumber (PSL) and wood I-joist framing, and structural insulated panels faced on both sides with oriented strand board (OSB).

Much of the wood is left exposed to both capitalize on the aesthetic qualities of the material and reinforce the “less is more” sustainability message.

Completed in 2000, the 30,000-square-foot, two-story Philip Merrill Environmental Center was the first to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating and continues today to be recognized as one of the world’s greenest buildings.  It also was the second highest rated building among a survey of 20,000 occupants of 150 buildings for overall building satisfaction, including aesthetics, acoustics, light and air quality.  The survey was conducted by the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.

“The facility is a major recruitment tool,” said Mary Tod Winchester, the foundation’s vice president.  “It has been a magnet for the audiences whose building projects we want to influence.”

Schools, too, are a natural end-use market for wood design because when completed they can themselves be used as dramatic case histories and effective teaching tools for broadening understanding of the sustainability attributes of wood building materials.  Gunter Primary School in Gunter, Texas, serves as one such example.

Completed in 2007, the 60,000-square-foot facility includes classrooms, a computer lab, a kitchen and cafeteria, gymnasium and administration offices.  The school’s unique design employs wood in both exposed and hidden structural applications.  APA Rated wood structural panel sheathing was used to enclose the building’s walls.  Wood I-joists were used for rafters in combination with glulam timber support beams.  And a laminated lumber decking with tongue-and-groove edges was used in combination APA Rated plywood sheathing for diaphragm strengthening in the roof system.

I’ve been in business for 35 years and I enjoy doing projects with wood,” said Project Superintendent Donald Hampton.  “I’ve put up large buildings before, but with the overall building height and length of spans, it (Gunter Primary) was different.  One of the glulam beams is 12 inches wide by 7 feet deep and 82 feet long.”

Although the project was not certified under any green building program, Gunter Primary School’s abundant use of wood satisfies sustainability goals by a number of measures—use of energy efficient materials, quality of indoor environment, durability, low maintenance and availability of materials regionally produced to lower transport energy consumption.

Gray Middle School in Tacoma, Washington underscores another way to achieve stunning sustainability through the use of wood—recycled material.  In this case, the product was glulam beams—more than 200 of them—that were salvaged from an old high school that formerly occupied the site.  The beams support the primary roof structure for the new facility’s commons area, science rooms and central gallery.

The recyclability of wood products, particularly those with both structural and aesthetic qualities, is a material attribute likely to assume greater importance as the nation’s inventory of residential and nonresidential buildings ages and is replaced.  Products that were once relegated to the waste stream are increasingly viewed today as viable and valuable elements of sustainable design strategies.

The sustainability of wood construction is equally relevant, of course, to the residential market, even in areas where non-wood practices have traditionally held sway.  Along the Gulf Coast, for example, raised wood floor construction is gaining new appreciation as an alternative to concrete slab on grade practices.  (See accompanying story.)  Key reasons are improved performance under storm surge flood conditions, better accommodation of expansive soils that prevail in some areas, and growing awareness of the sustainability benefits of wood.

An instructive example of raised wood floor construction is the winning entry of a design competition cosponsored recently by The Rice Design Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region, and the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The competition, part of the City of Houston Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority’s effort to revitalize older inner-city neighborhoods using public and private funds to build new housing units, set as key requirement that designs, once built, be offered at a maximum sale price of $99,000.

One of the criticisms of green building, regardless of materials used, has been the belief that sustainable construction is of necessity more expensive and thus prohibitive to all but high-end residences.  The 99K House, as it is called, helped prove that sustainability and affordability can go hand in hand.

The winning design, since built as a prototype in Houston’s Fifth Ward, was submitted by Owen Richards Architects and HyBrid Architecture, both of Seattle.  Their entry, called CORE, was a 1,250-square-foot, two-story, wood-frame structure featuring a raised wood plywood floor, plywood shear walls, and wood roof system.

While some might assume that a slab on grade design would be the only way to meet the project’s low cost requirement, architect Owen Richards said his team quickly determined that a pier and beam raised wood floor was the better approach.  “A raised wood floor design was best for Houston’s soft soils and allowed for better natural ventilation,” he said.

Raised floor construction is also environmentally superior in terms of embodied energy, a major factor in determining sustainability.  According to a study by the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM), the consumption of fossil fuels associated with a wood joist floor system is less than half that required for a concrete slab and just 20 percent of that consumed by a steel joist floor.

Bob Clark, a senior engineered wood specialist and Gulf Coast raised floor project manager at APA—The Engineered Wood Association in Tacoma, said he found it interesting, though not necessarily surprising, that three of the five competition finalists, used raised wood floors.  “Most low budget homes in the Houston area are built using slab on grade,” he said.  “However, these architects started with a raised wood floor, took all the pennies out of it, and made it very cost effective.”

Houston AIA’s Barrie Scardino said sponsors were not surprised either to see wood play such a big role in the winning design, or in so many of the 184 other entries from 16 countries.  “Wood is a versatile, affordable building material,” she said.  “We were pleased to see how creatively people used wood, which shows that good design doesn’t need to be expensive.”

And wood design, one might add, is also showing by countless examples across North America that it is sustainable design.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

 

U.S. Forest Service, APA Announce Winners of the Carbon Challenge Design Competition

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: April 2, 2013
Number: 2013-16

U.S. Forest Service, APA Announce Winners of the Carbon Challenge Design Competition

$20,000 in prizes awarded in contest challenging building designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials for homes in Providence and Baltimore.

During awards ceremonies on March 26 and March 28, the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab (FPL) and APA – The Engineered Wood Association honored architects for their winning designs in the Carbon Challenge, a home-design competition that challenged participants to consider the environmental impact of building materials.

The competition, open to building designers nationwide, focused on two types of homes in two cities—a Habitat for Humanity house in Providence, R.I., and an urban row house in Baltimore. Using life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, designers were able to determine the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions from the products in their designs.

As a joint campaign of the Forest Products Laboratory and APA, the Carbon Challenge seeks to educate home designers, builders, and communities about how sustainable design strategies can address the long-term environmental impact of a building and disaster resilience, as well as promoting the use of wood as a component to sustainable design.

Cash prizes totaling $20,000 were awarded for designs based on their life-cycle assessment score and for designs demonstrating the best curb appeal, the most affordability and the best use of wood.

“We were extremely impressed by the entries to the Carbon Challenge Design Competition; the designers took innovative approaches to reducing the home’s carbon footprint while achieving both aesthetic appeal and optimal building performance,” said Bob Clark, senior engineered wood specialist for APA. “The entries clearly reflect the excitement of their designers for creating sustainable building solutions. These designs will improve not only the livability of homes, but also of the surrounding communities.”

Providence Carbon Challenge Design Competition Grand Prize WinnerProvidence

For Carbon Challenge Providence, entrants were tasked with designing a Habitat for Humanity house for a vacant lot in the Olneyville neighborhood.

Cash prizes totaling $10,000 were awarded to winners across multiple categories:

  • Grand Prize ($5,000): ZeroEnergy Design, Boston (pictured)
  • 2nd Place ($2,500): Kyle Bamrick & Christopher Armstrong, Providence
  • 3rd Place ($1,000): Joseph P. Campanella -- Design Alliance, LLC, West Hartford
  • Best Use of Wood Products ($500): Anne Lissett & Benjamin Monroe -- LEAF Architecture, West Hartford
  • Best Curb Appeal ($500): Erik Rhodin & Taina Rhodin -- Line Company Architects, Waltham
  • Most Cost-Effective ($500): Christen M. Robbins -- Vision 3 Architects, Providence

ZeroEnergy Design’s winning design, “The Little Green Rhody,” is a wood-framed four-bedroom, two-bath home with a gabled roof suitable for the neighborhood’s traditional architecture. By combining an airtight, well-insulated building envelope, high-efficiency windows sited for optimal solar orientation, a 7.5-kW solar array, and a range of other features, the house is designed to use less than half the energy of a code-built home. Other features include rain barrels to collect water for landscaping, a two-track driveway to decrease impermeable surfacing, and an insulated basement.

“This design is very buildable and beautifully represented,” noted one judge. “It fits the context of the neighborhood very well.”

The Carbon Challenge Providence is held in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Rhode Island—Greater Providence and AIA Rhode Island, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products and Boise Cascade.

Baltimore

For Carbon Challenge Baltimore, entrants were tasked with updating Baltimore’s iconic row houses for a vacant block in the Oliver neighborhood.

Baltimore Carbon Challenge Design Competition Grand Prize Winner

Cash prizes totaling $10,000 were awarded to winners across multiple categories:

  • Grand Prize ($5,000): Phillip Jones -- Cho Benn Holback + Associates, Baltimore (pictured)
  • 2nd Place ($2,500): Alexander Dzurec -- autotroph, Huntington
  • 3rd Place ($1,000): Drew Suljak, Kelly Krob, & David Lopez -- studioRED / hord | coplan | macht, Baltimore
  • Best Use of Wood Products ($500): Chris Melander & Ross Smith -- RTKL Associates Inc., Baltimore
  • Best Curb Appeal ($500): Randy M. Sovich & Jojo Duah -- RM Sovich Architecture, Baltimore
  • Most Cost-Effective ($500): Jay Orr -- ARQ Architects, Baltimore
  • Special Judges Award: Best Social Statement: Lisa M. Ferretto & Kallie Sternburgh -- hord | coplan | macht, Baltimore; Janice Romanosky -- Pando Alliance, Millersville; & Prescott Gaylord – Entellis Collaborative/Hamel Builders, Elkridge

Phillip Jones’ winning concept modernizes the traditional row house design with an open floor plan that maximizes daylight; a wider, semi-enclosed front “stoop”; and a roof deck with covered and uncovered entertaining areas, green roofing system, and solar hot water collectors. The design’s rammed-earth construction, a highly efficient building method that stores heat in the winter while blocking it in the summer, contributed significantly to its lower carbon footprint.

“This well-conceived and well-designed residence provides comfortably proportioned, usable living spaces with many desirable features, including an entry vestibule, a mud room/pantry, and a second-floor den with laundry,” said one of the judges.

The Carbon Challenge Baltimore is held in partnership with the City of Baltimore and AIA Baltimore, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products, Boise Cascade, and Roseburg Forest Products.

Ongoing Initiative

A total of 144 designers entered the two Carbon Challenge competitions. The initiative is designed to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of wood construction, particularly the carbon neutrality of wood as a building material, and to promote the use of life cycle assessment tools.  

“The goal of the Carbon Challenge is to educate designers about the role of building materials in a home’s environmental footprint. By designing with consideration to life cycle assessment, participants are able to adapt their designs and product selections to maximize efficiency and energy performance,” said Mike Ritter, assistant director for FPL. “In turn, the resulting home designs showcase to the public the attainability and lifelong benefits of sustainably built, wood-framed homes.”

Following the competition, FPL and APA will host a series of educational seminars in the greater Baltimore and Providence areas to continue educating designers on the principles of low-carbon, low-energy design.

The USDA announced a new emphasis on the use of green building materials in March 2011. Forest Service studies show that using wood products for building materials, instead of fossil-fuel-intensive alternatives, results in a smaller carbon footprint.

For more information on the winners, visit www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.

 
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About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Performance Standard PS 2 Updated

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: July 1, 2011
Number: 2011-19

Performance Standard PS 2 Updated

The revised standard, Voluntary Product Standard PS 2-10 – Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels, is now available in print or as a free PDF download from APA.

PS 2-10, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels, Form S350

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has approved the U.S. Voluntary Product Standard, PS 2-10 - Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels. The updated standard provides requirements for producing and specifying wood-based structural-use panels, replacing the previous edition, Voluntary Product Standard PS 2-04.

PS 2-10 is published with typical APA trademarks and provides information on performance requirements, adhesive bond performance, panel construction and workmanship, dimensions and tolerances, marking, and moisture content of structural-use panels.

Similar to changes made last year to Voluntary Product Standard PS 1, the PS 2 standard was revised to resolve thickness labeling inconsistencies with standards developed by the National Conference on Weights and Measures. PS 2-10 requires panel labeling with both a “Performance Category,” which is a fractional label such as 15/32, and a decimal thickness declaration, such as “THICKNESS 0.438 IN.” The new "Performance Category" for panel thickness appears in the APA trademark on all PS 1 and PS 2 panels.

APA is the voluntary product standard sponsor and organized the PS 2 Standing Committee that developed the revisions. PS 2-10, Form S350, is available in print for purchase from APA or can be downloaded free in PDF format.

Also available is Voluntary Product Standard PS 1-09 Structural Plywood

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

PerformanceWalls.org Offers Tools for Strong, Code-Compliant Walls

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: August 12, 2013
Number: 2013-20

PerformanceWalls.org Offers Tools for Strong, Code-Compliant Walls

Relaunched website provides builders, specifiers, and code officials with extensive free resources on advanced framing, simplified bracing, and other wall construction topics. 

APA-The Engineered Wood Association has relaunched www.PerformanceWalls.org, a free resource providing builders and architects with the tools to design and build safe, durable and code-compliant walls. The site compiles APA’s extensive library of wall-construction content, including how-to instructions, technical information, and CAD details for wood-frame construction, into one convenient location.

Recent enhancements to the site include:

  • Learn about fully sheathed construction at www.PerformanceWalls.orgThe new APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method, which offers a more flexible, streamlined approach to wall bracing. The APA method expands on the simplified method included in the 2012 International Residential Code to make it applicable to a greater number of house plans. Builders can download APA System Report SR-102 for full instructions on how to apply the APA method, as well as a quick-reference brochure that highlights the method’s benefits and four key steps.
  • The Advanced Framing Construction Guide, which outlines tactics to eliminate unnecessary and redundant framing members, providing more space for cavity insulation while reducing material waste. A recorded webinar further detailing advanced framing concepts and techniques is also available to view on demand. (Live webinars and face-to-face consultations and training are also available upon request.)
  • Twenty new CAD details, which highlight several advanced framing techniques, including large-opening single headers, ladder junctions, and openings in non-load-bearing walls. All of the details are available to download free in several common file formats.

“PerformanceWalls.org is a one-stop solution for builders, specifiers, and code officials to learn simple solutions for constructing code-compliant walls that are durable, energy-efficient and cost-effective,” said Kelly Devlin, web specialist for APA. “In addition, site visitors have easy access to the APA Help Desk for free product support, as well as the many other resources available in the APA library.”

Learn more at www.PerformanceWalls.org

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Providence Carbon Challenge Design Competition Winners Announced

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 26, 2013
Number: 2013-14

Providence Carbon Challenge Design Competition Winners Announced

$10,000 in prizes awarded in contest challenging building designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials for Habitat for Humanity house.

Providence Carbon Challenge Design Competition Grand Prize WinnerDuring an awards ceremony March 26 in Providence, RI, the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab (FPL) and APA – The Engineered Wood Association honored several local architects as winners in the Carbon Challenge Providence Design Competition. The contest, based in Providence but open to entrants nationwide, challenged residential architects to design an affordable house while considering strategies that reduce fossil fuel use and the structure’s carbon footprint.

Competition participants developed a Habitat for Humanity home design for a vacant lot at 24 Hannah St. With the help of life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, designers determined the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions from the products in their design. Along with each entry’s carbon footprint, the judges considered its use of wood, its cost-effectiveness, and its aesthetic.

Cash prizes totaling $10,000 were awarded to the winners across multiple categories:

  • Grand Prize ($5,000): ZeroEnergy Design, Boston (pictured above)
  • 2nd Place ($2,500): Kyle Bamrick & Christopher Armstrong, Providence
  • 3rd Place ($1,000): Joseph P. Campanella -- Design Alliance, LLC, West Hartford
  • Best Use of Wood Products ($500): Anne Lissett & Benjamin Monroe -- LEAF Architecture, West Hartford
  • Best Curb Appeal ($500): Erik Rhodin & Taina Rhodin -- Line Company Architects, Waltham
  • Most Cost-Effective ($500): Christen M. Robbins -- Vision 3 Architects, Providence

“We were extremely impressed by the entries to the Carbon Challenge Design Competition; the designers took innovative approaches to reducing the home’s carbon footprint while achieving both aesthetic appeal and optimal building performance,” said Bob Clark, senior engineered wood specialist for APA. “The entries clearly reflect the excitement of their designers for creating sustainable building solutions. These designs will improve not only the livability of homes, but also of the surrounding community.”

ZeroEnergy Design’s winning design, “The Little Green Rhody,” is a wood-framed four-bedroom, two-bath home with a gabled roof suitable for the neighborhood’s traditional architecture. By combining an airtight, well-insulated building envelope, high-efficiency windows sited for optimal solar orientation, a 7.5-kW solar array, and a range of other features, the house is designed to use less than half the energy of a code-built home. Other features include rain barrels to collect water for landscaping, a two-track driveway to decrease impermeable surfacing, and an insulated basement.

“This design is very buildable and beautifully represented,” noted one judge. “It fits the context of the neighborhood very well.”

A total of 144 designers entered the Carbon Challenge competition in Providence and a simultaneous contest in Baltimore. The initiative is designed to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of wood construction, particularly the carbon neutrality of wood as a building material, and to promote the use of life cycle assessment tools.

“The goal of the Carbon Challenge is to educate designers about the role of building materials in a home’s environmental footprint. By designing with consideration to life cycle assessment, participants are able to adapt their designs and product selections to maximize efficiency and energy performance,” said Mike Ritter, assistant director for FPL. “In turn, the resulting home designs showcase to the public the attainability and lifelong benefits of sustainably built, wood-framed homes.”

The Carbon Challenge Providence is held in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Rhode Island—Greater Providence and AIA Rhode Island, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products and Boise Cascade.

For more information on the winners, visit www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge/Providence.

 

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About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Raise the Floor Challenge Winning Designer Announced

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Robert Clark, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Bob.Clark@apawood.org
Phone: 753-823-5412
Date: November 10, 2009
Number: 2009-08

Raise the Floor Challenge Winning Designer Announced

The Raise the Floor 2009 Design Challenge Grand Prize Design Award was presented to Bob Esposito of true design studios at the November meeting of the American Institute of Architects chapter in Jacksonville, Florida. Sponsored by Raised Floor Living, APA – The Engineered Wood Association, the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA), and the Florida Wood Council, the Raise the Floor 2009 Design Challenge invited local builders and designers to compete for cash prizes and roles in the design and construction of a raised wood floor home in Northeast Florida.

Twenty-three designers registered for the competition. Registrants were required to submit a home design that celebrates a raised wood floor foundation, incorporates wood products and systems in structural applications and possibly aesthetic applications, meets the demanding climate conditions of the Jacksonville area, reflects the heritage of Northeast Florida, and considers an environmentally friendly design of 1,200 to 1,300 square feet.

A judging panel representing the major designer groups in Northeast Florida narrowed the field to three finalists, before the winning design was selected by Andy Chambers of Master Craft Builder Group. Chambers is the incoming NEFBA President and was selected as the winning Raise the Floor Challenge builder last month. Judging was coordinated by APA Engineered Wood Specialist C.W. Macomber.

“This program gives evidence to the breadth of creativity in residential design that Florida is blessed with,” said judge and consulting architect Kevin Harris, FAIA. “The (finalists) were not at all similar, each resolving the design problem individually in a unique, yet powerfully persuasive way. When the jury had finalized its deliberations, the common comment was how difficult it would be for (Chambers) to decide which design to build. All were exceptional.”

Chambers will construct the winning design in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Jacksonville beginning in December. The home construction project will serve as a live classroom for educating builders and designers about raised wood floor construction methods and details.

The awards ceremony was attended by more than 80 architects, engineers and designers from the Northeast Florida region. Attendees were given the opportunity to view all of the Raise the Floor Design Challenge entries before the Grand Prize Design Winner and several additional award winners were announced, including:

  • Finalist: Nicholas Renard, Cote Renard Architecture
  • Finalist: James C. Lucia, Lucia & Monday Architecture, Inc.
  • Best Use of Wood Products: Pete Braud, BRAUD / design build, Inc.
  • Best Curb Appeal: Holly Grimes, Grimes Professional Group
  • Most Livable Design: Jeremiah Russell, R. Dean Scott, Architect, Inc.

In the third and final phase of the competition, the services of the winning designer will be awarded as a prize in the Design your Dream Home contest, currently open to potential homeowners in the area. A portion of the designer’s fees will be paid by the contest sponsors.

For more information about the competition and related events, visit www.apawood.org/raisethefloor.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Raised Wood Floor Construction Featured in New APA Brochure

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Kelly Devlin, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Kelly.Devlin@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7475
Date: February 4, 2010
Number: 2010-01

Raised Wood Floor Construction Featured in New APA Brochure

Raised wood floor case studies brochure coverA variety of residential raised wood floor construction methods are showcased in the new publication, Raised Wood Floors: Case Studies in Progressive Home Construction. The brochure is published by APA, in cooperation with the Southern Pine Council, as part of a Raised Floor Living campaign to promote the advantages of raised floor construction using sustainable wood products in the Southeastern U.S.

“A raised wood floor is the savvy way for builders to address design issues such as sloping lots, floodplain concerns, problematic soils and traditional aesthetics,” said Bob Clark, APA Raised Floor Project Manager. “And studies show that consumers prefer raised wood floor homes.”

Eight case studies are featured in the brochure. “This diverse compilation shows how other builders and designers are experiencing success with raised wood floors,” said Clark. “By combining traditional architecture with progressive building techniques, these builders are constructing raised wood floor homes that are durable, aesthetically pleasing and sell quickly.” The case studies include:

  • Entry-level raised wood floor homes in Houston, built on shallow poured one-piece pier footings that are effective in the area’s problematic soils.
  • A progressive Florida home that features a conditioned crawlspace for improved moisture management and easy access to electrical and plumbing systems.
  • A custom home builder in Houston who likes the technical advantages offered by raised wood floor systems, such as the ability to easily level or repair a shifting foundation. 
  • A traditional neighborhood development in Mississippi that incorporates new and efficient building products while maintaining the character and historical feel of traditional homes.
  • A high-end home builder in Atlanta whose raised wood floor homes sell quicker and for more money than houses on concrete slabs.
  • A Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) raised floor that combines structural framing, insulation and an air barrier into an “all-in-one” floor system.
  • A Mississippi builder that elevates homes on treated wood pile foundations that are faster and less expensive than pouring concrete slabs on compacted fill dirt.
  • The first house in a Houston floodplain zone to feature a closed crawl space, designed to protect building products from moisture.

The brochure also identifies ten top reasons for builders to design and build raised wood floor systems, including: costs less to build than slab-on-fill; expedites the scheduling of trades; speeds up construction; provides more level foundations on any soil type; solves floodplains and sloping lots; simplifies repairs and renovations; identifies the builder as green and progressive; sells homes faster and for more profit; matches changing consumer preferences; and reduces call-backs and liability.

Raised Wood Floors: Case Studies in Progressive Home Construction, Form K110, is available for free download at www.apawood.org. Print copies of the brochure are available from APA for $2.00. Additional information about the featured builders and raised wood floor construction systems is available at www.apawood.org/raisedfloors.

More about Raised Floor Living

Raised Floor Living is a promotional program sponsored by the Southern Pine Council in partnership with APA. The program’s objective is to provide home builders, home designers and home buyers with the resources they need to make informed decisions about building, designing and selecting raised wood floor homes. For more information, visit www.RaisedFloorLiving.com


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Raising Awareness of Raised Wood Floors

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 7, 2011
Number: 2011-04

Raising Awareness of Raised Wood Floors

When Scott Murray decided to install a raised wood floor at the home he was building in St. Augustine, Florida, he knew he would end up with a better built house. When he added advanced framing techniques and a combined shear and uplift design to the mix, he took things to the next level.

Design Preference Drove Decision to Use Raised Floor System

Stakes were high because Murray was building his own family’s home. The builder and vice president of Murray Engineering of Green Cove Springs, Florida wanted a design that would give him height and curb appeal; he wanted a front porch that looked over the yard instead of into the yard. So he chose to build a home with a raised wood floor foundation.

Murray says he was surprised to find the raised wood floor so similar in cost to that of a typical slab on grade. “I expected the raised wood floor design to be more expensive, but when I did an initial cost comparison to a stem wall/slab with equal block height, the analysis came back close to break even,” said Murray. “Even if the raised wood floor system had been more expensive, I was convinced that the benefits of better access to my mechanical systems, better comfort, and better curb appeal would outweigh any cost increase over a slab configuration.”

What is a Raised Floor System?

According to Raised Floor Living, a raised floor system is an assembly of beams, girders, joists and sheathing panels comprised of various engineered wood framing products, all properly sized and connected together. A raised floor system is designed to elevate the living space off the ground, isolating it from moisture and pests – two common headaches for Florida home builders. “If you elevate the house, then you are adding additional protection against the termites,” said Murray.

Murray says that opting to build a raised wood floor foundation significantly increased the speed of construction – installation took a week less than if he had used a stem wall/slab construction method. Other key benefits included improved energy and moisture performance and easy underfloor access for inspections and repairs. “Access to my mechanicals and electrical systems was important to me,” said Murray. “Maintaining and upgrading those systems down the road is a lot more feasible with a raised wood floor than on a slab.”

Another benefit for Murray was that he found raised wood floors to be more comfortable. “It just feels better on your feet,” he said. “Concrete floors are cold. They provide a great spot for dogs to sleep on a hot day, but a cold slab allows condensation and moisture build-up, which I wanted to avoid.”

To maximize his raised wood floor system’s moisture management performance, Murray opted for an unventilated, enclosed and conditioned crawl space, otherwise known as a closed crawl space. “It made total sense to condition and keep the crawl space dry,” said Murray. “Doing so allows me to house my mechanical systems, plumbing, electrical and the HVAC systems in a conditioned environment without odors or pests.”

Installation


Installation of the raised wood floor system was simple, but took a little more planning, said Murray. The first step was to grade the site to elevate it above the surrounding lot, creat¬ing positive drainage away from the building and mitigat¬ing groundwater seepage.

Next, Murray constructed a continuous stem wall foundation from eight-inch concrete masonry unit (CMU) blocks over a poured-in-place footing. Once the perimeter walls were built, a 10-mil polyethylene ground cover was placed directly over the clean fill. He installed the poly with a 12-inch overlap, secured the seams with waterproof tape and wrapped the poly up the interior wall to prevent moisture and air entering from the soil.

Murray framed the floor with I-joists. The I-joists were easy to install, reducing construction time, and provided optimum floor perfor¬mance over long spans. After the joists and subfloor were in place, Murray added a closed-cell spray foam insulation to the perimeter crawl space walls and Rim Board®, effectively creating a ‘mini-basement.’

Murray installed a damper-controlled supply and a return air system to the closed crawl space to control moisture. The system also allows him to maintain pressure equalization and temperature inside the house.

Code Compliant

Murray’s project was governed by the Florida Building Code, FBC 2007 edition; closed and conditioned raised wood floors are allowed under section R408.3. Previously, the code required a minimum amount of ventilation in a crawl space, and required that insulation be placed at the floor level as opposed to the perimeter walls. Now, the FBC states that a crawl space designed by a Florida-licensed engineer or architect can eliminate venting by use of design-based knowledge of building science to lower energy costs and improve system performance.

By eliminating vents under the floor and by extending insulation to the exterior wall level, Murray essentially created an extended first floor wall. While the walls measure 10 feet high on the first floor, they’re effectively 14-foot walls because they extend four feet from the finished floor to the grade level.

Advanced Framing Techniques

Murray decided to use advanced framing fairly late in the design process. “While my brother and I were working on the architectural plans to take advantage of the raised wood floor system, it occurred to me that we could also take advantage of advanced framing in terms of load distribution and thermal resistance, and to reduce the amount of lumber used during framing,” he said.

Murray and his brother, Bryan Murray PE, president of Murray Engineering, originally designed the walls of the home using dimension lumber at 16-inches on center. The two quickly concluded that it was simply too much wood. So they did more with less by employing advanced framing techniques.

Utilizing advanced framing techniques can reduce the number of framing members in a wall system and allow for more cavity insulation, thereby improving energy efficiency. Using 2x6 wall framing lumber is one such technique that results in more insulation space in the wall cavity.

24-on-Center Stack Framing

Next, Murray placed the roof truss system on 24-inch centers. Then he moved the I-joist floor system to the same spacing, and finally ran the exterior studs at 24-inch centers, to align them with the roof and floor and to provide a continuous load path to the foundation.

“It made sense to use the advanced 24-on-center stack frame because of my home’s orientation and because we had originally spaced everything in two-foot increments,” Murray said. “My goal was to gain better load distribution and more effective thermal resistance by allowing more room for insulation. By widening the stud spacing and designing the house dimensions in even increments, it aligned well.”

Advanced Framing Savings Added Up

By using advanced framing along with combined shear and uplift techniques, Murray was also able to maintain the load path directly to the outside panel in line with the stud and carry it down, which eliminated the need for the top plate connection and the floor-to-floor connection. Doing so saved almost $1,000 in material and labor just in the metal connectors.

The wider stud spacing will also save Murray in terms of our future energy costs. “When we moved to 24-inch spacing, it gave me room for more insulation,” he said. “Together with the fact that I used vinyl low-E windows, we were able to reduce the total required heating and cooling loads of the house by about one ton of air. Plus, I will be able to better maintain the interior climate, effectively reducing future energy consumption.”

Putting it all Together with Combined Shear and Uplift

Bryan and Scott Murray used the exterior sheathing to help resist shear for lateral wind loads and as a means to transfer the uplift loads into the foundation -- a method commonly known as combined use design. “We had designed several other homes with raised wood floor foundations, and we had used some advanced framing techniques on other projects, but this was the first time we put all three together,” said Scott Murray.

Conventional designs use sheathing panels as a brace for lateral loading, and metal connectors transfer the uplift from the roof down to the foundation. However, APA – The Engineered Wood Association has developed a method to bypass some metal connections in the wood framing. The approach doesn’t eliminate all the metal in the house, but does help reduce top plate-to-stud connections and stud-to-shoe plate connections, as well as floor-to-floor connections in multi-level homes.

Because the home was elevated, Murray said they had to first span the raised wood floor system’s depth and continue on to the second floor top plate. “Due to the uncommon lengths from one horizontal wood member to the next, we still needed to cut panels and install blocking at the joints, so we did not realize the maximum benefit. We did, however, eliminate metal connections because the panel took the uplift instead of the metal connectors.”

Murray installed standard eight-foot panels vertically, extending them from the foundation sill plate half way up the first floor wall. They blocked the joint, and the next panel bypassed the second-story floor system. Again, they blocked the joint, added another panel, and then cut it at the top plate. This eliminated the floor-to-floor strapping across the floors as well as any top plate-to-stud and stud-to-sill plate connections.

By eliminating metal inside the wall cavity, Murray reduced thermal bridging. He also improved energy efficiency by lapping the sheathing over a common air infiltration location – the pathways around band joists.

Beyond Code

Many of Murray’s decisions were driven by a desire to build his house beyond code minimums, for comfort and quality. Florida builders face a code update about every three years, and he said the state has increased energy efficiency requirements every time.

“Bryan and I both expect that walls will someday be analyzed as a true assembly, as opposed to just an R19 or R13 factor,” said Scott Murray. “As designers and builders, we chose to learn how to give wood-frame walls more insulation capacity. In my opinion, the best way for that to work is to utilize advanced framing. We are currently working to investigate new means and methods to integrate those techniques here in Florida.”

Positive Outlook


Now that he’s in the house, Murray is confident that he protected his home from moisture and termites, he improved the energy efficiency of the building envelope, he prolonged the life of his mechanical systems and he improved his ability to service and inspect the structure. Plus, he saved money -- reducing metal connections by utilizing existing sheathing for combined shear and uplift -- and used less wood by implementing advanced framing techniques.

“But most importantly, I ended up with a comfortable, more attractive, raised wood floor home,” Murray said. “In fact, I’ve received hundreds of phone calls about the house since it went up – calls from people saying, ‘Your house sits so beautifully on the lot. I wish I had done that.’”

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Raising Floors Builds Profits for Wood Products Industry

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 15, 2010
Number: 2010-07

Raising Floors Builds Profits for Wood Products Industry

An effort to expand the use of raised wood floors in the Southeast has begun to pay dividends for the wood products industry. The Raised Floor Living campaign was launched just two years ago but it has already directly resulted in incremental wood product use valued at $2.9 million. An additional $25.8 million dollars worth of prospective builder conversions from slab-on-grade to raised wood floor foundations are targeted.

Builder conversions equate to more dollars spent on wood products, the end goal of Raised Floor Living. The program aims to get those conversions by delivering construction strategies, product support, and educational outreach to home builders and buyers in a broad-based effort to increase awareness, acceptance and use of raised wood floors. The campaign targets the Gulf Coast and other Southeastern U.S. markets where the risks of storm flooding and expansive soils make raised wood floors a natural choice over traditional concrete slab-on-grade construction. The Raised Floor Living initiative is a joint effort by the Southern Pine Council (SPC), APA – The Engineered Wood Association, their member manufacturers and other industry partners.

Although some of the oldest homes in the U.S. are built on raised wood floors, interest in the system peaked just a few years ago following the massive flooding and extensive property damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Compared with other options – concrete slab atop dirt fill or slab on a backfilled perimeter wall, for example – the raised wood floor system often is the most practical and cost-effective way to protect buildings and meet local building ordinances in areas prone to flooding.

Growing consumer preference for sustainable houses has also drawn favorable attention to wood as a green building material. Wood products are manufactured from a renewable resource, and the manufacturing process is energy-efficient. Wood-framed foundations are built to last and meet both the structural and sustainable requirements of new home construction (see “Studies in Sustainability”).

The raised wood floor system provides numerous other benefits as well, including excellent insulating properties, ease of improving or repairing utility lines and mechanical systems, durability, uplifting comfort, classic style and enhanced curb appeal.

The prospects for increasing wood industry share of the residential floor market is strongly supported by the results of a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) consumer preference survey. For the U.S. as a whole, 42 percent of consumers prefer wood-framed first floors, compared with 25 percent for concrete slab, according to the survey results. The remaining one third had no preference, were unsure, or didn't know. While the preference for concrete slabs was only 25 percent, concrete represents 53 percent of total first floor area, suggesting a wood floor promotion campaign, such as that now being conducted by Raised Floor Living, could yield positive results.

In Northern Florida, for example – a recent target of the Raised Floor Living initiative – wood currently commands just a one percent share of the single-family first floor market, providing a substantial target-rich opportunity for market share gain and hence greater demand for wood products. A home with a wood first floor in lieu of a concrete slab creates approximately one-third more business for the lumber dealer.

The Raised Flooring Living program employs a wide variety of educational tools and promotional tactics, including professional seminars and training events, demonstration projects, trade and consumer publicity, advertising, local television coverage, publications and a website (www.RaisedFloorLiving.com) that features comprehensive raised floor details, construction tips and other information. APA activities are aimed at educating builders, framers, designers and building code officials about the merits of wood construction, while SPC is working both to create consumer awareness of raised wood floor features and benefits and to complement APA's design and construction education efforts. Campaign updates are tracked at www.apawood.org/raisedwoodfloors.

Direct interaction with the building community through face-to-face meetings, educational events and sales calls is a key to building awareness and acceptance of raised wood floors. Last year, Raised Floor Living launched its market development efforts in North Florida with the Raise the Floor Design Challenge, inviting home builders and designers to compete for the chance to design and build an award-winning raised wood floor home. The competition, co-sponsored by the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) and the Florida Wood Council, kicked-off with a promotional event at the NEFBA headquarters that drew more than 200 building professionals. Twenty-three designers entered the contest.

Construction of the winning raised wood floor home design began on April 1. The building site is doubling as a demonstration home -- a classroom for educating local builders, designers and material distributors about innovative products and energy-efficient building systems. The first two open houses, which showcased the raised wood pier-and-beam foundation system and advanced 2x6 wood wall framing, drew an audience of more than 110 building professionals, thanks in large part to the NEFBA, the local American Institute of Architects, the local chapter of the American Institute of Building Designers and the local Residential Engineers Association, all of which widely publicized the events. A third open house is scheduled to highlight energy-efficient building systems.

The positive response to last year’s design challenge led Raised Floor Living to coordinate two mini design competitions this year in Houston and Charlotte. Although smaller in scale than the original design challenge, the corresponding Design Your Dream Home promotion for consumers -- in which one homeowner from each market was awarded design fees for a raised wood floor home -- was heavily promoted through a series of in-depth television features that highlighted the benefits of building raised from the homeowner’s perspective.

From 2009 through the first quarter of 2010, Raised Floor Living hosted 69 educational events, demonstrations and seminars in markets like Pensacola, Florida, Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina, with a total attendance of over 2,400. According to post-seminar surveys, 69 percent of attendees said that they were more likely to build or specify raised wood floors because of the seminar. Another 19 percent said they were possibly more likely to build or specify raised wood floors.

Raised Floor Living is targeting national builders and regional builders of all sizes in its effort to influence conversions from elevated concrete slab foundations to raised wood floors. Value-engineering, custom evaluations that help to debunk misconceptions about the economies and long-term performance advantages of wood construction, is a key strategy. Raised Floor Living’s value-engineering services can include a customized cost-comparison report between raised wood floor and concrete slab construc¬tion, computer-generated design comparisons, or assistance creating a complete set of architectural and engineering plans. Although these services represent a significant commitment of time and resources, the effort is validated when a builder decides to convert.

“Displacing concrete slab floors, particularly in traditionally concrete markets, is a long-term challenge,” said APA Project Manager Bob Clark. But the program is gaining momentum and “we’re seeing tangible results in terms of both awareness of the raised floor alternative and actual conversions.”

 

#####

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Opportunities and Challenges for North American Engineered Wood Product Manufacturers in Japan

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 10, 2011
Number: 2011-12

Opportunities and Challenges for North American Engineered Wood Product Manufacturers in Post-Earthquake Japan

Will the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan on March 11 provide long-term market opportunities for North American manufacturers of structural wood panels and other engineered wood products?

The answer is not as clear cut as might be expected, cautions Charlie Barnes, International Market Director of APA.  “Reconstruction will be a huge undertaking for many years, and that will generate substantial demand for wood products,” Barnes notes.  “But there are also obstacles to market entry, and manufacturers must know the ropes.”

The magnitude 9.0 earthquake—among the top ten most severe earthquakes ever recorded by seismographs—and the resulting tsunami wreaked unimaginable devastation to a large northern region of the island country.  The death toll estimate exceeds 15,000, with more than 8,500 people still missing as of June 1, 2011 Estimates of recovery and reconstruction costs are expected to exceed $309 billion, making this the world’s most expensive natural disaster and dwarfing the 1995 Kobe earthquake. 

The likelihood of an increase in demand for imported wood products is suggested by several key factors.  Among them:
  • More than 400,000 people lost their homes and perhaps as many as 150,000 buildings were destroyed, according to Wood Resources International, the U.S.-based forest industry consulting firm. 
  • Japan, even before the disaster, was one of the largest importers of wood products in the world.  The country imported wood materials (both raw material and finished wood products) valued at more than $10 billion in 2010.  That was 20 percent more than in 2009. 
  • The earthquake and tsunami destroyed or severely damaged several Japanese plywood plants that together accounted for approximately 35-40 percent of the country’s annual softwood plywood production, and about 10-15 percent of the country’s total softwood and hardwood plywood supply (both domestically produced and imported). 
The temporary but significant loss of a substantial portion of domestic plywood production capacity coupled with the huge volume of structural wood panels that will be required for rebuilding will definitely have an impact on structural wood panel demand, Barnes points out.  But that demand will be moderated, he said, by several factors.  For example:
  • The sheer magnitude of the clean-up effort and the challenges ahead in restoring power, transportation, port facility and other infrastructure will stretch demand over a long period of time.   According to the head of a Japanese government panel drawing up plans, rebuilding of communities and businesses in quake and Tsunami-devastated areas is likely to take shape in three to five years, but it will easily take 10 years for reconstruction to be completed even in areas that are quick to recover. Also, Japan’s national debt reaches 180 percent of its gross domestic product; however, most of this debt is owned by other Japanese institutions.
  • Short-term demand has been and likely will continue for some time to be dominated by prefabricated emergency relief housing, not primary wood products. 
  • Imported panels are overwhelmingly required to be 3x6 feet in keeping with the longstanding Japanese construction module and practices.  Panels also must be certified to the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS).  Few North American mills currently produce to the 3x6 module and only four APA member OSB mills and one APA member plywood mill were JAS certified at the time of the earthquake, as were seven APA member glulam plants. 
  • It can be expected that Japan will seek to rebuild its damaged plywood manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible. 
  • North American panel producers have historically faced formidable competition from Asian suppliers, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia, which together accounted for approximately 77 percent of Japanese plywood imports in 2010.  China accounted for another 19 percent.  Japanese imports of North American plywood, by contrast, represented less than two-tenths of one percent of total plywood imports last year. 
While not expected, then, to be a bonanza for the North American panel industry in general, Japanese post-earthquake supply and demand dynamics could represent opportunities for manufacturers already doing business there, or those willing and able to cultivate the market. 

Sample Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) mark As a Registered Overseas Certification Body (ROCB) accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries (MAFF), APA is authorized to certify member products as meeting the JAS standard, including formaldehyde emissions limits considered among the strictest anywhere in the world.  Since the earthquake, some 20 APA member plywood and OSB manufacturers have inquired to APA about JAS certification requirements and procedures, and many have initiated the certification process. 

Japanese usage and imports of OSB are increasing, but still small compared with plywood volumes, especially for floor and roof sheathing applications.  The country has no OSB manufacturing capability of its own and last year imported 240.6 million square feet (3/8”) of the product.  Of that volume, nearly 80 percent was supplied by Canadian companies, and the product could well play a growing part in the reconstruction effort as well as the overall new housing demand throughout Japan. 

That prospect was recently enhanced by Japanese government recognition of higher OSB shear wall values, which will be of obvious importance in acceptance of the product in post-earthquake reconstruction efforts.  The Ministerial Approvals issued to APA in February of this year were the result of more than one year of testing in both Japan and North America.  The new values reflect a 60 percent increase in shear wall multiplier factors for post & beam construction and a 20 percent increase for platform frame construction.  The approvals were made possible with the support of funding from the federal Natural Resources Canada and Forestry Innovation Investment, Ltd., British Columbia’s market development agency for forest products. 

Glulam timber also has worked its way into the Japanese market, with the country last year importing 553,354 cubic meters of the product (approximately 360 million board feet).  That was down nearly a third from the record mark of 805,562 cubic meters in 2006 in response to the global economic downturn.  However, glulam imports in 2010 rose 21 percent from the previous year and almost 37 percent from 2008.  As with plywood, North America supplies only a tiny percentage (less than one percent) of Japanese glulam imports, so the potential for market share growth is considerable.  Austria and Finland historically are the two largest suppliers, accounting last year for some 62 percent of all glulam imports. 

Mid- and long-term demand estimates for structural wood panels can be at least partially established by looking at the number of wooden housing units built in tsunami-impacted prefectures in 2010.  That normal-year number - 44,250 - yields a housing demand potential for the region of some 243 million square feet, based on average house size and historical panel utilization rates. 

It is also noteworthy that wooden house construction in Japan has gained market share since 2005—rising from about 44 percent to nearly 57 percent last year.  Over the same period, however, total housing starts have declined by 35 percent.  Post & beam construction (based on 3x6, 3x9 and 3x10 foot modules) dominates the wood construction market; 2x4 construction (based on 3x6 to 3x8-foot panel modules) represented only about one-quarter of the wooden housing starts in 2010. 

In addition to JAS certification accreditation, APA has a longstanding technical, regulatory and market development presence in Japan that can be of considerable value to member companies looking to gain Japanese market entry or broaden their foothold in the country.  APA maintains a Canadian OSB Japan Office in Tokyo and also is a partner with the Softwood Export Council and Southern Pine Council in support of an American Softwood Japan Office, also in Tokyo.  That presence gives APA an ability to serve as a conduit for requests from the Japanese construction community to supply structural wood products, a function that has increased since the earthquake, Barnes noted. 


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

New Study Supports Raised Floor Recommendations for Hot, Humid Climates

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 30, 2011
Number: 2011-18

New Study Supports Raised Floor Recommendations for Hot, Humid Climates

Louisiana State University Ag Center reports findings on moisture management and raised wood foundation construction.

New Moisture Study Supports Raised Floor RecommendationsFindings from a research study that evaluated subfloor moisture levels of south Louisiana raised-foundation homes have been published by the Louisiana State University Ag Center. The research study was initially funded through the Coalition for Advanced Wood Structures of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab and coordinated by APA. The project started three years ago when APA recognized the need to develop more complete recommendations for raised wood floors in a hot, humid climate. Other partners included LSU and the Southern Forest Products Association, which also provided funding for the research.

Working from recommendations provided by Dr. Sam Glass of the U.S. Forest Products Lab, the researchers evaluated homes with six different insulation systems to better understand the performance of various insulation systems in open pier and beam foundations and vented wall crawl spaces.

The study identified several crawl space insulation systems that performed extremely well within the types of foundation systems that were studied.  This information is intended to help homeowners, builders, architects, insulation contractors, home inspectors and others balance energy efficiency, comfort and durability issues.

The study findings are summarized in a FPL/LSU publication which is being distributed throughout the Gulf Coast region by the LSU Ag Center. Download the report.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

APACAD.org Adds Free Advanced Framing CAD Details

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 18, 2013
Number: 2013-3

APACAD.org Adds Free Advanced Framing CAD Details

APA website now features more than 250 free CAD details for wood-frame construction.

Advanced Framing CAD DetailsTwenty new CAD details highlighting advanced framing techniques have been added to APACAD.org, APA’s online resource for building designers and construction professionals in search of CAD (Computer Aided Design) details for wood-frame construction.

The new details were adapted from figures in the APA publication, the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, which highlights construction framing techniques designed to optimize material usage and increase energy efficiency. Structures built with advanced framing techniques are more resource efficient and offer more space for cavity insulation than similar structures built with conventional framing. The publication can be downloaded in PDF format from APA.

The addition of the new details boosts the total number of free CAD details featured on APACAD.org to 257, including 30 Spanish-language details. All of the details are available to download free of charge in four file formats: DWG, DWF, DXF and PDF. The details are adapted from some of APA’s most frequently requested publications and can be searched for by title or browsed for within several defined product and construction-system categories, such as Panel Roof Construction and I-Joist Floor Framing. Over 113,000 CAD details were downloaded from APACAD.org in 2012.

View the advanced framing CAD details.

###

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

APACAD.org Adds Free Spanish-Language CAD Details

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: July 20, 2010
Number: 2010-10

APACAD.org Adds Free Spanish-Language CAD Details

Free Spanish CAD details now available at APACAD.orgAPACAD.org -- APA’s online resource for building designers and construction professionals in search of CAD (Computer Aided Design) details for wood-frame construction -- now offers details in Spanish. More than 30 Spanish-language CAD details are available free of charge in four different file formats: DWG, DWF, DXF and PDF. Details can be searched for by title or browsed for within several product and construction-system categories, including Panel Roof Construction, Build a Better Home, I-Joist Floor Framing and Fire Rated Systems. Spanish-language details can be accessed by visiting www.APACAD.org and clicking on the Mexican Flag in the upper-right corner of the webpage.

APACAD.org was recently redesigned to improve site navigation and CAD detail accessibility. In addition to the Spanish-language details, the website now features more than 200 details in English that have been adapted from some of APA’s most frequently downloaded publications. Additional details are being developed.

“These free CAD details are great tools for designers because it saves them time, which in turn saves them money,” said APA Engineered Wood Specialist C.W. Macomber about the popular website, which has averaged nearly 13,000 visits per month over the past year. “In these tough economic times any cost saving tools APA can provide are considered valuable and greatly appreciated by design professionals.”

To learn more, visit www.APACAD.org

Award-Winning Raised Floor Home is NEFBA Classroom for Jacksonville Building Community

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 17, 2010
Number: 2010-08

Award-Winning Raised Floor Home is NEFBA Classroom for Jacksonville Building Community

An unusually large number of Florida builders and designers have been stopping by the construction site at 3630 Green Street, in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Jacksonville. That’s because the house under construction on this lot is the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) 2010 President’s Project -- a raised wood floor demonstration home -- and those builders and designers are coming to learn the latest in progressive building techniques and energy-efficient residential design. But a construction site doubling as a classroom wasn’t the NEFBA’s plan from the start. The President’s Project was an unexpected opportunity that grew from last year’s Raise the Floor Design Challenge.

The design challenge was a Raised Floor Living (www.RaisedFloorLiving.com) program, a cooperative effort between APA – The Engineered Wood Association and the Southern Pine Council designed to increase the market for raised wood floor construction in Southeastern U.S. regions subject to high wind and flood damage. The Jacksonville-based competition, in which home builders and designers were invited to compete for the chance to design and build an award-winning raised wood floor home, was also sponsored by NEFBA and the Florida Wood Council.

The design challenge was one of several Raised Floor Living promotions to spread the word that a raised wood floor foundation compares favorably to a concrete slab atop dirt fill or a slab on a backfilled perimeter wall. Building raised is a practical solution for protecting structures and meeting local building ordinances in areas prone to flooding -- a key reason raised wood floors drew favorable attention following the massive flooding and extensive property damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Protection from the elements is just one of many advantages of building raised, according to C.W. Macomber, a member of the Raised Floor Living team and an APA engineered wood specialist assigned to the Northern Florida market. “Raised floors provide builders and homeowners numerous benefits, such as great energy-savings potential, easy access to mechanical systems and plumbing in the crawl space, durability, increased security, classic style and curb appeal.”

In the Raise the Floor Design Challenge, designers competed by entering their plans for a raised wood floor home while builders vied for the opportunity to construct the winning design. The competition kicked off last summer with a celebration at the NEFBA headquarters, which drew more than 200 members of the local building community.

In October, the first winner was announced. Andy Chambers of Jacksonville’s MasterCraft Builder Group won the builder phase of the competition. His prize was the still-to-be-determined winning architectural and structural plans for a raised floor home plus $15,000 towards the cost of construction.

Chambers, who was the incoming NEFBA president, had the idea to use the construction of the winning design as a live classroom for educating area builders and designers about innovative building products and systems. A house built with a raised wood foundation, advanced wall framing techniques, and other energy-saving enhancements would provide the local building community with a model for how to better meet an aggressive energy policy recently mandated by the Florida Governor that calls for new homes to be 50 percent more energy efficient by 2019.

“This home will allow members a hands-on opportunity to learn about new products and the latest construction techniques,” Chambers said. Raised Floor Living and the Executive Board of NEFBA agreed with Chamber’s proposal, and the President’s Project was born.

Before construction could begin, Chambers had a part to play in selecting the winning design. The 23 designers who entered the competition were asked to design a home that features a raised wood floor foundation, incorporates wood products and systems in structural and aesthetic applications, meets the demanding climate conditions of the Jacksonville area, reflects the heritage of Northeast Florida, and is an environmentally friendly design of 1,200 to 1,300 square feet.

A judging panel representing major local designer groups narrowed the field to three finalists before Chambers selected the winning design, a traditionally styled raised floor home by designer Bob Esposito of True Design Studios in Jacksonville. Esposito designed the house to compliment the surrounding homes in Murray Hill, the well-established neighborhood where the house was to be built.

The final floor plan offered comfortable living spaces, a kitchen overlooking the living room and dining room, three bedrooms, two baths, a private laundry room and a drop zone on the driveway side of the home. “The functional arrangement of well-proportioned spaces is what makes this floor plan so great,” Esposito said. “From a financial perspective, building to a budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for poor architecture.”

Esposito, an advocate of sustainable and inheritable home design, was naturally a proponent of building raised. “A raised floor design is a more sustainable construction method as compared to concrete slab,” Esposito said. “It is a superior method in flood-prone areas with easier-to-maintain mechanical systems and superior protection against water intrusion of the exterior wall system. It increases the home’s security by raising the window sills above the ground, and it enhances curb appeal and the opportunity for creative landscaping.”

With the design finalized and the permitting process underway, Chambers turned his attention to recruiting sponsors. Many were needed for the project to succeed and, fortunately, the response was enthusiastic. Building material suppliers and manufacturers were eager to showcase their products among the innovative and energy-efficient systems on display in the demonstration home, while local material suppliers and lumber yards wanted to learn how to correctly use, install and promote the featured wood products. By the time the President’s Project is complete, more than 25 affiliated trades and suppliers will have contributed materials, supplies and manpower to the construction of the home.

Construction began with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 1 and progressed quickly in the days that followed. Concrete footings and columns for the pier-and-beam foundation system were poured the first week. The foundation was framed the following week. In the third week, wall and roof systems were erected.

The ultimate goal of utilizing the construction as an educational tool was realized during these early weeks. The first two open houses, coordinated by Raised Floor Living, drew more than 110 participants, thanks in large part to the NEFBA, the local American Institute of Architects, the local chapter of the American Institute of Building Designers and the local Residential Engineers Association, all of which widely publicized the events.

The first open house showcased the raised wood floor system, including piers, floor joists, floor sheathing, tie-down straps and hardware. Attendees toured the site with Chambers, Esposito, project engineer Mike Koslowski, material manufacturers and installers who offered construction tips and identified common installation errors. Areas of the floor had been left exposed so that key system details could be inspected by participants. Discussions among the crowd centered on the architectural advantages and aethstetic appeal of building above grade.

Building sustainable and structurally-sound homes with advanced wall framing and raised wood floors was the focus of the second open house. During the event, Macomber presented a one-hour continuing education course detailing why wood-framed walls are more cost effective and environmentally sustainable than masonry walls.

Open house attendees viewed many innovative building techniques, including 2x6 advanced wall framing, which offers a more efficient use of wood than traditional 2x4 walls. Raised-heel roof trusses, not commonly seen in Florida, allow insulation to extend to the outside wall. And vertically installed, full-height wall sheathing, extending from the bottom of the bottom plate up to the roof system, reduces the need for metal framing connectors while increasing wall strength to resist shear and uplift forces from high winds. But the most discussed product proved to be the radiant barrier roof sheathing panels. These structural wood panels feature a thin layer of highly-reflective aluminum facing that minimizes the effects of the sun’s radiant heat, potentially lowering attic temperatures, reducing cooling demands and cutting energy costs.

The subject of the third open house was energy-efficient design in residential construction. The temperature climbed to 99 degrees during the June event, but the sweltering heat didn’t stop a crowd of 78 building professionals from gathering for a closer look at the house’s energy-saving building systems, including expanded wall cavity space with thicker insulation. This was accomplished with 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center (2 inches deeper than 2x4 framing spaced 16 inches on center) -- the added wall depth and increased stud spacing creates more room for insulation. Also on display was an innovative HVAC design and distribution system that adds up to greater savings for both the home builder and homeowner.

A fourth and final open house will be held upon completion of the President’s Project near the end of July. By that time, Chambers and Raised Floor Living are hoping NEFBA members will have learned a thing or two about raised wood floor construction and progressive building techniques that will better equip them for meeting the growing demand for energy- efficient homes. But after the house is complete and the red ribbon has been cut, the project will still have a final opportunity to benefit the community: the proceeds from the sale of the house will support NEFBA and Builders Care. Builders Care is NEFBA’s charitable arm that provides home improvements to those in need.

President’s Project construction updates are available online at www.apawood.org/raisedwoodfloors.

 

#####

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Baltimore Carbon Challenge Design Competition Winners Announced

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 28, 2013
Number: 2013-15

Baltimore Carbon Challenge Design Competition Winners Announced

$10,000 in prizes awarded in contest challenging building designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials for a Baltimore row house.

Baltimore Carbon Challenge Design Competition Grand Prize WinnerDuring an awards ceremony March 28 in Baltimore, MD, the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab (FPL) and APA – The Engineered Wood Association honored several local architects as winners in the Carbon Challenge Baltimore Design Competition. The contest, based in Baltimore but open to entrants nationwide, challenged residential architects to design an affordable house while considering strategies that reduce fossil fuel use and the structure’s carbon footprint.

Competition participants developed an urban row house for the 1500 block of Bethel St. in Baltimore’s Oliver neighborhood. With the help of life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, designers determined the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions from the products in their design. Along with each entry’s carbon footprint, the judges considered its use of wood, its cost-effectiveness, and its aesthetic.

Cash prizes totaling $10,000 were awarded to the winners across multiple categories:

  • Grand Prize ($5,000): Phillip Jones -- Cho Benn Holback + Associates, Baltimore (pictured above)
  • 2nd Place ($2,500): Alexander Dzurec -- autotroph, Huntington
  • 3rd Place ($1,000): Drew Suljak, Kelly Krob, & David Lopez -- studioRED / hord | coplan | macht, Baltimore
  • Best Use of Wood Products ($500): Chris Melander & Ross Smith -- RTKL Associates Inc., Baltimore
  • Best Curb Appeal ($500): Randy M. Sovich & Jojo Duah -- RM Sovich Architecture, Baltimore
  • Most Cost-Effective ($500): Jay Orr -- ARQ Architects, Baltimore
  • Special Judges Award: Best Social Statement: Lisa M. Ferretto & Kallie Sternburgh -- hord | coplan | macht, Baltimore; Janice Romanosky -- Pando Alliance, Millersville; & Prescott Gaylord – Entellis Collaborative/Hamel Builders, Elkridge

“We were extremely impressed by the entries to the Carbon Challenge Design Competition; the designers took innovative approaches to reducing the home’s carbon footprint while achieving both aesthetic appeal and optimal building performance,” said Bob Clark, senior engineered wood specialist for APA. “The entries clearly reflect the excitement of their designers for creating sustainable building solutions. These designs will improve not only the livability of homes, but also of the surrounding community.”

Phillip Jones’ winning concept modernizes the traditional row house design with an open floor plan that maximizes daylight; a wider, semi-enclosed front “stoop”; and a roof deck with covered and uncovered entertaining areas, green roofing system, and solar hot water collectors. The design’s rammed-earth construction, a highly efficient building method that stores heat in the winter while blocking it in the summer, contributed significantly to its lower carbon footprint.

“This well-conceived and well-designed residence provides comfortably proportioned, usable living spaces with many desirable features, including an entry vestibule, a mud room/pantry, and a second-floor den with laundry,” said one of the judges.

A total of 144 designers entered the Carbon Challenge competition in Baltimore and a simultaneous contest in Providence. The initiative is designed to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of wood construction, particularly the carbon neutrality of wood as a building material, and to promote the use of life cycle assessment tools.

“The goal of the Carbon Challenge is to educate designers about the role of building materials in a home’s environmental footprint. By designing with consideration to life cycle assessment, participants are able to adapt their designs and product selections to maximize efficiency and energy performance,” said Mike Ritter, assistant director for FPL. “In turn, the resulting home designs showcase to the public the attainability and lifelong benefits of sustainably built, wood-framed homes.”

The Carbon Challenge is held in partnership with the City of Baltimore and AIA Baltimore, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products, Boise Cascade, and Roseburg Forest Products.

For more information on the winners, visit www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge/Baltimore.

 
###

About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

 

 

Campaign Demonstrates Advantages of Raised Floor Construction

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 7, 2011
Number: 2011-02

Campaign Demonstrates Advantages of Raised Floor Construction

Raised wood floor construction offers builders and homeowners a number of important advantages over the typical concrete slab-on-grade. The Raised Floor Living campaign is working to deliver that message to builders, designers, and homeowners in the Southeastern U.S., where raised wood floors are particularly effective in meeting flood plain requirements. The campaign is working to influence conversions to raised wood floors by delivering construction strategies, product support, and educational outreach to home builders and buyers.

The campaign targets the Gulf Coast and other Southeastern U.S. markets where the risks of storm flooding and expansive soils make raised wood floors a natural choice over traditional concrete slab-on-grade construction. The Raised Floor Living initiative is a joint effort by the Southern Pine Council (SPC), APA – The Engineered Wood Association, their member manufacturers and other industry partners.

Although most pre-World War II homes in the U.S. are built on raised wood floors, more recent construction has trended toward slab-on-grade. Renewed interest in the raised wood floor system peaked in the South following the massive flooding and extensive property damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Compared with other options – concrete slab atop dirt fill or slab on a backfilled perimeter wall, for example – the raised wood floor system often is the most practical and cost-effective way to protect buildings and meet local building ordinances in areas prone to flooding.

Protection from the elements is just one of many advantages of building raised, according to C.W. Macomber, a member of the Raised Floor Living team and an APA engineered wood specialist assigned to the Northern Florida market. “Raised floors provide builders and homeowners numerous benefits, such as great energy-savings potential, easy access to mechanical systems and plumbing in the crawl space, durability, increased security, classic style and curb appeal.”

Growing consumer preference for sustainable houses has also drawn favorable attention to wood as a green building material. Wood products are manufactured from a renewable resource, and the manufacturing process is energy-efficient. Wood-framed foundations are built to last and meet both the structural and sustainable requirements of new home construction.

The prospects for increasing the use of raised wood floors in residential housing is supported by the results of a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) consumer preference survey. For the U.S. as a whole, 42 percent of consumers prefer wood-framed first floors, compared with 25 percent for concrete slab, according to the survey results. The remaining one third had no preference, were unsure, or didn't know. While the preference for concrete slabs was only 25 percent, concrete represents 53 percent of total first floor area, suggesting a wood floor promotion campaign, such as that now being conducted by Raised Floor Living, could yield positive results.

In Northern Florida, for example – a recent target of the Raised Floor Living initiative – wood currently commands less than 10 percent share of the single-family first floor market, providing a substantial target-rich opportunity for market share gain.

The Raised Flooring Living program employs a wide variety of educational tools and promotional tactics, including professional seminars and training events, demonstration projects, trade and consumer publicity, advertising, local television coverage, publications and a website (www.raisedfloorliving.com) that features comprehensive raised floor details, construction tips and other information. APA activities are aimed at educating builders, framers, designers and building code officials about the merits of wood construction, while SPC is working both to create consumer awareness of raised wood floor features and benefits and to complement APA's design and construction education efforts. Campaign updates are tracked at www.apawood.org/raisedwoodfloors.

Direct interaction with the building community through face-to-face meetings, educational events and sales calls is a key to building awareness and acceptance of raised wood floors. Last year, Raised Floor Living launched its market development efforts in North Florida with the Raise the Floor Design Challenge, inviting home builders and designers to compete for the chance to design and build an award-winning raised wood floor home. The competition, co-sponsored by the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) and the Florida Wood Council, kicked-off with a promotional event at the NEFBA headquarters that drew more than 200 building professionals. Twenty-three designers entered the contest.

Construction of the winning raised wood floor home design, spearheaded by NEFBA President Andy Chambers, began on April 1, 2010. The “NEFBA President’s Project” doubled as a demonstration home -- a classroom for educating local builders, designers and material distributors about innovative products and energy-efficient building systems. During construction, NEFBA and Raised Floor Living hosted a series of open houses, seminars and continuing-education courses focusing on the raised wood pier-and-beam foundation, advanced framing other energy-saving techniques employed in the project.

I really believe that there is an opportunity for a lot more raised wood floor construction in the Jacksonville area,” said Chambers. “It’s really about education and showing (the designers and builders) why they should think about doing it this way.”

Raised Floor Living followed up the Florida Design Challenge with two mini design competitions in Houston and Charlotte in the spring of 2010. Although smaller in scale than the original design challenge, the corresponding Design Your Dream Home promotion for consumers -- in which one homeowner from each market was awarded design fees for a raised wood floor home -- was heavily promoted through a series of in-depth television features that highlighted the benefits of building raised from the homeowner’s perspective.

The positive response to these programs led Raised Floor Living to team with the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) to launch a full-scale design competition that is now underway in southeast Texas. More than 100 builders and designers attended the October kick-off event to learn how to compete for more than $25,000 in cash prizes and a role in the design and construction of a raised wood floor home. Construction of the award-winning house is scheduled to begin in 2011 and corresponding educational events will again be used to promote wood floor and wall systems to the local building community.

Beyond the design challenges, Raised Floor Living is finding ways to communicate with and support national builders and regional builders of all sizes. The Raised Floor Living team has met directly with nearly 900 building professionals since the program began, including 248 builders who received one-on-one assistance. Value-engineering, custom evaluations that help to debunk misconceptions about the economies and long-term performance advantages of wood construction, is a key strategy. Raised Floor Living’s value-engineering services can include a customized cost-comparison report between raised wood floor and concrete slab construction, computer-generated design comparisons, or assistance creating a complete set of architectural and engineering plans. Although these services represent a significant commitment of time and resources, the effort is validated when a builder decides to convert.

“Displacing concrete slab floors, particularly in traditionally concrete markets, is a long-term challenge,” said APA Project Manager Bob Clark. But the program is gaining momentum and “we’re seeing tangible results in terms of both awareness of the raised floor alternative and actual conversions.”


###

Raised Floor Living is a promotional program sponsored by the Southern Pine Council (SPC) in partnership with APA. The program’s objective is to provide home builders, home designers and home buyers with the resources they need to make informed decisions about building, designing and selecting raised wood floor homes. For more information, visit www.RaisedFloorLiving.com.

SPC is a promotional program of the Southern Forest Products Association, a nonprofit trade association representing Southern Pine lumber producers since 1915. Today, SFPA member companies produce about half of the nation's Southern Pine lumber. SFPA is headquartered in the metro New Orleans area.

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Carbon Challenge Competition Promotes Sustainability of Providence’s Affordable Housing

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 17, 2013
Number: 2013-7

Carbon Challenge Competition Promotes Sustainability of Providence’s Affordable Housing

Architecture contest challenges building designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials for a local Habitat for Humanity house.

The Carbon Challenge Providence Design Competition, which challenges architects to rethink their perceptions of how construction materials impact the environment and promotes the use of wood as a component of sustainable design, kicked off in Baltimore City today.

Cash prizes totaling $10,000 will be awarded for designs based on their life-cycle assessment score and for designs demonstrating the best curb appeal, the most affordability and the best use of wood.

As a joint campaign of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory and APA-The Engineered Wood Association, the Carbon Challenge will educate home designers, builders and communities about how sustainable design strategies can address the long-term environmental impact of a building and disaster resilience.

Competition participants will develop a new Habitat for Humanity home design for a vacant site at 26 Hannah St. Using life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, designers will be able to determine the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions from the products in their design.

"Wood should be a major component of American building and energy design,” said USDA Under Secretary Harris Sherman, who oversees the Forest Service. “The use of wood products continues to benefit the environment by storing carbon long after a building has been constructed, and helps sustain a critical source of jobs in rural America. This project could be a blueprint for developing communities in cities across America.”

The USDA announced a new emphasis on the use of green building materials in March 2011, requiring all new USDA buildings to use wood in their construction and promoting new research into the use of wood as an environmentally friendly building material. Forest Service studies show that using wood products for building materials, instead of fossil-fuel intensive alternatives, results in a smaller carbon footprint.

“When the industry and the public think about the environmental footprint of a home, it’s often the energy use that’s considered. But that discounts the amount of CO2 emitted to create the structure’s materials—called embodied carbon,” says Bob Clark, Senior Engineered Wood Specialist for APA. “By specifying products—such as wood—that emit less carbon during manufacture and even store carbon within them, designers can make homes much more sustainable.”

The Carbon Challenge began with a kick-off celebration for area architects and builders on January 17 at Roots Cultural Center. The competition is open to architects, building designers and engineers. Registration is open January 18 through February 8; design entries are due March 4. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in the spring.

“The Carbon Challenge is an ideal way to educate designers and the public about embodied energy and embodied carbon,” notes Mike Ritter, assistant director for the Forest Products Laboratory. “By using a real-world scenario and experiencing the life cycle assessment first hand, participants will be able to apply these important concepts to their own home designs going forward, thus helping to reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint.”

Following the competition, FPL and APA will host a series of educational seminars in the greater Providence area to continue educating designers on the principles of low-carbon, low-energy design.

The Carbon Challenge Providence is held in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Rhode Island— Greater Providence and AIA Rhode Island, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products and Boise Cascade.

For more information on the Carbon Challenge and to enter, visit www.apawood.org/carbonchallenge/providence/.

###

About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Carbon Challenge Design Competition Promotes Housing Sustainability

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 14, 2013
Number: 2013-2

Carbon Challenge Design Competition Promotes Housing Sustainability

Architecture contest challenges designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials.

The Florida Carbon Challenge winning design The Carbon Challenge, a home-design competition challenging architects to rethink their perceptions of how construction materials impact the environment and promoting the use of wood as a component to sustainable design, kicks off Jan. 15 in Baltimore and Jan. 17 in Providence, R.I.

Cash prizes totaling $20,000 will be awarded for designs based on their life-cycle assessment score and for designs demonstrating the best curb appeal, the most affordability and the best use of wood.

As a joint campaign of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory and APA-The Engineered Wood Association, the Carbon Challenge will educate home designers, builders and communities about how sustainable design strategies can address the long-term environmental impact of a building and disaster resilience.

"Wood should be a major component of American building and energy design,” said USDA Under Secretary Harris Sherman, who oversees the Forest Service. “The use of wood products continues to benefit the environment by storing carbon long after a building has been constructed, and helps sustain a critical source of jobs in rural America. This project could be a blueprint for developing communities in cities across America.”

The USDA announced a new emphasis on the use of green building materials in March 2011, requiring all new USDA buildings to use wood in their construction and promoting new research into the use of wood as an environmentally friendly building material. Forest Service studies show that using wood products for building materials, instead of fossil-fuel intensive alternatives, results in a smaller carbon footprint.

“When the industry and the public think about the environmental footprint of a home, it’s often the energy use that’s considered. But that discounts the amount of CO2 emitted to create the structure’s materials—called embodied carbon,” says Bob Clark, Senior Engineered Wood Specialist for APA. “By specifying products—such as wood—that emit less carbon during manufacture and even store carbon within them, designers can make homes much more sustainable.”

In Baltimore, competition participants will design an iconic urban row house to help the city restore distressed neighborhoods and implement its sustainability plan. In Providence, entrants will develop a new Habitat for Humanity home design. Using life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, designers will be able to determine the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions from the products in their design.

Following the competition, FPL and APA will host a series of educational seminars in the greater Baltimore and Providence areas to continue educating designers on the principles of low-carbon, low-energy design.

The Carbon Challenge Baltimore Design Competition is held in partnership with the City of Baltimore and AIA Baltimore, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products, Boise Cascade and Roseburg Forest Products.

The Carbon Challenge Providence Design Competition is held in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Rhode Island—Greater Providence and AIA Rhode Island, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products and Boise Cascade.

For more information on the Carbon Challenge and to enter, visit www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.

###

About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Carbon Challenge Kicks Off in Providence

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 18, 2013
Number: 2013-5

Carbon Challenge Kicks Off in Providence

Design competition challenges designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials.

Ed Wojcik, owner of Ed Wojcik Architect Ltd., discusses the Carbon Challenge at the Providence design site. To the right is the Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition winner Damon Roby.The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory, APA-The Engineered Wood Association, and Habitat for Humanity Rhode Island—Greater Providence officially kicked off the Carbon Challenge Providence Design Competition with a January 17 kickoff party at the Roots Cultural Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The competition challenges architects to design a Habitat house for a vacant lot in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood while considering the greenhouse gas emissions of the construction materials. (Pictured: Ed Wojcik, owner of Ed Wojcik Architect Ltd., discusses the Carbon Challenge at the Providence design site. To the right is the Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition winner Damon Roby.)

APA has a long history of working with Habitat for Humanity International,” said APA senior engineered wood specialist Bob Clark. “We knew that it would make sense to partner with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate for the next Carbon Challenge. Hence, we are challenging designers to create a Habitat for Humanity house design while being mindful of the impact that building materials have on the environment.”

Using life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, provided free to entrants, participants will be able to explore the environmental footprint of different building material choices and determine the life-cycle assessment score of their design. Use of wood, affordability, and curb appeal also will factor into design criteria.

“As a designer and the current building chair for Habitat, I am very excited about this competition,” said Ed Wojcik, owner of Ed Wojcik Architect Ltd. in Providence. “Habitat is continuously looking for ways to improve its designs to keep pace with cutting-edge construction. Through the competition, designers will be stretched to embrace carbon-friendly design with affordable housing construction. We know that this is a tough challenge but are confident that in the end we will be able to show that being both carbon friendly and affordable is not an impossibility.”

Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition winner Damon Roby offers advice to potential entrants at the Carbon Challenge Kick-Off Party at Roots Cultural Center in Providence.Carbon Challenge partners were joined by local architects and builders, as well as members of the local Green Drinks organization, to learn about the competition and get inside information from the Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition winner Damon Roby. Roby advised potential entrants to design a home that is as practical as it is beautiful and green. (Pictured: Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition winner Damon Roby offers advice to potential entrants at the Carbon Challenge Kick-Off Party at Roots Cultural Center in Providence.)

The Carbon Challenge Providence Design Competition is held in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Rhode Island—Greater Providence and AIA Rhode Island, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products and Boise Cascade.

For more information on the Carbon Challenge and to enter, visit www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.

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About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Carbon Challenge Reflects Growing Interest in Sustainable Building

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 10, 2011
Number: 2011-05

Carbon Challenge Reflects Growing Interest in Sustainable Building

When APA challenged Florida building professionals to design a home with a low carbon footprint, the design competition was really a reflection of the revolution occurring in today’s construction markets. Even in tough economic times, more homebuyers are asking for homes that incorporate smart environmental products and design.

In late September, APA presented the Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition, a call for single-family home designs suitable for building at RiverTown, a residential community near Jacksonville, Florida. The Carbon Challenge invited Florida architects to design a house with the lowest carbon footprint. Designs were evaluated using a life-cycle assessment (LCA) performance score measured by the Athena Institute’s EcoCalculator for Residential Assemblies software, available for free download at www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.
 
The design competition was funded by the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, and was conducted in conjunction with the Raised Floor Living program, a cooperative promotion effort between APA and the Southern Forest Products Association. APA announced winners of the competition at the 2011 NAHB International Builders Show in January.

Big Picture Approach


Growing interest in sustainable building concepts is reflected by the fact that Carbon Challenge judges considered three dozen qualified entries. Winning designs were selected based on their carbon footprint and operational energy, as well as proper design and constructability.

“Clients are becoming more interested in sustainable methods and materials,” said grand prize winner Damon Roby of True Design Studios in Jacksonville. “Many are not just interested in building a green home, but in building a net-zero energy home. As people, we create a carbon footprint when we do anything—build a house or go out for lunch. Developing systems for a home which offset that carbon over a relatively short period of time should be our end goal.”

Education is Key


While the Carbon Challenge helped raised awareness with architects, homebuyers still need education. Nicholas Renard from Cote Renard Architecture in Jacksonville (whose entry won the Carbon Challenge award for Most Cost-Effective Design) said, “Our clients are educating themselves before they come to meet with us, and they’re asking about insulation, solar and tankless hot water heaters and other similar products. But they do not yet understand the concept of embodied energy in the materials used in their home. We’re seeing more people interested in local materials and gaining an understanding of wood’s carbon benefits, but we have a ways to go yet.”

Roby agreed, saying architects still need to help homebuyers understand methods and materials, and how the carbon footprint fits. “My philosophy is to maximize the natural attributes of the space, using green building materials and integrating energy-efficient equipment to maintain the finished product,” he said.

Comments from the judges affirmed Roby’s approach. “"This year’s winning entry was chosen for the way it squarely addressed the dual criteria of energy awareness and aesthetics without compromising affordability,” noted one judge.

“My goal was to create a structure that is truly sustainable,” added Roby. “But I didn’t want to meet that goal by just using solar, geothermal, water management and other systems. We looked at all of these, but we believe that the house itself is a system, not just a collection of systems within.”

Winning Design Looks Ahead

Carbon is widely recognized as an important factor in measuring the impact that buildings and building materials have on global climate change. Wood is a carbon storehouse -- carbon comprises about one-half the mass of dry wood in long-lived wooden structures, furniture, finished goods and a myriad of other durable products made of wood. In addition, there is growing appreciation of the fact that producing useful products from wood results in substantially less energy consumption – and particularly much less fossil energy consumption – than similar products from other raw materials. This lower level of energy consumption translates into far lower carbon emissions, in the form of CO2, linked to manufacturing.(1)
These attributes come into play when a design is analyzed in a life cycle assessment, and were a consideration in Roby’s winning design.  But while he took advantage of wood’s recognized carbon benefits, he was also careful to look at the whole picture of the home’s performance and aesthetics.

“We used raised wood floors in our design,” he said “Not only do they enhance the aesthetic appeal of a home, but they helped us meet the low carbon footprint goals of the Carbon Challenge since wood is a renewable resource.”

Roby used 2x6 walls at 24-inch spacing, which allowed more space for insulation. He used I-joists on the first floor and open-web trusses on the second floor to accommodate mechanical systems. He also incorporated radiant barrier roof sheathing and raised heel wood roof trusses, also known as energy trusses. “Wood was an absolute necessity to my design,” says Roby. “We could not have achieved the aesthetic and sustainable carbon benefits we were looking for without wood.”

But not everything Roby included in his design had an immediate impact on the carbon footprint of the structure. “We also designed the home with a closed, non-vented crawlspace under the raised wood floor,” he explained. “Doing so may actually have had a negative effect on our carbon because it used more concrete and rebar. But we felt that the long-term offset from the energy systems we could use in the house with the enclosed crawlspace would generate power back to the grid every day. We thought it was more important to make those systems as efficient as possible to offset long-term energy use.”

More than Just a Lower Carbon Footprint

The way in which designers used wood to lower the carbon footprint of the home was a key consideration of the Carbon Challenge. But, Roby says, the design competition helped him solidify other theories and ideas about building with wood that his firm already had in place. “Wood was integral to the low carbon nature of this design, but we also looked at things like solar orientation and the home’s inheritability within the community both now and down the road. A structure with no character ultimately becomes disposable; it loses the chance to create a sense of place and a sense of community. We could not have achieved the aesthetic and sustainable appeal we were looking for without wood.”

He added, “We also worked hard to design a house from beginning to end as a living, breathing unit, and our design philosophy was exemplified in this competition. A large part of that philosophy is our use of sustainable products like wood, and another is the inheritable nature of the design and the systems we use. They all came together with the Carbon Challenge.”

Recognizing Other Winners


Florida architects submitted 36 entries, which were evaluated by a panel of five judges. APA honored Roby and five other winners.

Second place went to Greg Beere and Jason Fisher with Content Design Group in Jacksonville. “What we are most proud of is that we approached the design of this home just like we would for any project we would do for one of our clients,” said Fisher via his company blog. “We didn’t use any special products or building materials that we are not very familiar with and had not previously used in many of our designs.”

Mark Straite of Mark Straite Architects in Maitland, Florida said he was surprised when, using the EcoCalculator software, he learned how much he could lower the carbon output of his design by incorporating wood in lieu of concrete block. “I’ve been a staunch user of concrete block for the past 25 to 30 years, so it shocked me to see the data,” said Straite, the third place winner. “In one category, the carbon numbers were four to five times lower with wood. There certainly is a movement toward energy conservation and green design that will make these considerations even more important in the future.”

Product availability was a key consideration for David Pillsbury with Keesee and Associates in Apopka, Florida; his design received the award for Best Use of Wood. “I’ve always been a proponent of building with wood in Florida, so the entire exoskeleton of my entry used 2x material,” he said. “We’re classicists here; we do a lot of things as if we were building the home 200 years ago. While we chose products based on their low carbon footprint, we didn’t want to force a product into the design. So we proportioned our rooms and column spacing so that the builder could use engineered products, but he could also drive down the road to a local lumber dealer and get the material to build the same house. I don’t like to specify a product that has to be shipped across the country.”

The award for Best Curb Appeal went to Russell Ervin of Ervin Lovett and Miller in Jacksonville. Like many of the other entries, Ervin’s wood frame design featured a raised wood floor, which, Ervin said, “elevated the first floor and gave presence to the street, while providing some separation for the residence from the public realm.” Ervin said that the raised wood floor design is new to his firm. “Most of the time, we use stem walls and concrete slabs. But we incorporated the raised wood floors here because the EcoCalculator showed how beneficial it was to use wood in lieu of concrete from an LCA perspective.”

Nicholas Renard, whose design won the award for Most Cost Effective, said he used wood not only to keep the structure affordable, but to also achieve its low carbon footprint. He used structural insulated panels (SIPs) for base wall and roof construction, and incorporated a raised wood floor system to elevate the house off grade.

“We’ve grown leaps and bounds in the last three years in terms of understanding the benefits of sustainable building,” said Renard. “It will only get better as these types of products become even more affordable.”

In addition to the Advanced Housing Research Center of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, APA, and Raised Floor Living, sponsors of the Carbon Challenge include the Forest Products Association of Canada, Southern Forest Products Association, Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, St. Joe Company, Northeast Florida Building Association’s Wood Council, and the Florida Wood Council.

The winning designs will be presented in a series of seminars scheduled to take place from April to June, 2011, in Florida, Louisiana and Texas. For more information and seminar locations, go to www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.


(1) Recognition of Carbon Storage in Harvested Wood Products: A Post-Copenhagen Update, Dovetail Partners, Inc., February, 2010.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

The Athena Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides the building community with software, databases, and customized consulting services that support the evaluation of the environmental impacts of new and existing buildings through life cycle assessment (LCA).
 

Carbon Challenge Seminars Draw Crowds, Positive Reviews

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 10, 2011
Number: 2011-11

Carbon Challenge Seminars Draw Crowds, Positive Reviews

Free APA seminar series for building professionals in the Southeast pitches "cutting-edge theory for tomorrow along with practical applications for today."

Mike Berry, Apex Technology, presents at APA Carbon Challenge Seminar A series of free residential design and construction seminars presented by APA and its partners drew crowds of building professionals in cities across the Southeast this spring. The seminars demonstrated practical applications for saving energy and resources in home construction and showcased the design strategies employed by the winners of last year’s Carbon Challenge Design Competition, a contest that sought a single-family house design with the smallest environmental footprint.

Attendees to the free half-day presentations earned CEUs (continuing education units) while hearing multiple industry experts address a variety of topics, including advanced framing with wood, optimizing lumber usage and costs, improving energy efficiency, and strategies for cost-effectively designing and building homes with a lower carbon footprint.

“We’re pitching cutting-edge theory for tomorrow, along with practical applications that can be used in home design and construction today,” said APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark, a seminar presenter. “Several knowledgeable speakers participated in this series, and I think the presentations resonated with the building and design professionals in our audience.”

C.W. Macomber, an APA Engineered Wood Specialist and seminar presenter, agrees that the response was very positive. “We solicited written feedback from the attendees following the presentations,” Macomber said. “On the evaluation forms, we received comments like, ‘the presenters are all very personable and approachable,’ and ‘(the seminar) was well planned, exciting, and moved quickly.’ One attendee wrote that ‘(it’s) more intelligent than regular CEU courses.’’”

Two of the seminar speakers, Damon Roby of True Design Studios and Mike Berry of Apex Technology, were among the Carbon Challenge winners -- Roby was the competition’s Grand Prize Design Winner, while Berry, an engineer, served as Roby’s energy consultant. In their presentation, Roby and Berry discussed real-world strategies for maximizing operational energy efficiency and carbon performance.

“Damon and Mike demonstrated how to use these concepts in practical applications,” said Clark. “The response to them was very positive. The audience liked hearing how they can immediately put these theories to use.”

The Carbon Challenge Grand Prize Winning Design from Damon Roby, True Design StudiosRoby’s design was among the six winners recognized at a Carbon Challenge Design Competition awards ceremony on January 13, 2011 at the 2011 NAHB International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida. The winning designs were so impressive, says Clark, that APA wanted to showcase them in the seminars.

“The winners really put a lot of thought into the carbon footprint and operational energy of these homes, as well as proper design and constructability,” said Clark. “If any of these six designs were built, it would have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of home construction today.”

“We were so impressed with the level of innovation shown in the winning designs,” said Mike Ritter, Assistant Director of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, a co-sponsor of the program. "These designers really demonstrated how to use wood-frame construction to design homes that optimize our forest resources and minimize our impact on the climate.”

The first seminar was held on April 12 in Gainesville, Florida, followed by dates in Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tallahassee, Pensacola, Orlando, Tampa, New Orleans, Louisiana, and a final seminar in Houston, Texas on June 9. Currently there are no plans to offer additional Carbon Challenge seminars, but that could change, says Clark. “The response has been very positive. There could be enough interest to do something more.”

The Carbon Challenge Design Competition and Seminar Series is being conducted in conjunction with the Raised Floor Living program, a cooperative promotion effort between APA and the Southern Forest Products Association. Program sponsors and contributors include the Advanced Housing Research Center: Forest Products Lab, Forest Products Association of Canada, Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, St. Joe Company, NEFBA Wood Council and the Florida Wood Council.

Additional seminar information and the Carbon Challenge Design Competition winning designs can be viewed online at www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Carbon Challenge Winners to be Announced at Regional Awards Ceremonies

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: March 21, 2013
Number: 2013-11

Carbon Challenge Winners to be Announced at Regional Awards Ceremonies

$20,000 to be awarded at regional award ceremonies in Providence, RI, on March 26 and Baltimore on March 28.

The Florida Carbon Challenge winning design The winners of the 2013 Carbon Challenge Residential Design Competition will be announced next week at regional awards ceremonies in Providence, Rhode Island on Tuesday, March 26 and in Baltimore, Maryland on Thursday, March 28. A total of 144 designers entered the competition, which is designed to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of wood construction, particularly the carbon neutrality of wood as a building material, and to promote the use of life-cycle assessment (LCA) tools. The program is presented by the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory and APA.

In Baltimore, contestants were challenged to transform a vacant lot in the Oliver neighborhood by designing a series of iconic row houses. In Providence, contestants were tasked with creating a new Habitat for Humanity house design. In both cases, contestants were encouraged to consider the impact that building materials have on the environment.

“We were very pleased with the high number of entries that we received, and impressed with the innovative approaches to achieve both aesthetic appeal and good building performance,” said APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist and project coordinator Bob Clark. “The entries clearly reflect the excitement of their designers for creating sustainable building solutions. These designs will improve not only the livability of homes, but also their impact on humankind and the communities that they are a part of.”

Entries were submitted earlier this month and a panel of judges has been evaluating the designs to determine the winners. A total of $20,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the twelve winning designs, six in each city, in categories such as Best Use of Wood Products, Best Curb Appeal, and Most Cost-Effective Design.

All of the winning designs will be displayed online beginning April 1 at www.apawood.org/carbonchallenge.

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Carbon Challenge Winning Designer Announced

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 14, 2011
Number: 2011-03

Carbon Challenge Winning Designer Announced

From left to right: Mike Ritter (Assistant Director of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab), Bob Clark (APA – The Engineered Wood Association), Damon Roby  (Carbon Challenge Grand Prize Design Award Winner), and C.W. Macomber (APA).Who can design a home with the lowest carbon footprint? That question, posed by APA to residential designers in the Carbon Challenge 2010 Florida Design Competition, was answered when the Grand Prize Design Award was presented to Damon Roby of True Design Studios in Jacksonville, Florida.

Roby is pictured at right accepting his award, along with (from left to right) Mike Ritter, Assistant Director of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab; APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark; Roby; and APA Engineered Wood Specialist C.W. Macomber.

Roby and five other winners were recognized on January 13, 2011, at a ceremony and reception sponsored by APA at the 2011 NAHB International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida.

“The winners really put a lot of thought into the carbon footprint and operational energy of these homes, as well as proper design and constructability,” said Clark. “If any of these six designs were built, it would have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of home construction today.”

Cash prizes totaling $15,000 were awarded to the top three finalists and the winners of three design categories: Best Use of Wood Products, Best Curb Appeal and Most Cost-Effective Design. All six winning designs were displayed at the ceremony.

I was just honored to be here as one of the finalists,” said Roby. “I looked around the room when I arrived and knew that all of the designs were really good.”

The Carbon Challenge Grand Prize Winning Design from Damon Roby, True Design StudiosRoby’s design featured a raised wood floor with a closed conditioned crawl space and advanced framing, including 2x6 wood framing with wall studs spaced 24 inches on center – a method that provides extra space in the wall cavity for added insulation. Additional energy enhancements included radiant barrier roof sheathing, raised heel roof trusses (also known as energy trusses), and spray-foam insulated crawl space walls.

“We were so impressed with the level of innovation shown in the Grand Prize winning design, as well as the other finalists,” said Ritter. "These designers really demonstrate how to use wood-frame construction to design homes that optimize our forest resources and minimize our impact on the climate.”

Thirty-six single-family house designs were entered into the competition and evaluated by a panel of five judges. Winners were determined by a performance score based on a scientific life-cycle assessment (LCA), cost-effectiveness, and adherence to the architectural standards of a typical Florida development, among other criteria. The judges, noting that any one of the six finalists could have been selected as the Grand Prize Design winner, said that Roby’s design was “chosen for the way it squarely addressed the dual criteria of energy awareness and aesthetics without compromising affordability.”

This reception and awards ceremony was a huge success,” said Clark in regards to the 80 attendees. “Many of the designers brought fellow associates and family members. There was a real sense of camaraderie among the design community here tonight.”

Clark and Ritter presented the awards to the six finalists, including:

  • Grand Prize Winner: Damon W. Roby, True Design Studios
  • Second Place: Greg Beere and Jason Fisher, Content Design Group
  • Third Place:  Mark Straite, Mark Straite, Architects, Inc.
  • Best Use of Wood: David Pillsbury AIBD, Keesee and Associates, Inc.
  • Best Curb Appeal: Russell Ervin, Ervin Lovett & Miller
  • Most Cost-Effective: Nicholas Renard, Cote Renard Architecture

View the winning designs.

In addition to a cash prize, Roby’s design will be evaluated in a comprehensive LCA study comparing the design in full wood-frame construction to construction on concrete slab with concrete block walls. The results of the study will be presented in a series of APA seminars this spring throughout Florida.

The Carbon Challenge is being conducted in conjunction with the Raised Floor Living program, a cooperative promotion effort between APA and the Southern Forest Products Association. Program sponsors and contributors include the Advanced Housing Research Center: Forest Products Lab, Forest Products Association of Canada, Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, St. Joe Company, NEFBA Wood Council and the Florida Wood Council.

Pictures of the event can be viewed in the Carbon Challenge Photo Gallery.

Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition information and updates are available online at www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

ICC and APA Present Wall Bracing Seminars

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Kelly Devlin, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: kelly.devlin@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7475
Date: March 17, 2014
Number: 2014-3

ICC and APA Present Wall Bracing Seminars

Program helps demystify 2012 IRC wood wall bracing provisions 


The International Code Council (ICC) and APA – The Engineered Wood Association, in partnership with the Ohio Board of Building Standards, are offering a series of 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Seminars in locations across Ohio. Presented by Bob Clark, APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist, and Sandra Hyde, ICC Staff Engineer,the six-hour seminar offers a comprehensive, practical explanation of the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing requirements.

The seminars kicked off in Columbus on March 4, 2014, and Dayton on March 5, 2014, with an attendance approaching 400 over the first two days. Attendees included building officials and inspectors, plan reviewers, builders, designers, and engineers. The curriculum focused upon wind requirements and clarification of the application of wall bracing provisions specified in IRC Sections R602.10 through R602.12. Other topics of special interest to the audience included simplified wall bracing and a preview of the new APA Bracing Calculator, expected to be released in mid-2014.

Upcoming seminars are scheduled on March 20, 2014, in Akron, Ohio; on March 21, 2014, in Cincinnati, Ohio; on April 10, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio; and on April 11, 2014, in Toledo, Ohio. For more information or to register, contact the Ohio Board of Building Standards at 614-644-2613, or visit www.com.ohio.gov/dico/bbs/.

Educational programs presented by experts from ICC and APA are held periodically across North America to assist code officials, design professionals, builder groups and associations, and others in understanding correct application of the IRC. For information about regional and custom educational opportunities, contact the ICC at 888-ICC-SAFE (888-422-7233) x33818or visit www.iccsafe.org.

The seminars are based on “A Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions,” an illustrated guide jointly published by the ICC and APA. The book, which features more than 200 full-color figures, tables and photos, is available for purchase at . Additional information regarding bracing and related publications is available at www.performancewalls.org, APA’s online resource for code-compliant wall construction.

The International Code Council is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe and sustainable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, structural composite lumber, and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are product certification and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

 

ICC and APA Team to Offer 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Seminar

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: May 25, 2010
Number: 2010-02

ICC and APA Team to Offer 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Seminar

The International Code Council (ICC) and APA - The Engineered Wood Association have reached an agreement to jointly present a 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing seminar as part of the ICC professional code education program. The seminar covers the fundamentals of lateral loads, the technical basis for the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) wood frame wall bracing provisions, as well as the bracing provisions themselves. Code official, design professional and home builder groups and associations can contract for the seminar directly with the ICC.

The 2009 IRC contains numerous prescriptive lateral bracing provisions that, when correctly applied, help residential structures resist lateral loads that can result from wind and seismic events. In the seminar, APA or ICC code specialists will review the various bracing methods available, address how to combine multiple bracing techniques in a single structure, and provide numerous examples of related problems and solutions in residential building layouts.

2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions GuideAttendees of the one-day seminar will earn 0.6 ICC CEU (continuing education unit) credits. Customized training options are also available. Course registration and information is available at the ICC website or by calling 1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 33818.

 The basis for the seminar is A Guide to the 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions, a book jointly published by the ICC and APA last year. The illustrated guide was developed to help designers, builders, building officials and others using the code in the application of lateral bracing requirements. The book, which features more than 200 full-color figures, tables and photos, is available for purchase at the ICC Online Store (product #7102S09).

The ICC, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the ICC.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

ICC and APA Team to Publish Guide to IECC-Compliant Wood Walls

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: February 3, 2014
Number: 2014-1

ICC and APA Team to Publish Guide to IECC-Compliant Wood Walls

IECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies now available as a free PDF download. 

A new illustrated guide, co-published by the International Code Council (ICC) and APA—The Engineered Wood Association, provides tips and recommendations that help builders construct energy code-compliant wood walls using continuous wood structural panel wall sheathing. IECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies, available as a free download, dIECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies, Form P320escribes how energy performance is measured in exterior wood wall assemblies and how to improve wall thermal performance to meet energy code requirements.

The 20-page publication details several wall assemblies that comply with the R-20 and R-13+5 prescriptive requirements for many of the climate zones included in the 2009, 2012, and 2015 editions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Also provided are recommendations for reducing material costs by increasing use of lower-cost cavity insulation, optimizing material usage with easy-to-apply advanced framing techniques, and boosting thermal performance with insulated headers and siding.

“Meeting more energy efficient codes is now a priority for residential builders and designers,” said Mark Halverson, APA Field Services Manager. “This brochure will provide them with cost-effective options using 2x6 wood-framed walls to meet prescriptive energy code requirements. Incorporating advanced framing techniques, insulated headers, or insulated siding into the wall construction can allow builders to user lower-cost wall cavity insulation, potentially saving them hundreds of dollars per house.”

The International Code Council is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe and sustainable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build, and compliance process. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing North American manufacturers of plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joists, Rim Board, structural composite lumber, and other structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are product certification and testing, applied research, quality auditing, and market support and development.

IECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies, Form P320, is available for free download in PDF format or purchase in print format from the APA Publications Library or the ICC online store.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

ICC-ES, APA Agree to Offer Combined Reports for Engineered Wood Products

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: December 6, 2012
Number: 2012-19

ICC-ES, APA Agree to Offer Combined Reports for Engineered Wood Products

Agreement will provide joint ICC-ES evaluation reports (ESR) and APA Product Reports to manufacturers.

ICC Evaluation Service and APA-The Engineered Wood Association have signed an agreement to offer joint ICC-ES and APA reports for engineered wood products. The goal is to provide manufacturers with an efficient way to apply for technical evaluations with each organization and receive a joint ICC-ES evaluation report (ESR) and APA Product Reports®.

“This partnership addresses the needs of our mutual clients and provides a more direct path to market for engineered wood products,” said ICC-ES Senior Staff Engineer, Daniel Cheney. “The program represents a significant move forward in ICC-ES and APA relations and is a good example of how these organizations are working together to provide clear, concise information to building officials and the design community.”

ICC-ES and APA will designate a single point of contact for the report applicant to serve as the project manager and to simplify and expedite the process on behalf of the applicant. The project manager will coordinate all arrangements and data transfers between ICC-ES, APA and the applicant.

“We are very pleased to reach agreement with ICC-ES in eliminating duplication of efforts between the ICC-ES ESR and APA Product Report,” said APA Director of Technical Services Division, BJ Yeh. “This joint report enhances the value of both organizations to building officials, designers and manufacturers by providing consolidated product evaluation information in accordance with the building codes.”

The joint reports will serve as an alternative to the current product evaluation system being used by many engineered wood product manufacturers. Currently, products are evaluated separately by ICC-ES and APA resulting in individual ESR and Product Reports.

About ICC-ES

A nonprofit, limited liability company, ICC-ES is the United States’ leading evaluation service for innovative building materials, components and systems. ICC-ES Evaluation Reports (ESRs), Building Product Listings and PMG Listings provide evidence that products and systems meet requirements of codes and technical standards.

The ICC-ES Environmental Programs issue VAR environmental reports that verify a product meets specific sustainability targets defined by today’s codes, standards, green rating systems and ICC-ES environmental criteria. The Environmental Programs now offer Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), to meet global market demand for science-based, transparent, quality-assured information about a product’s environmental performance. ICC-ES is a subsidiary of the International Code Council® (ICC®). For more information, please visit www.icc-es.org.

About APA

APA is a leading independent third-party certification body that certifies engineered wood products and systems to recognized standards. The APA Mark is recognized and accepted by manufacturers, architects, specifiers and building officials worldwide. The product certification function of APA is accredited in the United States and Canada by International Accreditation Service, Inc. and the Standards Council of Canada, respectively, among others. For more information, please visit www.apawood.org.

Florida Designers Compete to Design a Home With the Lowest Carbon Footprint

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 1, 2010
Number: 2010-14

Florida Designers Compete to Design a Home With the Lowest Carbon Footprint

Members of the local building community gathered in St. Johns, Florida last week to kick off the Carbon Challenge, a Florida design competition presented by APA that will award more than $15,000 in cash prizes. Approximately 75 building professionals attended the October 28, 2010 event held at the RiverTown home site selected for the design competition. RiverTown is a residential community near Jacksonville being developed by St. Joe Company.

“This is the largest in a series of events we’ve done across the state of Florida to raise awareness about the Carbon Challenge with Florida home designers,” said APA Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark of the celebration that featured a performance by country band Ruckus and catering by Woody’s BBQ restaurant. Clark was on hand to discuss the competition design requirements and provide entry instructions. 

The Carbon Challenge encourages Florida designers to design a single-family house with the lowest carbon footprint (least CO2 emissions). Winners will be determined by a performance score based on a scientific life-cycle assessment (LCA), cost-effectiveness, and adherence to the architectural standards of a typical Florida development.

A “shared responsibility in respect to environmentally friendly design and construction” was apparent in the members of the building community at the event, said Clark. “It’s obvious that these attendees are fore-runners in green design.”

To aid competition participants in determining how various building components and designs affect the carbon footprint of a home, APA is teaming with the Athena Institute to provide the Residential EcoCalculator, a free software program that uses LCA methodology to determine the environmental impact of design choices. The software will include data for many combinations of common building materials for floors, walls, and roofs, as well as finish materials.

The winning entries will be announced in January at the 2011 International Builders’ Show in Orlando. In addition to a cash prize, the grand prize winning design will be evaluated in a comprehensive LCA study that compares the design in full wood-frame construction versus construction on concrete slab with concrete block walls. The results of that study will be shared in a series of seminars planned for 2011.

The Carbon Challenge is being conducted in conjunction with the Raised Floor Living program, a cooperative promotion effort between APA and the Southern Forest Products Association. Program sponsors and contributors include the Advanced Housing Research Center: Forest Products Lab, Forest Products Association of Canada, Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, St. Joe Company, NEFBA Wood Council and the Florida Wood Council.

Competition details and registration information are available at www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge. Registration must be completed by November 22, 2010 and final entries are due on December 22.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

The Athena Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides the building community with software, databases, and customized consulting services that support the evaluation of the environmental impacts of new and existing buildings through life cycle assessment (LCA).

Formaldehyde and Structural Wood Products

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 15, 2011
Number: 2011-15

Formaldehyde and Structural Wood Products

On Friday June 10 the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program released the 12th Report on Carcinogens.  The report links formaldehyde to leukemia and listed it as a known human carcinogen. The action was not unexpected as the health concerns related to formaldehyde have been exhaustively studied for several decades. An important consideration with formaldehyde is that it is natural compound produced during respiration by the human body and by other living organisms.

Experts indicate that the risk-response to formaldehyde, as with other chemicals, is a function of concentration.  As such, the level of formaldehyde emissions from pressed wood products has been studied extensively over the last several decades and regional and national emission limits have been established when appropriate. Structural wood panels and other engineered wood products are manufactured with moisture resistant adhesives and the finished product emissions are similar to raw wood. Because the adhesives used in structural wood products are expected to remain stable during exposure to moisture and temperature changes during the service life of buildings, the adhesives are very stable; that stability leads to the products having low formaldehyde emissions.  The following summarizes existing regulations on formaldehyde from structural wood products.

Formaldehyde Regulations and Structural Wood Products

Structural wood products such as plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) are manufactured to meet stringent product standards, including Voluntary Product Standard PS 1 for Structural Plywood and Voluntary Product Standard PS 2, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels. Because wood products manufactured under these standards are designed for construction applications governed by building codes, they are manufactured only with moisture-resistant adhesives that meet Exterior or Exposure 1 bond classifications. These adhesives, typically phenol formaldehyde and polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanate (pMDI), are chemically reacted into stable bonds during pressing. The final products have such low formaldehyde emission levels that they easily meet or are exempt from the world’s leading formaldehyde emission standards and regulations:

  1. U.S. HUD Manufactured Housing Standard. This standard specifies a 0.20 ppm emission limit for (non-structural) plywood using the ASTM E1333 method. Because of its extremely low formaldehyde emission levels, phenolic-bonded structural plywood is exempt from the testing and certification requirements of the standard. While there is no specific limit stated for OSB, it has been well accepted that the stated exemption for panels that use phenolic adhesives is applicable to OSB products meeting Voluntary Product Standard PS 2.

  2. California Air Resources Board (CARB) Air Toxic Control Measure for Composite Wood Products. This regulation, developed by a division of the California EPA, is considered the most stringent formaldehyde emissions regulation in the United States. In recognition of the different formaldehyde emission levels of different types of wood products, definition No. 8 of the regulation explicitly exempts “structural plywood,” “structural panels,” “structural composite lumber,” “oriented strand board,” “glued laminated timber,” and “prefabricated wood I-joists.”  The CARB regulation has since been adopted by the United States Congress as The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, giving the US Environmental Protection Agency authority to promulgate implementation by January 1, 2013.

  3. Under the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS), panels meeting the most stringent formaldehyde requirements (F★★★★) are required, using test method JIS A 1460, to have average emission levels below 0.30 mg/l. PS 1 and PS 2 panels easily meet F★★★★ requirements. This formaldehyde regulation for wood panels is widely considered the most stringent national standard in the world.

  4. OSB panels sold into European markets must meet the EN 300 standard and be rated for formaldehyde emissions based on the EN-717-1 test method using a formaldehyde test chamber. Structural plywood sold into Europe must meet EN 636 and be evaluated for formaldehyde based on EN 717-1. Structural plywood and OSB manufactured in accordance with PS 1 and PS 2 easily meet the E-1 formaldehyde emission limits of 0.124 mg/m3 in these standards.

How Much Formaldehyde is in Wood?

Formaldehyde is an organic compound found naturally in wood and a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables, mushrooms and seafood.  It is also a normal product of human metabolism.  Because formaldehyde occurs naturally in wood, there is no such thing as “formaldehyde-free” wood. As with most environmental exposure risks, the issue is not with the chemical itself but with unusually excessive or immoderate exposure levels. 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Glulam on Display at New “America’s Car Museum”

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 4, 2012
Number: 2012-11

Glulam on Display at New “America’s Car Museum”

Soaring Roof System Made With Curved Glulam Beams Bring Sense of Grandeur to LeMay Museum.

When entering the exhibit hall at the new LeMay Museum in Tacoma, Wash., visitors may find themselves gazing up at the ceiling as well as taking in the lines of gleaming classic cars. A soaring roof system made with curved glulam beams offers a striking sense of grandeur while simultaneously lending a warm, grounded aesthetic to the vast space.

Nicknamed “America’s Car Museum,” the 165,000-square-foot facility was created to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile. Across its 4-story, 9-acre campus, the museum will house up to 350 cars, trucks, and motorcycles from private owners, corporations, and the expansive Harold LeMay collection, from a 1906 Cadillac Model M to a 1965 Lotus racecar to a 1983 DeLorean DMC 12. Rotating exhibits, such as a collection of glass hood ornaments, also will be showcased.

Along with displaying some of the world’s most awe-inspiring vehicles, the museum will also serve as a gathering place for car enthusiasts, with meeting spaces, a membership club, a show field and a planned educational center.

Curve Appeal

The museum’s main hall is essentially a long exhibit floor, almost warehouse-like, but aesthetically enhanced with its wood structure and thoughtful display details. Engineered by Western Wood Structures, the curved roof system was created with 19 glulam frames with 5-1/8-inch glulam purlins spaced 4 feet on center as secondary framing. The glulam beams, crafted by American Laminators, measure 8-¾ inches by 52-½ inches and arc 104 feet over the displays below. Because the roof curves in two directions, each of the 757 roof purlins is unique, with varying compound miter cuts and varying lengths; each purlin hanger has a different skew and slope.

One-and-one-eighth-inch fully sanded plywood sheathing from Swanson Group Mfg. LLC covers the roof, with ½-inch and 5/8-inch sheets used around corners to meet the 1-1/8-inch thickness requirement while bending around the 17-foot radius of curvature. Waterproof rigid insulation and a metal roof complete the structure.

The arch design—one of the largest wood moment frames in the world—has a 1-hour fire-resistive rating and follows the “Special Requirements for Seismic Design of Structural Glued Laminated Timber Arch Members and Their Connections in Three-Hinged Arch Systems” from the 2009 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program provisions. The provisions are intended to produce ductility in the arch systems by allowing the steel connections to yield plastically during a seismic event and prevent glulam members from failing in a brittle fashion.

At the south end of the structure, the roof system cantilevers over the last glulam arch, supporting the curved fascia and creating a covered outdoor gathering space.

The decision to use glulam beams wasn’t purely aesthetic, as it also was one of several features that allowed some of the cost savings necessary to meet a tight budget, says Alan Grant, co-director of Grant Price Architects in Los Angeles. Grant says that construction of the LeMay museum cost about $104 psf whereas typical museums can range from $400 to $800 psf.

Auto-Inspired

From the outside, the effect of the curved, metal-topped roof is gleaming and streamlined—much like the aerodynamic surfaces of an automobile. The architects took great care to ensure the modern form and size still respected Tacoma’s largely historic architecture, standing out from the surrounding buildings, including the adjacent Tacoma Dome, without overpowering them.

Inside, Grant remained conscious of the structure’s primary function—showcasing shiny automobiles—when considering materials. Flooring, for example, is dark stained concrete, much like the roadways automakers consider when designing a car’s shell for optimal visual effect. Grant also paid close attention to lighting selection, noting how spot or strip fixtures at auto shows often leave bright spots and glare in photographs. The solution turned out to be simple and inexpensive: hanging fixtures that disperse 40 percent of the light up and 60 percent down, with a glowing fuse across the front, creating a strong, bright light that sets the space aglow. 

The grand opening of the LeMay Museum June 2, 2012 capped off nearly a decade of effort by its founders, benefactors and construction teams. The resulting space is not only one to be aesthetically and structurally admired, but one that succeeds in providing a place for car lovers to witness history, share passions and preserve an American legacy.

View LeMay Museum project photos

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 152 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Mayor, USDA Under Secretary Help Launch Baltimore Carbon Challenge

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 16, 2013
Number: 2013-4

Mayor, USDA Under Secretary Help Launch Baltimore Carbon Challenge

Architecture contest challenges designers to consider the environmental impact of building materials.

Ed Wojcik, owner of Ed Wojcik Architect Ltd., discusses the Carbon Challenge at the Providence design site. To the right is the Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition winner Damon Roby.The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory, APA-The Engineered Wood Association, and the City of Baltimore officially launched the Carbon Challenge Baltimore Design Competition with a January 15 press conference for the local media and neighborhood representatives and a kick-off event for designers and architects. Speakers at the events included Harris Sherman, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. (Pictured: Sherman and Rawlings-Blake, along with APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Robert Clark, address the media at the Baltimore Carbon Challenge design site.)

The Carbon Challenge Design Competition challenges architects to transform a vacant lot in Baltimore’s Oliver neighborhood by designing a series of iconic row houses that consider the environmental footprint of the construction materials.

“APA has a long record of working closely with the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Forest Service has a long record of working closely with the City of Baltimore. It just makes sense that the next Carbon Challenge would take place here in Baltimore,” said Bob Clark, an APA senior engineered wood specialist.

Using life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, provided free to entrants, participants will be able to explore the environmental footprint of different building material choices and determine the life-cycle assessment score of their design. Use of wood, affordability, and curb appeal also will factor into design criteria.

In Baltimore, the Carbon Challenge is part of a larger initiative by the Forest Service—the Baltimore Wood Project—designed to rethink the value of urban wood, encourage the use of sustainably harvested wood, and advance untapped markets for reclaimed and recycled wood products to create jobs, improve lives, and generate wealth in Baltimore’s neighborhoods. “The Forest Service has spent two decades in Baltimore, working with the City and a whole host of partners to understand the city as an ecological system--to not only improve the quality of the urban environment but just as importantly, people’s lives,” said Jim Reaves, deputy chief of research and development for the U.S. Forest Service.

“The Carbon Challenge is part of the Forest Service’s ongoing effort to help the City of Baltimore rebuild, restore, and revitalize its distressed neighborhoods using wood – an abundant, renewable resource,” said Harris Sherman, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “We’re working with Baltimore and a number of local partners to showcase ways in which the city and its residents can use undervalued wood resources in building construction and in green infrastructure for stormwater management.”

The vacant lot is across the street from one of the city’s “Power in Dirt” sites, a once-vacant, trash-riddled lot now home to a park, green space, and farmer’s market. “It’s appropriate that we are standing here today, announcing a competition to design an energy efficient, environmentally friendly, low-carbon row home,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “The Oliver Community has seen a number of challenges over the years, but with renewed leadership, and dedicated investment in the community by organizations such as Come Home Baltimore, and the 6th branch, Oliver is making strides.”

Following the press conference, 50 local architects and builders celebrated the start of the Carbon Challenge with a party at the historic headquarters of Humanim, a local nonprofit providing human services and workforce development. (Pictured: APA's Robert Clark discusses the competition design requirements with potential entrants at the Carbon Challenge Kick-Off Party at Humanim at the American Brewery in Baltimore.)

The Carbon Challenge Baltimore Design Competition is held in partnership with the City of Baltimore and AIA Baltimore, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products, Boise Cascade and Roseburg Forest Products.

For more information on the Carbon Challenge and to enter, visit www.apawood.org/CarbonChallenge.

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About U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1910 in Madison, Wis. to conserve and extend the country's wood resources. FPL's research scientists continue this mission today, working with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies to explore ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL's Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us

About APA-The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

Joint Wood Composites Symposium Scheduled for Spring 2011

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine
Email: Marilyn.LeMoine@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: November 22, 2010
Number: 2010-16

Joint Wood Composites Symposium Scheduled for Spring 2011

A Joint International Symposium on Wood Composites and Veneer Processing and Products will be held April 5-7, 2011 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center and the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The three-day event represents a combination of Washington State University’s long-standing International Wood Composites Symposium along with the biannual International Symposium on Veneer Processing and Products.

The agenda for the joint symposium, sponsored by Washington State University, APA and FPInnovations, includes industry leaders identifying key global trends, challenges, and opportunities, and information about the latest technology innovations in MDF, fiberboard, particleboard, OSB, plywood, and LVL manufacturing. Additional topics include: raw material availability; life cycle assessment; fiber, strand, and veneer processing; specialty products; equipment and resin technology; product performance and standards; market and trade issues; and integrated technologies.

Papers on the included topics are invited for oral and poster presentations at the symposium. For more information, visit Washington State University’s International Wood Composites Symposium webpage.


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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

New Standard for Cross-Laminated Timber Approved by ANSI

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 6, 2012
Number: 2012-1

New Standard for Cross-Laminated Timber Approved by ANSI

Cross-laminated timber (CLT)ANSI/APA PRG 320-2011 Standard for Performance-Rated Cross-Laminated Timber, a new standard for cross-laminated timber (CLT), was approved for publication last month by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). CLT is a prefabricated solid engineered wood panel made from at least three layers of solid-sawn lumber or structural composite lumber (SCL) that are stacked cross-wise and bonded together with structural adhesives to form a solid, rectangular-shaped panel that is intended for construction applications, including roofs, floors and walls in residential and non-residential buildings. Orthogonally bonding the layers increases the structural and dimensional stability of the product as a slab or wall.

Although CLT has been used in Europe for more than a decade, the engineered wood product just recently began garnering attention in North America as a competing material to concrete and steel in non-residential construction. CLT is currently being manufactured by two APA members in Canada with some U.S. manufacturers planning to begin production soon. 

ANSI/APA PRG 320 provides requirements and test methods for qualification and quality assurance of CLT. The standard includes seven stress classes covering major wood species in North America.

APA is accredited by ANSI as a standards developer of American National Consensus Standards that can be recognized by national building codes, regulatory bodies and government agencies. Last year, with support from FPInnovations in Canada, APA established a bi-national (U.S. and Canada) CLT Standard Committee composed of 35 members (18 from the U.S., 16 from Canada and 1 international) to draft ANSI/APA PRG 320. The standard was approved by ANSI on December 20, 2011.

Code change proposals that would allow CLT products manufactured to ANSI/APA PRG 320 to be recognized as code-compliant construction materials by the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) have been submitted by APA on behalf of the CLT Standard Committee. Similar proposals for adoption into the Canadian timber design code are also being discussed.

ANSI/APA PRG 320-2011 can be downloaded free in PDF format from the APA Publications Library.

Photo courtesy of Nordic Engineered Wood.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

Moore, Oklahoma, Amends Building Code to Require More Wind-Resistant Construction Systems

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: June 2, 2014
Number: 2014-8

Moore, Oklahoma, Amends Building Code to Require More Wind-Resistant Construction Systems, Including Continuous Sheathing

Tornado-specific building code provisions include the use of continuous wood structural panel sheathing


The City of Moore, Oklahoma, recently adopted an ordinance that amends the city’s building code provisions to require more wind-resistant construction systems that will better withstand the punishing force of tornadoes and high winds. Put in place less than a year after an EF5 tornado struck the town on May 20, 2013, causing extensive damage, the new provisions are based on the National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID assessment of the event, the 2012 NDS wood design manual, ASCE-7-10 minimum loads on structures, and the IBC 2009 and IRC 2009. The provisions are in line with recommendations that APA-The Engineered Wood Association outlines in its guide Building for High-Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction.

The 2013 tornado was the third violent storm to strike Moore in 15 years, prompting city leaders to take strong action to ensure new buildings will be safer and stronger. The city’s recently amended building code includes provisions that specifically address high winds and tornadoes, including the use of continuous wood structural panel sheathing on all exterior walls.

Moore is the first city in the country to adopt tornado-specific building code provisions. The new provisions, which also include requirements for plywood or OSB on gable end walls, overlapping wood structural panel sheathing at rim boards, and continuous sheathed portal frames at garage door openings, emphasize the importance of increasing a structure’s survivability along the periphery of a strong tornado. While it’s difficult for a home to survive the direct impact of an EF3, EF4, or EF5 tornado, good design details can add much-needed protection against high winds, according to APA, particularly when the structure is located along the outer reaches of the area impacted by the storm or from direct impact by lesser EF0, EF1, and EF2 events, which comprise 95 percent of all tornadoes.

“It makes sense to spend that small amount of money—about a dollar per square foot—to build a superior product that can withstand forces we know the building will probably see in its lifetime,” said structural engineer and University of Oklahoma professor Chris Ramseyer, Ph.D., P.E., a proponent of wind-resistant construction techniques who has been advising the council. “These steps are not difficult to do. For something this simple and easy for the building department to inspect and get behind, especially in the Midwest where we know we’re going to have high winds and tornadoes, the added protection for the small cost is well worth it.”

The State of Georgia created similar provisions for their adoption of the 2012 International Residential Code in Appendix R, Disaster Resilient Construction. The state determined that the provisions in this optional appendix only add $600 to the construction of a typical house. Many of the building provisions included in the amended building code for Moore and the Georgia IRC are described in the free downloadable publication, Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-frame Wood Construction, Form M310


Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

New APA Video Addresses Panel Spacing

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn Thompson, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Email: marilyn.thompson@apawood.org
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: October 25, 2013
Number: 2013-23

New APA Video Addresses Panel Spacing

APA’s Bob Clark demonstrates a simple technique for preventing panel buckling with proper spacing.

APA Builder Tip Video: Prevent Buckling with Proper SpacingAPA has produced a new online video designed to educate builders about a common wood structural panel installation error. In Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing, APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark explains APA’s recommendations for correct spacing between plywood or OSB panel joints and demonstrates how improper spacing can result in panel buckling.

“One mistake that I often see during the construction of floors, walls and roofs is improper panel spacing, which can lead to buckling,” Clark says in the video. “The good news is that this mistake can be easily avoided by following simple panel spacing recommendations.”

APA recommends a 1/8-inch space between panel edge and end joints (unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer). Clark demonstrates a simple technique – using a 10d box nail to gauge 1/8-inch spacing between panels – for quickly determining correct spacing without having to measure.

"Wood structural panels, like all wood products, expand and contract with changes in moisture content," Clark explains. "When panels are tightly butted together, there is no room to accommodate expansion. So to relieve the internal stresses, the panels may bow upward or downward between the supports."

To demonstrate how panels react when there is no room for expansion, Clark snugly secures a strip of plywood between two fixed blocks. When he inserts a dime into the tight joint between the plywood and one of the blocks, the plywood bows up.

"We call this buckling,” says Clark. “And when a panel buckles, the siding materials, roof shingles, or floor covering will buckle with it. You can bet the homeowner will notice that".

The video is based on APA Builder Tip: Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing, which provides APA panel spacing recommendations for APA Rated Sheathing, APA Rated Sturd-I-Floor®, and APA Rated Siding. APA Builder Tips address common topics or challenges in today's building environment – such as panel buckling, squeaky floors, and nail pops – and are designed to help construction professionals save money and improve quality on the job through improved construction practices.

Earlier this year, APA introduced a series of free mobile-friendly Builder Tips, optimized for easier field access from tablets and smartphones. The video Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing, along with the mobile-friendly Builder Tips, can be viewed at www.apawood.org/buildertips.

 

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Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA - The Engineered Wood Association represents approximately 156 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

A Technological Breakthrough: Waterproof Adhesive

Lack of a waterproof adhesive that would make plywood suitable for exterior exposure eventually led automobile manufacturers to switch from plywood to more durable metal running boards. A breakthrough came in 1934 when Dr. James Nevin, a chemist at Harbor Plywood Corporation in Aberdeen, Washington finally developed a fully waterproof adhesive. This technology advancement had the potential to open up significant new markets. But the industry remained fragmented. Product quality and grading systems varied widely from mill to mill. Individual companies didn’t have the technical or in most cases marketing resources to research, develop and promote new uses for plywood. The industry looked for help from its newly formed trade association, the Douglas Fir Plywood Association.

Founding of the Douglas Fir Plywood Association

Several failed attempts to establish a plywood association were made in the early years of the industry. Finally, on May 17, 1933, several fir plywood manufacturers met at the old Portland Hotel to discuss the advisability of adopting certain trade practices before the industry would be forced to do so under the Depression-era National Recovery Act. The act was later declared unconstitutional but for a time put pressure on the plywood industry to organize. A month of negotiations followed and on June 13, 1933, the Douglas Fir Plywood Association held its first regular meeting at the Winthrop Hotel in Tacoma, Washington. The new association struggled until, in 1938, it hired a legendary business development guru, W. E. “Diff” Difford.

Standardization and Improved Quality Testing Boost Sales

The Douglas Fir Plywood Association was among the first to take advantage of a 1938 law that permitted registration of industrywide trademarks, which allowed plywood to be promoted as a standardized commodity rather than by individual brand names. That same year, FHA accepted exterior plywood, based in part on a new Commercial Standard that included performance tests for both interior and exterior plywood. These developments helped clear the way for more successful promotion of plywood’s benefits to the construction industry. “Dri-Bilt With Plywood” became a familiar advertising slogan. More than a million low-cost Dri-Bilt homes were constructed featuring DFPA-trademarked PlyScord subfloors and sheathing, PlyWall ceilings and walls, PlyPanel built-ins, and PlyShield siding. In 1940, the association sponsored “The House in the Sun,” the first of many plywood demonstration houses. Plywood’s growing reputation as a strong and durable construction material was soon put to the extreme test by war.

Plywood Goes To War

World War II was a proving ground for plywood. The product was declared an essential war material and production and distribution came under strict controls. The industry’s war-time mills—by this time numbering about 30—produced between 1.2 and 1.8 billion square feet annually. Plywood barracks sprung up everywhere. The Navy patrolled the Pacific in plywood PT boats. The Air Force flew reconnaissance missions in plywood gliders. And the Army crossed the Rhine River in plywood assault boats. There were thousands of war accessories made of plywood—from crating for machinery parts, to huts for the famed Seabees in the South Pacific, to lifeboats on hundreds of ships that kept supply lines open in the Atlantic and Pacific.

The Post-War Boom

With the war ended, the industry geared up to meet growing demand in the booming post-war economy. In 1944, the industry’s 30 mills produced 1.4 billion square feet of plywood. By 1954, the industry had grown to 101 mills and production approached 4 billion square feet. That same year, the Stanford Research Institute predicted that demand for plywood would rise to 7 billion feet by 1975—21 years into the future. Although some were skeptical, production rocketed to 7.8 billion feet in just five years, and by 1975 U.S. production alone exceeded 16 billion square feet, more than double the forecast.

Plywood Goes North

With its rich forest resources, it was only natural that Canada should join what eventually would become a truly North American plywood industry. The first Canadian plywood was produced in 1913 at Fraser Mills, New Westminster, British Columbia, but it wasn’t until 1935 that a second mill was opened—by the H.R. MacMillan Company. In 1950, five Canadian companies founded the Plywood Manufacturers Association of British Columbia (PMBC), which eventually evolved into the present-day Canadian Plywood Association (CANPLY). The Canadian Standards Association published the first Canadian Plywood Standard in 1953 based on specifications developed by PMBC.

The Rise of Southern Pine

For more than a half century the softwood plywood industry was located exclusively in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia using the region’s vast supply of Douglas fir. Until mid-century, it was not known how to effectively glue together veneer from softwood species grown in other regions. But research and development efforts changed that in the late 1950s and early 60s, and in 1964 Georgia-Pacific Corporation opened the first southern pine plywood mill, in Fordyce, Arkansas. The Douglas Fir Plywood Association changed its name that same year to reflect the fact that the plywood industry was now national in scope. Today, some two-thirds of all U.S. plywood is produced in the South.

Technology Marches On

Plywood is often called 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 stronger and stiffer than the sum of its parts. Cross-laminating layers of wood veneer actually improve upon the inherent structural advantages of wood by distributing along-the-grain strength of wood in both directions. 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. In the late 1970s and early 80s, for example, the plywood principle gave rise to what today is a worldwide oriented strand board, or OSB, industry. Instead of solid sheets of veneer, OSB is made of small wood strands that are glued together in cross-laminated layers. Other engineered wood products today include wood I-joists, glued-laminated timber, laminated veneer lumber, and oriented strand lumber. These products not only yield superior performance properties but also make better use of precious forest resources. And it all began with plywood.

About APA

For more than seventy years, APA - The Engineered Wood Association has focused on helping the industry create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility and reliability. Combining the research efforts of scientists at APA’s 42,000-square-foot Research Center with the knowledge gained from decades of field work, and cooperation with our member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry. For more information:

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Member Mills

APA members are comprised of well-known industry leaders, whose mills produce the majority of the structural wood panel products manufactured in North America, plus a host of other products, including glulam, wood I-joists, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber.

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