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.
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.