March 30, 2018

Monthly Update: March 2018


Program Updates

WoodWorks Brings Expertise to Mass Timber Conference

WoodWorks once again co-produced the annual International Mass Timber Conference, which was held March 20-22, in Portland, Ore. Alongside Forest Business Network, WoodWorks contributed content and organizational expertise to the 2018 event, positioning it as a platform to expand audiences for high-quality wood design education. Nearly 1,000 peopleregistered to attend the conference.

Wood, Naturally Launches New Website

Wood, Naturally recently launched a new website, complete with a user-friendly design and new content and visuals aimed at increasing audience engagement and quickly reaching visitors with inspiration and information that guides them to choosing wood. The new site has seen a 125% increase in visitors year-over-year; visitors are viewing 10% more pages; and the average time on pages has increased by 51% in the last month.

Composite companies, wood’s main competitors in decking, have all invested considerably in their digital presences in recent years. Wood, Naturally’s investment helps it keep pace, while ensuring that the site is easy to find, easy to search, and conveys wood’s story to homeowners and contractors.

Think Wood’s Survey Provides Business Intelligence to Industry

Since 2012, Think Wood has tracked the effectiveness of its pro-wood messaging among architects, designers, and developers to see if messaging successfully educates specifiers about the benefits of softwood lumber and persuades them to choose wood in their projects. Key learning from the 2017 survey includes:

  • Wood is perceived as a winning proposition because it is cost-effective, easy to use, environmentally friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Developers and architects value wood because it adds a touch of nature and warmth, which other materials cannot replicate.
  • Developers are more than twice as likely to specify wood in projects as architects, perhaps because they are more inclined to think of wood as a good value, resilient, and fire-safe.
  • Almost 40% of survey respondents indicate that their usage of structural wood products will increase in 2018.

Think Wood uses this and other impact research to refine its targeted messaging and thereby ensure that it succeeds in raising the profile of wood as a preferred building material.

AWC Updates Fire-Resistance-Rated Wood Floor and Wall Assemblies Guide

The American Wood Council (AWC) has released an update to Design for Code Acceptance (DCA) 3 – Fire-Resistance-Rated Wood Floor and Wall Assemblies, which can be found at: The revised guide includes exterior wall-floor intersection details and examples in Type III-A and III-B construction, wherein fire-retardant, treated wood (FRTW) framing and sheathing are allowed for use in exterior walls with a two-hour fire rating, and in floor/ceiling assemblies with a one-hour fire rating. The wood-frame assemblies presented in the guide are among the most commonly used when fire ratings are required and provide ease of use, affordability, low-environmental impact, and energy-saving performance.

The guide is a timely addition to builders everywhere as Type III construction has been growing rapidly thanks to the allowance of FRTW walls to substitute for concrete and masonry.

Industry News

This Founder Has Discovered His Purpose In Making Our Built Environment More Sustainable

March 27, 2018

“Chris Malmquist has worked in the building and construction industry for over 35 years. His dual passions for creating a more sustainable built environment and bringing job opportunities to Montana are what led him to found SmartLam. “I am proud of my team’s dedication to innovating the building and construction industry by producing a sustainable alternative to traditional carbon-intensive products. In so doing, we are making a positive impact on the effects of global climate change,” Malmquist says.” Read more here.


Can Mass Timber Help California Build its Way Out of the Housing Crisis?

The Architects Newspaper
March 8, 2018

“If California’s gubernatorial candidates are to fulfill their ambituous goal of adding up to 3.5 million new housing units across the state over the next eight years, new efforts will need to be undertaken to streamline and reform the state’s sagging construction industry—Could this effort create an opening for mass timber construction to take hold in the Golden State? It might, and here are a few reasons why.”  Read more here.


Hickock Cole Architects Demonstrates the Viability of Mass Timber High-Rise in the US

Design Boom
March 22, 2018

“Skyscrapers are iconic signifiers of innovation and prosperity in the united states, and yet the extraction of the building materials for steel and concrete has been incredibly harmful to the environment. Therefore, the time has come for developers, architects, and policy makers to return to wood. mass timber buildings typically consist of prefabricated components that can easily be assembled by a smaller crew, resulting in a shorter period of time in construction schedule.” Read full article here.


Timber Frame Construction, by Robots

These robots could revolutionize timber construction, by The B1M. Watch video here.


Insights on the Competition

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Delivers “State of the Concrete Industry” Address

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association recently held its Annual Convention March 3-5, in Houston, TX. NRMCA’s president, Robert Garbini, opened up the convention, with a “State of the Industry” address and closed with their 2018 priorities. Key statement highlights include:

  • “The progress we have made since then has been substantial. Not only do people think differently about concrete now, but we have demonstrated that our unique product is the solution to the many of the problems our nation faces: from catastrophic natural disasters to fires.” Robert Garbini, President
  • “Since we met two years ago, we launched a campaign that I know our industry is proud of. We developed Build With Strength to serve as the foundational brand to organize the three pillars of the program: 1) business development, 2) state and local advocacy; and public affairs and communication. We are disrupting the building industry. We are proactively capitalizing on opportunities in states and cities that have seen their citizens become victims when inferior building products are used in construction.” Gregg A. Lewis, Executive Vice President, Strategy
  • “We have the wood industry and home builders playing defence in all markets across America. However, cross-laminated-timber (CLT) is another big threat to putting concrete first. It has the potential to hault the progress of Build With Strength. We must continue to advocate for life cycle analysis measures instead of embodied energy mandates for EPDs.”  John Loyer, Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs

Build With Strength Launches New Video Series

Build With Strength Press Release
March 21, 2018

“Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association consisting of fire safety professionals, engineers, architects, civic organizations, and industry experts committed to strengthening our nation’s building codes, released a series of videos promoting the benefits of using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) – the latest innovation in concrete construction – and how they’re helping make Warren County, Kentucky’s, public schools some of the strongest in the country. From improved resiliency and energy-efficiency to lower lifecycle costs, school districts across the country – especially Warren County, which has saved $11 million since 2003 – are seeing the benefits of building with ICFs.” Read more here.


Industry Resources

FEA’s Housing Dashboard

This housing dashboard is provided compliments of Forest Economic Advisors (FEA).


Virginia Tech’s Monthly Housing Report

This monthly housing commentary report is a free service of Virginia Tech and is intended to help one gauge future business activity in the U.S. housing market.