Drytac Canada Appoints Mike Wildbore as Vice President of Sales

Drytac, an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, has recently announced the appointment of Mike Wildbore as the new Vice President of Sales for Drytac Canada. Wildbore holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Graphic Communications Management from Ryerson University and has more than 14 years of experience in the graphic arts industry.

As Vice President of Sales, Wildbore will be tasked with leading the Canadian sales team and generating new business for Drytac’s expanded adhesive coating and converting operations in Toronto.

“Mike is well known and respected in the industry,” states Marc Oosterhuis, President of the Drytac Group. “His experience in a variety of closely related markets and his understanding of multiple sales channels will be a huge asset in helping Drytac become the leading company for custom/OEM adhesive-coated products in Canada.”

Interfor Launches Top-of-the line Reserve Pine Products

Interfor Corporation has entered the niche premium board market with the launch of its new  top-of-the line Reserve Pine products, turning its Gilchrist Mill in Oregon into a world-class  specialty mill.

“We have invested millions of dollars to equip our Gilchrist Mill with the most advanced finishing system in the world, putting it on the map as a leader in the one-inch premium board market,” Steven Hofer, Interfor Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, stated. “With Reserve Pine, we are building value for customers by providing a high-quality  product with an impeccable finished look and feel.”

Reserve Pine boards are sourced from some of the best Pine stands in North America, and manufactured to Interfor’s exacting standards. Since 2004, the Company has invested more than $15 million to upgrade its Gilchrist Mill, including $5 million in the last year to install a Weinig H5000 high-speed moulder and precision planer heads. This state-of-the-art equipment provides the accuracy needed to deliver a superb finish quality on both the faces
and edges of Reserve Pine products.

Interfor is working with strategic partners to distribute Reserve Pine products across North America, including Boise Cascade, Forest Products Supply/FP Supply, Midwest Lumber, Neiman Reed Lumber, Parksite Inc., Universal Forest Products and Weyerhaeuser.

Stan Jensen, commodity product manager of Boise Cascade, says the early response to Reserve Pine is extremely positive. “Customers like the consistently machined smoothness, and find the eased edges make the boards nice to handle,” he said. “I expect this quality product line will grow in value as more people learn about it.”

FPAC Launches Aboroginal Business Award for Forest Industry

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has recently announced that nominations are open for the 2014 Aboriginal Business Leadership Award. The $5,000 award recognizes and celebrates First Nations entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business that exemplifies business leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance and the delivery of high-quality products and services. The recipient must also demonstrate a strong, long-term commitment to the Aboriginal community, particularly in supporting Aboriginal employment.

“We are delighted to once again offer an award to recognize the leadership excellence of an Aboriginal business in the forest products sector,” said David Lindsay, President and CEO of FPAC. “Under Vision2020, we are aiming to refresh our workforce with an additional 60,000 recruits by the end of the decade, and this includes increasing Aboriginal engagement through employment, business development, and entrepreneurship within our sector.”

“We are in the business of showcasing the leadership and contributions of outstanding Aboriginal business in Canada each and every day,” says JP Gladu, the President and CEO of CCAB. ”The forest products industry continues to contribute to the health and vitality of our Aboriginal communities while the success of Aboriginal businesses in this sector demonstrates our enormous accomplishments and economic potential. The Aboriginal Business Leadership Award celebrates our continued business success and is an important step on the road to ongoing sustainable economic prosperity.”

There are now approximately 1,400 Aboriginal owned businesses in Canada, and about 17,000 Aboriginal people working in the sector, making the forest products industry the largest employer for First Nations workers.

This is the fifth time that the award will be handed out. The award nominees are judged against six criteria: business leadership, longevity in the sector, employment of Aboriginal peoples, safety and environmental performance, consistency of goods and services provided and commitment to the Aboriginal community.

Nominations are due August 31, 2014. The award will be handed out in the fall of 2014.


FPAC Launches Aboroginal Business Award for Forest Industry

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has recently announced that nominations are open for the 2014 Aboriginal Business Leadership Award. The $5,000 award recognizes and celebrates First Nations entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business that exemplifies business leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance and the delivery of high-quality products and services. The recipient must also demonstrate a strong, long-term commitment to the Aboriginal community, particularly in supporting Aboriginal employment.

“We are delighted to once again offer an award to recognize the leadership excellence of an Aboriginal business in the forest products sector,” said David Lindsay, President and CEO of FPAC. “Under Vision2020, we are aiming to refresh our workforce with an additional 60,000 recruits by the end of the decade, and this includes increasing Aboriginal engagement through employment, business development, and entrepreneurship within our sector.”

“We are in the business of showcasing the leadership and contributions of outstanding Aboriginal business in Canada each and every day,” says JP Gladu, the President and CEO of CCAB. ”The forest products industry continues to contribute to the health and vitality of our Aboriginal communities while the success of Aboriginal businesses in this sector demonstrates our enormous accomplishments and economic potential. The Aboriginal Business Leadership Award celebrates our continued business success and is an important step on the road to ongoing sustainable economic prosperity.”

There are now approximately 1,400 Aboriginal owned businesses in Canada, and about 17,000 Aboriginal people working in the sector, making the forest products industry the largest employer for First Nations workers.

This is the fifth time that the award will be handed out. The award nominees are judged against six criteria: business leadership, longevity in the sector, employment of Aboriginal peoples, safety and environmental performance, consistency of goods and services provided and commitment to the Aboriginal community.

Nominations are due August 31, 2014. The award will be handed out in the fall of 2014.


PEFC Reviews Significant Progress in 2013

Momentum has been gathering strength in the world of sustainable forest management, propelled by issues such as climate change, but so it has at PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, as the organization started a new five-year management cycle based on its 2013-17 strategy.

“We have leveraged this pervasive momentum to achieve ever-more impactful results. At the end of 2013, nearly 260 million hectares of forests were PEFC-certified and over 15,800 companies benefitted from PEFC Chain of Custody certification. This upward trend is set to accelerate as more of the seeds we have planted over the last 13 years come to fruition”, said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General, in the Annual Review.

“Building on our momentum not only serves the world’s forests but equally the livelihoods of the millions in the communities that depend on them. Our bottom-up approach has always made PEFC the preferred option for small, family forest owners, and our collaborative ethos is fast making us the partner of choice for everyone engaged in sustainable forest management.”

The success of PEFC is also reflected by broad industry acceptance, in 2013 highlighted by the inclusion of PEFC certification into the recommendations of two highly influential industry documents: the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Guidelines and the World Business Councils for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Leadership Statement. In 2014, the finance sector followed suit, with the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) also referencing PEFC in its Soft Commodity compact.

In light of Asia’s rapidly growing economy, in 2013 PEFC carried out an unprecedented amount of awareness raising, capacity building and training in this globally important region, and progressed on a number of important issues, including:

Accelerating forest certification

Improving support for, and advancing the development of, national forest certification systems
Delivering value to small forest owners
Strengthening market development

Advancing sustainable trade in Asia
Enabling business continuity and new opportunities as the European Timber Regulation (EUTR) took effect
Increasing awareness

Promoting PEFC certification to advance sustainable forest management
Strengthening support for certified forest owners, businesses, and consumers
“Our achievements would not have been possible without the support we are enjoying from our members, partners, and stakeholders, and we are grateful to count you as one of them,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg.

MultiCam to Debut 8000 Series 5 Axis Router at IWF Atlanta

MultiCam has announced that it will be introducing its new 8000 Series Five-Axis Router at this year’s International Woodworking Fair (IWF), held August 20-23, 2014, in Atlanta, GA. The new 8000 Series with five-axis technology allows for the expansion of production capabilities and lower production time. MultiCam will exhibit its 8000 Series Five-Axis Router at booth #5547 during the IWF show.

The 8000 Series Five-Axis Router offers the most standard features in its class, such as a 12-position automatic tool changer, automatic tool calibration, one-piece stress relieved, steel frame, unique Ram-Z-Axis assembly and more. Its precision planetary gearboxes provide efficiency and a high-service life, while the 2,700 inch per minute rapid traverse reduces production time.

In addition, it features a high performance and easy-to-use OSAI five-axis control package for multitasking. Its touch screen interface is compatible with AlphaCam and other PC based CAD/CAM software.

The 8000 Series has the capacity to machine for a number of diverse applications including 3D carving, acrylic fabrication, thermoformed trimming, aluminum fabrication, aerospace parts, cabinetry, signs, musical instruments, and more.

Drytac Relocates its Canada office to Brampton

Drytac, an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, has announced the relocation of its Canadian operation from Concord to Brampton, Ontario, effective June 23, 2014.

As one of a few companies with adhesive coating operations in Canada, Drytac produces a vast range of products for the graphic and industrial markets, including PVC and OPP laminating films and adhesives for labels, tags and fabric.

The relocation results in warehouse space that is now adjacent to Drytac’s manufacturing facility where two coating lines are operated. It also allows for the consolidation and expansion of Drytac’s converting operations, which include sheeting. Having both facilities in close proximity to each other will ensure a seamless transition from production to distribution.


Office space and meeting rooms with a state-of-the-art video conferencing system are also features of the new building. An application center designed to showcase the company’s self-adhesive window, wall and floor graphics solutions is expected to be completed later this year.

“Our move will allow us to serve our customers at the highest level possible,” states Richard Kelley, Drytac Chairman & CEO. “We will be able to effectively handle all business inquiries from a centralized location.”


While the address has changed, the existing phone and fax numbers for Drytac Canada will remain the same.


Masterwood Reports a Successful WoodEX

WoodEX 2014 which ran from June 5-7 was a roaring success for Masterwood. Masterwood along with its partner REM – Machine & Maintenance Solutions showcased the best of their machines to the public in a relaxed environment and gave them demonstrations of each of the flagship machines.

REM – Machine & Maintenance Solutions reported, “We had visitors from near and far. It was great to see our existing customers, in particular the ones from outside Gauteng as it gave us a great opportunity to introduce them to the rest of our enthusiastic team. The ability to meet new people who were interested in either upgrading their equipment or just simply starting in the industry was certainly exciting.”

On the other hand, as Masterwood reported, ” A successful mover at the show was Project TF100. This little CNC machine proved that you don’t have to spend packets of money to perform fast and accurate drilling and grooving. Marco Zuares (Masterwood Agent) and Technician Thinus Ferreira, kept everyone amazed at the versatility of the little TF100.”

It was further added, “I am proud to say that we had a fully operational stand, which was a rarity at the show. The noise of our machines working throughout the event certainly made us the center of attention.”


Microvellum Launches New 2014 Website

Microvellum, Inc., one of the leading cabinet design and manufacturing software providers, specializing in AutoCAD based CAD/CAM/CIM technologies, announced the launch of their new, redesigned website, www.microvellum.com, with improved navigation, better mobile device compatibility, and new online store for their new Fluid Designer product and add-ons.

“We are committed to meeting the changing needs of our customers and the launch of our new website helps reinforce our online presence, adaptability and flexibility. With visits to our website from mobile devices showing an increase of over 70% compared to last year’s numbers, getting this new site released was definitely a priority for us.” says David Fairbanks, Director of Operations for Microvellum, Inc.

“We’re also excited for the release of our new online store that will allow customers quick access to Fluid Designer products, add-ons and other assets…” continued Fairbanks.

The new responsive design features an easy-to-use, crisp and secure interface that has been developed to work with all major mobile devices including Apple’s iPhone and iPad, as well as Android, Blackberry, and Windows devices.

Homag Group acquires all voting rights in Stiles Machinery

The Homag Group acquired all voting rights in Stiles Machinery at the beginning of February, following talks between the companies that had been underway for the past year. Jürgen Köppel, the Homag Group board member who heads up the company’s Sales, Service and Marketing operations, was part of the board team that worked on the takeover of the USA’s largest machinery distributor. We talked to Jürgen Köppel about the strategy behind the acquisition, the “reindustrialization” of America and other moves the company has planned to build on the Homag Group’s position as a global market leader.

Mr. Köppel remarked, “The Homag Group’s strategy is to have its own sales and service organization presence in all relevant markets. As a first step in this direction, we either participate in minority shareholdings or set up our own sites. The American furniture market has been the world’s second largest furniture market for a considerable period of time, so it is a highly attractive market for our company. The Homag Group subsidiary Holzma had a 26.7% minority shareholding in Stiles. We knew that we had to engage with this market more effectively. After the acquisition, Stiles is now our largest sales and service organization worldwide, and it is located in the world’s second largest furniture production market.”


Laguna Tools Launches a new line of CNC Plasma Cutting Machines

Laguna's new CNC Plasma Cutter has been engineered to provide  an extremely rigid platform capable of performing the most demanding jobs at a low initial investment cost. Designed for operational simplicity and incorporating features that ensure extremely accurate results, Laguna's CNC Plasma cutter is a "game-changer."

"One of our engineering goals in developing the Laguna Smartshop CNC frame structure was to develop a "scalable" design that could be used with a number of cutting platforms," said Torben Helshoj, President of Laguna Tools. "The new Laguna Plasma CNC is a great example of that concept in action." Starting from the ground up, Laguna's new CNC Plasma features a robust one-piece welded tubular steel frame that is heat treated and stress relieved. Precision-ground ball screws, helical racks and industrial linear guides ensure accuracy, repeatability and edge finish. Laguna's frame design is a significant improvement over the lightweight bolt-together designs typically found machines at this price level.

Operational simplicity and advanced machine controls are achieved through an industrial control provided by B&R Automation. High-end features such as automatic torch height control, break-away torch holder with sensor, and programmable pierce time delay, to name a few, are all standard features designed into the new machine.

New Lavido Pantry Pull-Out from Hafele Offers Unique Features for Ultimate Functionality

Hafele America Co is pleased to offer the Lavido Pantry Pull-Out as a stylish storage solution that offers superior functionality.

“The Lavido addresses the growing need to fully utilize small spaces in the kitchen, and ensures functionality and accessibility by anyone, regardless of their ability,” said Daniel Tripp, product manager for Häfele. “With the advanced technology in the system, minimal physical effort is required to fully utilize this product.”

As one gently pull on the handle, all of the shelves extend evenly, while the soft-open feature allows it to fully glide out on its own. Additionally, the soft-close feature prevents the shelves from slamming back into the pantry and ensures smooth operation.

The pantry trays have a non-slip surface to keep stored items from sliding while the shelves are moving. Once in its extended position, the Lavido provides full access to shelves from all three sides to increase functionality and flexibility.

“In addition to the smooth operation, the Lavido gives homeowners the option to create customized storage,” said Tripp. “Customers can choose between four to six shelves, which can easily be adjusted to accommodate stored items.”

The Lavido needs a minimum inside cabinet depth of 19 11/16” to function, and each shelfcan hold up to 44 lbs.Pantry trays are made of melamine and steel, and come in three finishes; chrome/maple, chrome/gray and chrome/white. The pantry frame is made of steel with a silver finish.


Drytac Announces Custom Adhesive Coating Website

Drytac the international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products with locations throughout North America and Europe, has recently launched a new website to promote its custom adhesive coating services.

DrytacCoating.com provides detailed information on the adhesive coating, converting, slitting, and sheeting capabilities offered by Drytac as well as typical applications for which customized solutions can be developed. Furthermore, the website outlines coating specifications for hotmelt, emulsion and solvent-based pressure sensitive and heat reactive adhesive systems; substrates that can be utilized for custom coating purposes; and quality assurance and testing processes used throughout Drytac's facilities.

There's often a misconception that the volumes for custom coating a permanent or removable adhesive have to be huge, notes Marc Oosterhuis, President of the Drytac Group. "However, Drytac can provide bespoke coating runs from 5,000 to 500,000 feet for potential customers."

HOMAG Group sets new record in Holz Handwerk

As the biggest exhibitor at the fair, once again this year attendance at the Holz-Handwerk HOMAG Group has paid dividends for the HOMAG Group. With machine technology on show over an area of 1,700 square meters to suit any size and scale of woodworking shop, HOMAG City proved a real magnet to trade visitors at the show.

Machines were humming, chips were flying and visitors came in their droves: It was full steam ahead at the Holz-Handwerk in Nuremberg with a new visitor record and an unprecedented degree of interest by joiners and woodworking shops. The outcome for the HOMAG Group: notebooks bursting with promising new customer contacts and received orders exceeding all expectations.

Under the trade fair banner "Growing with the HOMAG Group", the company provided tangible proof of how joinery firms and woodworking shops can grow with the utmost simplicity using individual technology modules from the HOMAG Group: Whether furniture and window production, software solutions or energy-saving ecoPlus technology. There were 30 machines demonstrating in continuous operation live at the show, the aisles were buzzing with punters and the air was filled with the unmistakable hum of business being done.

'The Holz-Handwerk is buzzing and we are the one setting the trends. With visitor numbers at over 108,000, this year's fair has broken all previous records. We welcomed visitors from 46 countries to 'HOMAG City', and the value of new orders received was more than 10% up on the last show two years ago. The visitors were enthused by our innovations and our trade fair concept?, says Head of Central Marketing Alexander Prokisch.

Hettich gets a Red Dot Award for Sensys

Hettich gets yet another prize for the Sensys wide-angle hinge, now receiving the "Product Design 2014″ Red Dot Award. Like the Sensys profile door hinge, it has also won the iF Product Design Award 2014.

'The Sensys hinge has proven to be a real success story', Dr. Andreas Hettich says. "When we presented the Sensys hinge generation with integrated Silent System for the first time, it left the Red Dot Award's jury in no doubt and received the prize in the "Product Design 2008″ category. We are delighted that the Sensys wide angle-hinge and profile door hinge versions have also triumphed in prestigious design competitions, such as the Red Dot Award and the iF Product Design Award. At the same time, this acknowledgement also confirms we are setting benchmarks in the furniture industry with products of technical excellence."

Sensys wide-angle hinge
The Sensys wide-angle hinge gives furniture doors a wide opening angle and closes them evenly and gently. The invisibly integrated Silent System leaves no margin of doubt with its outstanding performance: exceptionally wide self-closing angle of 35 degree, ideal Silent System function over a temperature range of +5 degree C to +40 degree C, maximum access from a 165-degree opening angle. Zero protrusion permits the use of internal drawers without spacer profiles.


Chinese Casket Manufacturer Pushes Big Promotion

Millionaire Casket, a well known Chinese casket manufacturer has currently launched a big casket promotion in the United States. Importantly the products, which are being showcased, are offered at a discounted price of 30%.


A spokesman of the company revealed that the aim of this particular promotion is to help the casket distributors all over the globe and they are specifically focusing on the United State’s market. Leveraging the network of the firm, Millionaire Casket has established a strong reputation in the target markets of the United States. By launching this promotion, the particular casket manufacturers want to gain a considerable competitive edge as they are offering quality products at a low price, when compared to the United States based casket producers, belonging to the same market segment.


Each of the caskets made by Millionaire Casket comes with a special locking system which indicates that the casket will be hard to open once it’s locked. Along with solid wood caskets the company also offers cremation caskets, veneer caskets and even metal caskets.


According to the spokesperson of the firm “Our products have been popular worldwide for many years. Each of our staff keeps it in mind that only quality construction, quality interior, quality hardware and quality finish, can make high quality products. We are now launching the promotion to expand our customer service operations”.


The recent promotion is likely to enhance the brand reputation of this premier solid wood casket manufacturer and consequently it will impact their market penetration in the particular country. Millionaire Casket is a long established and well-known China casket manufacturer. The company has gained recognition by making every product with full concentrated and providing attention in the minute details, as demanded by the consumers. The company is also known for its pre-sale service and after-sale services, as part of their promotional effort.



My Cleaning Products Recommend Product to Kill

My Cleaning Products offered to help the pests' victims and recommended to them a product to kill termites right as the increasing termite problems reportedly caused by summer rains.

Problems on termites have been recently increasing, especially in Florida. And according to a report from wtsp.com posted on September 12, 2013, one pest-control exterminator suspected that it was the summer's rain fault. Wanting to help the residents and other victims kill termites right, My Cleaning Products then recommended an organic-based product.

The exterminator said in the report that the rain moistened the ground and made it easy for, specifically, subterranean termites to move from place to place, My Cleaning Products shared. Also, it added that the downpour soaked the woods, which supplied those insects more foods.

In the report, that pest exterminator was identified to be Jeff McChesney of a local pest-control company, detailed MCP. It relayed that he was in the said industry for more than 20 years already.

However, the news article suggested that other pest experts had a more specific view about rain causing the increase of termite problems, related MCP. As they said, the downpour more like raised the activities of the termites than their number, it elaborated.

Here is an excerpt from the article Rain Possible Cause of Termite Problem Increase by My Cleaning Products.

“Pest control companies said that they were receiving more calls about termites than ever before. And that is especially true in Florida. But could rain be one of the reasons behind the increase?
A termite exterminator in one local pest-control company believes that the downpours really got something to do with the growing termite problems. His name is Jeff McChesney. He's been in the pest-control business for 20 years but said that he had never seen more termites than today.”

My Cleaning Products said that termites could cause a huge damage even before they are discovered. Based on the report, it shared that it could be as high as $8000. Because of that, it said that one must take steps to discover them early. And the solution to that, it stated, is regular inspection.

However, termite treatment doesn't end there, it said. The inspection, it asserted, must be followed by termite elimination. And to make it inexpensive, effective and safe, it recommended a DIY pest-control with the use of Termite Bully. However, it stressed that personal termite elimination must only be implemented if one is sure that he could handle the work.

Source: PR Web

Minister Oliver Discusses Responsible Resource

Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, discussed important actions resulting from the Government’s work on engaging Canadians to increase jobs, energy security and environmental stewardship. Minister Oliver delivered his remarks at Google’s ThinkEnergy! Summit.

“Canada must diversify its energy markets, since virtually all of our oil and gas exports go to the United States, whose recent discoveries mean it will need Canadian resources less in the future,” said Minister Oliver. “Our plan for Responsible Resource Development involves meaningful engagement with Canadians across our country to enhance Canadian jobs, energy security and the environment.”

This critical dialogue supports 1.8 million Canadian jobs, almost a fifth of our country’s economy, $30 billion in revenue to governments to support critical social programs and over half of our exports. Experts have found that resource development has positive benefits across our country, including indirect jobs in manufacturing and other industries. However, we have been clear — no project can be approved unless it can be proven to be safe for the environment.

The Government’s actions to date include:

•    Introducing new fines — that have come into force — that will preventively address contraventions to environmental laws in the pipeline sector quickly so larger issues do not arise in the future, these fines can range from $25,000 to a maximum of $100,000 per day;
•    Increasing annual oil and gas pipeline inspections by 50 percent and doubling comprehensive audits of pipelines;
•    Creating a Tanker Safety Expert Panel that will review Canada’s current system and propose new ways to bring Canada’s tanker safety system to world-class status;
•    Legislative measures that would require a minimum financial capability of $1 billion for all major crude oil pipelines;
•    Legislative measures that would increase in absolute liability for companies operating in Canada's Atlantic and Arctic offshore to $1 billion; and
•    Appointing a Special Federal Representative who will report to the Prime Minister on key issues regarding Aboriginal participation in the development of the West Coast’s energy infrastructure.

Canada is the first country in the world with regulations banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants that use traditional technology. Canada also now requires all existing coal plants to shut down on a schedule that reflects their economic life — the first country in the world to do so.

To address emissions in the transportation sector, the government put in place regulations to reduce emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles. It committed to introducing new GHG regulations for the oil and gas sector. Once these regulations are in place, Canada will be one of a handful of oil exporters with national binding regulations on its oil and gas sector.

The Government of Canada will continue work with all stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments and Aboriginal groups, to balance economic, social and environmental considerations in the development of Canada’s energy resources.

NAHB Sponsored A Conference

On September 17, 2013, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) sponsored Building a Better Future: America’s Housing at a Crossroads, a series of in-depth discussions at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

This free event, hosted by CQ Roll Call, gathered members of Congress, their staff, industry and association leaders and other key stakeholders together to examine the future of the housing market.

Topics that will be covered include:
• Demographics: The Outlook for Housing Demand and Production
• Financing Housing: GSE Reform and Sensible Mortgage Lending
• Tax Reform: Potential Effects on Homeownership and the Economy

Keynote speakers include U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). Panel sessions feature industry experts from NAHB, Harvard University, the Center for Responsible Lending, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and more.

Canada's Minister Of Natural Resources Visits United States Secretary of Energy

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, met Dr. Ernest Moniz, United States Secretary of Energy, to discuss the Canada–U.S. energy relationship and opportunities for future cooperation. He reinforced Canada's position as the largest and most responsible energy supplier to America and Canada's interest in enhancing North American energy security, jobs and environmental protection.

“Canada and the United States share the largest, most secure and significant energy relationship in the world,” said Minister Oliver. “Enhancing our bilateral energy collaboration will strengthen economic opportunity, energy security and environmental responsibility.”

Secretary Moniz and Minister Oliver discussed ways in which the Department of Energy and Natural Resources Canada can enhance their level of collaboration on energy and environmental issues. Potential areas include maintaining safe and modern energy infrastructure, supporting efficient energy use, exerting joint global leadership on energy and environmental issues and developing unconventional oil and gas resources responsibly.

Minister Oliver indicated that Canada has taken aggressive action to build on its exemplary record of environmental stewardship. Measures taken to date include banning coal-fired plants using traditional technology and decreasing oil sands emissions by 26 percent per barrel from 1990 to 2011. In fact, 77 percent of Canada’s electricity mix is generated from non-emitting sources.

“Canada supports the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline because it is in the national interest of both our countries,” said Minister Oliver. “It would enhance energy security, create thousands of jobs and generate significant revenue for governments to support critical social programs.  Approval would displace oil from Venezuela which has repeatedly threatened to cut off its supply to the United States and has the same or higher emissions as the oil sands, with less stringent regulations. The U.S. State Department also concluded that Keystone XL will not have a significant impact on global GHG emissions.”

“Our two nations’ shared commitment to democracy, free markets and the rule of law underpin why Canada and the United States have the world’s most successful commercial relationship, about $2 billion in trade every day,” added Minister Oliver. “Our government looks forward to working with the U.S. and Secretary Moniz to strengthen our energy relationship, realize shared economic benefits, advance energy security and improve environmental protection.”

Congress Members Proposed Revision Of EPA Rule

Last month, US House of Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging the agency to revise the proposed formaldehyde rule to harmonize more closely with the existing California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations.

Rep. Matsui was the chief sponsor of the authorizing legislation in the House and remains highly vested in the outcome. Citing the severe impact on American manufacturing, the letter requests EPA follow CARB’s approach by exempting laminated products and finished goods from redundant testing. In EPA’s current proposed rule laminated and finished products would be subject to similar testing requirements as panel manufacturers. CPA’s Board recently voted to approve the position that certain laminated hardwood plywood products should not be subject to new regulation by EPA.

The CPA-convened Federal Wood Industries Coalition (FWIC) will be submitting a letter to EPA later this week that reinforces Rep Matsui’s position while addressing additional concerns with the rule.

Sawmills & Wood Production Market Research Report

The Sawmills and Wood Production industry has experienced rotten conditions during the past decade due to falling prices, a cooling Canadian housing market and, and the US housing market's collapse and slow recovery; demand for the industry's lumber is projected to remain relatively low during the next five years, although export markets in China will prove more lucrative, particularly because operators will need to find buyers for lumber affected by the ongoing pine beetle infestation in British Columbia.For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Sawmills & Wood Production industry to its growing industry report collection.

The Sawmills and Wood Production industry has experienced rotten conditions during the past decade due to falling prices, a cooling Canadian housing market and, from 2006 to 2011, the US housing market's collapse and slow recovery. The past five years have included severe drops in revenue and welcome rebounds, particularly thanks to record-high demand for lumber from China and the US single-family homebuilding market's resurgence in 2012 and 2013. Industry revenue is expected to have fallen at an annualized rate of 0.7% during the past five years, but this rate obscures the period's volatility: revenue fell 21.5% in 2009, but bounced back 14.3% in 2012. In 2013, industry revenue is expected to fall 2.0% to total $11.2 billion in response to rapid production from the previous year and anemic growth in Canadian housing markets.

“Suboptimal production volumes have lowered profit margins for the average industry company,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Matthew MacFarland. “Profit margins, measured by earnings before interest and taxes, have declined from 4.3% of revenue in 2008 to 2.4% in 2013.” As a result of shrinking margins, many companies have exited the industry, consolidated operations or reduced employment. Consequently, the number of companies operating in the industry is estimated to have decreased at an annualized rate of 5.6% to 1,154 over the five years to 2013.

The Sawmills and Wood Production industry has a relatively low level of concentration. The three largest companies in the industry are Canfor, West Fraser and Resolute Timber Products. Industry concentration has risen substantially during the past five years. As housing demand in the United States and Canada began to improve markedly in 2012, concentration rose rapidly as the industry's larger companies were better able to increase output to match demand.

“Demand for the industry's lumber is projected to remain relatively low during the next five years,” says MacFarland. “While the US housing market is projected to grow rapidly during the next five years, Canadian lumber will find difficulty capitalizing on the market as the Canadian dollar continues to appreciate.” Export markets in China will prove more lucrative, particularly because operators will need to find buyers for lumber affected by the ongoing pine beetle infestation in British Columbia. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Sawmills & Wood Production in Canada industry report page.

Source: PR Web

Apartment and Condominium Market Gains Momentum in Second Quarter

Production of apartments and condominiums gained momentum in the second quarter of 2013, according to the latest Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The index increased nine points to 61, which is the highest reading since its inception in 2003.

The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that any number over 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse.

The MPI provides a composite measure of three key elements of the multifamily housing market: construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for-sale" units, or condominiums. In the second quarter of 2013, the MPI component tracking builder and developer perceptions of market-rate rental properties rose six points to 67, the 11th straight quarter above 50; for-sale units had a significant increase of 16 points to 58, which is the highest reading since the second quarter of 2005; and low-rent units increased five points to 60.

“Multifamily developer confidence is currently at an all-time high according to our survey results, and we expect to see that continue for the foreseeable future,” said W. Dean Henry, CEO of Legacy Partners Residential in Foster City, Calif., and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board. “Much of the consumer demand that we are now seeing is coming from a large generation of young people who are able to find jobs and establish their own households as the economy continues to improve.”
The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry's perception of vacancies, rose four points to 42. With the MVI, lower numbers indicate fewer vacancies. After peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009, the MVI improved consistently through 2010 and has been at a fairly moderate level since 2011.

Historically, the MPI and MVI have performed well as leading indicators of U.S. Census figures for multifamily starts and vacancy rates, providing information on likely movement in the Census figures one to three quarters in advance.

“The apartment and condo sector continues to expand production,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “This increased level of activity is needed to meet current demand and to compensate for a serious lack of new units developed during the housing downturn.”

AWC/CWC Publish Environmental Product Declarations

Six total EPDs for North American wood products are now available.

The American Wood Council (AWC) and Canadian Wood Council (CWC) have announced the release of two new environmental product declarations (EPDs) for laminated veneer lumber and wood I-joists. Environmental Product Declaration logoThis latest announcement brings the available EPD total for North American wood products to six. The previous four (released in May) include softwood lumber, softwood plywood, oriented strand board, and glued laminated timber.

EPDs are standardized tools that provide information about the environmental footprint of the products they cover. The North American wood products industry has taken its EPDs one step further by obtaining third-party verification from UL Environment, a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories and an independent certifier of products and their sustainable attributes. The EPDs provide building teams with science-based information on environmental impacts and facilitate more informed building material choices.

Based on international standards (ISO 14025 and ISO 21930), EPDs have worldwide applicability and include information about product environmental impacts such as use of resources, global warming potential, emissions to air, soil and water, and waste generation. The ISO standards for development of EPDs require periodic refreshment of the underlying industry data used in their development. CORRIM researchers are in the process of contacting mill staff in order to obtain current data to validate the EPDs.

Webchance 2013 Held Successfully

Webchance 2013 gets off to a successful start 2,000 trade visitors explore range of multi-channel solutions for the retail sector.

Held from August 24-25, 2013, the new Webchance trade fair in Frankfurt gave retailers valuable tips on effective online advertising and sales. The event was held parallel to international consumer goods fair Tendence and its presentation forum – featuring over 20 presentations – was attended by an estimated 2,000 trade visitors. Many of the visitors also took the opportunity to interact with the 27 exhibitors from the online sector and to consult the advice forum for information on online and legal issues.

Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt:

“The high level of visitor involvement at the event is a clear sign that the concept is a winning one. Many stationary retailers have used Webchance to find out about the potential of the internet as an additional sales channel and as a tool for cultivating customer loyalty. This means that we were able to offer the trade visitors real added value for their business.”

For their part, exhibitors were also very satisfied with Webchance’s debut event. To quote Steffen Griesel, Managing Director of e-commerce fullservice provider plentymarkets: “The fact that Webchance is held at the same time as Tendence convinced us to get on board – after all, the retail sector is a very interesting target group for us. As online retail sales are growing while those of stationary retailers are stagnating or even falling, we see enormous potential for new customers here. Most of the visitors to our stand were retailers who had no first-hand experience of online sales. This initial contact allowed us to give them insight into the world of online opportunities. In the follow-up stage, we will see whether these contacts translate into new customers.”

Stefan Zessel, Partner Relations Team Leader at shopware AG, commented: “It’s a pity that Webchance was not held on the Monday and Tuesday as well, as we were very taken with the underlying concept of the event. During the trade fair, we were approached by many visitors who were very interested in our online shop software. At Tendence, there is plenty of as yet untapped potential, for instance in gift retailing.”

Ricky Arora, Senior Marketing Advisor at RegioHelden GmbH, an agency for measurable internet advertising, was equally positive in his outlook: “Online shopping is taking on increasingly detailed forms – for example ‘google-shopping’ – which in turn leads retailers to
seek professional advice for their online activities. Because of this, the Webchance trade fair concept is in keeping with current trends and is sure to be a great success. The trade fair was a resounding success for us. We secured new customers and have already
finalised several new contracts – and so are planning to exhibit again next year.”

The speakers were also positive about the new trade fair – not least online marketing expert and author Dr. Torsten Schwarz:

“Webchance has provided a great service to the many stationary retailers who came to Frankfurt to attend Tendence, offering them a tailor-made forum for information, advice and interaction. And this is all thanks to the unique pairing of Webchance with a major trade fair like Tendence. When I recall the many questions put by participants to the high-calibre speakers, I have no doubt that there is a very real need for Webchance. Many of the retailers in attendance were given very specific answers to their questions about their online and ecommerce activities.

Happily, the many valuable pointers and authentic experiences that were related by the speakers helped them to overcome these reservations. I am already looking forward to the next Webchance.”

2014 NAHBGreen Awards Registration Begins

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is now accepting submissions for its 2014 NAHBGreen Awards. Each year, NAHB recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for excellence in residential green design and construction practices and for green building program and advocacy efforts.

The awards will be presented on Feb. 5 during an event held in conjunction with the 2014 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

“In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in green building, and the industry has responded by designing and constructing high-performance homes that reflect not only green and energy efficient principles, but also innovative design,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Each year, NAHB recognizes the very best work in this sector in its NAHBGreen Awards.”

In an effort to create a more streamlined submission process and to make it easier and quicker for applicants to apply, the applications for all Project of the Year categories have been revised this year and can be submitted online. The awards are open to both NAHB members and non-NAHB members. To be eligible for the Green Project of the Year categories, projects must have been started no earlier than January 2010 and substantially completed by December 2013.

Categories include: Project of the Year—Single Family, Project of the Year—Multifamily, Project of the Year—Remodel, Project of the Year—Green Site Development, and Advocate of the Year.

All homes and developments must be scored to either the 2008 or 2012 ICC-700 National Green Building Standard®, to ensure fair comparisons for judging purposes. This can be done by downloading the scoring spreadsheets at homeinnovation.com/greenscoring. 

All entries must be received by Oct. 15, 2013. Application fees are $250 for Project of the Year categories and $150 for the Advocate of the Year award.

Higher Mortgage Rates Prompt Pause in New-Home Sales in July

Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 13.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000 units in July as higher mortgage rates prompted a temporary pause in buying activity, according to newly released data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

“The drop-off in sales in July is in part a reflection of buyers’ reaction to the recent uptick in mortgage rates as people reassess their budgets to determine how much house they can afford,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Consumers just need a little time to adjust to the new parameters of the market.”

“New-home sales figures refer to newly signed contracts to purchase a home, rather than a completed sale, and it’s likely that the higher rates caused some buyers to delay putting pen to paper,”

 explained NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, there is still a great deal of pent-up demand for homes in markets nationwide, and builders continue to report improving consumer interest. This suggests that what we’re seeing is a temporary pause, and that buyers will return to the market once they are confident that the higher mortgage rates are here to stay.”

Every region recorded lower new-home sales in July, with declines of 5.7 percent, 12.9 percent, 13.4 percent and 16.1 percent reported for the Northeast, Midwest, South and West, respectively. Meanwhile, the inventory of new homes for sale edged up to 171,000 units in July, which is a 5.2 month supply at the current sales pace.

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2013 Results

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. announced results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013. Results for the second quarter of 2013 include:

• Revenues of $1.3 billion, flat with the second quarter of 2012.
• Operating income of $49 million compared to operating income of $92 million for the prior year period. Second
quarter 2013 operating income reflected lower gross profit, which includes idling expense related to planned plant
maintenance. The decrease in operating income was partially offset by lower business realignment costs and the
positive impact of savings from the shared services agreement with Momentive Performance Materials Inc. (“MPM”).
• Net loss of $(28) million versus net income of $28 million in the prior year period. Second quarter 2013 results reflect the same factors impacting operating income.
• Segment EBITDA totaled $118 million compared to $145 million during the prior year period.

“While our overall results trailed the prior year, we were pleased to post record Segment EBITDA within our Forest Products Resins segment, which was partially offset by our epoxy business,” said Craig O. Morrison, Chairman, President and CEO.

“Our forest products results reflected continued strength in North American housing and our past restructuring initiatives, particularly in Europe, as well as our strong performance in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region. We also experienced Segment EBITDA gains in our phenolic specialty resins business during the second quarter of 2013 versus the prior year, which was offset by softer results in our specialty and base epoxy resins and Versatic derivatives businesses."

“Looking ahead, we continue to expect that our overall volumes will be moderately higher in 2013 compared to 2012,” Morrison said. “We believe we are well positioned for long term growth due to our strategic investments in high-growth markets and our new product development initiatives, such as our OilPlus™ proppant technology. Based on our successful refinancing activity in early 2013, we also continue to benefit from our long-dated debt maturity profile and significant liquidity.”

Furniture Fastest-Growing Manufacturing Industry in USA

Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded again in June, after a brief decline in May, according to the Institute of Supply Management. The fastest growing industry sector was furniture and related products. Wood product manufacturers also reported growth.  Unemployment in the US remained unchanged at 7.6% in June, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Consumer confidence in the US economy gained significantly in June, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. Growth in wealth (higher home values and stocks) supported the positive economic outlook, even though jobs and wages have not improved.
Upper income households in particular were more confident in their economic outlook. Lower income households reported declining or stable incomes.  Confidence in the housing market also improved. Consumers thought that conditions are favourable for both buying and selling homes.

Builder confidence in newly built single-family homes improved significantly in June. The National Association of Home Builders reports an 8 point increase in the Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index is over 50 for the first time since 2006.

Builders’ confidence is supported by the prospect of over 1 million housing starts this year, a 29% increase from 2012. The supply of homes on the market remains tight, and demand from buyers is expected to fuel new home construction.

US housing starts rose by 6.8% in May to reach 914,000 at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. The increase was primarily in multi-family housing. Single-family starts remained almost unchanged from the previous month. The US South saw the strongest increase in housing starts (+17.8%). Starts in the West grew by 5.7%, while they declined in the Northeast (-9.0%) and in the Midwest (-13.7%).

Source: ITTO

Weinig Successful at Las Vegas Fair

The biggest woodworking fair for the North American market, held in Las Vegas in late July, went very well for WEINIG. In a generally optimistic atmosphere, the WEINIG stand met with great public interest. The number of new orders was much higher than expected. “We are very pleased,” commented Jason Howell, President of WEINIG USA and Holz-Her U.S., on the outcome of the fair. With more than 500 exhibitors and a substantial increase in visitors, Las Vegas was a successful event. This shows that the slight signs of recovery on the North American timber market are ongoing.

MultiCam Concluded Performance Development Plan Pilot Program

MultiCam, Inc., a Dallas-based manufacturer of computer numerically controlled (CNC) cutting solutions, recently concluded their six month performance development plan (PDP) pilot program that included utilizing the ShadowmatchUSA solution.

The Shadowmatch Behavioral Benchmarking System arms leaders with deep insights into each employee’s behaviors, habits, skills and deficits. This enables managers to develop individuals with far greater precision and success while also empowering every aspect of workforce development.

“To test and refine the process before a management-wide roll-out, we began with a pilot group from different areas of the organization. We integrated ShadowmatchUSA into the initiative because of its breath of programs,” said Kris Hanchette, president, MultiCam. “Ultimately, we selected Shadowmatch’s team development and PDP features and are extremely happy with the outcomes.”

In addition to the professional assessments, separate group meetings were held with Mentee and Mentor groups. In the monthly meetings, roles, responsibilities, timeline and desired outcomes were discussed.

Shadowmatch suggests behaviors for development for individuals based on team benchmarks. In each case, MultiCam gave two suggestions to the Mentees’ manager (not Mentor) and allowed the manager to make the final decision.

The outcomes speak for themselves:
•        Participants said this program increased their job satisfaction and demonstrated the company’s desire to help individuals succeed.
•        Each team member developed new ways of looking at things, or new behaviors based on development plan.
•        One specific example is a manager who was extremely low on Propensity to Change and that became the Habit addressed in his development plan. After several months working with a mentor, a major restructure was needed for his department. Prior to going through this process, this manager might have chosen to leave the organization rather than participate in the departmental change. The change was made with no departmental fall-out. This process allowed the organization to keep a valued member of the team.

Victorian Woman of the Year Says Forestry Needs a Makeover

Michelle Freeman, this year's Victorian Woman of the year says forestry needs to work harder to drop the stereotype of an old lumberjack holding an axe. She is using her $10,000 prize to hold workshops across Australia with the aim of rebranding forestry to make it vibrant and exciting.

Her personal encounters with the frustrating queries about her profession makes her go satirical. She attempts to break through with the pre-conceived notion of the common people about forestry. She wants to elaborate that forestry is not only about logging, or being a hard core greenie tree-hugger and definitely not about arranging flowers.  

"So these ideas about what a forester is are really just so different and it sort of proves to me that we haven't very done well at communicating about what a forester is", this is what makes her belief stronger that the countenance of forestry needs a drastic change.

It was a love of camping and being among nature that first drew her to a career managing public forests.

"Our forests are so beautiful and have so many different values: conservation, recreation and the renewal resource of timber production," she said. "In my career I want to do all I can to ensure we manage the forests sustainably, so they can provide all these values."

Exhibitor Prepare For WMS 2013

The Woodworking Machinery and Supply Expo (WMS), billed as Canada's largest woodworking event, is in the works. The dates will be October 24-26, 2013, and the venue will be the International Centre in Toronto.

WMS will feature Canada’s largest exhibition of woodworking machinery, software, hardware, components and other products. More than 5,000 woodworking professionals, including those involved in the manufacture of furniture, cabinet and millwork are expected to attend the show.

A WMMA pavilion will once again be offered. WMMA will host a booth that allows visitors to learn about the association and its members. At the same time, visitors can visit the exhibits of member companies, resulting in more exposure for American-made products and machinery. WMS will have 10 x 10 booths available to WMMA members, for a discounted rate of $2,700 (Canadian), plus tax and any applicable fees (equipment rental, area cleaning, etc.) Exhibitors will benefit from advance publicity as well as showtime exposure to all attendees.

The 2013 edition of WMS also will include a conference program focusing on business and technical topics for wood products managers and owners, plus special demonstrations on the expo floor.

NAHB Reports Rebound In The Second Quarter

Confidence in the remodeling market rebounded in the second quarter of 2013 with the Remodeling Market Index (RMI) rising six points to 55, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The rise in existing home sales and increased demand for remodeling projects contributed to the positive report.
An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity.

“Remodelers are feeling optimistic about the home improvement market during what has turned out to be an uneven recovery,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw, GMR, GMB, CGP, a remodeler from Houston. “The RMI future market results are especially promising. Not only do remodelers have projects booked for the next few months, but they also have more work coming in the door.”

The future market indicators component of the RMI increased to 56 from the previous quarter level of 48. Current market conditions rose from 50 in the previous quarter to 54. All of the indicators of future activity (i.e. calls for bids, work committed for three months, backlog, and appointments) were over 50 for the first time in eight years.

“Remodelers’ positive sentiment is directly related to increased demand for their services. Rising home prices are making remodeling jobs possible for more homeowners while existing home sales provide additional momentum as home owners prepare their homes for market,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

NAHB Proposes To Make Changes In PATH Act

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) informed Congress of its work with lawmakers to make changes to the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act legislative proposal to ensure that it provides the federal support necessary to maintain a strong and liquid housing finance system.

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard urged the committee to modify the PATH Act to make sure that the federal government continues to provide a backstop for a reliable and adequate flow of affordable housing credit in all economic and financial conditions.

“NAHB believes federal support is particularly important to ensure that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, the bedrock of the nation’s housing finance system since the 1930s, remain available at reasonable interest rates and terms,” said Howard. “As currently drafted, the PATH Act does not provide the federal support necessary to ensure a strong and liquid housing finance system, and we urge the committee to make the necessary changes.”

There are some positive elements in the PATH Act, and NAHB agrees that private capital must be the dominant source of mortgage credit, Howard said. However, ensuring the safety and stability of the housing finance system cannot be left entirely to the private sector.

NAHB has recommended to the committee that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be gradually phased into a private sector oriented system, where the federal government’s role is explicit but its exposure is limited. Federal support would be limited to catastrophic situations where carefully calibrated levels of private capital and insurance reserves would be depleted before any public funds were employed to shore up the mortgage market.

NAHB also urged House lawmakers to modify the sections of the bill outlining changes to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

“The PATH Act would drastically diminish FHA’s vital liquidity mission,” said Howard. “By simultaneously leaving all federal support for housing to FHA, and then by greatly reducing the overall scope and reach of FHA’s programs, the PATH Act would greatly limit homeownership and rental housing opportunities for many financially responsible and qualified Americans.”

Because there is currently a great deal of uncertainty among consumers and home builders due to the unresolved debate on reforming the housing finance system and the government sponsored enterprises, Howard urged the committee to move forward in a careful, prudent manner to provide needed assurance for the industry and consumers.

AWFS-Just a few hours to go!

All set for AWFS? Its now only a few hours to go for AWFS, the most happening woodworking and furnishing supply trade fair in North America. Industrialists throughout the world have already flocked in Vegas to witness the show which officially begins tomorrow, July 24.

Every two years, thousands of serious woodworking professionals gather at AWFS®Fair to keep their businesses productive, competitive and on the cutting edge. Gain unparalleled access to the entire home and commercial furnishings industry, including manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, lumber, construction materials and other suppliers to the furniture, cabinet manufacturers and custom woodworkers.

Hope to see you all tomorrow. We will be at our booth #6429. Come and grab your own copy of our magazine.

Don't forget to scan the CD cover, you might win some exciting prizes!

Resolute Coordinates With Lac-Megantic Community

Resolute Forest Products Inc. has offered the municipality of Lac-Mégantic a significant volume of lumber to help rebuild the downtown core that was devastated by the recent train derailment and explosion.

In a letter to Lac-Mégantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche, Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolute Forest Products, announced the donation to the community for the reconstruction of public and community buildings.

"Despite the days that have passed since this terrible tragedy, we still have difficulty finding the right words and gestures to express our compassion and support for the people of Lac-Mégantic," stated Richard Garneau. "As a large company in Quebec, we believe we have an important role to play in assisting the community during this difficult time. The people of Lac-Mégantic are in our thoughts."

Headquartered in Montréal, Resolute Forest Products has over 5,000 employees in Québec and more than 8,000 in North America. The Company plays an active role when it comes to supporting community needs. When other disasters occurred - such as hurricanes and tornados in Alabama or forest fires in Arizona - Resolute donated lumber to help rebuild municipal and community buildings in affected cities and towns.

Resolute Forest Products has offered the municipality of Lac-Mégantic lumber valued at C$50,000. The Company will work with its partners and the municipality to identify specific projects.

Furniture Concepts Follows Australian Forestry Standards

Furniture Concepts is a Queensland woodworking manufacturer that has one of the deepest environmental commitments in the field among companies of the same size. With around 50 employees – a number that has not decreased even after the floods in 2011 – the organization has most of the green certificates available in the market: ISO9014, Australian Forestry Standard, ecoBiz partner, FSC / AFS Chain of custody and recently membership of the Green Building Council of Australia.

But the company has done it and it has definitely brought benefits for the business. Besides the savings that the Bargstedt and the dust compacter have represented for the organization – around AUD$30,000 per year – it is this green path that has enabled Furniture Concepts to participate in FSC / AFS Chain of custody joinery projects, such as Isis Brisbane.

“The first thing we have to consider is that to be green is not a trend anymore. It will stay for good and the sooner SME’s start to work on it, the better”, Franz Braun, managing director at Furniture Concepts affirms.
“It is challenging though. Right now, green is hot, but we think within the next few years, it will be the minimum condition to operate by. So businesses like ours have to keep working on other differentiators, reducing time frames and giving the best possible customer service”, Franz adds.

According to him, the green key to success is equilibrium. “It is like juggling hats. A lot of companies are managed by people who are either traditional business men, who don’t see profit in the environment, or extreme environmentalists, who might not have good business acumen. We have kept a bit of both, so that would be one of my strongest advices for any company that wants to start”, Franz says.

Source: Microvellum

Latest Veneer Sheets And Veneer Edging

Outwater [Outwater Plastics Industries, Inc. + Architectural Products by Outwater, LLC] introduced Real Wood Veneer Sheets and Real Wood Veneer Edging, which are offered to complement its huge array of available trims and surfacing products.

Outwater’s Real Wood Veneer Sheets comprise book matched, sanded and tenderized 1/42-in. thick genuine wood veneers permanently bonded under heat and pressure to a paper backing, which acts both to affix the veneer to the surface to which it has been adhered and as a two-sided barrier, which not only prevents adhesives from permeating the veneer’s surface, but also to thwart finishing materials from affecting the adhesive’s bonding agent.

Available in nearly thirty different wood species in several types of veneer cuts, which impart various visual effects and characteristics, Outwater’s Real Wood Veneer Sheets are offered both with and without peel & stick adhesive backing in 2-ft. x 8-ft. and 4-ft. x 8-ft. sheets.

In conjunction with its Real Wood Sheets, Outwater also offers Real Wood Veneer Edging, manufactured in both finger-jointed and butt-jointed 250-ft., 500-ft. and 1,000-ft. fine sanded, stainable continuous rolls. Outwater’s Real Wood Veneer Edging is produced in 7/8-in. fleece backed, 13/16-in. preglued and ½-in. to 1-1/2-in. peel & stick adhesive backed varieties in an assortment of wood species.

Source: PR Web

NAHB Reports Improved Market Index

A total of 255 metropolitan areas across 49 states and the District of Columbia qualified to be listed on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for July. This is down slightly from the 263 metros that made the list in June, but is more than triple the number of metros that were on it in July of 2012.

The IMI identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Six new markets were added to the list and 14 were dropped from it in July. Newcomers include the geographically diverse metros of Cumberland, Md.; Saginaw, Mich.; Farmington and Las Cruces, N.M.; Kingston, N.Y.; and Olympia, Wash.

“This is the sixth straight month in which at least 70 percent of all U.S. metros have qualified for the Improving Markets Index,” observed NAHB Chairman Rick Judson. “The relative stability of the IMI is representative of the broad recovery underway, which is much more extensive than what we were looking at one year ago.”

“Despite slight ups and downs in recent IMI levels, an overwhelming majority of U.S. metros -- including those located in almost every state -- remain solidly on the path to recovery even as the pace of their improvement is slowed by ongoing challenges related to the availability of credit, labor, lots and certain building materials,” added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Based on recent trends in home prices, housing permits and employment, the outlook for a continued housing expansion remains very positive for the remainder of 2013.”

The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A metro area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six consecutive months following those measures’ respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.

Woodcraft Introduces ‘Get the Edge Sweepstakes’ Winners

“Get the Edge Sweepstakes” prizes went to a Kansas woodcarver (Grand Prize) and a Virginia woodturner who is interested in learning carving.

Robert Tipton of Olathe, Kansas, is anticipating a major upgrade in his carving experience with nearly $2,000 worth of tools and accessories – the Grand Prize in the “Get the Edge Sweepstakes” sponsored by Woodcraft, Sjöbergs, Tormek, pfeil, Norton, and “Woodcraft Magazine.”

Tipton’s name was drawn June 7 from 18,682 entries in the sweepstakes between April 1 and May 30. His Grand Prize includes a Tormek T-3 Water-Cooled Sharpening System with accessories ($500 retail value), a Sjöbergs Husbocken Carving School Bench ($999 retail value), and a 10-piece Woodworkers Class Set of Swiss made pfeil carving tools ($339 retail value). Total retail prize value is approximately $1,838.

Carey Wheeler of Fairfax, Virginia, won the second place prize – a set of four Norton Combination Waterstones, retail value approximately $253. The set includes 1000/8000-grit, 4000/8000-grit, 1000/4000-grit and 220/1000-grit waterstones.

Although the two winners entered online, they learned about the sweepstakes through their local Woodcraft stores where they are regular customers – Tipton at Woodcraft in Lenexa, Kansas, and Wheeler at Woodcraft in Springfield, Virginia.

“I get the Woodcraft newsletter and saw the sweepstakes,” Tipton said. “I had only recently gotten into woodcarving in a semi-serious way, so the prize packages looked precisely like something I could use to continue to develop my hobby. I hopped online and entered that night.”

“The right tools make the difference when sharpening, so I am eager to work with the Tormek, and the pfeil carving tools, added to the seven I already own, will give me the ability to tackle different kinds of projects,” Tipton said. “As for the bench – it will add (literally) a whole new dimension to my carving. You’ll laugh when I tell you that my preferred method for carving is sitting on the floor, atop a canvas drop cloth (to catch the shavings) with my tools spread out around me. Who knows what I’ll be able to accomplish if I can carve for more than 30 minutes at a time without a backache.”

As a young boy, Tipton carved faces into cutoff pieces of the family Christmas tree trunk, using X-Acto blades, but it was a December 2012 visit to his grandfather, Richard Tipton, that sparked a serious interest in carving. Between those two events his only “wood” projects were home improvements and an elaborate Bridge Award (a Golden Gate bridge replica) he created with a friend’s help as part of his job as manager of Cloud Solutions at Perceptive Software.

Source: PR Web

Frank Dottori Re-Starts Business In Ontario

Frank Dottori is reopening the White River, Ontario sawmill that was formerly owned by Domtar.

The sawmill will reopen as White River Forest Products and it will manufacture stud and random-length lumber.
White River Forest Products is a 3-way partnership between:

•    private investors (53%, Frank Dottori holds 49.8% of the private investors’ share)
•    Pic Mobert First Nation (23.5%)
•    Township of White River (23.5%)

Frank Dottori is a founder of Tembec Inc. He currently is chairman of CRIBE (Centre for Research and Innovation of the Bio-Economy) and AV Terrace Bay.

Source: Northern Ontario Business

“Hard Surface Flooring To 2017” Is The New Market

According to the ReportsnReports.com store  “Hard Surface Flooring to 2017” is the new market. US demand for hard surface flooring is forecast to rise 5.0 percent per year to 9.3 billion square feet in 2017, valued at $13.8 billion. Advances will be primarily driven by a rebound in building construction expenditures, but will also be spurred by increasing consumer interest in alternatives to traditional carpets and rugs. While often more costly initially, hard surface flooring offers performance advantages, such as a longer lifespan and less maintenance than carpeting. In terms of aesthetics, many consumers find such flooring types as hardwood, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), and porcelain and stone tiles more attractive than carpet.

Among all hard surface flooring types, vinyl flooring and decorative tile are expected to register the strongest gains through 2017. Vinyl flooring demand will be spurred by heightened usage of LVT. Consumers will increasingly opt for LVT because it offers the durability and performance properties of traditional vinyl flooring products, but features a high-gloss appearance and can be made to look like more costly material such as wood or natural stone.
Tile demand will be boosted by consumer desire for durable, low-maintenance flooring. Low-cost ceramic tile will continue to account for the largest share of demand, but natural stone and porcelain tile are expected to see the fastest growth of all tile types. Homeowners will select natural stone tile because of its favorable aesthetics, while nonresidential consumers will install porcelain tiles because of their durability, slip resistance, low cost, and ability to look like more costly stone or wood.

Imports will account for more than one half of hard surface flooring demand in 2017. Decorative tile and vinyl flooring made in such low-cost nations as China account for the largest share of imports, as well as stone tile quarried from such countries as Brazil and Turkey. However, shipments of hard surface flooring will see gains as manufacturers take advantage of low natural gas prices to expand US-based production sites and relocate manufacturing facilities to the US.

The nonresidential market is forecast to see the most rapid gains in hard surface flooring demand through 2017. The office and commercial segment will post the strongest growth during this time, fueled by double-digit advances in construction spending and rising interest in hard surface flooring as a low-maintenance alternative to carpeting. Demand for vinyl flooring and decorative tile will advance at the fastest pace due to desirable performance properties such as resistance to slips and biological contamination, especially in institutional structures.

In the residential market, the new housing segment will see the strongest advances as housing completions rise from their low 2012 base. The improvement and repair segment will continue to account for the larger share of demand as home- owners replace older or worn carpeting with more durable and aesthetically pleasing hard surface flooring. Rebounding motor vehicle and recreational boat and vehicle shipments will promote hard surface flooring demand in the transportation market.

Source: PR Web

Frank Dottori Partners With White River And The Pic Mobert First Nation

Frank Dottori, chairman and CEO of White River Forest Products Ltd., has partnered with the communities of White River and the Pic Mobert First Nation. As a result of this partnership forest operations and sawmill at White River, Ontario will re-open by this fall.

White River Forest Products Ltd was formed in 2009 as a joint initiative of the Township of White River and the Pic Mobert First Nation in response to the closure of the mill and woodlands operations formerly owned and operated by Domtar.

The new company purchased the assets from Domtar in 2009 and was successful in securing a sustainable forest license in the following year.

“Our goal was to protect the mill from a wrecking ball and preserve the wood allocation needed to reopen the mill once the right investment partner was found and wood markets recovered – and we did just that,” said White River Township Mayor Angelo Bazzoni.

"This initiative provided my Community with a unique opportunity to both support the revitalization of the local and regional economy, and to ensure that the economic and employment needs and goals of our Band members for the forest products industry could be realized,” said Pic Mobert Chief Johanna Desmoulin. “We look forward to our Band members and their families benefitting from the work that will be created by these operations that are located within our traditional territory.”

The community and company leaders acknowledged the inspiration and contributions of the Company’s founding President, Jeffrey Butler, who passed away suddenly in 2012.

“Jeff’s tireless efforts laid the groundwork for the wonderful developments that are now occurring,” said Mayor Bazzoni.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti was on hand for the announcement and said: “Our government is committed to supporting the re-opening of the sawmill in White River and to helping to re-establish these jobs in the community. Economic opportunities in the forestry sector are vital to Northerners and I commend Pic Mobert First Nation, the town of White River and their private shareholder partners on developing this cooperative relationship which we are hopeful will lead to renewed prosperity in both of these communities.”

“Our government is encouraged at the prospect of the re-opening of the sawmill in White River and the re-establishment of these jobs in the community. Economic opportunities in the forestry sector are vital to Northerners and I commend Pic Mobert First Nation, the town of White River and their private shareholder partners on developing this cooperative relationship which we are hopeful will lead to renewed prosperity in both of these communities.”

Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle commented: “As a passionate northerner I am absolutely thrilled to see the White River Sawmill back in operation and I commend this great partnership between the community of White River and the Pic Mobert First Nation. The re-opening of this mill will certainly increase prosperity throughout the region and I’m very pleased to see so many employment opportunities coming back to this site."

Dan Friyia, general manager of the Superior East Community Development Corporation, was on hand to announce a loan to White River Forest Products Ltd.

“After witnessing a significant decline in our region’s forest products industry for the last several years, we are delighted to see the vision of the communities and their private partners come to fruition – we are proud to be able to support their efforts,” said Friyia.

Work on reopening the mill commenced recently and a single shift will operation will commence in the fall of 2013; a second shift could follow as early as the spring of 2014.

White River Forest Products Ltd is a privately held corporation founded and co-owned by the communities of White River and the Pic Mobert First Nation and two private shareholders (companies owned by Frank Dottori and David Butler, respectively).

Scm Group Exhibits at AWFS 2013

On over 6000 sq.ft. exhibit space Scm Group will present the latest technology in woodworking equipment available. One can find the right solution available as needed – from high-end classical equipment to the most technologically advance solution available for panel processing, solid wood and plastic manufacturing.
Here following you find important information about the four day event and the educational seminars available:
Tuesday, July 23…………………………....... Dealer Day
Wednesday, July 24…………………………..9:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday, July 25……………………………..9:00am – 5:00pm
                                                                              5:00pm – 7:00pm Hospitality Event at Scm Group booth #8743
Friday, July 26…………………………............9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, July 27……………………………...9:00am – 3:00pm
SCM Olimpic K 230, SCM Olimpic K 400 (E), SCM Olimpic K 600R (ERT), SCM Olimpic S 1000R (FRT), SCM PRATIX S15,  SCM PRATIX N12 (Full Nesting Cell), SCM Sandya S600 RCS 135 (VN), SCM Sandya S300 RCS 110, SCM SI400-NOVA, SCM TF130 CLASS, SCM S520 NOVA (Spiral), SCM F410 NOVA, MiniMax ME25, MiniMax SC4 ELITE, MiniMax ADVANCE 21, MiniMax S 400P, MiniMax ECO 300 D (portable dust collector), MORBIDELLI UNIFLEX HP, STEFANI SOLUTION HD, ROUTECH ACCORD 30 FX, OMAL HBD 2500.

Companies Contribute over $4,000 to Successful SkillsUSA California Woodworking Contests

AWFS members, exhibitors and others provide support for aspiring cabinetmakers Blum, Bosch,
Laguna Tools, Royal Plywood and other generous companies showed their support for industry
education activities by contributing over $4,000 in tools, supplies, gifts and prizes to the 2013 SkillsUSA
California Region 3 (Los Angeles) woodworking contests and the State Cabinetmaking Championships, held February 2 and April 6, respectively.

SkillsUSA is one of the largest national career & technical student organizations in the nation. It promotes
job readiness with skills and leadership training and supports students entering skilled trades. SkillsUSA students compete in skill contests for their field of study to display their proficiency and earn recognition and prizes. Competition begins at the regional level and then advances to state, national and ultimately international championships.

At the 2013 SkillsUSA California Region 3 contests, six high school Cabinetmaking students from Los
Angeles and Orange counties spent a Saturday morning at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College building cabinet components, while twelve Introductory Woodworking students built magazine holders. Royal Plywood donated all of the material, Rockler donated screws, biscuits and safety glasses and Blum contributed tape measures and pencils to give to the students.

In April, a total of fifteen Cabinetmaking students from seven different schools advanced from Regional
events across the state to compete at the State Championships in San Diego. Competitors were allenged
to build a two- foot tall cabinet utilizing Blum hinges for the face-frame door and KVdrawer slides for the

A Blum hinge press, Bosch routers, Kreg pocket hole jigs were also employed. Students also had to apply edge banding and moulding; they had eight hours to finish the project. Gary Riley of Blum, Inc, Mark Fuller of San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association and former woodworking instructor Joshua Torbick
Served as judges using criteria such as accuracy of measurements and use of tools and machinery. The finished cabinets were then donated to San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

“SkillsUSA works because it empowers students,” says Saúl Martín, who served as Coordinator for the
Regional and State Cabinetmaking Contests. “They see that what they are doing matters, that industry and others value their skills and that they will have a future career utilizing these skills.”

The top medalists at the State Championships received a Bosch palm router combo kit and a $200 Laguna Tools gift certificate for their school. All State competitors received a Blum “goodie bag” with
a Blum Pozi screwdriver, a tape measure, a current copy of Woodworker West magazine and other useful items.

The students who earn the highest honors in the state competition –Gold Medals –are then invited to Kansas City in June for the high-energy National Leadership & Skills Championships, where they will pit their skills against students from all other states. Top-scoring national competitors will compete at the WorldSkills Cabinetmaking Qualifying Trial at the AWFS Fair, July 24-27, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV and the winner of that event will go to WorldSkills 2015 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

AWFS recognizes the 2013 participating SkillsUSA California Cabinetmaking sponsors:

•Blum, Inc.
•Bosch Power Tools & Accessories
•ESI (Edgebanding Services Inc)
•Laguna Tools
•Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
•Royal Plywood
•Woodworker West Magazine
•Wurth Louis and Company

AWFS contacted the sponsors and organized the donations on behalf of SkillsUSA California. The student competitors and their advisors also received a complimentary copy of fresh wood, the AWFS publication that showcases the Fresh Wood student woodworking competition.

Little change in Canadian housing market

Canada’s housing starts remained stable in March. The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation forecasts lower housing starts in 2013 compared to the previous year.

The exception is British Columbia where home construction will rise moderately. A slower housing market is expected to slightly reduce economic growth in Canada this year.

Spending on non-residential building construction in the US declined by 1.9% in March compared to the previous month (at a seasonally adjusted rate). Private construction decreased by 1.5% in March, while public construction fell by 3% due to reduced government spending.

Architecture firms with a commercial/industrial specialization reported better business conditions in March, according to the Architecture Billings Index. However, business in the non-residential sector continues to lag residential construction.

Source: ITTO

Industry Responds to Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act Proposed Regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations for the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, in which the statute sets formaldehyde emission limits for hardwood plywood, particle board, and medium density fiberboard.

The legislation – which was passed in 2010 – is supported by the American Wood Council (AWC), the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), and other wood products associations.

"We supported the legislation as consistent with good product stewardship, extending nationwide California's existing rule, and we support reasonable standards that are consistent with our industry's commitment to the safety of our products and the original intent of the legislation," said AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski. "We look forward to commenting on the proposal to ensure that the rules implement the full intent of the legislation."

"American consumers should feel confident that products covered by the proposed regulations and made by North American manufacturers are low in formaldehyde emissions and are already certified as having met the requirements of this proposed EPA rule," added AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "North American wood products manufacturers have worked hard to meet these rigorous standards and support their nationwide application."

To the extent the proposed rules implement the State of California's existing performance-based standard, the regulations would create a single nationwide standard and allow those manufacturers that are already complying to not be placed at a competitive disadvantage.

Source: AWC

NAHB Reports More Home Sales

Gearing up for the return of a healthy home building and remodeling market, manufacturers and suppliers have stepped up plans for exhibit spaces for the new Design and Construction Week, when the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) join forces for a mega-exhibit in Las Vegas February 4-6, 2014.
Exhibit sales are up by 16 percent over last year, and that’s good news for attendees of both shows: IBS, presented by the National Association of Home Builders, and KBIS, the annual show of the National Kitchen and Bath Association – already the two leading trade events in the residential design and construction market.

Since the announcement earlier this year IBS and KBIS would co-locate to create the first annual Design and Construction Week, IBS has already reeled back in more than 60 companies that had left the show during the building downturn. The result: more than 20,000 square feet of new exhibit space.

Nearly 90 other companies have increased the size of their exhibit spaces by more than 30,000 square feet. Exhibit space for KBIS is already 90 percent sold.

“Design and Construction Week offers manufacturers and suppliers the unique opportunity to reach two very large audiences for thecost of exhibiting in one trade show,”said Mark Pursell, NAHB’s senior vice president of Exposition Marketing & Sales. “That, combined with an improving housing market, is translating into these bigger exhibit space sales. We are seeing more and more companies returning to exhibit after sitting out for several years.”

Among the companies back in the show:Electrolux Home Appliances, Pro Build Holdings, Masterbrand Cabinets, BSH Appliances, Caesarstone USA, Rinnai and Viega.

“With an emphasis on our exhibitor and attendee experience, there is no question that Design and Construction Week will create an unparalleled value to the marketplace,” said Brian Pagel, Nielsen Expositions kitchen and bath group vice president.

“Clearly, the co-location of these two great events, together with the steady climb in home building and remodeling projects, are being well received by our industry’s’ manufacturers and suppliers,” Pursell added.
The first annual Design and Construction Week takes place Feb. 4-6, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas.

ITA Delays Chinese Hardwood Plywood Duty

The International Trade Administration (ITA) of the US Department of Commerce has delayed the final antidumping determination against Chinese hardwood and decorative plywood imports until September 5.  In May a preliminary determination placed a 63.96% duty on these imports, with a list of 101 companies specifically receiving a lower 22.14% duty. Two of the affected companies petitioned for the extension.

Source: CPA

Forever Tungsten Ring Manufactures a Line of Wood Inlay Rings

Tungsten carbide ring retailer, is featuring a unique line of true redwood inlay rings in many sizes and widths to accommodate both men and women shoppers. The durable tungsten carbide is accompanied with a thin redwood piece that circles the ring. The wood is protected on both sides by tungsten and coated in a liquid crystal to ensure the integrity of the ring remains intact.

Forever Tungsten Ring is known in the tungsten ring industry for creating unique styles that are hard to find anywhere else. In addition to a full line of classic wedding bands a shopper can find many inlay rings consisting of genuine abalone shell, black shell, carbon fiber in black and white colors and precious metal inlays. The company is also the first in the industry to manufacture carved tungsten rings in many intricate and detailed styles for men and women.

Source: PR Web

First Eco-Friendly and Unique Wood Watch by SpringBreak Wood Watches

SpringBreak Watches announced that it is launching the first eco-friendly and stylish wood watch brand with a purpose on June 25th, 2013. Their modern White Party wood watch is the first watch to integrate vibrant colors and high-fashion designs with sustainable wood. Building on their passion for kids, Springbreak will also donate a portion of their sales from each watch sold to children living in hunger. Each wood watch sold provides up to 10 meals to a child in need.

The eco-friendly start-up was created by a recent war veteran and recent MBA graduate who both have a mutual infatuation with unique watches, fashionable accessories, and environmentally friendly products. Their ‘White Party’ wooden watch combines high-fashion and sustainable wood to create the most stylish watch around. The White Party is not only unique and stylish, but it is moderately priced and has the feel of a standard watch. People who are fond of using unique items will surely feel delighted with the watches they offer.

The two fraternity brothers decided to create their own new watch after discovering the huge lack of watch diversity in the watch industry. “We felt the watch industry was lacking originality and wanted to create a watch that would appeal to self-expressive individuals and watch enthusiasts, with the added benefit of not negatively impacting the environment,” says K. Andrews, SpringBreak co-founder. "We also wanted the White Party to be affordable for our customers, unlike other wood watches, which are extremely over priced for an inexpensive material such as wood." In addition, Springbreak plans on launching other wood watches of various colors, so by pricing their watches at an affordable price, their customers will feel comfortable purchasing multiple wood watches to match their various outfits.

It took the North Carolina natives years to create the perfect design and to finally settle on using wood as their main material. “We brainstormed on the idea of using stone, plastic, and other materials, but wood stood out to us because of its naturally attractive appeal and it's abundant eco-benefits.” By using wood, their watch will have a low carbon footprint, it will be renewable and will store carbon dioxide, and it will be more cost-effective for consumers than a standard metal watch.

Source: PR Web

Southern Pine Design Values Effective

New design values for all sizes and grades of visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber became effective June 1, 2013. New design values apply only to new construction; the integrity of existing structures designed and built using design values meeting applicable building codes at the time of permitting does not change.

Related to this development, the American Wood Council (AWC) has also revised its standards and design tools, and developed addenda to assist with building code enforcement.

“Everyone should be using the new design values now that the effective date is upon us,” said Cathy Kaake, SFPA’s vice president of technical marketing. “Look for the New Design Values logo on SFPA’s publications to make sure you have the current information on Southern Pine lumber products,” added Cathy.

Southern Pine's strength and stiffness is comparable to other softwood species used in residential and commercial construction. Southern Pine users have many available product options including visually graded dimension lumber and an increasing supply of mechanically graded lumber. From framing a house to building a deck, Southern Pine continues to be a dependable product with superior treatability against decay and termites.

Social Media 3.0 From Myhome Press Helps Readers With Extra Benefits

The third edition of Social Media 3.0: It's Easier Than You Think helps businesses rev up their social media program to take it to the next level. This popular resource, recently released by MyHome Press, an imprint of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), helps readers get the most from social media using tools such as Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Houzz and Foursquare to increase their visibility and improve their sales results.

Social Media 3.0 by Carol L. Morgan, MIRM, CAPS, CSP, is designed to help readers construct a comprehensive long-term social media strategy on any budget. The updated edition includes even more practical ideas, offers more examples from real businesses, and shows how to work smarter, not harder, by using social media.

"Anyone who needs to know how to network with, market to, or just engage people more effectively in the ever-expanding realm of social media should have a copy of this book," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder and developer from Charlotte, N.C. "It's not just about logging on, it's about making social media work for you."

Morgan outlines clearly and concisely how to engage various audiences using social media and the best social media sites and tools for specific purposes. She shows how to create and maintain a blog sensibly and with ease.

Social Media 3.0 includes sample monthly plans for maintaining a social media presence, discusses the results of real, effective social media campaigns and offers new tips on:

.    Creating effective mobile websites
.    Using the latest Facebook features
.    Avoiding Panda and Penguin traps
.    Engaging your markets using the various social media tools
.    Getting started with Podcasting
.    Running fun contests affordably

Carol L. Morgan is a public relations and social media marketing expert, strategist and consultant. With more than 20 years of experience, Carol has established herself as the "go to" person for public relations and social media. Carol is the founder of the online Atlanta Real Estate Forum, president of Flammer Relations, Inc., and managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, an Internet marketing, social media and public relations firm with offices in Atlanta and Chicago.

The Vauth-Sagel Unveiled Its Latest Innovation Interzum 2013

The Vauth-Sagel hunting lodge was just one of the highlights of interzum – in Cologne, which took place between May 13 and 16, 2013. Considerably more visitors from all over the world were drawn to our very special trade fair stand, which dazzled not only with countless innovative storage space solutions and waste separation systems for the kitchen furniture sector, but also excelled in terms of Westphalian cosiness and sociableness. The decision to symbolically underline the ‘Made in Germany’ topic with a Westphalian hunting lodge was rewarded with positive feedback from many hundreds of customers, partners and dealers during the trade fair. With this wonderful stand concept, Vauth-Sagel unambiguously and impressively presented itself as an owner-run and down-to-earth family-managed company with four German production sites and an international sales organisation.

One of the lodges was home to our innovative product solutions for the global kitchen furniture sector, where the primary focus was on the new DSA side drawer systems with their new look and guide package and probably the most comprehensive range of waste separation systems in the form of the Eco line. But the new generation of VSA storage cabinets was also the target of huge in-terest from visitors. All storage space systems had been fitted out with new seals and signets, featuring such quality attributes as ‘Made in Germany’, the FSC and ISO 14001 certifications or which demonstratively illustrated the ‘easy fit’ handling- and assembly-friendliness of the systems. This was simultaneously the link that united innovation and tradition and ensured that the hunting lodge was a coherent and tangible overall exhibition area. A live presentation show-casing the assembly-friendliness of selected system components rounded off the presentation show.

In addition to the product presentation itself, the focus of the second lodge and the lounge area was on hospitality. This communication zone – with more than 160 seats – has been part of the Vauth-Sagel Group for many years now and is a part of virtually every trade fair presentation around the globe. Here, customers and partners can chat extensively and talk with the Vauth-Sagel team within a wonderfully atmospheric environment. The ‘in-house’ kitchen and its four chefs conjured up three-course gourmet extravaganzas both at lunchtime and in the evening.

Study Shows Wood Windows Maintaining a Solid Niche Share

The jointly-sponsored AAMA/WDMA 2011/2012 Study of the U.S. Market for Windows, Doors and Skylights analyzes the U.S. marketplace for wood windows and doors, comparing current data to past performance and projecting future performance.

For 2011 (the most recent year for which final figures were available for the study), sales of wood and clad wood windows for residential use had declined from 8.6 to 7.7 million units compared to 2009, and the market share among all framing materials had edged downward from 22.3 percent in 2009 to 20.3 percent. Wood window use in the nonresidential and manufactured housing sectors was essentially negligible.

Similarly, aluminum declined over the last two years and is currently at 7.4 percent of the total residential-type market. Vinyl penetration continued to increase to 66.9 percent of the total market, displacing both wood and aluminum.

Other framing materials, primarily fiberglass and composites, now account for 4.9 percent of the total residential market, compared to 4.5 percent of the residential market in 2009.

For the future, sales of wood and wood-clad residential window products are expected to continue their climb out of the 2011 low point, with 8.8 million units forecast for 2013, 10.2 million for 2014 and 10.8 million units in 2015.

Parsing the numbers differently, this time by type of construction, the report shows that wood and clad wood residential window products for new construction have edged up from 2.5 to 2.6 million units from 2009 to 2011, while maintaining a 22 percent market share. Meanwhile, sales for remodeling and replacement have contracted from 6.1 million units in 2009 (representing a 46 percent market share) to 5.1 million units and a 40 percent share. Aluminum products trended about the same, with the lost ground taken up by vinyl and other materials, including composites.

The vast majority of wood windows utilize Ponderosa pine. Fir/hemlock has seen the greatest increase in market share. Other softwoods were utilized in smaller shops throughout the United States. There is also a niche market for other specialty hardwoods, but it remains a fractional segment of the market.

Of the 540,000 non-clad wood windows, it is estimated that 82 percent are sold with a primed/prefinished exterior finish. The remainder are provided with no finish or a clear-coat/stain (natural finish).

Insulated glass usage is estimated at nearly 99 percent penetration, and warm edge spacer technology makes up 97 percent of the insulated wood window market. Eighty-four percent of wood windows are sold with low-E glass (vs 74 percent in 2009), with total units increasing slightly. Of these, sputtered coatings comprise a commanding 97 percent.

Wood windows continue to hold an approximate market share of around 20 percent across new construction and remodeling and replacement sectors as the pace of vinyl penetration levels off. Composite products, although not as yet separated statistically as a category beyond that of “other,” continue to make modest but steady inroads, with the category gaining in share from a projected 1.8 percent in 2011 to 2.2 percent in 2015.

2012 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

Program honors manufacturers for safety strides in the structural panel and engineered wood industry.
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.

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.

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 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.

House Lead Paint Bill Would Help Remodelers, Consumers

Responding to concerns from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and affiliated trade groups, bipartisan legislation to make much-needed improvements to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013 (H.R. 2093) is identical to legislation introduced in the last Congress. The bill would reinstate the opt-out provision to allow home owners without small children or pregnant women residing in the home to decide whether to require LRRP compliance, allow remodelers to correct paperwork errors without facing full penalties and provide an exemption for emergency renovations. It would also eliminate
the requirement that recertification training be "hands on," so that remodelers would no longer have to travel to training facilities out of their region.

The bipartisan bill, companion legislation to S. 484, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), along with 21 original co-sponsors.

"H.R. 2093 will make common sense improvements to the EPA's lead paint rule for home owners and remodelers who must comply with the regulation's costly work practices and recordkeeping requirements," said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw, GMR, GMB, CGP, a remodeler from Houston. "Most importantly, it will continue to protect pregnant women and small children against lead hazards. I commend the bill's co-sponsors for their commitment
to improve this burdensome regulation."
The LRRP rule applies to homes built before 1978 and requires renovator training and certification, adherence to lead-safe work practices and record keeping.

By removing the opt-out provision in July 2010, EPA more than doubled the number of homes subject to the LRRP rule, adding an estimated $336 million per year in compliance costs to the remodeling community - without making young children any safer.

Partnership Breaks Between Resolute Forest Products Inc. And Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

Resolute Forest Products Inc. expressed the Company's disappointment that negotiations under the auspices of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) have broken down after three years of collaborative efforts. Parties were unable to reach mutual agreement on a workable plan to jointly further conservation efforts while balancing environmental, social and economic considerations in the Canadian boreal forest.

The CBFA was signed by members of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), including Resolute, and a group of environmental organizations to establish a common framework to further support boreal conservation efforts while safeguarding the livelihood of thousands of citizens in communities that depend on healthy working forests.
While it was challenging to find common ground among organizations with such diverse interests, Resolute believes its contributions to CBFA working groups and its overall commitment to sustainable forestry positively impacted the process. Company employees participated in all CBFA activities, offering concrete proposals and committing thousands of work hours to the initiative. Resolute also stepped forward to provide funding and offered significant additional financial support to the process.

Over the past several weeks, intense negotiations took place leading up to the third anniversary of the CBFA. Resolute put forward proposals for Northwestern Ontario that endorsed the setting aside of an additional 504,000 acres (204,000 hectares) of forest for conservation, providing additional protection of caribou and other species. This commitment is on top of the approximately 4,942,000 acres (2,000,000 hectares) of Ontario forests that have already been established as protected spaces, parks and other initiatives over the past 15 years.

"It is unfortunate the CBFA signatories were ultimately unable to reach alignment on how to strike a balance among environmental, social and economic priorities - the three pillars of sustainability," stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Rural, northern and First Nations communities have paid a heavy price from the economic and market challenges the industry has faced over the past decade. We believe we have a responsibility to ensure that they understand and have a say in any plans that might affect their futures. Outcomes of the CBFA process that did not involve serious stakeholder consultations would have lacked legitimacy and could not have been considered reasonable proposals," continued Garneau.

Resolute assumes that in the coming days, certain ENGOs will resume their attacks against the Company.  Resolute will not tolerate falsehoods or inaccuracies about the Company's actions. A few months ago, following their announced exit from the CBFA, Greenpeace issued a series of misleading, deceptive and factually inaccurate allegations. Resolute provided clear proof that Greenpeace's claims were false.  Ultimately, when cautioned that the Company would commence legal proceedings, Greenpeace finally acknowledged that its "evidence" was untrue and issued a formal retraction.

Resolute remains committed to the principles underlying the CBFA and will continue to operate in a manner consistent with a balanced approach to sustainability. In 2012, Resolute achieved the distinction of being the largest manager of forests certified through the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) in the world. The Company is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers Program, through which it has pledged to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 65% below 2000 levels by 2015.  Recently, Resolute launched Forum Boréal, a new online forum where users can discuss and exchange information about the challenges of sustainable development in the boreal regions of Quebec.

Tembec Announces Closing Of The Sale Of Its NBSK Pulp Mill In Skookumchuck

Tembec Inc. (“Tembec”) announced the closing of the sale of its NBSK pulp mill and related assets located in Skookumchuck, British Columbia to Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corporation (“Paper Excellence”). Total consideration for the transaction is $94.6 million, including $25.5 million in working capital. The purchase price remains subject to closing working capital adjustments.

Tembec will use the cash proceeds to pay down revolving operating debt and for general corporate purposes.

Approximately 280 employees are included in the transaction. Tembec acquired the pulp mill in 1999 as part of the acquisition of Crestbrook Forest Industries Ltd.

WMS 2013 To Be Held In Toronto

The Woodworking Machinery and Supply Expo (WMS), will be held on October 24-26, 2013, and the venue will be the International Centre in Toronto.

WMS will feature Canada’s largest exhibition of woodworking machinery, software, hardware, components and other products. More than 5,000 woodworking professionals, including those involved in the manufacture of furniture, cabinet and millwork are expected to attend the show.

A WMMA pavilion will once again be offered. WMMA will host a booth that allows visitors to learn about the association and its members. At the same time, visitors can visit the exhibits of member companies, resulting in more exposure for American-made products and machinery. WMS will have 10 x 10 booths available to WMMA members, for a discounted rate of $2,700 (Canadian), plus tax and any applicable fees (equipment rental, area cleaning, etc.) Exhibitors will benefit from advance publicity as well as showtime exposure to all attendees.

The 2013 edition of WMS also will include a conference program focusing on business and technical topics for wood products managers and owners, plus special demonstrations on the expo floor.

New Officer Appointed In CHBA

After nearly 30 years at the helm of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, John Kenward has decided it is time for the next chapter in his life.

As Chief Operating Officer of the CHBA, John dedicated himself to the home building industry with exceptional passion, vision and hard work. He had an unwavering commitment to the members of the Association, to promote the interests of the industry so each and every member has the best possible opportunity to prosper in their business.
John has been tireless in his support of the Association’s volunteers and elected leaders, guiding and backing them every step of the way. Heading up the National Office, John has also led a great team of dedicated staff members.
On behalf of the CHBA’s Executive Board, I want to recognize John’s leadership and his contributions to the Association for the past 29 years, and wish him the very best going forward.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Lee as our new CHBA Chief Executive Officer.
Kevin comes to the CHBA from the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada where for the past five years he has been the Director of the Housing Division.

Kevin’s background and career experiences make him ideally suited to lead the Association going forward, combining hands-on industry knowledge with extensive executive experience.

Briefly, Kevin is a professional engineer with a Master’s in Architecture from McGill University, and he has spent the last 25 years of his career working to advance the energy performance of housing for Canadians. He has also worked in the trades for some years and been an R-2000 builder.

Along with his knowledge of the issues faced by our industry, Kevin brings a wealth of housing experience across the public and private sector to the position.

“It is a privilege for me to be joining the CHBA,” says Kevin. “I am thrilled about the opportunity.”
The Executive Board welcomes Kevin to the Association, as we continue to serve members’ interests and fulfill our mission as the voice of the residential construction industry in Canada.

Slight Improvement In US Employment

Home builder confidence fell by two points to 44 in March, despite higher demand for houses. Only when the Housing Market Index by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo climbs over 50, the majority of home builders regard market conditions as good.

The association attributes the decline in confidence in the market for single-family homes to the following factors:

• Difficult access to credit
• Rising prices and shortage of building materials
• Shortage of skilled labour in construction

Home sales slowed in February following the strong sales activity in January. Sales of new homes declined by 4.6% in February this year however, the inventory of new, unsold homes remains below normal levels.

US housing starts increased slightly from the previous month. Construction started on 917,000 homes in February (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up by 0.8% from the previous month.

The number of starts were almost a third higher than in February 2012. Single-family starts grew by 0.5% from January. The share of single-family homes in total starts remained stable at 67%.

The number of building permits issued for new single-family homes was 946,000 in February (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up 4.6% from January. The number of permits issued is usually an indicator of future building activity.

Canada’s housing starts increased by 14% in February, following a decline in January. Home sales slowed, but resale market prices remain relatively stable.

High home prices contribute to Canada’s very large household debt, which reached over 150% of disposable income in 2012, compared to about 140% in the US.

Non-residential construction expected to grow in 2013

Spending on non-residential building construction was unchanged in February. Compared to the same time last year, private non-residential construction is 6% higher, while public construction is lower due to lower public spending.
Non-residential construction spending is expected to grow in the second half of 2013, according to the Architecture Billings Index. In February the index registered its strongest growth since early 2008. Architecture firms reported growth in all major building sectors.

Two thirds of the firms surveyed also reported that building codes and regulations have become more stringent. Energy codes and regulations for building accessibility have changed the most, which can increase design and construction cost.

Resolute Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Thunder Bay Sawmill

Resolute Forest Products Inc. celebrated the 10th anniversary of its sawmill located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It is a unique business venture in that its success stems from a collaboration between Resolute and the Fort William First Nation.

With an annual capacity of 300 million board feet of stud lumber, Resolute's Thunder Bay sawmill is among the largest and most modern in Eastern Canada. It commenced operation on May 12, 2003, and presently employs 170 workers. Over the last two years, investments of more than C$8 million were made to increase production.

In 2012, the Thunder Bay sawmill also became the first facility in Canada to operate under regulations created by the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act. This legislation enables Federal reserve land to operate under Provincial statutes, thereby facilitating industrial development with First Nations on their land. Today's anniversary is the result of the collective efforts over the past 10 years of the Company and the Fort William First Nation, the sawmill employees, the City of Thunder Bay, the governments of Ontario and Canada, and the many contractors and suppliers that service the facility.

To mark the occasion, an official ceremony involving Fort William First Nation leadership, senior Resolute management and a range of dignitaries was held today at the sawmill. Richard Garneau, Resolute's President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board Richard B. Evans, Chief Georjann Morriseau of the Fort William First Nation, Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines and MPP, Thunder Bay-Superior North, the Honourable Michael Gravelle, Member of Federal Parliament for Kenora and Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Greg Rickford, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan Bill Mauro and Mayor of Thunder Bay Keith Hobbs were present at the Thunder Bay sawmill site. Employees and many other special guests, including community and aboriginal leaders, also attended the ceremony.

"This anniversary is a milestone for Resolute. I am pleased to be here today to celebrate it with our partners from the Fort William First Nation, because I truly believe that what we have here is a unique recipe for success," stated Richard Garneau. "This anniversary is also a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and to the genuine collaboration of the governments of Ontario and Canada, as well as that of the City of Thunder Bay."

Chief Georjann Morriseau of the Fort William First Nation stated: "I want to congratulate Fort William First Nation and Resolute Forest Products on the 10th anniversary. This initiative is very supportive of our mission: enhancing and supporting Aboriginal business and economic development through a range of distinct services. As well, it allows me an opportunity to honour the work of past chiefs for starting the journey of our nations' youth to build and grow future opportunities that we celebrate today. The Fort William First Nation's economic development and the Thunder Bay sawmill have been a key part of this process, and we want to continue to build on our relationship with Resolute as we look to the future."

Wood Environmental Product Declarations Released By American and Canadian Wood Councils

The American Wood Council (AWC) and Canadian Wood Council (CWC) have announced the release of four new environmental product declarations (EPDs) for North American wood products, including softwood lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, and glue-laminated lumber.

EPDs are standardized tools that provide information about the environmental footprint of the products they cover. The North American wood products industry has taken its EPDs one step further by obtaining third-party verification from the Underwriters Laboratories Environment (ULE), an independent certifier of products and their sustainability.

"Our industry has long been committed to transparency regarding the environmental impact of its products and encourages other building material producers to do the same," said AWC President & CEO Robert Glowinski. "For the first time, users have a science-based and third-party verified tool to understand and weigh what environmental factors are important to them when making their product selections."

"The EPD process is one that is open and transparent, outlining where wood products have optimal environmental performance capabilities as well as areas where various products have a need for improvement," said CWC President Michael Giroux. "This form of comparison data would equal the playing field for competing products and mitigate any past false stigmas that may have existed without scientific or justified proof."

Based on international standards (ISO 14025), EPDs have worldwide applicability and include information about product environmental impacts such as resources, energy use and efficiency, global warming potential, emissions to air, soil and water, and waste generation.

Business purchasing decisions will likely require the kind of environmental information provided by EPDs in the future to account for factors such as carbon footprint. By choosing wood, builders can reduce carbon footprints from materials used during construction, contributing to a reduction in global warming. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "Wood products can displace more fossil-fuel intensive construction materials such as concrete, steel, aluminum, and plastics, which can result in significant emission reductions."

Source: American Wood Council

Tropical Sawn Hardwood Imports Down Sharply

Despite improving demand in joinery/millwork and exterior end-uses, US tropical sawn hardwood imports fell
by 37% in February from the previous month. Total tropical sawn hardwood imports were 12,256 cu.m.
in February, down 12% on February 2012 levels.

The decline, say analysts, was mainly due to lower imports from Brazil compared to January, but on a year-to-date basis, February imports from Brazil (2,273 cu.m.) remain 39% higher than in 2012. Brazilian ipe imports declined to 1,157 cu.m.

Ecuador‟s balsa shipments were 2,374 cu.m. in February, down 26% from 2012. Peru shipped very little virola
sawnwood to the US in February (21 cu.m.), compared to the high volume reported for January (2,083 cu.m.).
Cameroon sawn hardwood exports to the US were 1,474 cu.m. in February (-25% year-to-date). Sapeli exports also
declined to 662 cu.m. Imports from Malaysia were down to 1,302 cu.m. (-17% year-to-date). Malaysian keruing shipments declined to 1,037 cu.m. in February.

Source: ITTO

UPM Achieves Success In Workplace Safety

UPM has achieved exceptional success with its workplace safety initiative which was launched at the beginning of 2012. Within a year since the beginning of the Step Change in Safety 2012–2014 initiative UPM’s global Lost Time Accident Frequency (LTAF) decreased by an amazing 40 percent.

The safety initiative had two goals: to achieve world class safety results within three years and to prevent any fatal accidents at UPM premises.

“40 percent less accidents at work is a great improvement. The development was positive in all business areas and at the end of the year 2012 nine production units out of UPM’s total of 68 achieved more than one year without any lost time accidents. We are proud of the excellent results of the campaign but the work still continues. Our final target level has not been achieved yet,” says Jussi Pesonen, CEO of UPM.

The change started with engaging the leaders and led to safer ways of working in all levels of the organization. Key factors in the success of the initiative have been securing the needed resources and the visibility of the initiative. The change is steered with common corporate standards and company-wide safety key performance indicators, which include leading indicators like reporting near-misses, safety observations and safety walks. Safety awards and incentives have been introduced to reward success and improvement in safety performance.

ICFA Announces Changes In Annual Award Program

The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) Board of Directors has adopted several changes to the casual industry's annual awards programs, including an update to the categories for the Design Excellence competition and, for the first time, the acceptance of design entries from companies that are not ICFA members.

Based on recommendations from an industry task force charged with updating the awards programs, the ICFA Board approved the following categories for Design Excellence entries, beginning with the 2013 competition:
•    Dining or Bar Table
•    Dining or Bar Chair
•    Chaise Lounge
•    Lounge Seating – Cushion
•    Lounge Seating – Non-cushion
•    Heating/Firepits
•    Shade Products
•    Outdoor Lighting
•    Outdoor Carpeting, Rugs & Flooring
•    Fabric
•    Complementary Casual Products

The top five categories replace previous categories that focused on materials rather than the function of the product, including cast metal, tubular materials, wrought iron/wrought aluminum, resin/fiberglass, rattan/wicker/woven and wood. New for 2013 is the heating/firepits category. The last five categories are the same as in previous years.

In addition to these changes to the Design Excellence competition, the task force recommended consolidating ICFA's two awards events, both held during the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago, into a single event.

The new ICFA Awards Gala will include presentation of the Lillian B. Winchester "Best of Show" Award, the Manufacturer of the Year, the Sales Representative of the Year and the Apollo Awards for retail excellence. In addition, the annual tribute to the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will also be included in the evening's program.

The Design Excellence category winners and the Manufacturer Leadership awards will be presented in showrooms prior to the Casual Market or on the first day of the show.

AWC Welcomes Introduction Of Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013

On Wednesday, March 6, U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and U.S. Reps. Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced Senate and House versions respectively of the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013.

If passed, this legislation would modify the definition of "biobased" materials to specifically include all forest products regardless of "newness" or "market maturity" in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program's voluntary labeling and government procurement initiatives.

"On behalf of the our members and the structural wood products industry, I'd like to thank Sens. Pryor and Blunt and Reps. Thompson and Schrader for their leadership to correct the arbitrary exclusion of wood products from the USDA's BioPreferred Program, and we deeply appreciate the support provided by the co-sponsors of these bills as well," said American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski. "It's misleading and does a terrible disservice to our industry to say that something made almost entirely from a biobased resource does not qualify, and we are hopeful that Congress will recognize – and correct – this shortcoming."

The USDA BioPreferred Program was originally enacted as part of the 2002 Farm Bill to help consumers identify and use biobased products. Products with as little as 25 percent biobased content are recognized under the program's current implementation guidelines, while many traditional wood products that have up to 100 percent biobased content are not.

These bills clarify that USDA should recognize forest products as biobased and will ensure a competitive marketplace for all products with biobased content, including wood.

Recognizing Responsible Forestry with Easter Egg

For the fifth year in a row the National Park Foundation the official charity of America's national parks, has packaged the official White House Easter Egg in a gift box made from paperboard certified by the SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative).
SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said "We are pleased that the National Park Foundation is leading by example and sourcing certified products, this decision will inspire others in the public and private sector to support responsible forestry."
In January, President Obama took the oath of office for his second term on an Inaugural Platform made from wood certified to the SFI Standard and now, the Easter Egg gift boxes prove that SFI-certified products are much valued and looked up to.
In addition to featuring the SFI gift box, the souvenir Easter Eggs were made with wood certified to the FSC Standard as well, thus representing the recognition of multiple forest certification standards as part of a major step towards supporting sustainable forestry.


FPAC Market Expansion And Skills Training

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes the additional support for innovation and market development unveiled in today’s budget and also applauds the government’s focus on skills training.

The “Jobs, Growth and Prosperity” budget from the Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, includes an additional $92 million over two years to support innovation and expanding markets. “We applaud the government for its continuing support for the forest products sector even at a time when tough measures are needed to reduce the deficit.” says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay.  “This is a strategic future-oriented decision that demonstrates ongoing commitment to the transformation of the industry.”

FPAC has unveiled Vision2020, an ambitious plan to propel the sector forward in the areas of products, environmental performance and people.  The support for innovation, research and market development will help the industry reach its goal of producing another $20 billion in economic activity in new markets and innovative new products by the end of the decade.

The Canada Job Grant proposal aimed at increasing the pool of skilled labour in Canada will also help the forest sector with another Vision2020 goal ― the desire to recruit an additional 60,000 people by 2020 including women, Aboriginals and new Canadians.

“The forest products industry is on the move and needs to recruit tens of thousands of new workers to reach our potential in the 21st century and spur growth.” says Lindsay.  “We are pleased that the government is recognizing the growing competition for labour.”

Lindsay notes that other budget items will help the transformation of the forest products industry and the quest to produce new jobs and shore up rural communities. This includes tax support for clean energy generation and the extension of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance.

Westeck Innovation Is The service Centre Of IMA/Schelling

IMA/Schelling now have their New Accredited Service Center in B.C. - Westeck Innovation

Schelling and IMA announced Westeck Innovation as an IMA/Schelling Accredited Service Center for the British Columbia area. Westeck Innovation is owned and operated by Kevin Goldman. Kevin has over 23 years of experience in the woodworking machinery industry and has been servicing IMA and Schelling equipment in B.C. for almost a decade.

Murat Dogan, the President of IMA/Schelling Canada, says, "We trust that our local accredited service center will provide peace of mind for our B.C. customers by providing local technician presence, in combination with full support and resources of the service departments of IMA/Schelling North America, including a well-stocked parts department, hotline support, and after-hours support."

Federal Budget Problem Affects Consumer Confidence

US consumer confidence in the economy dropped sharply in December, after consumers became more positive in autumn of 2012. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 72.9 in December, which is still above the level in December 2011.

The majority of consumers expected a lower personal income and a slowdown in economic growth in 2013.

The government reached an agreement to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ only at the last moment on December 31. Without an agreement, taxes would have automatically increased and government spending declined in 2013. As a result consumers worried about higher taxes and a possible economic recession. Spending was little affected, however, because of discount prices and record low interest rates.

Data source: Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers

US interest rates remain unchanged with the target range for the federal funds rate between 0 and 0.25. The Federal Reserve has started its third round of quantitative easing last September. The Fed is buying Treasury and mortgage-backed securities to reduce long-term interest rates and stimulate the US economy.

Source: ITTO’s Tropical Timber Market Report

Resolute To Construct Sawmill In Northwestern Ontario

Resolute Forest Products has announced the construction of a new sawmill in the area of Atikokan, Ontario. This investment reflects Resolute's ongoing commitment to the solid wood business and will provide significant economic opportunities for First Nations in the region.

The Atikokan project will involve the construction of a single line random length (16 ft) sawmill with an annual capacity of 150 million board feet. Approximately 90 people will be directly employed by the operation, and additional indirect positions will be created for hauling finished lumber and residual chips. Final site selection in the Atikokan area will be completed in the next few weeks, and construction is anticipated to begin in the spring, with completion targeted for early 2014. The capital cost of the project is estimated at C$50 million.

"We believe in our solid wood business and we're taking action to grow and improve it. The new random length sawmill will complement our existing lumber product mix in Ontario and will allow Resolute to improve its product offering to customers in central Canada and key markets in the United States," stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.
When the Atikokan project is complete and the Company's upgraded Ignace facility re-opens, Resolute will have three modern sawmills in Northwestern Ontario, with a combined production capacity approaching approximately 600 million board feet. In addition to producing lumber, the sawmills will also contribute to the long-term competitiveness of the Company's pulp and paper operations in Thunder Bay through the supply of residual chips, as well as support efforts to reposition the currently indefinitely idled pulp mill in Fort Frances.

The announcement was welcomed by Ontario Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle. "This is extremely good news for the economy in Northwestern Ontario, and specifically the Atikokan area. I am particularly pleased to see Resolute's proactive effort to involve First Nations in a manner that creates opportunities and shared benefit. Our Ministry has worked hard with First Nations and municipalities to increase opportunities for direct involvement in the rebounding forestry sector, and it is a real indicator of the progress we have made," said Minister Gravelle. "We welcome the additional investment by Resolute in Ontario. Over the past 18 months, the Company has announced over C$175 million of investments in the province, and I am certainly encouraged that a new sawmill in Atikokan could potentially make a positive contribution as Resolute continues to look at viable options for its Fort Frances pulp mill."

Bill Mauro, MPP of Thunder Bay-Atikokan, also joined other public officials in welcoming this announcement: "As the MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, I want to thank Resolute for this positive announcement. This capital investment will create a good number of construction jobs and significant long-term employment in the Atikokan area. This investment is also another important signal that the forestry sector continues to improve, and that Resolute will be a major employer in our region for years to come."

Surfaces: Watch out for the latest in the industry

The United States is all set for the US event serving the floor covering industry, SURFACES 2013, to be held from January 28-31, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. SURFACES once again promises to bring together buyers and sellers from all over the world to see the latest floor covering products, tools, services and technologies. SURFACES will also offer an unrivaled educational program and networking opportunities focused on increasing business opportunities and driving sales. The official sponsor of SURFACES is the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), the floor covering industry's largest advocacy organization representing floor covering retailers, contractors and allied service providers throughout North America. Surfaces is co-located with StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas.

SURFACES is already more than 87% sold out with several new companies reserving space as well as numerous companies expanding their space in preparation for a solid year of sales success. Amie Gilmore, show manager, SURFACES, said, “This has been one of the most exciting space draw assignments that we’ve had in many years. We are currently well ahead of where were at this time last year in terms of square footage reserved with 23,000 NSF over 2012 and with the number of companies confirmed in the show with 47 more than 2012.”

SURFACES and the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) have partnered to create a dedicated hardwood flooring pavilion to be introduced at the 2013 show. SURFACES and Las Vegas Market are excited to announce they are forming an extended strategic partnership to co-locate their events for 2013 and 2014 in order to provide their attendees an enhanced product sourcing, educational and networking experience. “We are very excited about the strategic partnership and the benefits that it brings to our attendees” commented Dana Teague, Group Director, SURFACES. Dana further said, “Our dates coincided in 2011 and it proved to be an enormous success for both events. Due to scheduling conflicts in 2012 our dates were one week apart and we were met with disappointment from our attendees; therefore both parties agreed that it was in the best interest of our events to hold our dates concurrently and give our customers a convenient, one-stop shopping opportunity, saving them both time and money.”

NAHB Welcomes National Green Building Standard

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) applaud the recent approval of the 2012 ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™.

In 2007, NAHB and the ICC partnered to establish a nationally-recognizable standard definition of green building. The resulting ICC 700 National Green Building Standard is the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This is the first time the standard has undergone Consensus Committee review and update since it was published in 2009.

“The introduction of the 2012 National Green Building Standard is a huge deal for our industry,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Not only does the updated version raise the bar on energy efficiency requirements, but it also completely revolutionizes how renovations and remodeling projects are treated under the standard. The 2012 updates make the standard easier to understand and implement, and we expect that this will certainly help to build upon the momentum we are already seeing in green building across the residential building industry.”

The NAHB Research Center, which serves as the secretariat of the standard as it progresses through ANSI, has certified the compliance of thousands of dwelling units and developed lots to the ICC 700.

“ANSI’s approval of the 2012 ICC 700 National Green Building Standard reinforces the quality and transparency of the process used to develop this important standard for constructing green residential buildings across America,” said International Code Council Board President Ronald Piester and CEO Dominic Sims in a joint statement.

The new version of the standard includes several important changes including:

• Energy Code Update: While the original ICC 700 used the 2006 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as a basis, the new version will use the 2009 IECC. The requirements of the 2009 IECC are estimated to result in energy efficient performance that is about 15 percent higher than the previous 2006 code.

• Restructured Scoring for Remodeling: The new version completely revamped the scoring for renovations and remodeling projects. The revised standard includes two entirely new chapters devoted to existing building projects. The first provides criteria for entire buildings and includes requirements for improved energy and water efficiency that increases as higher levels of compliance are sought. The second provides a green protocol for the most common renovation and addition projects that focus on functional areas of a home such as a kitchen, bathroom, basement, or addition under 400 square feet.

• Incentives for Development and Lot Design: The 2012 ICC 700 includes the addition of a new scoring opportunity for those choosing the build lots in green communities. In the new version, six points can be earned in the Lot Design, Preparation and Development chapter for choosing lots in developments that have been certified to ICC 700 or an equivalent program. In the previous version of the standard no such incentives were provided.

Teak Appeals to Consumers

A new store in Texas has opened specialising in teak wood furniture and attracting endorsements from Forestry Research Associates (FRA), who explained that the teak used would otherwise go to waste.

Exotic Teak has recently opened its doors to discerning homeowners who want to bring a piece of beautiful furniture made from teak into their lives. The pieces designed and sold at the store are one-of-a- kind and use the stump and the roots of the teak tree, which would otherwise go to waste.

The teak wood furnishings are an eco-friendly concept as they use up the part of the teak tree that has no other use, allowing people to enjoy beautiful and unique pieces of furniture that have been made from sustainable Java teak timber.

Teak is grown sustainably in plantations all over the world, but some of the most suitable conditions are in tropical or subtropical climates, such as Brazil. Firms like Greenwood Management are taking teak growing to a sustainable new level with the plantations they manage in Brazil. Teak grows quickly and can be managed on a cyclical basis, which means there are always new trees growing to replace those chopped down and sold for lumber.

FRA claims that investing in such plantations can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio, while doing something that can help reduce the pressure on the Amazon rain forests to produce timber and charcoal.

New CPA Officers Appointed In 2013

The new CPA Officers for 2013 are Bryan Wilson of Temple serving as Chairman; Kelly Shotbolt of Flakeboard, Vice Chairman; and Grady Mulbery of Roseburg is the Secretary/Treasurer. James Hogg of Uniboard Canada completed his term as Chairman in 2012 and now serves as Immediate Past Chairman.  The officers were elected by the Board of Directors at the 2012 Fall Meeting last September. 

Wilsonart Names Timothy J. O'Brien As President & CEO

Wilsonart International Holdings LLC announced the appointment of Timothy J. O’Brien as President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 14, 2013.  Mr. O’Brien, a former senior executive at SABIC Innovative Plastics, will also serve as a member of Wilsonart’s Board of Directors.  At SABIC, Mr. O’Brien was responsible for the engineering resins business in the Americas and Europe.  SABIC Innovative Plastics was founded in 2007 with the acquisition of GE Plastics by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation.  He also served as General Manager of GE’s High Performance and Crystalline Polymers businesses, Senior Vice President for commercial finance computer leasing with GE Capital, and numerous management roles with GE Lighting where he began his GE career in 1985. Mr. O’Brien holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northeastern University and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace College.

In October 2012, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Illinois Tool Works Inc. completed a transaction through which Wilsonart become a new, independent company. A fund managed by CD&R invested $395 million in the new freestanding business to acquire a majority ownership stake. ITW retains an ongoing ownership stake.

“Tim is a proven global business leader with the perfect skill set and experience to successfully lead Wilsonart to the next level of profitable growth,” said John Krenicki, Wilsonart’s Chairman and a CD&R Operating Partner.  “I had the opportunity to work closely with Tim during my tenure at GE and have firsthand experience with his ability to focus on customer needs in innovative ways, as well as energize and build strong teams.  We are excited to have him join the company.”

Oakwood Veneer Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Oakwood Veneer Company of Troy, Michigan, is celebrating their 25th anniversary in business. Oakwood is expanding their inventory and product selection, offering quicker turnaround times for special orders, and hiring new employees.

Starting from a tiny back warehouse section of a metro Detroit kitchen refacing company, Oakwood Veneer began small and local, increasing steadily while slowly accumulating stock of some of the world’s hardest to find wood veneer. CEO Peter Rodgers explains, “By 1992, we had 50 species, but most of those were the most popular woods such as oak, maple, and cherry.” Five years later, Oakwood had nearly doubled their stock to 72 species, and by the year 2000, it had doubled again. By 2010, Oakwood was selling 300 species of veneer, and today it’s over 320, including a high percentage of exotic and rare woods.

When asked about today’s business environment, Rodgers said, “In order for a customer to buy product from us – or any company – you have to do more for the customer than your competition. We try to do a lot more.” Since Oakwood Veneer is the manufacturer as well as the supplier, they are able to provide their customers with an unprecedented combination of veneer species, sizes and backers, with a 24-hour turnaround. Because of this, architectural woodworkers, furniture makers, or any other veneer users have the choice of more than 2,500 wood veneer configurations at any given time, shipped in one business day or less.

In addition, Rodgers states that this gives his company a better handle on quality control. “If there are quality issues, we listen and respond because we are small and nimble. Fabricators and the end users can talk directly to us,” said Rodgers, who is a fanatic about being accessible to his customers – to the point of banning voicemail from his company. It is this attention to direct communication and detail, as well as an ever-expanding product and service offering that has kept his company prosperous, even through all the difficult economic times. That is why Oakwood Veneer is successfully celebrating 25 years in business as it plans ahead for the 25 years beyond.

Source: PR Web

Honeycomb Are Most Used Lightweight Panels

Honeycomb sandwich panels are the most used lightweight panels. Robert Boerrigte, President of Axxor says, “While honeycomb core is brilliant in its simplicity and low in its cost, it is a difficult product to make.  Production equipment is expensive; the tolerances are very tight and dealing with a “natural”materials means that a very well controlled environment is needed. While this can be accomplished, only with higher economies of scale does this pay off. In addition, it requires specific knowledge and therefore is a distraction from the core business of most companies.

Paper honeycomb core is a material that is with sustainable and environmentally friendly and can provide performance, appearance, bend stiffness, quality, fuel efficiency and safety  benefits to sandwich panels which can be used in the production of book shelves, doors, automobile trunk floor, etc.

Robert sums up the production process of paper honeycomb:
“Paper honeycomb core is made of a combination of Paper and white glue.  The material is an endless length of hexagonal cells ( at a standard chosen width).  This cell structure has been calculated to be the most efficient use of space, something that nature knew a few million years before humans did.

It is produced offsite, then is compressed (the cells are closed) before it is transported to where it will be processed into panels, or other end products. This means that freight cost is based on the weight of the paper, not volume, a large cost savings and an efficient way to move the product. Once on the production site, the core is expanded (cells are opened), after which it is integrated into to the product. Savings versus transporting it with cells already expanded are 90 percent.”

Rad more on lightweight panels in the Nov-Dec issue of Wood & Panel USA.

Honeycomb Are Most Used Lightweight Panels

Honeycomb sandwich panels are the most used lightweight panels. Robert Boerrigte, President of Axxor says, “While honeycomb core is brilliant in its simplicity and low in its cost, it is a difficult product to make.  Production equipment is expensive; the tolerances are very tight and dealing with a “natural”materials means that a very well controlled environment is needed. While this can be accomplished, only with higher economies of scale does this pay off. In addition, it requires specific knowledge and therefore is a distraction from the core business of most companies.

Paper honeycomb core is a material that is with sustainable and environmentally friendly and can provide performance, appearance, bend stiffness, quality, fuel efficiency and safety  benefits to sandwich panels which can be used in the production of book shelves, doors, automobile trunk floor, etc.

Robert sums up the production process of paper honeycomb:
“Paper honeycomb core is made of a combination of Paper and white glue.  The material is an endless length of hexagonal cells ( at a standard chosen width).  This cell structure has been calculated to be the most efficient use of space, something that nature knew a few million years before humans did.

It is produced offsite, then is compressed (the cells are closed) before it is transported to where it will be processed into panels, or other end products. This means that freight cost is based on the weight of the paper, not volume, a large cost savings and an efficient way to move the product. Once on the production site, the core is expanded (cells are opened), after which it is integrated into to the product. Savings versus transporting it with cells already expanded are 90 percent.”

FPS Annual Excellance Awards Accepting Nominations

Forest Products Society will hold 2013 awards at its 67th International Convention on June 9-11, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Nominations are invited for the same. 

The Forest Products Society presents four awards at the International Convention each year. These awards highlight student and professional innovation, research, and other significant contributions to the forest products industry and recognize exceptional service to the Society.

The prestigious Fred W. Gottschalk Memorial Award, named for the first President of the Society, recognizes exceptional service to the Forest Products Society by an individual member.
Submit nominations by March 1, 2013

Sponsored by American Wood Council, the Wood Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual for their cumulative contributions to the discipline of wood engineering. Significant and measurable impact must be demonstrated and tangible evidence of accomplishment in the marketplace is key. The award focus alternates each year between Lifetime Achievement, Young Engineer, and Engineering Innovation.
Submit nominations by April 2, 2013

The Wood Award recognizes outstanding graduate student research conducted in the field of wood and wood products. Wood Award papers describe original research on a wide range of topics including, but not limited to, harvesting and forest operations, product development and manufacture, fundamental properties, end-use applications, and distribution and marketing.
Submit title of nominated paper by February 13, 2013. Final paper due by March 1, 2013.

The L. J. Markwardt Award recognizes the author(s) of a technical paper published in the Forest Products Journal or Wood and Fiber Science during the two years prior to the award year that has the most outstanding merit in the field of wood as an engineering material. This award encourages research and promotes knowledge of wood in the engineering field to enhance the efficient utilization of wood.

Forest Prodcuts Society Calls for Papers

The Forest Products Society announces a Call for Papers for the North American Wood Window and Door Symposium to be held on April 18-19, 2013 in Roseville, Minnesota, USA.

In this era of green technology, consumers are looking for products with outstanding performance and minimal environmental impacts. From a materials standpoint, wood is perfectly suited to fill such a need. When harvested using sustainable forestry practices, wood is renewable and environmentally-friendly. In addition, with proper design and maintenance wood can outlast comparable materials.

The Symposium will include a day and one-half of oral and poster presentations from scientists, engineers and architects, as well as exhibits from window and door manufacturers and related companies. The Symposium Organizing Committee invites presentations, posters, and exhibits from interested individuals and organizations.


Registration Opens For 2013 NLBMDA Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference

NLBMDA's Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference will take place from March 18-20, 2013 at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, VA.
The LuDPAC fundraising luncheon speaker on Monday, March 18 will be William Kristol, political analyst and FOX News contributor. This is a special ticketed event.

Following the LuDPAC event, a number of other important meetings and gatherings will be taking place. In addition to association committee and board meetings, Capitol Hill appointments will be set up by local Federated Associations between NLBMDA members and legislators and key federal agency officials to discuss NLBMDA's policy priorities in Washington. The conference will culminate with a reception for members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill. Once again, the conference will take place jointly with the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), providing a wealth of business networking opportunities.

Canfor Invests in Elko Sawmill

Canfor Corporation announced that the Company will proceed with capital investments totalling an estimated $40 million in its Elko sawmill, located in the Kootenay region of British Columbia (B.C.). This investment is part of a multi-year capital investment program aimed at enhancing productivity and cost performance across the company.

The Elko investment will include upgrades to the sawmill, increased kiln drying capacity as well as the construction of a greenfield planer mill complex. The Elko capital project will commence in Q1 2013, with anticipated completion in Q3 2013.

“These investments are aligned with our strategic investments in our Kootenay assets, and are necessary to ensure our Elko facility can operate competitively in all market conditions,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO of Canfor Corporation.

Canfor is the largest forest company in British Columbia, directly employing more than 3,500 people in the province in highly skilled, well paid and stable jobs. Over the last three years, the company has invested $372 million in our facilities in British Columbia. These major capital investments have included the restart our Radium and Vavenby facilities and other significant spending aimed at keeping our mills competitive to ensure economic operation and continued stable employment. The reopening of our Vavenby and Radium mills resulted in the creation of 305 direct jobs, combined with significant downstream benefits to local economies.


Resolute Sells Mersey Assets

Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced that the province of Nova Scotia, represented by the minister of the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, has completed the purchase of all the shares of Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited for nominal consideration.

Bowater Mersey is the former joint venture between Resolute (51%) and The Washington Post Company (49%), formed to hold the Mersey newsprint mill, located in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, and other associated assets, including private timberlands, the Oakhill sawmill and Brooklyn Power Corporation. Resolute operated the Mersey newsprint mill until it was indefinitely idled in June of 2012.

Before closing the transaction, Resolute purchased from Bowater Mersey the assets associated with the Oakhill sawmill and, in connection with the closing, certain components of the paper mill, which can no longer be used to make paper. At closing, Resolute received a cash payment of approximately $18 million, representing a reimbursement of working capital advances by Resolute to Bowater Mersey to fund its operations, net of transaction-related items.

Oregon Forestry Appoints Chair

Tom Imeson has been appointed as the chairman of the Oregon Dept. of Forestry and Michael Rose as a member of the state Board of Forestry. They will fill vacancies left by current chair John Blackwell and board member Steve Wilson, whose terms expire at the end of December.

Imeson, of Portland, is currently public affairs director at the Port of Portland. Rose, of Elkton, has represented forest industry workers for 36 years, through the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers/Woodworkers District Lodge in Gladstone, and the International Woodworkers of America Local Lodge in Reedsport.

The board consists of seven citizens serving four-year terms. Functions include appointing the state forester, providing broad oversight of the department, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base.

Softwood Pulp Prices Plumetting

Wood Resource Quarterly reports weaker pulp markets are forcing pulp manufacturers worldwide to reduce costs, resulting in the lowest softwood wood fiber prices seen since 2010.

The declining prices for softwood pulp during much of 2012 have forced many pulp mills
to try to cut wood fiber costs to remain profitable. According to the Wood Resource Quarterly, as a consequence, the wood fiber price index (SFPI) has continuously declined the past year and, during the 3Q/12 was at its lowest level since 2010.

In the 3Q/12, prices had fallen to between $750-800/ton in Europe and were about 50 dollars higher in the US. This relatively long-lasting price decline seems to have come to an end this fall, as there are now pulp producers negotiating higher prices again. List prices for December are in the range of $820-870/ton depending on if the deliveries are to Europe or North America.

The lower pulp prices have resulted in downward price pressure on wood fiber prices in many high wood cost regions around the world as pulp companies have seen product prices approach production costs. When profit margins for pulp mills are being squeezed, one of the first step taken to improve profitability is often to try to reduce the wood costs, since those costs typically account for 60-70 percent of the production costs when manufacturing pulp.

Prices for pulplogs and wood chips fell in the local currencies in most of the key regions worldwide in the 3Q/12, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. However, because the US dollar weakened against most currencies, wood prices in US dollar terms did not decline as much in the third quarter.

The Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI), which is based on US dollars, was down another 0.5 percent from the 2Q/12 to US$100.05 per oven-dry metric ton (odmt). This was the fifth consecutive quarterly decline, and the index has now fallen 8.7 percent since early 2010. The biggest price declines were seen in the Northwestern US, Germany, Spain and Russia. Hardwood fiber prices started to increase in some regions around the world in the 3Q/12, which resulted in the first increase of the Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) in over a year, as reported in the WRQ. Hardwood fiber prices increased the most in Russia, Eastern Canada and Brazil.

Source: Wood Resources International LLC

California to Pay 1% Tax on Wood Products

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1492 into law creating a new 1% tax on lumber and engineered wood products. 2012 Cal. Stat. ch. 289. This legislation adds section 4629 to the Public Resources Code, which in turn creates the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund. The statute directs the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to adopt a regulation implementing the tax no later than October 1, 2012. The tax itself will be effective on January 1, 2013.

While a full analysis of the impacted products must wait for the Board to draft its regulation, the statute gives some guidance as to what will be considered an engineered wood product. The statute specifically lists "plywood," "laminated beams," and "particleboard" as items that qualify as engineered wood product. Also, the statute defines "lumber products" as "product[s] in which wood or wood fiber is a principal component part"; however, items such as furniture, paper, and hardwood flooring are specifically excluded from the definition.

TTR is the industry leader in providing accurate, current, supported and easy to find sales and use tax answers.

TTR has revolutionized the way sales and use tax professionals find tax answers. Gone are the days of long hours of research and the frustration of no answers at all.

Source: Transaction Tax Resources


Conifex Announces Bought Deal Financing

Conifex Timber Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement with Salman Partners Inc. pursuant to which Salman Partners Inc. and a syndicate of underwriters, including Raymond James Ltd., RBC Capital Markets Inc. and CIBC World Markets Inc. (collectively, the "Underwriters"), have agreed to purchase, on a "bought deal" private placement basis, 1,000,000 units of the Company (the "Units"), with an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 428,800 Units, exercisable in whole or in part for a period up to 48 hours prior to closing of the offering to cover over-allotments and for market stabilization purposes, if necessary (the "Private Placement"). Conifex Timber Inc.

Each Unit will consist of one common share of the Company (each, a "Common Share") and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole common share purchase warrant, a "Warrant") at a subscription price of $7.00 per Unit. Each Warrant will entitle the holder thereof to acquire a Common Share at an exercise price of $9.00 at any time within 24 months from the closing date. The Private Placement will result in gross proceeds of approximately $7 million assuming that the over-allotment option is not exercised, and approximately $10 million if the over-allotment option is fully exercised.

Closing of the Private Placement is expected to occur on or about December 20, 2012 and is subject to the receipt of all necessary regulatory and stock exchange approvals, including the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. The Company intends to use net proceeds from the Private Placement for working capital purposes.
The Company has agreed to pay the Underwriters, in aggregate, a cash fee equal to 5.0% of the gross proceeds of the Private Placement.

The Private Placement is being made in all provinces of Canada pursuant to applicable exemptions and in the United States in accordance with certain exemptions under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act"), and such other jurisdictions as may be agreed between the Company and the Underwriters.

The securities offered pursuant to the private placement have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to or for the account of a U.S. person unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

SFI CEO Addresses PEFC General Assembly

SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow was in Vienna, Austria in November to address delegates at the annual General Assembly of the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). PEFC invited Kathy to speak at its Stakeholder Dialogue on: Strengthening the Link: Sustainable Biomass & Forest Certification. Kathy's presentation focused on the benefits of SFI's fiber sourcing.
The General Assembly is an opportunity for all PEFC National Governing Body representatives to meet, collaborate and vote on PEFC issues. Kathy chairs PEFC US.

Homag Open House on Nov. 30

Homag Canada is all set to host an open  house on November 30, 2012 from 10 AM to 4 PM at their Calgary showroom. The Christmas Open House will stage demo of  HOLZMA saw, BRANDT edgebander, BUETFERING sander & WEEKE CNC.Open House Canada

Uniboard Brings Excel MDF as Standard Grade

Uniboard announced the return of its Excel MDF grade brand name to reflect the latest improvement made to the Classic grade.

Over the past six months, Uniboard’s production of Classic grade MDF has been enhanced with a higher softwood percentage (passing from 75 percent to 85 percent) and now matches the performance and quality of previously designated Excel grade. Therefore, Uniboard has decided to rebrand the Classic grade as the Excel grade.

Uniboard MDF product line will now offer the following grades:  Excel+,Excel and NaturaTM which will continue to be available in a wide selection of dimensions and thicknesses.

Weima To Hold Dealer Event In 2013

WEIMA America will host a dealer sales meeting and golf tournament on June 6th-7th, 2013 in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
This meeting would be to share information about WEIMA. discussion would be held on each machine and application type. Live demonstrations of shredders and briquette presses will also take place.

65 Percent Of Resolute Owned Forestland FSC Certified

Resolute Forest Products has certified an additional 3.5 million hectares (8.6 million acres) of Company-managed forestlands in Quebec to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. These new certifications raise the total area of Resolute tenures that are FSC-certified in North America to 15.8 million hectares (39 million acres), an area larger than Greece and twice the size of Ireland.

The newly-certified areas include 2.2 million hectares (5.4 million acres) in the Baie-Comeau region of Côte-Nord and 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres) in the Senneterre region of Abitibi, the latter representing a joint certification with Tembec. The combined area is equivalent in size to Belgium.

Resolute has committed to increasing FSC certification of its forest tenures from 18% in 2010 to 80% in 2015. As of today, the Company has certified approximately 65% of its forests to FSC standards. 100% of the forests managed by Resolute are already certified to at least one of three internationally-recognized responsible forest management standards - FSC, Canadian Standards Association (CSA Z809) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI).

"Obtaining FSC certification for an area this size is a major milestone," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The dedication of our forestry teams has been instrumental in Resolute becoming the largest manager of FSC-certified forests in the world. Such an achievement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to responsibly managing the natural resources in our care."

FSC is an international certification and labelling system dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world's forests. Co-founded in Canada by the World Wildlife Fund in 1993, FSC works to endorse environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. FSC is an important example of partnership between environmental organizations and businesses.


Management Council Visit Area Expoforest 2014

Representatives of Catterpilar, John Deere-Forest, Komatsu Forest and Ponsse, forming the management council of Expoforest discussed the main actions for the event.

 The companies which comprise the Management Council of Expoforest 2014, Brazilian Forest Fair, gathered to meet the Project Expoforest 2014 and visit the area where will be held the fair forest dynamics with a focus on supply chain Eucalyptus. The area provided by International Paper has about 130 hectares and is eight miles from where it was held the 2011 edition of the fair. The Expoforest will be held at a location in the interior of Sao Paulo in the city of Mogi Guaçu (SP), a region that has major forestry companies and is considered one of principaispolos production from planted forests, factors that favor the logistics of the event .

Comprised of representatives of companies Catterpilar, John DeereForest, Komatsu Forest and Ponsse, the Management Council has the responsibility to make allowances for organizing the event, to approve the actions and contribute to the construction project at the fair.

Focused on business and technology for the production of Eucalyptus species forest plantations in Brazil, Expoforestocorrerá between 21 and 23 May 2014 where he intends to present to the public the major global news for the sector. It is expected to increase between 30 to 40% the number of exhibitors, which in 2011 was 128, as well as the visitors, the previous edition surpassed 8,700 people, with emphasis on the participation of a specialized audience and interested in doing business and see what's new.

The Expoforesté member of FDF (Forestry Demo Fairs), an international network of trade dynamics that ensures high levels of quality and safety for visitors and exhibitors. Participate in the FDF, the ELMIA (Sweden), KWF Tagung (Germany), Eko them (Poland) and Euroforest (France). This integration increases the visibility of Expoforest internationally and consolidated as one of the great world fairs in the forestry sector. The Expoforest also is an official event of ABRAF (Brazilian Association of Planted Forest Producers).

WoodWorks Invites Application For Wood Design Awards

WoodWorks has begun inviting applications for its Wood Design Awards, application for which ends on November 30th 2012.

Each year, WoodWorks hosts an award program to recognize excellence in wood design and showcase innovative buildings that demonstrate wood’s strength, beauty, versatility and cost-effectiveness.

One can enter in one or more of the following categories:

  •     Institutional Wood Design

  •     Commercial Wood Design

  •     Multi-story Wood Design

  •     Interior Beauty of Wood

  •     Green Building

  •     Traditional Use of Wood

  •     Engineering

  •     Schools


Wood Costs For Pulp Mills And Sawmills Is Lowest In Brazil

Wood Resource Quarterly has reported that Pulp mills and sawmills in Brazil became more competitive in 2012, because the costs for the wood raw-material, which accounts for about 70 percent of the production costs, have declined by over 20 percent since 2011.

Pine sawlog prices in Brazil, in US dollar terms, fell 22 percent in just one year, and prices in the 2Q/12 have been at a level below where they were just before the financial crisis that hit in 2008.

In the local currency on the other hand, prices have actually increased steadily and in the 2Q/12 were at their highest levels in over four years. Domestic demand for wood products has been a key driver for the higher log costs. In 2010 and 2011, the local lumber market was strong because of major investments in the housing construction sector in Brazil. This market slowed in 2012, and instead, lumber and plywood exports have slowly picked up steam as those sectors have benefited from the weakening Brazilian Real and the Brazilian forest industry became more competitive in the international market.

With the Real expected to continue to stay weak against the US dollar, market participants are hoping for increased exports of lumber, plywood and value-added products in the coming months. If this scenario actually comes to fruition, demand for sawlogs may go up and log prices will likely move up in both Real and dollar terms.

Although Brazilian pulplog prices have not changed much in the local currency, they have fallen dramatically in US dollar terms as the Real weakened this past year. Eucalyptus pulplog prices in the 2Q/12 were down 28 percent from the same quarter in 2011, while pine pulplog prices declined 26 percent from a year ago, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

The recent dramatic price reductions of pulpwood have had the result that the wood costs for Brazilian pulpmill now are among the lowest of all regions tracked by the WRQ, as compared to a year ago when wood fiber costs in Brazil were above the Global Wood Fiber Price Indices (SFPI and HFPI). Since wood fiber costs accounted for about 70 percent of the production costs for pulp mills in Brazil in the 2Q/12, the substantial reduction in pulpwood prices has made the country’s pulp mills more competitive in 2012 relative to other pulp producers around the world.

New President At Vollmer

Ralf Kraemer has left Vollmer America and has been replaced by Peter Allen.  Peter has been the Managing Director for Vollmer UK for about six years and prior to that worked in various positions for Vollmer.  He has a lot of experience with the companies in England and also an extensive background fabricating saw blades and diamond cutting tools.

New Members Introduced In Sustainable Development Technology Canada

John Bradlow and Jason Lee are the latest additions  to the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). Both Mr. Bradlow and Mr. Lee will hold office for one-year terms on a part-time basis.

Mr. John Bradlow is a Senior Partner at Penfund, one of Canada's leading private equity firms. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and is a Chartered Accountant in Ontario. Mr. Bradlow was also the Director and Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Canadian Venture Capital Association.

Mr. Jason Lee is the Chief Operating Officer of Ooka Island Inc., an educational company located in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Mr. Lee holds an Executive MBA, a certification in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada is an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada in 2001 to support projects that develop and demonstrate new technologies to promote sustainable development. SDTC’s work is an important part of the Government’s commitment to create high-quality jobs for Canadians and promote innovation in Canada’s economy.

NWFA Promoting The Illegal Logging Ban With Congress

Because deforestation adversely affects our environment, the National Wood Flooring Association worked diligently with several key organizations to promote the illegal logging ban with Congress. The ban was passed during the summer of 2008 as an amendment to the U.S. Lacey Act, which was originally mandated more than 100 years ago to prohibit the illegal trafficking of wildlife. This new amendment has expanded the Lacey Act to include wood and wood products. Specifically, the ban prohibits the import, sale or trade in the U.S. of wood and other forest products that are harvested through illegal means.

This legislation is significant for a number of reasons. First, and most importantly, it protects our world’s forests from irrecoverable loss of trees and wildlife habitat. Second, it protects lumber buyers who verify the origin of lumber when importing wood into the United States from other countries. Third, it eliminates the influx into the U.S. of low-cost, low-quality wood flooring produced from illegally harvested forests.

The penalties for noncompliance with this new legislation are severe. Penalties can include the forfeiture of the illegally harvested material, fines of up to $500,000, and jail time of up to five years. From a consumer’s perspective, however, the ban helps you have confidence that the wood you are buying is not depleting our world’s forests.

Canfor Restarts Operations At Radium Hot Springs

Canfor Corporation officially reopened its operations at Radium Hot Springs, B.C. on October 29, following a $38.5-million capital investment to upgrade the sawmill and build a new planer mill. When the mill is running at full capacity in 2013, it is expected to produce 240 million board feet annually and directly employ 144 people.

“This investment shows how optimistic Canfor is about the future of our industry and this region,” Canfor President and CEO Don Kayne said at the official reopening event October 31. “The mill has been totally reconfigured so it can produce high-quality lumber products for customers around the globe, and do so efficiently and competitively.”

 “This is clear evidence of the success of innovative and progressive measures British Columbia has taken to strengthen our forest industry,” Forests Minister Steve Thomson said. “Our government, in partnership with the Canadian government and the BC forest industry, has developed new markets and increased demand for our forest products – leading to jobs and economic benefits for families in communities like Radium Hot Springs.”

Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “projects”, “intends”, “plans”, “will”, “believes”, “seeks”, “estimates”, “should”, “may”, “could”, and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and actual events or results may differ materially. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and Canfor and the Purchaser assume no obligation to update such information to reflect later events or developments, except as required by law.

Resolute Forest Products Publishes Sustainability Report for 2011

Resolute Forest Products released its Sustainability Report for 2011 Performance, detailing Company efforts to balance environmental, social and economic considerations. The report also publicly introduces Resolute's first company-wide sustainability strategy which has three primary areas of focus are reinforce resolute's environmental credentials, taking appropriate steps to responsibly manage its environmental footprint; position the company as a competitive employer, attracting and retaining employees based on opportunities to quickly learn and grow within a dynamic organization; and build solid community relations in Resolute's operating locations, recognizing that economically viable and civically involved companies support long-term regional prosperity.

"Over the past year, we have worked hard to deliver on the sustainability commitments we have made, and meaningful progress was achieved," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As we move forward and implement our new sustainability strategy, we recognize the value of engaging our employees and stakeholders in raising the bar on our sustainability performance."

Resolute's sustainability report for 2011 performance was prepared using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3.1 guidelines, one of the world's most broadly accepted standards for transparent sustainability reporting. GRI's voluntary reporting guidelines are endorsed by the United Nations Global Compact and used by over 1000 organizations worldwide. Resolute is reporting at the "B" level as defined by GRI guidelines. This is the Company's second GRI-compliant report.

New-Home Sales Rise 5.7 Percent in September

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 units in September, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the fastest sales pace recorded since April of 2010.

"Combined with consistent, positive reports on housing starts, permits, prices and builder confidence in recent months, today's data provides further confirmation that a gradual but steady housing recovery is underway across much of the nation," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "Consumers who have been on the sidelines during the past few years are deciding now is the time to go forward with a new-home purchase, assuming they can qualify for a good mortgage under today's exceedingly stringent guidelines."

"New-home sales this year have consistently and significantly out-paced their year-ago levels as favorable interest rates, rising prices and improving consumer confidence have driven demand higher," noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Meanwhile, despite a small increase in the inventory of new homes on the market in September, the number of completed new homes for sale is now at an all-time low and the month's supply is at its tightest since October 2005. This is an indication that builders continue to have a tough time obtaining construction credit, even as demand for new homes increases."

Three out of four regions registered substantial gains in new-home sales this September, including the Northeast's 16.7 percent increase, the South's 16.8 percent increase and the West's 3.9 percent increase. The Midwest was the exception to the rule, with a 37.3 percent decline.

Meanwhile, the inventory of new homes for sale inched slightly upward to a still-low 145,000 units in September, which is a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace.


Forest Products Society to Hold Two Day Conference

Forest Products – Into the Future is the two-day conference and annual meeting of the Forest Products Society Eastern Canadian Section, being held October 31 to November 1, 2012 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

One can learn about the latest structural wood product technologies; from bioproduct derivatives; and how work at the molecular level will affect the future use of cellulosic fibre. Topics include:
•    CNC and Robotics, Automation for the Wood Manufacturing Industry
•    Biorefining of Kraft Lignin
•    Biological Demethylation of Kraft Lignin
•    Naturally Versatile: Use of Engineered Wood Product - Trends for Glulam, CLT, SIP
•    Designing with Wood
•    Biorefinery and Lignin Opportunities
•    Nordic CLT
•    Opportunities and Barriers to First Nation Participation in the Forestry Businesses
The first day will wrap up with a student poster contest and networking reception.

Day two is a tour of three facilities: two Resolute plants - a state of the art sawmill and a lignin biorefinery; and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Transportation and box-lunch will be provided. Only 20 seats are available for this tour, so register now.


Export to China Declines

Wood Resource Quaterly reports that total imports, by value, during the first eight months in China was 4.3 billion dollars, or 19 percent less than in 2011, with the biggest declines in logs imported from Russia and the US, and in lumber from North America.

By volume, log imports were down 17 percent and lumber imports down five percent. The importation of softwood lumber in August was down for the third consecutive quarter to 1.1 million m3, which was a decline of 21 percent from May and 23 percent lower than in August 2011. Canada and Russia are the two dominant suppliers of softwood lumber to China, together accounting for 84 percent of the total imports, with the US, Chile and New Zealand making up most of the remaining import volume.

During the first eight months of this year, Russia, Chile and New Zealand have increased their shipments to China, while volumes from North America have declined. Exports from the US are down as much as 41 percent as compared to the same period in 2011. In August, the average import value for all softwood lumber imported to China was down nine dollars to $203/m3 from a year ago, according to Customs data. The cost for Russian lumber fell as much as $19/m33 while Canadian average costs were down only five dollars to $200/m3 over the past year. Costs for Canadian lumber have steadily increased from earlier this year and here at a 12 month-high in August.

Chinese softwood log imports have fallen dramatically this year. From January through August, imports from Russia were down 21 percent, and from the US, 31 percent as compared to the same period in 2011. The two other major log-supplying countries, New Zealand and Canada, have shipped practically the same volume this year as last year. With the reduced demand for logs by the lumber industry in China, log prices have fallen through most of 2012. According to the latest issue of the WRQ, average import softwood log values in the 3Q/12 were down 13 percent from a year ago, and domestic Chinese-fir log prices have fallen about six percent in 12 months.

NAHB Announced Remodelers of the Year 2012

On October 11, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced  Remodelers of the Year 2012 during Remodeling Show in Baltimore at the NAHB Remodelers gala. The NAHB Remodelers named Robert Criner, GMR, CAPS, CGP, of Criner Remodeling in Yorktown, Va., the 2012 Remodeler of the Year in recognition of his professional remodeling achievements. N. Claiborne Porter, AIA, CGR, CGP, of Anchorage, Alaska and Douglas Sutton, CGR, CAPS, of Springfield, Ill., were both inducted into the Remodeling Hall of Fame for their contributions to the remodeling industry.

 “Robert Criner brings the highest level of professionalism to all of his endeavors, including his contributions to every level of the NAHB federation,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman George “Geep” Moore Jr., GMB, CAPS, GMR, a remodeler from Elm Grove, La. “I’m pleased to present this award to a remodeler who has achieved success in business, contributed to his community, served on my advisory council and is an excellent representative for the remodeling industry.”

Criner has been in business with Criner Remodeling for 35 years and joined NAHB Remodelers in 1983. He is an association leader at the local, state and national level and authored numerous articles in national trade journals to share his industry expertise.

Porter is the longest continuously serving home builder member in the state of Alaska, an NAHB Senior Life Director and was named Alaska’s Builder of the Year four times. Porter is politically active in support of housing issues and teaches construction industry classes to the next generation of housing professionals at the University of Alaska.

An NAHB member since 1976, Sutton served as NAHB Remodelers chairman twice, is an NAHB Life Director and has represented remodelers on various NAHB committees. Sutton also champions fundraising efforts for the scholarship fund that helps local remodeler leaders get involved at the national level with NAHB Remodelers.

US Surpass Canada As The Largest Wood Pallet Exporter

The expansion of wood pellet capacity in the US South in the past few years has enabled the US to export more pellets than Canada, making the US the largest exporter in the world. With continued investments throughout southern US, export volumes are forecast to increase from an estimated 1.5 million tons in 2012 to 5.7 million tons in 2015, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review.

Pellet exports from the two primary pellet-producing regions on the North American continent, the U.S. South and British Columbia, have continued to grow, reaching a new record high of 760,000 tons in the 2Q/12, according to data from the pellet industry and customs statistics complied by the North American Wood Fiber Review. Total Canadian exports to Europe in the 2Q rose 14 percent from the 1Q/12, with reports of BC pellet plants running at full capacity due to European demand.

In the U.S. South, pellet export volumes rose 13 percent in the 2Q/12 from the previous quarter, in spite of some temporary slowdowns at Green Circle Bio Energy in Florida and Georgia Biomass, Georgia due to fires at a US port and at a pellet consumer in the United Kingdom. Shipments from Enviva’s new port facility in Virginia, additional volume from Fram Renewables, and new volumes from Low Country Biomass in South Carolina have all contributed to the growth in exports over the past 15 months, so that the US has now surpassed Canada to become the world’s largest exporter in 2012.

Three companies announced plans for constructing pellet plants in the state of Georgia in the 3Q/12. With six other pellet export plants already under construction and scheduled to begin operating in regions as widespread as Virginia to Texas, it is possible an additional 4.2 million tons of wood pellets will be crossing to Europe in 2015. Exports from both Eastern and Western Canada are also on schedule to grow, though not at the explosive rate being witnessed in the U.S. South.


Wood Resources International LLC


ALSC To Meet Soon on Proposed Design Values

The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) has produced a comprehensive collection of data analysis covering SPIB’s proposed design values for visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber.

All proposed design values for visually graded Southern Pine are here, along with design values for Southern Pine Machine Stress Rated (MSR) and Machine Evaluated Lumber (MEL). Comparisons with other species for both design properties and spans are also here, as are sample alternative Southern Pine grades. A complete set of span tables is included for all visual, MSR and MEL grades, for seven common loading conditions.

“SFPA’s design value package is the most extensive analysis available”, says Cathy Kaake, SFPA’s vice president of technical marketing. “The comparisons show that Southern Pine remains comparable to other softwood lumber species, and that many Southern Pine options are available with both visual and mechanical grades,” she adds.

The proposed design values are based on the testing of more than 7,400 full-size samples in a two-step process to complete the full In-Grade testing matrix. On September 17, 2012, the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) submitted the proposed design values for all grades and sizes of visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber to the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC). Proposed design values are subject to adjustment during the ongoing review process and must be approved by the ALSC Board of Review, which is scheduled to meet on October 18, 2012 in Washington, DC

USGBC Opens Fifth Public Comment Period for LEED

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) opened the fifth public comment period for the proposed update to its LEED green building program. The comment period, which will close on December 10.

LEED v4 continues to push the envelope on energy efficiency, allocating nearly 20 percent of all points to optimizing energy performance over the stringent ASHRAE 90.1-2010, which would do more to help curb CO2 emissions than any LEED rating system in its 12 year history.

In addition to bringing green building solutions to more market sectors, including data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality, mid-rise residential, and existing schools and retail, the next version includes more options for projects outside of the U.S., making LEED the common language for sustainability around the globe.

The rating system has long championed innovation, and the LEED v4 draft further encourages innovative thinking and decision making about building materials and design. In this draft, using fewer, better materials will result in up to 9 LEED points, incentivizing product manufacturers that voluntarily report about their product makeup and those who reduce the negative impacts – from extraction of raw materials through the manufacturing process.

When fully launched in 2013, LEED v4 will offer an improved user experience that will make the certification review and documentation process more intuitive and efficient. The simplified reporting requirements will be thoroughly refined and tested by the LEED v4 beta testing group – the first crop of projects to pursue LEED V4 certification. The beta process enables project teams to engage with a pre-ballot version of LEED v4 with guided support from USGBC.

USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, taking place November 14-16 in San Francisco, Calif., will give users an additional opportunity to explore LEED v4, including the new technical content and credit language, while learning about the streamlined documentation requirements and submittal forms and the dynamic, mobile education resources being developed.

In an effort to provide the marketplace a view of the full LEED program experience prior to ballot, USGBC announced an expanded timeline for LEED v4 and committed to a fifth public comment period. Fifth public comment will run until December 10. Ballot period is expected to open June 1, 2013.

Uniboard Finalizes Sale Of Facilities To Kaycan

Kaycan Ltd., has announced that it has successfully finalized its acquisition of Uniboard® Canada Inc. Kaycan had previously entered into an all cash for shares deal with Uniboard’s parent company Pfleiderer Canada Inc. on September 5, 2012.
The Uniboard facilities sold to Kaycan include three (3) particleboard lines, one (1) MDF line, five (5) thermofused melamine lines, a (1) resin plant and two (2) laminate flooring lines servicing primarily the Canadian, US Northeast and Mid-West US markets. Montreal-headquartered Kaycan is a private Canadian corporation focused on the North American building industry.  With Uniboard, Kaycan extends its decorative reach from the exterior to the interior of houses and opens up new commercial, non-residential and institutional market segments.

The Uniboard Quebec-based facilities have a total annual capacity of 640 MMSF and Uniboard is the largest composite panel manufacturer in Canada and among the top 4 in North America. Uniboard is the only Canadian laminate flooring manufacturer.

Kaycan’s President, Lionel Dubrofsky, stated, “This acquisition brings together two major Quebec-based manufacturing companies with a common vision of providing customers with solutions to enhance both living and working spaces. We continue in developing a unique offering to our client base, combining an enlarged range of products for interior and exterior home as well as commercial decoration.”

James N. Hogg, President of Uniboard, added “the conclusion of this transaction starts a new era for Uniboard as part of a strong North American group bringing a solid financial basis and a clear vision to drive the business of our panel and flooring business forward. Clients throughout our core markets in Canada and the US will benefit from the combined operating experience and renewed focus on growth in Uniboard’s core markets.”

New Home Sales Unchanged

Latest reports from NAHB updates that following a substantial gain in July, the pace of new-home sales held virtually unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 units in August, according to new figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“New-home sales in August effectively tied the pace they set in the previous month, when they were the strongest we’ve seen in more than two years -- so this is really a continuation of the good news we’ve been getting on the housing front,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla.

“This latest report indicates that new-home sales continue to run at a steady pace that’s well ahead of what we were seeing this time last year, and at this rate, the third quarter of 2012 is going to be well ahead of the second quarter,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “That said, the razor-thin inventory of new homes for sale is very concerning because it indicates that builders aren’t able to access the credit they need to build new homes as demand for them improves.”

Crowe also observed that the share of new homes sold in the higher price ranges ($400,000 and above) rose significantly in August. “This reflects the fact that people who are able to buy homes right now are those in higher-income ranges who have cash and equity on hand, while first-time buyers are having a tougher time getting qualified for a mortgage,” he said.

Regionally, new-home sales gained in all but one area of the country this August, with the Northeast, Midwest and West posting increases of 20 percent, 1.8 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. The South was the only region to post a decline, of 4.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the inventory of new homes for sale held at an historic low of just 141,000 units in August, which is a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace.

Flakeboard and Arauco Finalizes Sell of Shares

Flakeboard Company Limited and Arauco announced that they have finalized the sale agreement for all outstanding Flakeboard shares to Arauco.
Following this purchase agreement Arauco will combine Flakeboard's seven North American operating facilities with that of Arauco's recently acquired Particleboard and MDF plant in Moncure, North Carolina.  
The eight North American assets will operate under the Flakeboard name and its existing Senior Management. Effective immediately, the Management Team will be tasked with integrating and managing the combined operations. Kelly Shotbolt will be retained as head of Flakeboard North America.
According to Flakeboard President and CEO, Kelly Shotbolt; "We can now start the process of integrating Arauco's US manufacturing operations into Flakeboard, and integrating Flakeboard into Arauco's Global business. The acquisition of Flakeboard makes Arauco the largest composite panel producer within the Americas, and the third largest composite panel producer in the world. Our employees look forward to the exchange of ideas and the sharing of best practices across the larger business to become an even better supplier to our customers." 

CHPVA To hold Ottawa/Gatineau Fall Meetings in Oct

The Canadian Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association will be holding its Ottawa/Gatineau meeting from October 29 to 31, 2012 at the Hilton Lac Leamy Hotel in the OTTAWA region.

There are other exciting programs for this event. It’s an opportunity to network with industry colleagues, get updated information on hot topics like the Lacey Act.


2013 NAHBGreen Awards Invites Application

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is now accepting submissions for its 2013 NAHBGreen Awards. Each year, NAHB recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for excellence in residential green design and construction practices and for green building program and advocacy efforts.

This year, the award winners will be revealed to an even wider audience than in past years, with the awards being announced on January 23 in conjunction with the 2013 International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. 

The awards are open to both NAHB members and non-NAHB members. To be eligible for the Green Project of the Year categories, projects must have been started no earlier than January 2010 and substantially completed by December 2012.

Categories include: Project of the Year--Single Family, Project of the Year--Multifamily, Project of the Year--Remodel, Project of the Year—Site Development, and Advocate of the Year.

All homes and developments must be scored to the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard, to ensure fair comparisons for judging purposes.

Chile and Brazil Supply Wood Chips to China

In late 2011, Brazil and Chile sent the first chip vessels to pulp mills in China in over five years. In the past, Japan had been the major destination for Latin American Eucalyptus chips. With Japanese pulp mills paying considerably more than Chinese pulp mills for chips, it is likely that a majority of Eucalyptus chips from Latin America will continue to be shipped to Japan.

In 2007, China imported wood chips from only three countries: Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia, who together shipped 1.1 million tons throughout the year. With the fast expansion of the pulp industry in China, the country is rapidly growing its need for wood fiber. Domestic supplies have proven inadequate, so the list of supplying countries has expanded from three to eight over the past 12 months.

Two of the three chip-exporting countries in Latin America, Chile and Brazil, sent the first vessels with Eucalyptus chips since 2006 in the third quarter last year. The total volume exported from the two countries in 2011 was 100,000 tons, and during the first seven months this year, 76,000 tons have been shipped, a majority from Chile. Wood chips from Latin America still accounted for only three percent of all hardwood chips imported to China in the 2Q/12, and these chips were among the costliest chips landing in the country, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly. So, although Chinese pulp mills will be in search of additional wood fiber in the coming years, it is not likely that either Chile or Brazil will be major competitors to countries in closer proximity to China, including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia. Chile will most likely continue to ship a majority of its chips to Japan, where its chips are more competitively priced with other supplying countries.

During the first six months of 2012, Chile was the largest supplier of hardwood chips to the Japanese pulpmills, followed closely by Australia. Chile’s market share in this market has gone from 17 percent five years ago to 27 percent in the first half of 2012. With chips from Chile being less costly than Australian chips delivered to Japan, there will continue to be opportunities for Chile to gain market share in the Japanese chip market in the coming year.

Source: Wood Resources International LLC

NSF International and BIFMA Join Forces to Develop PCR

NSF International in collaboration with the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) to develop a Product Category Rule (PCR) for office storage products. This PCR will provide a science-based and internationally recognized method for reporting the environmental impact of office storage products including casegoods, files, cabinets, and other related products throughout their entire life cycle. Product Category Rules define how to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for a particular product group and what to include in the resulting report, called an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).

NSF International's Sustainability division provides EPD verification by confirming that the data was collected in accordance with the applicable PCR and meets all ISO requirements. The office storage PCR will be established in accordance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025) through the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS). The NCSS will utilize an open consultative process to develop the PCR with participation from an expert panel of storage product manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, and end users. The NCSS has developed PCRs and American National sustainability standards for a wide range of product categories, including chemicals, commercial furnishings (e.g. seating), flooring, building products and materials, and water treatment and distribution systems.

“We are pleased to partner with NSF International on another Product Category Rule for office storage products. In addition to the recently developed commercial seating PCR, the PCR for office storage products will continue the work of both NSF International and BIFMA to create rigorous and science-based PCRs that will help the commercial furniture industry move toward a more sustainable future,” said Thomas Reardon, Executive Director of BIFMA. “The office storage product PCR will enable office furniture manufacturers to conduct LCAs and publish EPDs that can help their buyers identify the products with preferred environmental profiles. This information is crucial in helping businesses and government agencies meet their greener purchasing goals,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability division.

WDMA & AAMA Release Industry Review And Forecast

The Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) have jointly released an August 2012 update to the 2011/2012 U.S. Industry Statistical Review and Forecast. This report delivers timely information on window, door and skylight market trends and product relationships. Historic data for 2006 through 2011 and forecast data for 2012 through 2015 are also included in the report. Forecasts are based on projections of construction activity as of August 2012.

Nonresidential construction declined slightly in 2011 and is forecasted to continue to remain slow through 2012, tempering growth in the non-residential architectural interior door categories. However, the updated study predicts a slight improvement in architectural door shipments in 2012 over earlier forecasts. Lagging slightly behind the residential market, non-residential construction is expected to rebound significantly in the subsequent three years through 2015.
According to the updated study's data, multi-family and single family starts are expected to experience a slightly better increase than what was initially thought, up to 19% over 2011 with additional increases in 2013 and 2014. Residential improvement expenditures are expected to see a similar shift.
The updated study continues to show little change in the segmentation for residential interior door material types is expected over the next five years. However, significant volume is expected to return to the entry and interior door market as new construction demand is expected to grow at double-digit rates, outpacing remodeling and replacement activity as the housing market recovers.

Altendorf Launches F-45 Fusion 3200 Sliding Table Saw

In association with Stiles Machinery, Altendorf launched the F-45 Fusion 3200 sliding table saw in the American market. The sliding table saw performs all sawing and cutting applications including miter cuts, custom-cutting, ripping, and crosscutting in solid wood, panels, and plastics. Case goods manufacturers and architectural millwork manufacturers can find cutting solutions with this table saw. An ideal progression from table saw, Altendorf F-45 Fusion 3200 can decrease production times by more than 25 percent. 


NAFO Urges Supreme Court To Restore EPA Rules On Forest Roads

The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) representing forestry associations from around the country, filed its amicus brief in support of the petitioners in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC). NAFO has urged the Supreme Court to restore the rules adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decades ago that forest roads are “nonpoint sources” of water pollution under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and that should be managed under state-adopted best management practices.  The brief asks the Court to reverse a May 2011 decision from the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (NEDC v. Brown) where the Court overturned these rules and ordered that the operators of these roads obtain industrial discharge permits typically applied to factories and sewage plants. The Supreme Court announced June 25 that it would review that decision as part of Decker v. NEDC.

“The broad opposition to the Ninth Circuit’s decision is clearer than ever,” said Dave Tenny, President and CEO of NAFO. “The briefs filed today represent the who’s who of stakeholders harmed by the Ninth Circuit’s cavalier rewrite of the law. NAFO members were joined by farmers and ranchers, governors, county executives, academics, law professors, wildlife groups, state attorneys general, the Obama Administration and others all united in opposition to the Ninth Circuit’s decision. The message to the Justices is clear – please fix this now, and fix it right.”

Temporary legislation preventing the Ninth Circuit’s ruling from taking effect expires September 30, 2012. NAFO is working with a broad coalition of groups and Congress to extend or make permanent legislation that will preserve the existing EPA regulations and provide long-term legal certainty to federal, state, tribal and private forest owners.

“By overturning the Ninth Circuit the Court will enable forest owners to continue investing their resources in good forest management to provide a variety of public benefits rather than diverting those resources to a complicated and legally perilous permitting program that will not marginally improve water quality,” Tenny concluded.

Lumber Exports Decline In First Half Of 2012

og exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska totaled 736 million board feet in the first 6 months of 2012, a decrease of 25 percent compared to the same time last year, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. During this same period, lumber exports from the West coast totaled 392 million board feet, a decrease of about 17 percent.
“China’s economic slowdown has reduced that country’s demand for log and lumber imports,” said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station who compiled the data. “This is largely responsible for the overall decrease in West coast exports.”

The total value of log exports in the first half of this year totaled $461 million, a decrease of 32 percent. The total value of exported lumber dropped about 14 percent to $287 million.

 “Increasing pressure of Chinese Yuan (Renminbi) appreciation and a strict real estate control policy have slowed down China's overall importation of forest products so far this year,” Zhou said. “As a result, we may not see much of an increase in West coast log and lumber exports to China for the next two to three quarters.”
Zhou compiled the statistics using data from the U.S. International Trade Commission and Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries, a station publication that provides current information on the region’s lumber and plywood production as well as employment in forest industries.

Source: USFS

Pfleiderer Sells North American Particleboard To Uniboard Canada

Pfleiderer Canada Inc., the parent company of Uniboard Canada Inc., a North American leader in engineered wood products, has entered into an agreement to sell its Particleboard, MDF, Thermally Fused Melamine and Laminate Flooring facilities to a subsidiary of Kaycan Ltd., a North American leader in vinyl, aluminum and engineered wood siding, trim and aluminum building products for over 38 years, in an all cash deal.

The Uniboard facilities sold to Kaycan include three particleboard lines, one MDF line, five thermally fused melamine lines and two laminate flooring lines servicing primarily the Canadian, US Northeast and Mid-West US markets. Kaycan is a private Canadian corporation focused on the North American building industry.

Uniboard’s President and CEO James Hogg stated, “This agreement marks the dawning of an exciting new era for Uniboard. As a market leader in Quebec, Ontario and the Northeast United States market, this acquisition will allow Uniboard to reinforce our market position and to fully focus our attention on driving the business forward in both our panel and laminate flooring operations”.

Kaycan’s President Lionel Dubrofsky added, “We are fully committed to the growth of Uniboard in its core markets. We bring strong operating experience in the building products environment as well as a very solid financial basis to this deal. Uniboard’s senior management will remain intact to manage the business. The direction of Uniboard and existing customer relations will be reinforced”.

Closing of the transaction is expected in the third quarter 2012 subject to certain terms and conditions.

CIBC World Markets Inc. is acting as financial advisor and McCarthy Tétrault LLP and Morrison Cohen LLP are acting as legal advisors to Pfleiderer AG, Uniboard's ultimate parent company in Germany.

Uniboard Invests To Improve Effiency

Uniboard, is investing $3 million to increase thermally fused melamine capacity and improve efficiency at its Sayabec, Quebec operations.

The Company’s Sayabec plant, thermally fused melamine producers, will make major investments to its TFM press #3 production line. Work will begin in the fourth quarter of 2012 with an expected completion of January 2013. Major upgrades will provide increased capacity to supply a wider range of finishes, such as its recently-launched RIO™ and High Gloss finishes to meet the growing demand of its customer base.

Uniboard’s President and CEO James Hogg stated: “This investment not only increases our thermally fused melamine capacity but will also keep us at the leading edge of technology. As the leader in Quebec, Ontario and the Northeast United States markets, this investment will allow Uniboard to better service our customers.”

“This major capital expenditure reinforces Sayabec’s position as a North American thermally fused melamine leader and reconfirms to our employees, the community and our customers our continued commitment to setting the standard,” Said Claude Leblanc, Sayabec’s Director of Operations who will oversee the project.

Minister Discusses the Benefits of Responsible Resource Development

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, visited the Aecon Group Inc. facility in Cambridge to meet with employees and discuss the benefits of Responsible Resource Development. Joined by Harold Albrecht, MP for Kitchener–Conestoga, Dave Mackenzie, MP for Oxford, and Phil McColeman, MP for Brant, Minister Oliver toured the 120,000-square foot facility with John Beck, Aecon’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, to see the company's broad range of fabrication work, which serves Canada’s nuclear and oil and gas industry, including the Alberta oil sands.

“Aecon is an excellent example of how important the energy sector is to Canada’s economy, generating jobs for Canadians in every region of our great nation,” said Minister Oliver. “Like Aecon, our Government is focused on making the most of economic opportunities — opportunities for jobs, growth and prosperity — for all Canadians. Through the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development, we will help Canada develop its tremendous natural resources to the benefit of Canadians in communities from coast to coast to coast.”

Over the next 10 years, more than $500 billion could be invested in 500 resource development projects across Canada.

“This represents a huge potential for companies, like Aecon, which service our abundant natural resources industry,” said Minister Oliver. “Responsible Resource Development will ensure we capitalize on these investments to provide opportunities to Canadian companies, their workers and their families.”

The natural resources sector employs close to 800,000 Canadians. These industries alone pay tens of billions of dollars a year in government revenues to help pay for health care, education and other vital services that are a fundamental part of our quality of life.

FSC Developing Advice Note on timber Species

FSC is developing an Advice note to ensure that FSC certified products comply with legally required information regarding species and origin of timber and timber products. Public Consultation has been launched on FSC Advice note on Access to Information regarding Species and Origin of Timber.

In early 2012, following a mandate of the FSC Board of Directors, FSC initiated an updating process of its standards to ensure harmonization with the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and other timber legality legislations such as the US Lacey Act and FLEGT.

This process includes adjustments in the FSC Chain of Custody requirements to ensure that FSC certified products comply with legally required information regarding species and origin of timber and timber products.


Renowned Particleboard and Laminates Business Sold

Grupo KUO is  to sell the assets and brands of its renowned panel brands Rexcel, Panelart and Wilsonart among others which belong to Particleboard Strategic Business Unit, to Masisa México.  The sale includes two particleboard plants in Zitacuaro and Chihuahua, Mexico with total capacity of 460,000 m3 and a laminate and resin facility in Lerma.

The transaction, estimated at $63 million (USD), is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

Grupo KUO’s, based in Mexico City, Mexico, is an industrial conglomerate in Mexico that exports a wide range of products including particleboard to more than 70 countries.

Masisa, based in Chile, produces and markets wood boards for furniture and interior architecture, with significant forestry assets.

Drop in Woody Biomass Demand in 2Q

According to the North American Wood Fiber Review, prices for mill and forest biomass fell in most major consuming regions of the US in the 2Q/12. The main reason for the declining prices is the continued fall of natural gas prices to levels not seen in ten years.

Seattle, USA. Prices for woody biomass in the US, whether sawmill by-products, forest residues or urban wood waste, have been sliding for most of the past three years, but were still higher late in 2011 in most regions than they were five years ago, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review.

In the 2Q/12, woody biomass prices were down between 2-10 percent in the key biomass-consuming regions, the US South, Northeast and in the West as compared to the 1Q/12. In the US Northwest and California there continues to be a substantial price discrepancy between mill biomass and forest biomass, but this price difference is minimal in the US South.

During 2011, natural gas prices fell about 45 percent in the US and the lower prices have reduced the urgency for investing in woody biomass projects in the country. However, despite the plunging natural gas prices, plans for more facilities utilizing woody biomass continued during 2011 and 2012 in both Canada and the US, with some projects nearing completion and others in start-up mode.

Wood fiber demand for all planned biomass projects in the US dropped in the first half of 2012 as compared to early 2011. Most of the decrease in wood usage the past year has been that wood used in the generation of electricity for the domestic market in the US, while the pellet industry has continuously expanded capacity to serve the growing demand in Europe.

The US had about 450 announced and operating woody bioenergy projects in the spring of 2012, including wood pellets, liquid fuel, electricity-generation and combined heat and power (CHP). The projected wood fiber use for all planned biomass projects is estimated to reach just over 30 million dry tons of fiber annually by 2020, according to Forisk.

Commercial and residential energy consumers’ interest in switching to more expensive green energy is likely to continue to be lukewarm as long as demand for energy is low and natural gas prices are their lowest levels in over ten years.

Source: Wood Resources International  LLC

2012 ProDealer Industry Summit

ProDealer Industry Summit to be held on October 24-26, 2012 at Savannah, Georgia. The registration of the same is open. As CEO of Zelman & Associates, Ivy Zelman holds over 20 years of experience covering housing and housing-related industries. Zelman & Associates delivers unbiased, proprietary research using unparalleled industry contacts and financial analyses across all aspects of the housing food chain including: housing, building products, home centers, multi-family, single family rental, mortgage finance, and policy initiatives.

Ivy will be sharing her views on the future of LBM industry.
Ivy worked as a Managing Director at Credit Suisse Group from 1999 to 2007 before founding Zelman & Associates. She is frequently quoted by The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Ivy also appears on CNBC to share her highly respected views and insights.

Ivy will be sharing her views on the future of LBM industry.

The ProDealer Industry Summit is an LBM event like no other.  It is the only top-to-top annual event and unlike other "trade shows" it is a chance for you to represent your company at the highest level, with the very best LBM dealers in the country.


IWF Opens Gates Today

International Woodworking Fair ( IWF), Americas biggest fair of the woodworking industry begins today at Atlanta. It will last till August 25, 2012.
International Woodworking Fair® is the tradeshow where furniture manufacturing, cabinetry, architectural woodworking, material processing and other related industry professionals from all over the globe will come to find products they didn’t know existed that will help their company succeed.

IWF 2012 offers innovation, education, solutions, networking, and many more opportunities for business success. From the small shop to the large plant-industry buyers know that the International Woodworking Fair® is the best place to source products, discover new ideas, network with peers, and learn from those who have already troubleshot the solutions.

India of The Largest Importers of American Hardwood

India continues its imports of hardwood lumber and veneer worth over USD 1.88 million during the first half of 2012, according to a statement issued by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). Of this total, exports of American hardwood lumber to India reached a value of USD 908,000 and a volume of 1,455 cubic metres, marking an increase of 57 percent and 60 percent respectively over the January to June period of 2011. In addition, direct shipments of US hardwood veneers to India during the period reached a total value of USD 976,000, falling by 5 percent in comparison to the same period last year.

The USDA data released also shows that US hardwood log exports to India reached a value of USD 932,000 and a volume of 1,986 cubic metres during the period. A closer look at the numbers reveals that over 70 percent of the volume of American hardwood lumber shipped to India was accounted for by hickory (472 cubic metres), walnut (346 cubic metres) and ash (228 cubic metres).

“Given that the majority of wooden furniture, joinery and other household products are made to order by small workshops or individual craftsmen, production and finishing standards in India remain somewhat below par. In addition, familiarity with imported wood species is also poor. Despite these factors, the overall demand for American hardwood lumber and veneer has increased by 17 percent in the first half of this year, and we remain confident that through our ongoing education and outreach program, we can contribute towards an even greater demand for US hardwoods in the coming months and years,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania.

Tembec Appoints New VP, HR And Corporate Affairs

Tembec President and Chief Executive Officer James Lopez is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Coates to the position of Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs. Ms. Coates joined Tembec in May 2011 as Corporate Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs. As a member of the Executive Team, she was responsible for Communications, Public Relations and Government Relations.
In her new role, Ms. Coates will be leading the continued transformation of the organization as the senior executive accountable for all aspects of the Human Resources function, as well as Internal and External Communications. “The level of experience and leadership qualities that Linda provides will enable Tembec to achieve world-class performance from a people management perspective,” stated President and CEO James Lopez.

Over the course of her 25-year career, Ms. Coates has held various senior executive positions in Canada and Europe with global, diversified, leading companies involved in the sectors of mining and metallurgy (Noranda, now Xstrata), cement and related products (St. Lawrence Cement, now Holcim) and high technology manufacturing (Bombardier). Ms. Coates graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics and Communications from Université de Montréal and a Master Degree in Business Administration from Université de Sherbrooke.

Leadership Change At Canfor

Following the decision earlier this year to integrate the management of Canfor Corporation and the Company in order to maximize efficiency and cost synergies, Company President and CEO Joe Nemeth has elected to step down from his role effective September 30, 2012.  He has graciously offered to support the transition through that date.

Following Joe's decision, the Board of Directors of the Company appointed Canfor President and CEO Don Kayne to the role of CEO; a role he will serve for both companies.  Brett Robinson, formerly Executive Vice President, Operations, will assume the President function for the Company.

Joe Nemeth assumed leadership of Canfor Pulp in May 2010, and the company appreciates his many achievements since that time.  Don Kayne President and CEO of Canfor said “Joe has been an instrumental part in leading the Company through successive profitable quarters and has put together a great team.  His leadership and guidance will be missed.”

Gibson To Avoid Lacey Act Prosecution

Leading guitar manufacturer Gibson has reached an agreement with the US Justice Department which will see it escape criminal charges for allegedly importing illegal ebony wood from Madagascar.

But Gibson is still clearly rankled with the government over the case, saying it was "inappropriately targeted" and treated in the same way as drug dealers.

The criminal enforcement agreement defers prosecution for alleged violations of the Lacey Act, which prohibits the import of illegally-sourced timber, with Gibson instead being fined US$300,000 and a community service payment of US$50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Gibson will implement a compliance programme designed to strengthen its timber import controls and procedures and will withdraw its claims to wood seized in the course of the investigation, including Madagascan ebony with a value of US$261,844.

The US Justice Department said no cirminal charges would be brought against the Nashville-based company as long as Gibson abided by the agreement and commited no future violations of the Laccey Act.

"As a result of this investigation and criminal enforcement agreement, Gibson has acknowledged that it failed to act on information that the Madagascar ebony it was purchasing may have violated laws intended to limit overharvesting and conserve valuable wood species from Madagascar, a country which has been severely impacted by deforestation," said US assistant attorney-general Ignacia Moreno.

Gibson said it felt compelled to settle the case as the costs of proving its case at court could have run into millions of dollars and the trial could have been lengthy.

"The government used violent and hostile means with the full force of the US government and several armed law enforcement agencies, costing the tax payer millions of dollars and putting a job-creating US manufacturer at risk and at a competitive disadvantage," said Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz.

"This shows the increasing trend on the part of the government to criminalise rules and regulations and treat US businesses in the same way as drug dealers are treated."
Gibson was first raided in 2009 by US federal agents as part of an investigation into use of endangered rainforest wood (ttjonline November 19, 2009). The government will return timber - Indian rosewood and ebony fingerboards seized during a second raid - to Gibson.

Source: TTJ

Black Walnut Hardwood from Baillie Lumber

Baillie Lumber provides Black Walnut in thicknesses ranging from 4/4” through 16/4”.  Walnut boards have a reputation to run short and narrow.  Most hardwood lumber inventories for Walnut will be heavy 12’ and under.  Occasionally 14’ and 16’ length structures will be available in inventory.  Board widths for Walnut are commonly calculated in the 6” to 7 1/2“ range.
Some of the main uses for Black Walnut include furniture making, cabinetry, architectural panels, millwork, doors, floors, gun stocks, and woodenware.  Many times it is used in conjunction with lighter colored species to create a contrasting design style.

The American Hardwood Information Center refers to American Black Walnut as a wood that “develops a rich patina that grows more lustrous with age.”  That is probably why designers choose Walnut when looking for that special classic appeal.

Read more about this hardwood in the latest issue of Wood & Panel USA

Don Demens appointed as President by Western Forest Products

Announced by the the Board of Directors of Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX:WEF) ("Western" or "the Company") the appointment of Don Demens as President of the Company, effective immediately.

Originally hired in 2009, Mr. Demens was later appointed Sr. Vice President, Sales and Manufacturing and in 2011 assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Demens has over 25 years of coastal forest industry experience including time spent in Japan.

Chemetal Introduced New Magnetic Laminates

The attraction is magnetic with new Magnetic Laminates from Chemetal. The company recently introduced a collection of 8 laminates can be used to create fun and functional communications areas in almost any interior setting. To create, a thin layer of iron foil is sandwiched in the laminate backer. Chemetal

In addition to magnetism, each magnetic laminate has it’s ideal feature including dry erase marker, chalkboard, image projection and custom. The custom magnetic board can be painted or surfaced with select Chemetal designs. Magnetic laminates are available in 4 x 8 foot sheets.

NAHB Accepts Applications for 2013 Best of 50+ Housing Awards

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council is now accepting applications for the 2013 Best of 50+ Housing Awards, which honor excellence in building, design, marketing and lifestyle of housing for boomers and beyond. A panel of industry professionals will judge entries in a total of 44 award categories, including "Best 50+ Integration of Aging-in-Place Technology and Design,"Best 50+ Mixed-Use Community On the Boards," "Best 50+ Integrated Marketing Strategy or Campaign" and "Best 50+ Fitness & Wellness Program," among others.

"The Best of 50+ Housing Awards are this industry's most influential national awards," said 50+ Housing Council Chairman W. Don Whyte. "The demand for 50+ housing will continue to grow as the baby boomer generation--the largest growing group of buyers that we have ever seen in this age group--approaches retirement, and these awards honor those builders and developers who truly have the needs and wants of the mature buyer and renter in mind."

All builders, developers, marketers and designers of 50+ housing are invited to enter this prestigious awards competition. Previous winners have included a Colorado community that used technology to focus on wellness, a transit-oriented community in Los Angeles developed by a partnership of Chinese and U.S. companies and a Dedham, Mass., community that took great care to integrate the sustainably-built environment with the outdoor environment and riverfront.

The winners will be announced at the NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.

International Woodworking Fair To Give Special Offers

The International Woodworking Fair® (IWF) will provide several discount programs for the 2012 IWF Fair. The Fair will take place August 22-25, 2012 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 680 exhibitors have contracted for exhibit space occupying 351,000 net square feet.  The Fair will take place August 22-25, 2012 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

“This is an opportunity for those who plan ahead to secure a great deal on exhibiting and attending.” says Michael Burdis, IWF 2012 chairman and president of James L. Taylor Manufacturing Company.

The Fair will feature five Symposiums on August 21st and an expanded educational session program which begins August 22nd. The Cabinetmakers Association will also be offering certification sessions for the first time at IWF. Conference savings, attendees can buy one Symposium and receive one free session, and or buy one educational session with the second one discounted 50% per individual registration.

Western State Forester Calls for Active Management

The House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on “The Impact of Catastrophic Forest Fires and Litigation on People and Endangered Species. Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester, represented all U.S. State and Island Forestry agencies in calling for improved collaboration and active forest management to decrease the threats and impacts associated with wildland fire. State Foresters manage and protect state and private forests across the U.S., which make up two-thirds of the nation’s forests, and work closely with federal agencies to deliver forestry programs and wildfire protection.

In his testimony, Crapser stated that the lack of forest management in the U.S. has left life and property vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire. According to the  National Interagency Fire Center, already this year over 33,000 wildland fires have burned 3.7 million acres nationwide and that number is growing daily as the West is experiencing unprecedented heat and drought. The risks to communities as well as the complexities and costs of managing wildland fires also continue to increase with heavier fuel loads in forests and more people living in fire-prone landscapes. These unhealthy landscapes present a threat of wildland fire that can easily overwhelm fire management efforts and result in billions of dollars in suppression costs each year.

McLeod Lake BC Logging Company Honored With Leadership Award

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) announced that Al Humphrys, the General Manager of Duz Cho Logging has won the FPAC/AFN Aboriginal Forest Products Business Leadership Award.  The company is 100 percent owned by the McLeod Lake Indian Band, from McLeod Lake, B.C.  Duz Cho was honored today at the AFN General Assembly in Toronto.