Duraflame, Inc. has introduced Campfire Roasting Logs. They are the first firelogs formulated with charcoal and tested for safe cooking. This new formula makes the logs ideal for roasting foods, such as marshmallows or hot dogs, over an open fire.

The Campfire Roasting Logs are a cleaner burning alternative to a traditional outdoor wood fire. The logs produce 60 percent less particulate emissions than an equivalent wood fire in a fire pit. And, a robust fire can be built using 75 percent less resources than using firewood for a similar duration, while producing more heat per pound. Recycled sawdust, renewable bio-wax and real wood charcoal make up the 100 percent renewable roasting logs.

“We have long history of changing the way people enjoy a fire,” said Chris Caron, Vice President of Brand Development for Duraflame, Inc. “Firelogs designed for outdoor roasting are something our consumers have long anticipated. We work hard to fulfill our customers’ needs and are thrilled to offer campfire roasting fire logs that are also a cleaner burning, convenient and more efficient alternative to a wood fire.”
The Campfire Roasting Logs have an even greater place in the market as recreational camping has grown in popularity. In recent years, more than 44 million Americans participate annually in camping, according to The Outdoor Foundation’s “Special Report on Camping.” In 2010, research funded by Duraflame found that 99 percent of campers build a campfire and 91 percent roast over a fire. In the backyard, 75 percent of consumers who use a fire pit roast over their backyard fire.
Building a Campfire Roasting Logs fire involves stacking two or three logs and lighting the wrappers. The ideal time for roasting is after about 45 minutes when the fire has turned into glowing coals. The burn time can be extended by adding more logs to the hot coals. A five-pound bundle of four logs is ideal for one campfire, or a case of six bundles is enough for four to six campfires. The one-campfire bundle is equivalent to burning 24 pounds of firewood, giving people a more portable option for camping trips.

Duraflame Campfire Roasting Logs are available at select Walmart, Kmart and Kroger stores nationally, as well as retailers throughout the U.S. The suggested retail price for a four-log bundle is $5.99. The six-bundle case sells for around $29.99.

SOURCE: PR Newswire


Eco Building Products, Inc.  has been awarded an order to supply Eco Red Shield(TM) protected lumber to build a 7,100 sq. ft. custom home in Alpine, Utah. ECOB and Vector Engineers have a long standing business relationship. Roger Alworth the Principle of Vector has written several white papers on why lumber needs protection and now chooses Eco Red Shield protection to build his own custom home.

"The choice to use Red Shield treated lumber for my new home was a simple one. For a small increase in building material costs, my home will be protected against mold, rot, termites and fire. As a licensed engineer in all 50 states, specializing in the design of timber structure, I'm convinced this product should be considered by any builder or owner who wants to protect their investment," stated Roger Alworth, Principle of Vector Engineers.

SOURCE: PR Newswire


Norbord Inc. reported EBITDA of $21 million in the first quarter of 2012, a $12 million improvement from the fourth quarter of 2011 and a $7 million improvement from the same quarter last year.  North American operations generated EBITDA of $14 million in the first quarter of 2012 versus $2 million and $7 million in the fourth and first quarters of 2011, respectively.  European operations generated EBITDA of $11 million in the first quarters of 2012 and 2011 versus $10 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Norbord recorded break-even earnings in the first quarter of 2012 compared to a loss of $9 million or $0.21 per share in the prior quarter.  In the same quarter last year, the Company recorded a loss of $2 million or $0.05 per share, which included a non-recurring income tax recovery of $5 million or $0.11 per share.

"Our first quarter results are evidence that business is getting better," said Barrie Shineton, President and CEO.  "Our EBITDA improvement reflects a 7% quarter-over-quarter increase in North American benchmark OSB prices as well as continuing strong results from our European operations.  I am particularly pleased with our Margin Improvement Program, which delivered another $7 million in gains from reduced raw material usages and record plant productivity."

"This more positive trend should continue through the remainder of 2012.  In North America, US economic news is improving and housing starts appear to be making a slow comeback.  In Europe, our business is holding up better than expected and I now believe we will have another solid year."



Scheduled on Sept. 11 to 13 in Milwaukee, St. Raymond Veneers Inc, the SFI’s Annual Conference will feature informative and thought-provoking sessions exploring what SFI and its partners are doing today to maintain healthy, productive forests and strong communities across the United States and Canada now and into the future.
Expert speakers from conservation organizations, government agencies, community groups and SFI program participants will reflect on how every company, every organization and every individual in North America can shape the future of our forests and our rural communities through their actions today. We will explore how the decisions we make, and the actions we take today can have a real influence on the future of our forests, and in turn, on our collective future.   We will even take a look back and further ahead to understand the dynamics and outcomes associated with our programmatic decisions and the decisions of those around us.


Remodeling activity remained relatively flat in the first quarter of 2012, as the Remodeling Market Index (RMI) compiled by the National Association of Home Builders decreased one point to 47 from the upwardly revised 48 in the previous quarter.

The overall RMI combines ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future activity. An RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is lower (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is higher.

In the first quarter, the RMI component measuring current market conditions dropped one point to 49, while the component measuring future indicators of remodeling business fell two points to 44.

The three components measuring current market conditions moved in different directions in the first quarter: major additions remained even at 44; minor additions rose one point to 52; and maintenance and repair dropped four points to 51. Two of the four components measuring future market indicators decreased: backlog of remodeling jobs dropped four points to 43 and appointments for proposals fell five points to 45. Meanwhile, calls for bids rose one point to 47 and amount of work committed for the next three months remained even at 42.

Regionally, remodeling market conditions in the West increased three points to 47, while the other three regions showed declines: the Northeast to 48 (from 55), the Midwest to 50 (from 52) and the South to 46 (from 49).



Canfor Corporation reported a net loss attributable to shareholders (“shareholder net loss”) of $16.2 million, or $0.11 per share, for the first quarter of 2012, compared to a shareholder net loss of $44.1 million, or $0.31 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011 and shareholder net income of $7.0 million, or $0.05 per share, for the first quarter of 2011.

The shareholder net loss for the first quarter of 2012 included various items affecting comparability with prior periods, which had an overall net positive impact of $6.1 million, or $0.05 per share.  After adjusting for such items, the Company’s adjusted shareholder net loss for the first quarter of 2012 was $22.3 million, or $0.16 per share, compared to an adjusted shareholder net loss of $32.1 million, or $0.22 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011, and effectively breakeven on an adjusted basis for the first quarter of 2011. 


TOTO, the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world, and Villeroy & Boch, the leading European bathroom brand, announced a sales alliance today. Under the terms of this alliance, all Villeroy & Boch USA bathroom products available in the North American market will be sold exclusively through the distribution and sales channels of TOTO USA. This will include a complete range of products such as toilets, decorative lavatories and washbasins, tubs, showers, accessories, vanities, and bathroom furniture. By combining TOTO USA's innovative technology and Villeroy & Boch USA's sleek European style, this new sales alliance offers North American consumers, architects, designers, distributors, and premium kitchen & bath showrooms an exciting new package of products from which to choose when designing or remodeling high-end bathrooms.

For TOTO USA's distributors and high-end kitchen and bath showrooms, the new alliance will deliver exceptional value by providing them the opportunity to add the highly desirable Villeroy & Boch USA products to their businesses. With the addition of the Villeroy & Boch brand and its outstanding European design, this sales alliance offers them an even broader range of aspirational, premium products that will improve their competitiveness and lead to increased sales and profits. As is the case with TOTO USA products, Villeroy & Boch USA products are available only to the trade. The two brands will be positioned to complement each other in showrooms. This will give consumers a broader range of premium options when choosing the products for their bathrooms, and it will add substantial value and strength to the competitiveness and profitability of the distributors and showrooms that feature the two brands together. Distributors and showrooms selling both brands will enjoy economies of scale on freight, service, and support by combining Villeroy & Boch USA orders with their TOTO USA orders.

Villeroy & Boch USA customers can continue to order products through its New Jersey facilities until August 31st. Starting July 1st, however, its products will also be available through TOTO USA. As of September 1, 2012, all Villeroy & Boch USA products will be sold through TOTO USA only, and TOTO USA will handle all sales, logistics, and customer support matters.

In addition to the benefits to TOTO USA's distribution and showroom customers, the new sales alliance between TOTO USA and Villeroy & Boch USA offers architects and designers an exciting new high-end pallet to pull from when choosing products for their projects. TOTO USA will be offering an exceptional range of Villeroy & Boch USA European-designed products to complement the strong design, technology, and sustainability options available from TOTO USA today. This will include some new product categories for TOTO USA such as Villeroy & Boch USA European-designed bathroom furniture. Like TOTO USA, Villeroy & Boch USA is available to the trade only; it is not sold through home centers, and that is always a benefit for the design community.

SOURCE: PR Newswire



The Forest Resources Association honored the four partners of T.W. Byrd’s Sons, Inc., based in Branford, Florida, as the 2012 National Outstanding Logger at its April 20 Annual Awards Luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida.

FRA Chairman Dick Carmical congratulated Paul, JW, Earl, and Jack Byrd and presented them with a special plaque. STIHL Inc. Senior Product Manager Kent Hall also congratulated the four brothers and presented them with a $1,000 check and a Stihl MS460 chain saw.

Paul Byrd commented, ―We appreciate what STIHL does, we thank FRA, and we thank all of the organizations that have supported us over the years.‖ In the 1930s, T.W. Byrd, the father of eleven children, started in business cutting cross ties with a crosscut saw and using an oxen team to pull the logs to a loading ramp for loading onto flatbed trucks. As four of Mr. Byrd’s sons grew into the business, and eventually took over its management, the business grew in size and diversified in complexity.

Today, T.W. Byrd’s Sons harvests for both institutional and private landowners, delivers to diverse markets, and has built sidelines: a dairy farm, a starter and alternator business, a portable power equipment dealership, and (most recently) a fuel depot; and apart from the flagship logging business, T.W. Byrd’s Sons offers site prep and reforestation services to landowners. The entire enterprise now employs 78, with 25 employees working in the logging operation’s eight crews, not including a timber cruiser, 3 mechanics, and a welder.

T.W. Byrd’s Sons practices a strong ethic of professionalism, reflected in the business’s excellent safety record: as of last fall, this large operation had gone 617 days without injury incidence on the logging operation and 540 days on the trucking side. Twenty-three employees are certified under the Florida Master Logger program. The operation’s depth of staff and equipment provides the means to address unforeseen difficulties, including emergency response systems to respond to either safety or environmental hazards. Florida now boasts a 99% attainment of Best Management Practice implementation, and operations like the Byrds’ are a big reason why. The Byrds are well known in the region not only as an excellent harvesting group but as a financially solvent and well-managed organization. They provide employee wages, and benefits, that are well above the norm, in addition to safety performance bonuses.

They also own and manage 3,500 acres of land, with 2,700 acres managed for forest products production. Since 2008, the Byrds have worked with the University of Florida on a 20-acre pilot project to study eucalyptus culture—the environmental, operational, and economic case for growing and harvesting this exotic for both traditional and non-traditional wood-consuming industries. As UF’s Professor Emeritus Donald Rockwood observes, ―The Byrd family operation is taking a sorely needed dynamic approach to positioning their forestry operations for success.
They are looking beyond traditional avenues for their timber production and harvesting businesses and taking a leadership role in helping to define what successful forestry can be in the future.

FRA has honored 22 National Outstanding Loggers since establishing the national award in 1990. Recent National Outstanding Loggers include Adrian Bishop, of South Carolina (2006), Tommy Barnes and David Cox, of Edgemoor, South Carolina (2007), David and Kurt Babineau, of West Enfield, Maine (2008), the partners of Redoutey Logging, McDermott, Ohio (2009), Cloquet, Minnesota’s Berthiaume Logging (2010), and last year’s Paul and Mary Mitchell of Paul Mitchell Logging, of Tupper Lake, New York. Nominees for this year’s award passed through statelevel recognition to regional award programs administered throughFRA’s Regional Division structure. A jury of 25 national-level leaders in forestry and conservation selected the winner.

The other nominees for this year’s National award were: Todd Carmichael, High Tech Harvesting, LLC, of London, New Hampshire; Kevin Harrison, Harrison Logging, Inc., of Grenada, Mississippi; Jim Stout, Arches Fork Evergreen Co., Inc., of Bridgeport, West Virginia; and Mike Warren, M&R Chips, Inc., of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

The Outstanding Logger program is designed: 1) to recognize outstanding logging contractor performance; 2) to raise the visibility of competent, professional independent logging contractors in the forestry community; 3) to encourage other independent logging contractors to emulate the outstanding performance of the award winners; and 4) to improve forester-logger relations by publicly recognizing outstanding logging performance as an essential element of every planned timber harvest.



The Forest Resources Association awarded its 2012 National Outstanding Forestry Activist Award to the late Ellen Simpson, who served as Executive Director of the Montana Wood Products Association for over ten years. Ellen passed away, following a long struggle with cancer, on March 23.

Ellen‟s surviving husband, Dave Simpson, accepted the award on her behalf. FRA Chairman Dick Carmical praised Ellen‟s vigorous and effective work in speaking up for forest industry and the communities it supports in the Intermountain West at FRA‟s April 20 Annual Awards Luncheon, in Jacksonville, Florida, commenting that FRA President Richard Lewis had told him, that, with Ellen‟s passing, “he had lost a very good friend, and the industry had lost a very good executive.”

Ellen’s political savvy, communication skills, and natural resource knowledge guided the Montana forest industry through many very difficult issues, both at the state and federal legislative levels. Her insistence that the industry always maintain the high ground, as professional, pro-active, and community-oriented businesses, was the ethic through which she led by example.


The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will host its Semi-Annual Construction Forecast Conference on Wednesday, April 25, in a two-hour webinar from 2:00-4:00 p.m. featuring three renowned industry experts.

Nationally-recognized housing and economics experts will provide answers to the most critical questions facing the industry today, including the signs to a recovery in the housing market and overall economy.

The schedule of speakers includes David Crowe, PhD, Chief Economist & Senior Vice President, NAHB,  Chris Varvares, Senior Managing Director & Co-Founder, Macroeconomic Advisers and Robert Denk, Assistant Vice President for Forecasting and Analysis, NAHB.


PFB Corporation is starting to manufacture insulation products at an expanded polystyrene molding plant acquired from Knauf USA Polystyrene, Inc., located in Lebanon, Ohio, USA. This novel plan to begin manufacturing EPS insulation products at the plant is part of a strategy to expand the operations of the Company in the USA. Insulation materials will be supplied internally from the Lebanon operation to the Insulspan SIP manufacturing operations located near Toledo, Ohio.

Additionally, EPS insulation products will be available from the facility for the regional building material markets. Bruce Carruthers, Chief Operating Officer said, "This is very exciting news as we launch our initiative to manufacture Plasti-Fab EPS Product Solutions in the USA".

SOURCE: Sys-Con Media


The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) announced that DMSi Software is the newest member of the association's Manufacturers and Services Council (MSC).  The council is composed of the leading building material manufacturers and services providers serving the LBM industry.
MSC members are established industry leaders who supply products and services to lumber and building material dealers and regional chains across the nation. The dedicated members of the council share a commitment to promoting and enhancing the success of independent dealers and regional chains.
DMSi provides business management, accounting software and integrated e-commerce solutions in the industry. Their solutions fully integrate and automate your operational processes from order processing and inventory management to purchasing and back-office. They have designed each software module to address the unique requirements of the lumber & building material industry; creating seamless workflow and maximizing profitability and efficiency.

"DMSi Software is honored and excited to be an associate member of the NLBMDA," said Mike Potthoff, LBM Dealer Solutions General Manager at DMSi Software proudly. He also confidently added, "With our exclusive focus on building materials and over 400 customers around the country, DMSi truly values our relationships with the regional building material associations around the country. We now look forward to being involved with NLBMDA, since everyone in the industry benefits from the great work this national organization does."



Canada Wood, the joint initiative between the Canadian government and timber industry association partners representing producers in Canada, has confirmed its backing of the Wood Awards. The UK’s premier award scheme celebrating excellence in design in wood, the world’s leading naturally sustainable material, is currently calling for projects to enter this year’s competition.

In this collaborative venture, which is at the heart of Canada Wood, the six Canada Wood UK partner associations – the Canadian Plywood Association (CANPLY); Coast Forest Products Association (CFPA);Council of Forest Industries (COFI); Ontario Wood Products Export Association (OWPEA); Quebec Wood Export Bureau (Q-WEB) and Western Red Cedar Export Association (WRCEA) - are all enthusiastically committed to the Wood Awards. Their combined support makes Canada Wood the Wood Awards’ latest major sponsor for 2012.

John Park, Canada Wood UK manager, commented, “The Wood Awards is our opportunity to take advantage of the creative talent of building and furniture designers to showcase wood in all its splendour and for the many unheralded craftsmen and women out there to demonstrate just how good they are at working with it. As a major global producer of wood and wood products from a vast, diverse and sustainably managed forest resource, and with a centuries-old trading relationship with the UK, this support from Canada is a natural fit. Oh yes, and the Wood Awards is the most glamorous, cost-effective, focused and exciting way of selling wood to a specifier audience!”



UNIBOARD, a North American leader in engineered wood products, welcomes the opportunity new media to develop closer relationships with their customers and the design community at large with the launch of their new integrated social media campaign. The trade- and consumer-friendly initiative features regular updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Uniboard looks forward to sharing fun and informative news about industry trends, trade show updates, special corporate events and more. First in line for campaign coverage is Product Manager Susan Doherty’s April 17–20 trip to Italy, where she will visit the superb Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Otherwise known as the Milan International Furniture Fair, this is the world’s largest trade show devoted to showcasing the very latest in lighting, home furnishings and décor.


The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has signed a memorandum of understanding with a major Chinese trade association that will bring a large number of additional manufacturers and product options to the annual NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas in January 2013. The agreement underscores the International Builders' Show's role as the preeminent light construction trade show in the Americas.

A formal signing ceremony was held April 19 in Foshan, China, between officials from the China Building Ceramics & Sanitary ware Association and NAHB's Immediate Past Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder and developer in Reno, Nev., and Mark Pursell, NAHB Senior Vice President for Exhibitions, Marketing and Sales.

"This agreement is a big win for both organizations," Nielsen said. "The China Building Ceramics & Sanitary ware Association is one of the most important building product groups in the world. By joining NAHB's annual exhibition its members get access to the premier residential construction trade show in America, and people attending the IBS will have the opportunity to see a greater range of products than they can see at any other residential building trade show in the U.S."

The two NAHB leaders have given presentations to the China Hardware Association, the China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce and to Beijing Helivue, NAHB's trade representative in that country.

"As the American home building market begins to right itself, NAHB needs to ensure that a wide range of products for all segments of the industry are showcased at the International Builders' Show," Nielsen said.  "We welcome the manufacturers and suppliers of the China Building Ceramics & Sanitary ware Association and are confident that this agreement represents the beginning of a long and successful partnership."



In 2012 CanBio will develop a Canadian Bioenergy Strategy that will observe utilization of biomass for the production not only of bio-energy, but more lucrative bio-chemicals, bio-pharmaceuticals, and other bio-materials, bringing jobs to communities across the country. Accordingly, CanBio is holding a major conference and trade show in Alberta to explore options to develop the bio-economy, and options for the oil & gas industry, the forest and agriculture industries, the bioenergy industry and utilities to form partnerships in its development.

At "Advancing the Bio-economy" there will be:

•    Showcasing of bio-economy progress in Alberta the rest of Canada
•    Illustration of biomass investment opportunities in the forestry and agriculture sectors
•    A look at biomass volumes available, the exponential growth in bioenergy, and the socioeconomic impact on Canadian communities
•    Illustration of gasification technology and pyrolysis oil in developing bio-products
•    Exploration of higher value product options
•    Illustration of the benefits of community clustering
•    Exploration of partnership opportunities to accelerate growth
•    Review of economic opportunities and developments in community heat & power
•    Outlining the progress in torrefied wood internationally and next-gen ethanol
•    Discussion on a panel regarding the Approaches to developing a Canadian Energy Strategy, and the ways to integrate a Canadian Bioenergy Strategy into it


The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called on Congress to simplify the tax code as part of a comprehensive tax reform effort in order to help small businesses to continue serve as an engine of economic growth.

Testifying on behalf of NAHB before the House Small Business Committee, Maryland home builder Marty Mitchell said that given the huge complexities in tax law, today's complicated federal tax system acts as a burden and hindrance on small businesses, which serve as the backbone of the economy.

"The home building community supports simplifying the tax code as part of a comprehensive tax reform process," said Mitchell. "Such an effort should only occur after a thoughtful and deliberate vetting process that examines proposed changes, necessary transition rules and economic impacts."

Most small businesses, including the vast majority in the residential construction sector, are organized as pass-thru entities and therefore report and pay individual tax rates on their net business income. Thus, for small businesses, which traditionally serve as the nation's foremost job creators, individual income tax rates are business tax rates.

"Therefore, NAHB strongly supports extending the 2001 and 2003 income tax cuts now scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 in order to improve the business environment in this country," said Mitchell. "We need permanency in the tax code and certainty for small businesses."

Absent congressional action, the top marginal tax rate will jump from 35 percent to 39.6 percent along with rate increases at the lower brackets.

NAHB is also urging lawmakers to extend the current 15 percent rate on dividends and capital gains, which is important to small business owners. A higher capital gains tax rate could also affect the multifamily sector, as the sale of apartment buildings can give rise to capital gains as part of the development and operation process.

"As many home building companies are family-owned like mine, it is also important that the present law estate tax rate rules also be extended or the tax itself eliminated," said Mitchell.

He also stressed that it is critical that the mortgage interest deduction, which has been part of the tax system since 1913 and plays an indispensible role in promoting homeownership, should not be curtailed or eliminated as part of any tax reform effort.

"Weakening or abolishing the mortgage interest deduction would harm home values, push more home owners underwater and exacerbate the foreclosure crisis just as signs are beginning to appear that scores of housing markets are showing signs of improvement following the worst downturn in decades," said Mitchell. "Such changes would also act as a tax increase on the more than 30 million taxpayers who benefit from the deduction, and who made home financing decisions based on long-standing tax rules. In short, it would be unfair and economically destructive to tamper with the deduction."

As the fledgling economic recovery moves forward, Mitchell added that many home builders are still facing major tax liabilities on income never received as they work with lenders to restructure debt due to land and home price declines in recent years.

To help small businesses to continue to create jobs and generate economic growth, NAHB is urging Congress to provide a tax exclusion for business debt forgiveness and allow this exclusion to continue until the business economic climate substantially improves.



Georgia-Pacific Wood Products and Sherwood Lumber Company have announced a new distribution agreement involving GP's full line of engineered wood products (EWP).
The two companies have finalized terms that will provide for Sherwood Lumber to supply its dealers with a complete line of Georgia-Pacific engineered wood products, including Wood I Beam(TM) joists, GP Lam laminated veneer lumber (LVL), FiberStrong rim board and laminated beams.

"We believe this agreement shows our strong commitment to the engineered wood products category," said Andy Goodman, CEO of Sherwood Lumber. "We are pleased to be adding a strong brand like Georgia-Pacific to the Sherwood Lumber product offering."

These products will initially be available out of Sherwood's distribution center in Palmer, Mass., and soon after out of its Holtsville, N.Y. and Delanco, N.J. facilities. Dealers served from these branches will be able to buy full units of material or job lot quantities in the territories of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, eastern New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

"We're excited to be working with such a great building products distributor in Sherwood Lumber," said Paul Watterson, general manager for Georgia-Pacific Wood Products. "Their experience selling a full complement of dimensional framing lumber as well as specialty building products makes them a great fit within our EWP strategy."

SOURCE: PR Newswire


Single-family housing production held virtually unchanged in March as a double-digit decline in the more volatile multifamily sector brought combined nationwide starts activity down 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department today. 

"While more consumers appear to be seriously considering a new-home purchase, builders remain very cautious about starting new projects until they see more actual sales materializing," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "At the same time, in places where buyers are ready to go forward with a purchase, access to credit for both builders and buyers and difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisals are persistent challenges that continue to slow that process considerably."

"While combined U.S. housing starts lost some ground in March, this was almost entirely due to typical month-to-month volatility on the multifamily side," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "The fact is that single-family and multifamily starts and permits were all stronger in the first quarter of 2012 than they were in the fourth quarter of 2011, indicating that the market continues to slowly strengthen, albeit in fits and starts."

The 5.8 percent decline in overall housing starts in March was mostly due to a 16.9 percent decline on the multifamily side, which brought that sector's annual production pace to 192,000 units, seasonally adjusted. Meanwhile, single-family starts held virtually flat for the month with a 0.2 percent decline to 462,000 units.

Regionally, while the South registered a 15.9 percent decline in combined starts activity in March, the Northeast posted a 32.8 percent gain, the Midwest posted a 1.0 percent increase and the West reported no change in the pace of new housing production for the month.

Permit issuance, which can be an indicator of future building activity, gained 4.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 747,000 units in March - the fastest pace since September of 2008. This gain was due to a 20.8 percent increase on the multifamily side to 285,000 units, while single-family permit issuance declined 3.5 percent to 462,000 units.

Regionally, permit issuance gained 23.4 percent in the West, 1.7 percent in the Midwest and 0.3 percent in the South, but fell 6.0 percent in the Northeast this March.


The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) announced that Moulding and Millwork is the newest member of the association's Manufacturers and Services Council (MSC). The council is composed of the leading building material manufacturers and services providers serving the LBM industry. 

Moulding & Millwork's vast global supply network includes manufacturing plants as well as leading vertically integrated moulding producers from around the world. Deep inventories of quality moulding products, combined with specialized knowledge of customer needs, buying power and financial strength, yield near perfect fill rates on a next day ship basis. Their strength in production and manufacturing ensures short lead times and the flexibility to respond quickly to customer needs.

MSC members are established industry leaders who supply products and services to lumber and building material dealers and regional chains across the nation. The dedicated members of the council share a commitment to promoting and enhancing the success of independent dealers and regional chains.


Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes declined for the first time in seven months this April, sliding three notches to 25 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

"Although builders in many markets are noting increased interest among potential buyers, consumers are still very hesitant to go forward with a purchase, and our members are realigning their expectations somewhat until they see more actual signed sales contracts," noted Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla.

"What we're seeing is essentially a pause in what had been a fairly rapid build-up in builder confidence that started last September," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "This is partly because interest expressed by buyers in the past few months has yet to translate into expected sales activity, but is also reflective of the ongoing challenges that are slowing the housing recovery - particularly tight credit conditions for builders and buyers, competition from foreclosures and problems with obtaining accurate

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as "good," "fair" or "poor." The survey also asks builders to rate
traffic of prospective buyers as "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low." Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Each of the index's components registered declines in April. The component gauging current sales conditions and the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months each fell three points, to 26 and 32, respectively, while the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers fell four points to 18.

Regionally, the HMI results were somewhat mixed in April, with the Northeast posting a four-point gain to 29 (its highest level since May of 2010), the West posting no change at 32, the South posting a three-point decline to 24 and the Midwest posting an eight-point decline to 23.    


Häfele to showcase components to increase functionality at 2012 KBIS

Product introductions bring increased functionality to both the kitchen and bath.
Häfele will showcase the latest innovations in cabinet hardware and LED lighting in displays built in collaboration with well-known industry partners.
Archdale, N.C., USA, April 13, 2012 – Häfele America Co., a leading supplier of furniture and architectural hardware components, will be showcasing several new products designed to bring added functionality to the kitchen and bath during the 2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) April 24-26 in Chicago, Ill. in booth 1261. Häfele will be partnering with several renowned industry manufacturers at KBIS to display functional, innovative and holistic solutions for kitchens, baths and more.

Häfele will be introducing several products that provide increased space savings, sleek design and bring the highest level of functionality to kitchen and bath cabinetry. For 2012, customers will discover new Frontino sliding door hardware and the new SmartCab storage system, which are both designed to bring added space-savings to cabinets. The expanded product lines in decorative hardware and Loox LED lighting shown will bring style and enhance the way consumers interact with their kitchens and bathrooms.

“The products showcased at KBIS this year highlight Häfele’s focus on Functionality for You, which is our commitment to manufacture and distribute products that enable consumers to interact more efficiently with their living and working environments by enhancing the functionality of cabinets, furniture, rooms and buildings,” explains Paul Smith, the new president of Häfele America Co. “Show attendees will experience some new innovations from Häfele in addition to the same high-level of interactivity and modernization they’ve enjoyed from us at past shows.”

The Häfele KBIS booth, 1261, will feature displays built in collaboration with several industry partners including Custom Cupboards, Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry, Wellborn Cabinet, Inc., The Grothouse Lumber Company and Harman/Kardon. The displays incorporate Hafele components into holistic solutions that illustrate the possibilities in the kitchen and bath for architects, designers and builders who attend the show.





BBI International announced the agenda for the Rocky Mountain Forest Restoration & Bioenergy Summit. The Summit is a one day, content rich event where experts in forestry, bioenergy and public policy is going to outline the current condition of Rocky Mountain forests and detail how the health of these forests can be improved through collaborative efforts with bioenergy producers.

"We are looking forward to this highly-anticipated summit," says Kolby Hoagland, Program Manager for BBI International. "By bringing together bioenergy professionals, policy makers and forest experts both industries will start to better understand the current health of the Rocky Mountain forests and where potential bioenergy feedstocks may be attained currently and in the future. There is an excellent opportunity for bioenergy to support efforts to restore the health of Rocky Mountain Forests."

In addition to the dynamic lineup of speakers and topics, attendees of the Rocky Mountain Forest Restoration & Bioenergy Summit are invited to attend the Monday night opening ceremony of the International Biomass Conference & Expo, which begins April 16th and is taking place at the same location as the Summit. The International Biomass Conference & Expo is the largest biomass event in the world and brings together producers of biomass power & thermal to discuss new technologies, harvesting efficiencies, policy and opportunities.



Schmitt Industries, Inc.  announced its operating results for the third quarter and nine months ended February 29, 2012. Sales for the three months ended February 29, 2012 increased $236,376, or 8.1%, to $3,156,497 compared to $2,920,121 for the same period last year. Sales for the nine months ended February 29, 2012 increased $1,865,172, or 22.6%, to $10,104,207 compared to $8,239,035 for the nine months ended February 28, 2011. Net income for the third quarter ended February 29, 2012 was $12,621, or $.00 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $191,840, or $.07 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Net income for the nine months ended February 29, 2012 was $71,473, or $.02 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $263,573, or $.09 per diluted share, for the nine months ended February 28, 2011.

For the third quarter ended February 29, 2012, sales in the Balancer segment increased $68,118, or 3.2%, to $2,230,583 from $2,162,465 in the third quarter of Fiscal 2011. For the nine months ended February 29, 2012, sales in the Balancer segment increased $1,452,475, or 25.7%, to $7,114,407 compared to $5,661,932 for the nine months ended February 28, 2011. Sales in the Measurement segment increased $168,258, or 22.2%, to $925,914 in the third quarter of Fiscal 2012 from $757,656 in the third quarter of the prior year. Sales in the Measurement segment increased $412,697, or 16.0%, in the nine months ended February 29, 2012 to $2,989,800 compared to $2,577,103 in the nine months ended February 28, 2011. Sales of the Company's balancer and laser-based measurement products increased from the prior period due primarily to higher volumes of shipments.

Gross margins for the third quarter and the first nine months of Fiscal 2012 increased as compared to the same periods in the prior year due primarily to reducing the costs of inventory components and by changes in the product sales mix shifting towards higher margin products. Operating expenses increased during the third quarter and first nine months of the current year primarily due to higher personnel costs, higher sales and marketing expenses, higher maintenance and repair expenses and higher stock-based compensation offset by lower research and development.

Source: PR Newswire


Jewett-Cameron Trading Company Ltd. reported financial results for the second quarter and six month periods of fiscal 2012 ended February 29, 2012.

Sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 totaled $11.75 million compared to sales of $11.86 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2011.  For the quarter, income from operations was $672,436 compared to $755,337 in the year-ago quarter. In February 2012, the Company received a favorable decision from the Oregon Supreme Court in the Company's lawsuit filed in relation to the acquisition of inventory by Greenwood Products.

For the six months ended February 29, 2012 Jewett-Cameron reported sales of $19.0 million compared to sales of $17.9 million for the same period a year ago. Net income after other items and income taxes was $1,351,807, or $0.73 per share, compared to a net loss of ($349,386), or ($0.16) per share in the first six months of fiscal 2011. The current six month period was positively affected by the reversal of litigation reserves, while the year-ago six month period was negatively affected by the Company accruing ($1,370,151) to the litigation reserve.

"We are pleased with the higher level of sales for the six month period and the favorable ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court," said CEO Don Boone. "However, the higher material and transportation costs continue to negatively affect our margins and net income."
As of February 29, 2012, the Company's cash position was $4.31 million, and currently there is no borrowing against its $5.0 million line of credit. In the second quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company repurchased and cancelled 248,587 common shares at a cost of $2,238,929, which represents an average price of $9.01 per share. These repurchases were pursuant to a new share repurchase plan in accordance with Rule 10b-18 approved by the Board of Directors on January 17, 2012 for the purchase and cancellation of up to 300,000 common shares.

SOURCE: PR Newswire


More than 20 American companies have played roles in fostering a steady flow of illegal hardwoods from the Peruvian Amazon, part of a “well-oiled machine that is ransacking Peru’s forests and undermining the livelihoods and rights of the people that depend on them,” according to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a watchdog group.

The United States and Puerto Rico account for 80% of the total value of Peruvian timber sales, said Andrea Johnson, forest campaign director of the Environmental Investigation Agency.

Rampant corruption on all levels of government and the involvement of organized criminal groups in logging have built a system that assures that nearly all the timber harvested in and exported from Peru is illegal.

The report, “The Laundering Machine: How Fraud and Corruption in Peru’s Concession System are Destroying the Future of its Forests,” follows a World Bank study issued in late March detailing the vast reach and considerable economic and environmental cost of illegal logging. The World Bank says illegal logging is now a "global epidemic" and the equivalent of a football field of forest is clear cut every two seconds around the world.

The World Bank estimated that 90% of the timber harvested worldwide is illegal and accounts for about $10 billion to $15 billion in revenue, largely to organized crime groups and corrupt government officials.

The EIA, with main offices in London and Washington D.C., focuses on forestry, threatened species and global climate issues. The report released Tuesday covers the period from 2008 to 2010 and relies on documents obtained through Peru’s version of a freedom of information law, industry insiders, WikiLeaks cables from the U.S. Embassy and visits to the field.

About 70% of Peru is covered by biologically diverse forests, and it has some of the greatest acreage of tropical forest, after Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Researchers focused on cedar and mahogany, which are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna, known as CITES, and for which special documentation is needed for logging. They found 305 shipments of CITES wood from Peru to the US, most of it cedar.

Analysis of the shipments showed that at least 112 shipments, or 35%, were of illegally logged wood.  The authors cautioned this report did not track all species of protected timber.

The company that has “by far the greatest number of shipments of wood of questionable origin” is Grupo Bozovich, which has a U.S. arm, the report says. The company’s Maderera Bozovich is Peru’s largest wood products company, and U.S. affiliate, Bozovich Timber Products (BTP), is the United States’ biggest importer of Peruvian wood, mostly cedar and some mahogany.

Bozovich has certificates from the Forest Stewardship Council attesting to the sustainability of some of the wood it sells. But the company has faced legal challenges from Peruvian and American groups about the legality of its products. 

The EIA analysis found that 56 of the 112 illegal shipments went to Bozovich’s U.S. affiliate. A staff member at BTP in Evergreen, AL declined to make officials available for comment.

One shipment went to Lane Stanton Vance Lumber in El Cajon and now owned by the Canadian company, McKillican.

Gary McKillican, founder and chief executive of McKillican, declined to comment on the substance of the allegations, saying the shipment Lane Stanton Vance allegedly got from Peru occurred before McKillican acquired the company in late 2010.

Johnson of EIA said her group planned to submit the report and all its data to the Justice department and trade officials. EIA said all of the companies named in the report were sent letters with its findings before the report was issued.

American companies must use wood whose origins comply with the Lacey Act. First passed in 1900 to curtail contraband trade in wildlife, the act was amended in 2008, with broad bipartisan and Bush administration support, to ban illegally logged wood products. The act defines illegal logging as activity that breaks American law or the laws of the country where the wood is grown.

Many in the domestic forest products industry supported the act because studies showed that illegally harvested wood from developing countries was cheaper, undercutting American companies.

Environmentalists pushed for the act to stave off deforestation abroad. Since its passage, studies have shown a reduction in illegal logging worldwide.

Central to the Lacey Act is the notion of “due care,” which means that companies should know, based on a country’s logging history, that its products might be at greater risk of being harvested illegally.  Products from a country like Peru, for instance, should set off alarm bells for just about any importer, the report says.

The report details a system made up of layers of complicit officials and forged documents that loggers use to ship wood out of the country.  The logging occurs in some of Peru’s poorest regions, and exploitation of local labor is rife, according to the report. Loggers often go months without pay, trapped in camps deep in the forests, in conditions of forced labor. The injured go largely untreated. Women cooks at logging camps are subject to sexual assault.

In a 2006 cable acquired by WikiLeaks and published in the EIA report, the U.S. Ambassador to Peru noted that “narcotraffickers … appear to be getting involved in transport of illegal timber.”

The government could curtail illegal logging simply by enforcing laws on the books and sharing information between agencies, said EIA’s Peru director Julia Urrunaga.

Johnson said companies in consumer nations like the U.S. have to go beyond making sure the paperwork is in order, as Peru has proved that documents can be forged, bought and sold.

“The private sector needs to take responsibility and acknowledge that documents are not a guarantee of legality,” she said. “They need to ask harder questions of suppliers.”

Source: Los Angeles Times


PEFC strongly encourages all stakeholders to comment on the latest draft of LEED 2012 by 20 March 2012. While the standard generally fails to promote the use of sustainably sourced timber in construction, it specifically appears to favour one brand of certification system, FSC, over other systems by specifying “FSC or better” in its credit language.

The following credits/prerequisites call for special attention:

•    LEED 2012 3rd PC – BD+C, ID+C, EB:O+M (Building Design & Construction; Interior Design & Construction; Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance)
•    MR Credit: Responsible Extraction of Raw Materials (BD&C, ID&C)
•    MR Credit: Purchasing-Ongoing Consumption (EBOM)
•    MR Credit: Purchasing-Facility Alterations and Additions (EBOM)
•    LEED 2012 3rd PC – Homes (Homes & Multifamily) contains one prerequisite and one credit demanding "FSC or better"
•    MR Prerequisite: Certified Tropical Wood (Homes)
•    MR Credit: Environmentally Preferable Products (Homes)



Eco Building Products, Inc. has shipped WoodSurfaceFilm  Concentrate to the leading wholesale industrial lumber company spanning four states with ten locations. National Industrial Lumber Company (NILCO) formerly a Bluwood producer, sorts after ECOB's Eco Blue Shield as the preferred product to produce and distribute into their long established customer base. Eco Blue Shield technology will offer NILCO customers the wood protection from Mold, Wood-Rot Decay and wood ingesting insects including Formosan Termites with plans to produce Eco Red Shield coatings in the future.

ECOB is excited to establish a relationship with a long standing wholesale lumber company with a very mature customer base. Eco Red Shield extensive testing, market acceptance and quality control protocols coupled with NILCO's extensive coating knowledge and machinery made for an easy transition to ECOB's product line.

SOURCE: PR Newswire


SCI-Arc’ Design Immersion Days (DID) summer program for high school students was awarded a 2012 Citation of Merit from the American Architectural Foundation, as part of the foundation's Accent on Architecture Community Program.

Coordinated by SCI-Arc faculty Darin Johnstone, SCI-Arc’s DID program is a 4-week, day session program that introduces high school students to careers in architecture and design as they explore how products, buildings, and environments are imagined and made. DID students experience first-hand what it’s like to work in a college level design studio. They are given rare access to prominent designers, learning what the study of design and architecture entails and creating substantial portfolios.

Through a series of lectures given by Los Angeles-based designers and field trips exploring the city of Los Angeles, students are exposed to examples of design and modes of production at all scales. In the classroom and in the city, students are introduced to fundamental ways of seeing, thinking and doing that are essential for anyone interested in pursuing a degree and/or career in architecture or design.


The list of housing markets showing measurable improvement expanded slightly to include 101 metropolitan areas in April, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), released today. Thirty-five states (including the District of Columbia) are now represented by at least one market on the list.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. The 101 markets on the April IMI represent a net gain of two from March, with 13 metros being added and 11 markets slipping from the list while 88 markets retained their places on it. Among the new entrants, areas as diverse as Rome, Ga.; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Greenville, N.C.; Brownsville, Texas; St. George, Utah; and Huntington, W.Va., are now represented on the IMI.

"While housing markets across the country continue to struggle under the weight of overly tight lending conditions and other challenges, the April IMI indicates that at least 101 individual metros are showing measurable and consistent signs that they are headed in the right direction," said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. "A total of 35 states are now represented on the list, with 10 states having four or more entries. This positive news is in line with what our builder members have observed regarding firming conditions and improved buyer interest in certain locations."

"After five consecutive months of gains, the IMI recently began to plateau, with many markets holding steady and a few experiencing the ups-and-downs that are typical in a choppy recovery," observed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "The IMI is designed to highlight markets that are showing consistent improvement, and those markets that have registered the smallest gains are more susceptible to dropping off the list due to a minor setback in prices, permits or employment," he explained. At the same time, "as stronger markets approach stability, it will get harder for them to keep charting improvement, which will also limit the expansion of the IMI."  

 "The fact that the number and geographic distribution of improving housing markets continued to expand beyond the 100 mark in April bodes well for the start of the spring home buying season, and should be an encouraging sign for those who are considering a home purchase," added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.

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 improving 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 metropolitan area must see improvement in all three areas for at least six months following their respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.



Hendrick introduced a range of solutions for the woodworking industry which are designed to provide unmatchable service to the different sectors.
GoSaw Vertical Panel Saw Series.

The GoSaw vertical panel saw series from the company are light, strong and rigid. The tripod leg system ensures outstanding stability. This vertical offers excellent panel support and accuracy. Built-in scales make for rapid dimensioning while the mid-way fence ensures that cutting small pieces is quick and easy.

The GoSaw is ideal for anyone needing to cut sheet materials quickly, safely and accurately. It is also an excellent solution for those working on site as it is portable and lightweight.

•    Minimal setup
•    Cross, rip & bevel cutting up to 45°
•    Strong 4’x8’ panel support


The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has announced its participation at the upcoming ‘gulfBID’ exhibition in Bahrain, which will run from 24th to 26th April, 2012 at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The announcement follows 70 percent growth in exports of American hardwood lumber to Bahrain with over USD 340,000 worth of lumber being shipped into the Kingdom in 2011. In addition to its participation at the exhbition, AHEC will also be hosting a seminar on ‘Designing and working with sustainable American hardwoods’ targeting interior designers, architects, importers and wood working professionals in Bahrain and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Set to take place on the second day of the exhibition, the seminar will revolve around educating attendees about the wide variety of American hardwood species as well as their important environmental credentials and their importance in sustainable design. Criswell Davis, AHEC’s Architectural Marketing Consultant will provide in-depth information on the US hardwood forest and the United States’ long history of good forest governance. Davis will also talk about the variety and commercial availability of American hardwood species and the potential they offer for design and end use in the Middle East. AHEC officials are positive of the impact of the seminar given that American hardwoods are well established in the Gulf and have been specified in many high end private, commercial and public projects.

"This seminar offers an excellent opportunity for architects, interior designers and other industry professionals to gain a more in-depth understanding of the unique characteristics and advantages of American hardwoods. Furthermore, the event is designed to allow for full audience participation thereby offering a unique opportunity for anyone coming into contact with wood products to learn about American hardwoods at first hand from industry experts. Through his presentation, Criswell will also aim to demonstrate the efficiency of the rules used to grade American hardwoods, and their environmental credentials amidst the growing demand for assurances that wood is both legal and sustainable," said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania.

In 2011, the total value of imported American hardwood lumber into Bahrain increased by a significant 70 percent, bolstered by the entry of over BHD 614 million worth of new construction projects. As the construction industry sees large-scale progress, American hardwoods, with their great variety of colour, grain and character, and remarkable colour contrasts, offer a wide range of design options for architects and specifiers within this rapidly growing sector. Given their unique and interesting properties, American hardwoods have become the preferred choice of the international design community for high-end interior projects such as public buildings, hotels and corporate offices as well as private homes and many of the species available from the United States are making it into Bahrain’s most recent developments.

“Bahraini’s are getting back to business, which is  helping to  restore confidence amidst a relatively difficult year across the MENA region. Bahrain is demonstrating stable growth, which we believe marks an important turning point for the Kingdom’s economy as customers, manufacturers and other industry players become active again. As we continue to monitor increased demand for American hardwoods across the MENA region, we will be undertaking further initiatives to highlight the exemplary qualities of American hardwoods and how using them can benefit the furniture, construction and other industries in the region. Through this seminar, we aim to engage specifiers and manufacturers and help them make more informed decisions,” concluded Wiles.

Commenting on the participation of the American Hardwood Export Council at gulfBID, Jubran Abdulrahman, Managing Director of the Exhibition Organisers, HCE said “AHEC’s participation at gulfBID is important because of the product range, knowledge and expertise that they bring to the event which is of interest to many of our visitors and some of our exhibitors. Their involvement helps to underline gulfBID’s importance as the annual exhibition for the construction industry in the Northern Gulf, which is taking place at a time when construction projects in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are contributing to re-energising the building sector in the two Kingdoms.”


The US Department of Agriculture - along with the Department of Energy, and the Department of Navy - will co-host an Advanced Biofuels Industry Roundtable in Washington DC on May 18, 2012 as the next step in the partnership with the private sector to produce advanced biofuels to power military and commercial transportation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement today during his keynote address to the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference.

"The Biofuels Industry Roundtable will produce the market and industry expertise necessary to develop a domestic biofuel market capable of producing alternative fuel that is cost-competitive with traditional fuel," stated Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "The Departments of Navy, Agriculture, and Energy are investing in an existing private industry to spur growth, and each department will closely monitor how that investment is used to achieve the president's objectives."

The May 18, 2012 roundtable will focus on efforts to accelerate the production of bio-based fuels for military and commercial purposes. Last year, USDA, and the Departments of Energy and the Navy announced that – through the Defense Production Act – they will collaborate to accelerate the development of advanced, drop-in aviation and marine biofuels and marine diesel to help power our military. Participants in this roundtable will discuss next steps for those interested in pursuing the production of aviation biofuels and marine diesel. Topics will include production, distribution and contracting, and best practices. This roundtable follows a "match making" event hosted last week at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks, and biorefineries.

As part of that strategy, and at Secretary Vilsack's direction, USDA is working to develop the national biofuels industry producing energy from non-food sources in every region of the country. We are conducting and encouraging research into innovative new energy technologies and processes, helping companies build biorefineries – including the first ever commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facilities – and supporting farmers, ranchers, and businesses taking risks to pursue new opportunities in biofuels. Along with Federal partners, we're establishing an aviation biofuels economy, and have expedited rules and efforts to promote production and commercialization of biofuels.


Formica Group launched 180fx, creating a revolution in the world of surfacing. Years of intensive pattern and new digital technology yielded true- to- scale granite patterns, the visual drama of which are unmatched by any other laminate. Five sophisticated new patterns namely, Dolce Vita, Nacarado, Crema Mascarello, Travertine Gold and Bianca Luna focused on a neutral palette, versatile enough to pair with any interior design concept. The looks are of real stone.

Formica 180fx is the first large-scale laminate, offering exotic patterns that don't repeat across the material's 5-foot width. The price for installing 180fx is a fraction of the cost of installing large-scale exotic stone surfaces. The 180fx collection comes in 16 large-scale patterns ideal for the kitchen island, counter and backsplash. Unique four -color printing reproduces the sophisticated multi-colored layers and realism of the original, exotic stones. Each 180fx pattern features an enhanced finish, providing an added dimension that naturally highlights its unique characteristics.

Dolce Vita is marked by the interspersing of exotic wood with fine quartz crystals. This large-scale granite pattern emits misty gray and off-white color, while charcoal are also touched with hints of soft rose and purple. The sweeping patterns are broken with fine white crystalline structures of quartz, while the Etchings finish deepens the color and sharpens the visual appeal.

Know about more such products in the current issue


The Felder edgebander series have been designed to provide processing solutions for coiled edge material and solid strips up to 5 mm thick and 600 mm in height. The series with compact base models of G 500 promises service of “Professional” category. The G 560 model has an additional feature of “premilling”. The G 570 model has a corner rounding module as a top feature and soft formed or post formed work pieces of upto a height of 45 mm. The most developed model from the edgebanders series is the G 580 model. It is equipped with a premilling unit and a corner rounding unit.

Each model of the edgebander series features individual tailored solutions such as glue scraper or buffing unit to improve the quality of final workpiece.

The basic features of these four models are:
LCD display and keypad: The operating panel is equipped with LCD display and keypad which lets one access and set the glue temperature settings and automatically decrease the glue temperature. Through this feature individual stations can be selected and disengaged and show the tab of total meters used. The LCD displays the maintenance intervals and plain text error messages.

Chain feeder: The workpiece feeder with chain and drive rollers are in the spiral formation. This leaves no scratches on the workpiece surface of highly graded layered materials.

Tape feed: The tape feed feature allows to feed coiled materials of 0.4 to 3 mm thick and strip materials via a strip magazine of 120 mm capacity.

Glue roller and pot: The glue pot is Teflon coated with a capacity of 2 kg PVA hot melt adhesive granulate (ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers). 12 minutes after the installation of the pot the machine is ready to operate. The glue roller can be adjusted to ensure the application of correct amount of hot glue to different types of edging materials. PUR (Polyurethane resin) hot melt adhesive granulate may be used in accordance with the glue manufacturer‘s processing guidelines.

Learn more about this technology in the current Mar-Apr issue


UNIBOARD, a North American leader in engineered wood products, unleashed the glitzy spirit of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival at Montreal restaurant Chez Ma Grosse Truie Chérie. The private cocktail event celebrated the launch of Uniboard's RIOTM and Hi-Gloss thermofused melamine surface textures.

Clients were fêted with Brazilian hors d'oeuvres, drinks, samba music and, of course, a glittering parade of carnival dancing, plus given a chance to win a trip for two to Rio itself. The event formed a unique showcase for Uniboard's new and unique finishes of thermofused melamine panels: RIO and Hi-Gloss. It also featured a fresh colour palette dedicated to kitchen design, themed around the bright, sun-drenched hues of Brazil.

Unlike other finishes available on the market, the RIO finish is a unique 3D linear brushed wood finish created in partnership with Olon Industries, the leading North American supplier of profile-wrapped doors, drawer and accessory mouldings. ''Using our perfect match technology, we created a beautiful TFM finish to match Olon's polyester molding and 5-piece door co-products, "continued Ms. Doherty. ''Our Hi-Gloss is a unique thermofused melamine finish in North America and is a Uniboard exclusive".

The launch of these finishes further strengthens Uniboard's market position in setting the standard in innovation and design and its commitment to its customers.