Wood Business

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SLB reports nearly 1.5 BBF of softwood lumber demand generated in 2019


February 27, 2020
By Softwood Lumber Board
Chart supplied.

The year 2019 marked a significant milestone for the Softwood Lumber Board’s (SLB) portfolio of programs. Thanks to the collective impact of the softwood lumber industry’s investments, for the third consecutive year, more than 1 billion board feet of incremental softwood lumber demand was generated.

SLB-funded programs generated an additional 224 million board feet over 2018; this 18 per cent year-over-year growth includes 432 million board feet generated in Q4 alone, a 56 per cent increase over the same period last year.

This outstanding return on investment brings the SLB’s impact to more than 6.3 billion board feet over the past eight years.

Every interaction drives the industry forward, toward a future built with softwood lumber. The SLB strives to be a strong advocate for the industry making softwood lumber the preferred material choice for the residential, non-residential, commercial, and industrial markets.

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Through the work in codes, communications, conversions, and innovation, SLB-funded programs tackle specific challenges to increase awareness of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of building with softwood lumber products. We know that wood is sustainable, safe, and cost-effective. It’s a renewable natural resource that translates beautifully into any project. Our programs continue to position wood as the preferred solution for all building types under the current codes and to support innovative applications such as heavy/mass timber. The objective is to motivate a shift within design and construction firms whereby practitioners choose wood over alternative materials. By helping to ensure that wood is viewed as a viable solution across a broad spectrum of building types and uses, the SLB and its funded programs strengthen the wood products industry’s overall market position and provide long-term stability for wood products.

2015–2019 wood products demand generated by SLB-funded programs. Chart provided.

The SLB’s priorities remain consistent and include the following:

  • Protecting the current share in established market segments and newer ones.
  • Prioritizing project conversions in the one- to four-story (non-residential), five- and six-storey, and seven- to 12-storey segments.
  • Supporting and promoting innovative buildings that showcase the capacity of wood construction.
  • Expanding market acceptance and use of lumber-based mass timber construction in larger and taller buildings.

Through the work led by WoodWorks, 351 projects originally specified in concrete or steel were converted to wood in 2019. Over the past five years, the WoodWorks team has converted over 1,400 projects; 85 per cent of those projects were light-frame construction, and the remaining 15 per cent involved a mass timber solution.

Chart provided.

However, as interest in mass timber grows, the American Wood Council, Think Wood, and WoodWorks continue to provide insight, guidance, education, and training to architects, developers, general contractors, engineers, and installers who need knowledge and experience to use wood products for a better built environment.