Wood Panels
Aug. 3, 2018 - A group of 17 firefighters were on site at Norbord's OSB plant in 100 Mile House, B.C. on July 28 for a fire that measured 50 by 80 feet.

The fire was described as large in size and difficult to control prompting crews to fight it through the night until the morning of July 29.

Norbord staff are reported to have tried to extinguish the fire before crews arrived.

The fire is now completely extinguished. There were no injuries.

Read the full story here.
Aug. 2, 2018 - Norbord Inc. has reported Adjusted EBITDA of $273 million for the second quarter of 2018 versus $165 million in the second quarter of 2017 and $170 million in the first quarter of 2018.
July 12, 2018 - Building an ultra-energy efficient industrial-style building in a northern climate is no easy task, but the Wood Innovation Research Laboratory (WIRL) stands as proof it can be done.

Home to researchers seeking to discover novel materials and techniques for the next generation of tall wood buildings, the laboratory is itself an engineering marvel. It is a certified Passive House, the first building of its type in North America to exceed the exacting international standard.

“We pulled off something really amazing here,” says UNBC associate professor of engineering Dr. Guido Wimmers. “This building has caught the attention of Passive House researchers around the world because it demonstrates how an industrial structure, constructed with wood, in Northern British Columbia’s cold climate can be a global leader in energy efficiency.”

Certified Passive House buildings use up to 90 per cent less energy for heating and cooling when compared with standard buildings and use up to 70 per cent less energy overall.

As the building owner, UNBC provided in-house expertise on the Passive House requirement and shared ideas on how to develop design and building solutions with the architectural, engineering and construction teams. Wimmers, and others in the Master of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design program, worked closely with the contractors throughout the design and construction phase of the project.

“At UNBC, we have a lot of expertise in building science, the materials the go into Passive House buildings and how we operate our buildings,” says UNBC assistant director of facilities Dr. David Claus. “We’ve been able to put that all into practice on this project.”

That expertise, combined with the dedication to detail from all the project partners, resulted in impressive results.

WIRL set a new standard for air tightness, securing the best North American result of any building using the internationally recognized passive house standard. The testing protocol involves both pressurizing and depressurizing the building and measuring the number of air changes per hour that result. With a score of 0.07, WIRL surpassed the Passive House requirement by nearly a factor of 10.

The result is all the more impressive given the design requirements of the building. With a large bay door installed to facilitate the delivery of materials and a state-of-the-art dust extraction system required, there is a lot of potential for air leakage.

“The biggest challenge was the large overhead door,” Wimmers explains. “It is very difficult to find a manufacturer who can deliver a well-insulated and air-tight product.”

The big red door was sourced from Germany and the other doors and windows hail from Poland. European parts were required for those aspects of the building because Passive House manufacturing is still in its early stages in Canada.

Other components of the building were locally sourced, including the trusses used vertically in the design of the thick exterior walls.

“Using trusses as a vertical component is something unique,” Wimmers says. “I have been working in Passive Houses for more than 15 years and I have not seen any kind of technical system like this before.”

The 50-cm wide walls are rated R-80 and contain blown in mineral wool insulation. The roof is rated R-100 and required special certification from the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columba. Even the floor sits atop 20 cm of expanded polystyrene insulation.

“The entire envelope needs to be really well insulated,” Wimmers explains. “Everything has to be nicely wrapped with a warm blanket.”

Even with the air-tight design and extra insulation, the building also needs to be breathable so that any moisture that may accumulate is not trapped inside.  

Wimmers and Master of Engineering program graduate Stephanie Wall produced a comparative life-cycle assessment, looking at the wood-based Passive House design of WIRL and comparing it a wood structure, built to standard building code requirements; a steel structure designed to be a Passive House; and a steel structure built to code.

The wood designs contained much less embodied energy — or energy consumed during the production of building materials and the construction itself — compared with the steel buildings. The Passive House buildings use much less energy operationally, and the wood-Passive House design scored the best overall.

“A Passive house building outperforms a code building substantially in the long run,” Wimmers says. “It’s about a third of the environmental impact compared to a code building over 60 years.”

To further reduce WIRL’s carbon footprint, the University has signed a biogas contract. By using gas recovered from agricultural facilities and landfills, UNBC is able to lessen its reliance on fossil fuels.

The Passive House design, combined with the biogas fuel, means the building is expected to produce one per cent of greenhouse gas emissions compared with a conventional building.

There’s one more benefit to the Passive House that cannot be quantified.

“In Passive House we often talk all about the low energy use,” says Claus. “But because of the ventilation systems, they are also very comfortable to live in.”

Learn more about the Wood Innovation Research Lab through the Project Overview produced by naturally:wood.



This article was originally published by the University of Northern British Columbia. 
June 28, 2018 - Urbanisation is accelerating and creating pressure to increase housing construction. To answer this global challenge, construction needs to be quicker and more ecological. In Metsä Wood's new video, Mikko Saavalainen, senior vice-president of business development, and Juha Kasslin, vice-president of product management, explain what off-site wood construction has to offer.

At the moment, construction produces 30 per cent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, and it is clear that the course must be changed. We need more ecologically sustainable solutions. Wood is the only major construction material that stores carbon. Wood is a renewable material, and when the wooden parts are no longer used in buildings, they can be reused or recycled.

Another key factor in urban construction is speed. The construction industry is undergoing a major transition, with construction moving from building sites to off-site manufacturing. Elements and modules are assembled in industrial factory conditions and delivered to building sites for quick installation. The lightness and strength properties of engineered wood products, like Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber), make off-site construction a very attractive option.

More efficient construction through prefabrication
Using prefabricated wooden elements significantly reduces time spent at the construction site. As most of the construction work is done indoors, there are no delays due to weather conditions. The turnaround time on building sites is shortened as the amount of errors is reduced and work safety is improved.

Metsä Wood's cut-to-size Kerto LVL products and optimised element production ensure material efficiency with minimum waste. Kerto LVL products have an excellent strength-to-size ratio, which means less construction material is needed, and therefore traffic to the building site is minimised.

Wood elements together with partners
Kerto LVL products make construction fast, light and green. Metsä Wood is actively building a partner network to increase off-site manufacturing of Kerto LVL elements for this purpose.

"The Kerto LVL ecosystem means a network of companies with who we can together develop and grow the use of wood elements in construction," says Laura Mattila, vice-president of sales development at Metsä Wood. "The strength of the ecosystem is based on everybody concentrating on their core competence. The sum of this is more than each party trying to do everything by themselves."

Metsä Wood's core competence is to produce Kerto LVL products on an industrial scale. Meanwhile, the element manufacturers carry out a lot of product development based on this versatile raw material.
June 5, 2018 - Freres Lumber’s new $32-million mass plywood panel (MPP) plant in Lyons, Ore., is breaking new ground as it seeks opportunity in the growing mass timber component building movement and market. In doing so, the 20-year panel producer and 59-year veneer supplier is taking advantage of its longtime strengths while moving in a bold new direction.
May 16, 2018 - Canada-based Danzer companies Interforest Ltd. in Durham, Ont., and Interforest Lumber, Inc. in Boucherville, Que., have been trading together under the name Danzer Canada Inc. since May 1.
May 8, 2018 - The University of Toronto is set to build a 14-storey academic tower made of timber on its downtown Toronto campus – expected to be the tallest mass timber and concrete hybrid building in North America.
April 27, 2018 - U.K.-based marketing and consulting firm IndexBox has published a new report called "World: Wood-Based Panels - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025".

Canadian Forest Industries has published key findings of the report below.

Global market of wood-based panels softened its growth
In 2016, the wood-based panels market grew to 408M cubic meters. After a slight reduction from 2008 to 2009, the market grew steadily through to 2016, however, the pace of growth decelerated over the last three years. In wholesale prices, the market accounted to $162B. In value terms, the market showed a more pronounced dynamics — it contracted by 15 per cent in 2009 and then recovered over the next two years with further upward trend. However, in 2015, the market dropped slightly and retained this level in the next year.

Plywood (155M cubic meters), particle board and OSB (119M cubic meters) and MDF/HDF (97M cubic meters) were the most consumed product categories, together making up 91 per cent of global consumption in 2016. Consumption of veneer sheets (4 per cent), hardboard (3 per cent) and other fibreboard (2 per cent) held small shares in the market.

The wood-based panels market is to reach 467M cubic meters by 2025
The shifting of potential market opportunities from developed countries to developing ones has been one of the main global trends in the wood based panel market over the last few years. While the economically mature markets of the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe are expected to have a modest pace of housing starts, the fastest growing Asian countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam are expected to continue growth due to rising urbanization and disposable incomes. The other emerging economies, such as Russia, Brazil, and Eastern Europe appear to have potential of growth, but it is restrained by lack of investments and the shrinking of consumer spending due to an economy slowdown.

The world economy is expected to experience fundamental changes, supported by decreasing oil prices, the slowdown of Chinese economy, and the deceleration of the world trade. However, the demand from downstream industries in largest consumer countries is forecast to remain positive, backed up by wide product use, increasing regional integration, and positive conditions for wood-based panel manufacturing. The Asia-Pacific region will remain a key growing market. Despite the slowing pace of construction in China, the expansion of China's economy continues to be significant, similarly to other rapidly-growing countries in the region (including Indonesia and Malaysia). The U.S. is also an important market, with a steady expansion in construction, combined with the stable levels of employment and the rising incomes, leading to an increasing demand for wood-based panels. In general, the global wood-based panel market is expected to continue to grow by +1.5 annually in the medium term which will lead the market size to 467M cubic meters by the end of 2025.

Wood-based panels output grew by 45 per cent from the outset level
Production of wood-based panels reached 410M cubic meters in 2016, with an upward trend over the last seven years. This resulted into an increase of +45 per cent from the outset level. In 2010, global wood-based panels overcame the pre-recession production level of 2007. In value terms, the production flattened at $161B in 2016 after a 7 per cent drop recorded in the previous year; prior to that it increased robustly from 2010-2014.

China was a major producer of wood-based panels
China was the key world wood-based panels producing country with an output of about 204M thousand cubic meters in 2016, which accounted approx. for a half of total global output. The other major producers were the U.S. (eight per cent), Russia (four per cent), Canada (three per cent), Germany (three per cent), Brazil (three per cent), Poland (two per cent) and Turkey (two per cent).

In China, production levels increased by +10.4 per cent annually from 2007 to 2016, largely attributed to favorable economic conditions and growth of construction market. The other major producing countries showed mixed dynamics of wood-based panels output in physical terms. In 2007-2016 annual growth rates were especially high in Turkey (+6.5 per cent) and Russia (+4.1 per cent). Germany (-3.7 per cent), Canada (-2.1 per cent) and the U.S. (-1.1 per cent) were major producing countries with an annual decline of wood-based panels output.

Approx. 21 per cent of wood-based panels consumption is imported
Wood-based panels is a widely traded commodity. The share of imports in global consumption stood at 21 per cent in 2016. Despite the fact that the share of imports decreased noticably by seven percentage points over the last nine years, the market is still highly dependent on imports. High trade intensity is determined mainly by the substantial distances between the main centers of wood-based panels manufacturing countries and key consuming countries.

Particle board, plywood and MDF together made the vast majority of world exports
Particle board and OSB (29.9M cubic meters) and plywood (29.5M cubic meters) constituted the largest product categories in terms of exports, each comprising 34 per cent of the total exports in 2016. Exports of these products recorded a slight growth in volumes from 2007-2016: the average annual growth rates stood at +0.8 per cent and +1.0 per cent, respectively. MDF/HDF lagged somewhat behind, accounting for a 19 per cent share of total exports and expanding with a CAGR of +1.8 per cent over the same period.

China and Canada are the leading suppliers of wood-based panels to global market
In 2016, the volume of global wood-based panels exports totalled 87.5M cubic meters, expanding robustly from the bottom point of 2009. In 2013, exports recovered from a slump caused by global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and then continued to increase gradually. In value terms, it fluctuated near $34B from 2011 to 2016.

China (14.8M cubic meters in 2016) and Canada (8.4M cubic meters) were the main global suppliers of wood-based panels with a combined share of 27 per cent of global exports. Germany, with the share of seven per cent, Malaysia (six per cent), Russia (six per cent), Thailand (five per cent) and France (four per cent) were the other major exporters. From 2007 to 2016, Russia (+9.4 per cent per year) emerged as the fastest growing supplier among the major exporters, followed by Thailand (+4.9 per cent per year) and China (+3.3 per cent per year). Meanwhile, exports from Canada reduced by -1.5 per cent per year over the same period.

The U.S. continues to lead the globe in terms of imports of wood-based panels
The volume of global imports totalled 85.2M thousand cubic meters in 2016. In terms of dynamics, imports were generally in line with exports: these trade flows globally complement each other. In value terms, the total imports stood at $34.9B in 2016, this figure remained relatively stable over the last four years.

In 2016, the U.S. (12.9M cubic meters), Germany (5.6M cubic meters), Japan (4.2M cubic meters), China (3.5M cubic meters), Canada (3.4M cubic meters), the UK (3.4M cubic meters) and Italy (2.7M cubic meters) were the leading destinations of wood-based panels imports, together making up 42 per cent of the global imports. Among the major importing countries China (+1.3 per cent per year) gained the highest annual growth rates from 2007 to 2016. Despite a rapid acceleration in 2014-2016, the U.S. imports of wood-based panels still need to grow a bit more to regain its outset level. By contrast, Japan and the U.K. recorded a slight decrease with regard to imports, which contracted by -2.0 per cent per year and -1.1 per cent per year, respectively, from 2007-2016. In the other countries, imports remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.



The full report can be accessed here.
April 25, 2018 - Approval has been granted for Vancouver Island's first mass-timber building to be constructed. The location is in Esquimalt, B.C., which is at the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

“This is an innovative project that is going to serve to really bring focus to Esquimalt as a municipality that does innovative and exciting things,” project manager Troy Grant told Victoria News.

Upon completion, the 12-storey, 83-unit building will weigh only 25 per cent of a similarly sized concrete and steel building.

Read the full article here.
April 25, 2018 - Ontario is investing $7.8 million in research, education and construction of tall wood buildings so more wood products can be used in new homes and taller buildings through the new Mass Timber Program.

The use of wood in infrastructure can help address climate change by storing carbon in buildings and by avoiding greenhouse gas pollution associated with other carbon-intensive materials.

“Ontario’s Mass Timber Program will help make us a world leader in innovative new wood products and tall wood frame building construction,” Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Nathalie Des Rosiers. “Our government is committed to moving beyond six-storey structures and through our new centre for innovation, and partnerships with educational institutions here in Ontario, we know we can build a future that is environmentally friendly, innovative and safe.”

Ontario's Mass Timber Program has been developed to promote the use of wood in taller buildings by:

  • Providing funding for research and development of innovative wood products, undertaken by academic and private research organizations, to support potential wood-related changes to the Building Code and other standards 
  • Funding post-secondary education institutions to provide skills development and technical training and to create tools relating to using wood in construction
  • Supporting the establishment of a tall wood research institute in Ontario, in partnership with researchers, universities, and colleges
  • Demonstrating the successful use of mass timber in design, construction, and the fire safety of taller wooden buildings (seven storeys and higher) including four tall wood demonstration projects.
“In 2012 I introduced a Private Member’s Bill to allow for six-storey wood frame construction in Ontario, and this was adopted into the Building Code in 2015,” said Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “The expanded use of this sustainable resource in the construction industry is important for northern Ontario’s economy, and compliments the work my ministry is doing on how we can allow for tall wood buildings higher than six storeys to be built in the province.”

In 2015, Ontario made changes to its Building Code related to the use of wood-frame construction in mid-rise construction of up to six storeys. Numerous projects have been designed and built to these new Building Code requirements and more are coming.

In addition to environmental benefits, mass timber structures will have lower building costs due to quicker construction times, while maintaining fire safety standards.
April 10, 2018 - A 12-storey building inherently different than any other in the city will soon rise on Toronto’s eastern waterfront.
March 23, 2018 - On the picturesque shores of Vancouver Island, in the city limits of Nanaimo, B.C., a veneer and roundwood facility has been efficiently turning 100 per cent Douglas fir into quality veneer sheets since 1988.
March 15, 2018 - Norbord Inc. announced today that a shortage of wood will cause it to temporarily suspend production at its oriented strand board (OSB) mill in 100 Mile House, British Columbia.  Norbord currently expects the suspension to commence on or about May 14, 2018 and to continue for approximately one month.

The significant wildfires that the province of British Columbia experienced in the summer of 2017 seriously damaged logging areas surrounding the 100 Mile House mill.  Further, the severe weather conditions this winter have limited loggers' ability to access the forests during the months when the mill typically builds its annual log inventory. Combined, these extraordinary circumstances have impacted Norbord's ability to secure a sufficient wood supply to operate the mill on a continuous basis during this one-month period.

Norbord will continue to supply its customers with production from its other OSB mills and the 100 Mile House mill will continue to receive log deliveries during this period. The Company currently estimates that the curtailment will negatively impact its second quarter 2018 financial results by approximately US$5 million.

The 100 Mile House mill has a stated annual production capacity of 440 million square feet (3/8-inch basis).
March 6, 2018 - Oregon-based Roseburg Forest Products recently reached an agreement in principle with Pembroke MDF, Inc. to purchase Pembroke’s medium density fiberboard (MDF) and molding production facilities located in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Upon final due diligence and board of director approval, the parties expect the sale to close by April 9, 2018.

The acquisition will be Roseburg’s first international purchase and will continue the company’s expansion throughout North America. Roseburg is currently building an engineered wood products plant in Chester, S.C., and recently acquired 158,000 acres of timberland in Virginia and North Carolina.

“The Pembroke plant and its employees present untapped potential that can be used to better serve existing and future customers of our innovative and versatile MDF product line,” said Mark Avery, Roseburg senior vice-president of industrial products and national accounts. “It’s an exciting opportunity for Roseburg to move into the northeastern region and further diversify our operations and meet demand.”

Roseburg currently owns and operates an MDF plant in Medford, Ore., which produces the company’s Arreis, Medite, Medex, Permacore and Fibrlite product lines. “The addition of the Pembroke MDF plant means Roseburg customers will have access to a broader portfolio of products from a company with a demonstrated, long-term commitment to the industry,” said Jim Buffington, Roseburg’s business director for industrial products.

“While this deal represents an excellent strategic opportunity for the company, it also offers Pembroke employees and suppliers the promise of stability and consistency provided by Roseburg’s large manufacturing enterprise,” Roseburg president and CEO Grady Mulbery said. “This is a win-win for everyone involved, and we look forward to what the future will bring.”



Founded in 1936, Roseburg Forest Products is a privately owned company and one of North America’s leading producers of particleboard, medium density fiberboard and thermally fused laminates. Roseburg also manufactures softwood and hardwood plywood, lumber, LVL and I-joists. The company owns and sustainably manages more than 600,000 acres of timberland in Oregon, North Carolina and Virginia, as well as an export wood chip terminal facility in Coos Bay, Ore. Roseburg products are shipped throughout North America and the Pacific Rim. To learn more about the company please visit www.Roseburg.com.
Feb. 6, 2018 – Quebec-based Arbec Forest Products has received an additional investment of up to $1 million to support its $10-million upgrade of its oriented strand board (OSB) plant in Miramichi, N.B.

The investment, by the New Brunswick government will go toward ensuring new equipment and technology is used to increase productivity and quality control.

“We have enormous confidence in the skills of our workforce here in Miramichi and we hope that the more than $10-million worth of capital investments we are making speak to that very clearly,” mill manager Les Flett said in a statement.

Arbec purchased the Miramichi plant in 2011 and began production in 2012 following renovations. The company currently employs 124.
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