April 4, 2017 – An 18-storey wood building with a fire code that has left even fire chiefs impressed?

That is what has been achieved in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia where mass timber was used to build the world’s tallest wooden building.

Fire Fighting in Canada magazine’s feature on the project explains that the building is much taller than the six-storey limit for wooden buildings laid out by the National Building Code of Canada. The naturally fire resistant mass timber material used for it also requires its own permit.

According to the article, the National Building Code of Canada may consider encapsulated mass timber wood construction of up to 12 storeys come 2020.

“The building’s 169-millimetre-thick CLT panels, used for the floors, were constructed with five layers of dimensional lumber oriented at right angles to one another and then bonded together. Glulam, used in the columns, is also composed of bonded dimensional lumber, with the grain running parallel to the beam’s length,” the article reads.

A fire demonstration done in Quebec showed that in the event of a fire in with the same CLT panels, with temperatures reaching their highest, the fire would be contained to the compartment it started in, and even burn itself out in about two hours.

“I would call this extremely safe from a fire perspective,” Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services assistant chief of community safety Ray Bryant told FFIC magazine. “It’s a very safe building, once completed.” 

Bryant told FFIC that the use of mass timber in the construction of the building is what made it safer than a stick-built structure.

The building is being used to house university students living on the UBC campus this spring.

The success of this building could be a catalyst for similar uses of wood in the future. | READ MORE
Oct. 28, 2016 - Two OSB mills in Quebec will swap ownership after a mill exchange agreement was reached today between Norbord Inc. and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP).
Sept. 27, 2016 - Mauro Calabrese, a planning forester for West Fraser in Williams Lake, contributed an article about Williams Lake Plywood for the Williams Lake Tribune's National Forest Week Celebrating Forestry 2016 supplement.

"Williams Lake Plywood has been operating at its Williams Lake location since 1953, but it didn’t start out as a West Fraser owned plant and it didn’t always make plywood.  It was originally known as “All Fir”- finishing rough lumber from the surrounding bush mills."

Read the full story.
Sept. 2, 2016 - Columbia Forest Products’ veneer plant, Rutherglen mill, east of North Bay, Ont., is ramping up towards full-production after restarting operations in April. 

July 25, 2016 - Toronto-based Norbord Inc. is positioned to profit from the rise in the OSB benchmark price after years of carefully building its presence in the OSB space.

According to a feature in the Globe & Mail, North American OSB prices in the first quarter of 2016 were 17 per cent higher than last year. That, and Norbord's acquisitions in the OSB sector position it for solid growth and profitability after years of challenges.

Chris Damas, an analyst and editor of BCMI Report, says the benchmark OSB price is now in the range of $306 (U.S.) per thousand square feet, well above the $229 15-year average.

Once a diversified forestry company, Norbord shed assets over the years to focus on OSB. Now boasting annual sales in the $1.5-billion range and a market capitalization of about $2.4-billion (Canadian), it bills itself as the world’s largest producer of OSB.

Read the complete feature here.

June 6, 2016 - Back in the fall, Columbia Forest Products mills in the U.S. were producing such a high-quality veneer that the company was having to ship it north to its mill in Hearst, Ont. to keep up with Canadian demand. The demand was so great, that Columbia ended up investing $15 million into its production facility in Hearst to upgrade the plant’s core-peeling capabilities with the same Meinan state-of-the-art peeling technology used in its U.S. mill operations.

May 24, 2016 - Norbord Inc. announced that its OSB mill in High Level, Alta. resumed production over the weekend following a fire that occurred on May 4.

As previously reported, in the afternoon of May 4, a fire broke out in the mill yard which, as a result of the hot, dry, windy weather conditions in northern Alberta, quickly spread to the log storage area outside the plant. As a precaution, Norbord immediately suspended production at the mill. Shipping from finished goods inventory resumed the weekend of May 6.

The High Level mill has a stated annual production capacity of 860 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) and has been ramping up towards full production since resuming operations in late 2013. High Level is located approximately 720 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and 400 kilometres west of Fort McMurray. 

Norbord Profile
Norbord Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of wood-based panels and the world's largest producer of oriented strand board (OSB). In addition to OSB, Norbord manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard and related value-added products. Norbord has assets of approximately $1.7 billion and employs approximately 2,600 people at 17 plant locations in the United States, Canada and Europe. Norbord is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "OSB".

This news release contains forward-looking statements, as defined by applicable securities legislation, including statements related to our strategy, projects, plans, future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "expect," "believe," "forecast," "likely," "support," "target," "consider," "continue," "suggest," "intend," "should," "appear," "would," "will," "will not," "plan," "can," "may," and other expressions which are predictions of or indicate future events, trends or prospects and which do not relate to historical matters identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Norbord to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

Although Norbord believes it has a reasonable basis for making these forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, which contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts and other forward-looking statements will not occur. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated or implied by forward-looking statements include: assumptions in connection with the economic and financial conditions in the US, Europe, Canada and globally; risks inherent to product concentration and cyclicality; effects of competition and product pricing pressures; risks inherent to customer dependence; effects of variations in the price and availability of manufacturing inputs; risks inherent to a capital intensive industry; ability to realize synergies; and other risks and factors described from time to time in filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities.

Except as required by applicable law, Norbord does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by, or on behalf of, the Company, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, or to publicly update or revise the above list of factors affecting this information. See the "Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information" statement in the January 27, 2016 Annual Information Form and the cautionary statement contained in the "Forward-Looking Statements" section of the 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated January 27, 2016 and Q1 2016 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated April 28, 2016.

Source:Norbord Inc.
May 13, 2016 – Columbia Forest Products’ recently continued its expansion efforts across Ontario with the purchase of Kitchener, Ont.- based Nova Wood Lamination.

The company purchased the shares of Nova Wood Lamination from its founding owners, Frank and Donna Decicco.

"Frank, Donna and the rest of the Nova Wood Lamination team have built an outstanding reputation for delivering a diverse mix of high quality products and services to the decorative hardwood panel industry," said Columbia's executive vice-president of Canadian plywood and decorative veneer operations, Gary Gillespie. "We are extremely happy to bring the Nova lamination facility into the Columbia Forest Products family.”

"The Nova Wood plant’s flexible, quality-based production line and its proximity to attractive Canadian and U.S. markets will give many Columbia customers a new competitive edge,” added Gilles Levesque, Columbia's general manager of Canadian plywood operations. 

Columbia's purchase of Nova Wood Lamination is the third major investment made by the company in the province over the past 12 months. The company also commissioned a new Meinan core peeling lathe at its Hearst, Ont. plywood plant this past fall and re-started hardwood veneer peeling operations in Rutherglen, Ont. earlier this month.

"We are high on Ontario: its resources, suppliers, the close working relationships we enjoy with the government agencies, and especially, the dedicated workforce we employ across the province,” said Gillespie.

About Columbia Forest Products
Established in 1957, Columbia Forest Products has provided fine decorative hardwood plywood panels to the woodworking industry for nearly 60 years. Columbia’s decorative veneers and panels are used in high-quality cabinetry, fine furniture, architectural millwork and commercial fixtures. An employee stock owned firm (ESOP), Columbia is committed to offering products with integrity, originating from responsibly-managed forestlands and assembled with EPA award-winning PureBond® formaldehyde-free technology. All Columbia products are backed by exceptional customer service and technical support. Website address:  www.cfpwood.com.
May 9, 2016 - Norbord Inc. today provided an update on the fire at its OSB mill in High Level, Alberta.

As previously reported, in the afternoon of May 4, a fire broke out in the mill yard which, as a result of the hot, dry, windy weather conditions in northern Alberta, quickly spread to the log storage area outside the plant.  As a precaution, Norbord immediately suspended production at the mill.

Fire crews have contained the fire to one end of the log storage area outside the mill.  Norbord continues to assess the damage and currently estimates that the mill should be able to resume production in two weeks.  Shipping from finished goods inventory resumed over the weekend.

The High Level, Alberta mill has a stated annual production capacity of 860 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) and has been ramping up towards full production since resuming operations in late 2013.  High Level is located approximately 720 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and 400 kilometres west of Fort McMurray. 

Norbord Profile
Norbord Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of wood-based panels and the world's largest producer of oriented strand board (OSB). In addition to OSB, Norbord manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard and related value-added products. Norbord has assets of approximately $1.7 billion and employs approximately 2,600 people at 17 plant locations in the United States, Canada and Europe. Norbord is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "OSB".
May 6, 2016 - A fire that broke out at Norbord's Oriented Stranded Board mill yard in High Level, Alta. on May 4 has now been contained, according to recent news reports.

The fire started as a result of the hot, dry, windy weather conditions in northern Alberta, and spread to the log storage area outside the plant, the company stated. 

As a precaution, Norbord immediately suspended production at the mill. The company is in the process of assessing damage to the mill and the impact to its production schedule.

All non-essential mill employees were safely evacuated and no injuries have been reported. 

The High Level, Alberta mill has a stated annual production capacity of 860 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) and has been ramping up towards full production since resuming operations in late 2013. High Level is located approximately 720 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and 400 kilometres west of Fort McMurray. In a press release, Norbord stated that the fire is not believed to be related to any forest fires in the surrounding area.
April 29, 2016 - Norbord Inc. reported Adjusted EBITDA of $61 million for the first quarter of 2016 versus $16 million in the first quarter of 2015 and $57 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. The year-over-year improvement is primarily due to higher North American oriented strand board (OSB) prices and shipment volumes as well as lower resin prices and the weaker Canadian dollar.
April 15, 2016 – Salmon Arm councilors have backed a recommendation to provide some tax support for Canoe Forest Products.
April 1, 2016 - Boise Cascade Company recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific LLC's engineered lumber production facilities located at Thorsby, Ala. and Roxboro, N.C. for $215 million including closing date estimated working capital of $25 million which is subject to final adjustment. The company used $90 million of its cash and $130 million in new borrowing to pay for the transaction and closing-related expenses.

"We are pleased to welcome the 270 employees at Thorsby and Roxboro, along with the commercial sales team supporting those facilities, to the Boise Cascade family," said Tom Corrick, CEO of Boise Cascade. "The acquired engineered lumber capacity fits well into our current production facilities and will help us optimize production across our entire system and expedite delivery to our customers across the southeastern United States. With this acquisition, we will have engineered lumber facilities strategically placed throughout our North American markets and be able to provide product to our customers as the housing market continues to recover."

Boise Cascade currently has engineered lumber (also called engineered wood products) facilities in St. Jacques, N.B., White City, Ore. and Alexandria, La. 

The Thorsby facility produces laminated veneer lumber (LVL) while the Roxboro facility currently produces I-joists. Roxboro's LVL production assets are currently idled. Boise Cascade expects to invest capital and hire additional employees to increase production at these mills in 2016 and beyond to obtain significant logistics benefits as well as to meet expected growth in new residential construction. The company believes the addition of Thorsby and Roxboro will increase LVL billet capacity by 9 million cubic feet and I-joist capacity by 80 million lineal feet and expects the acquisition to add approximately $40 million to the company's mid-cycle EBITDA.

About Boise Cascade
Boise Cascade is one of the largest producers of plywood and engineered wood products in North America and a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products. For more information, please visit our website at www.bc.com.

Forward-looking statements
This news release contains statements that are "forward looking" within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release.  While they are based on the current expectations and beliefs of management, they are subject to a number of uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ from the expectations expressed in this release. 

October 20, 2015 - Recovery is a word used often in the wood products industry. Every mill operation is looking to maximize what they can get out of every log that passes through their mills. So it’s no surprise that when Gorman Bros. decided to invest millions of dollars into a new green end lathe line for their Canoe Forest Products plywood plant in Salmon Arm, B.C., that optimization was the name of the game.

Feb. 3, 2015 - How would you feel about saving $1.57/m³ on your delivered wood costs? How about having access to better-defined cutblock boundary lines, a fully optimized road network or dealing with reduced mill-yard inventory? Sounds good, right?

These appear to be just a few of the benefits related to the use of Enhanced Forest Inventory (EFI), yet not many companies seem interested in investing in EFI-allowing technologies such as aerial LiDAR. A formidable laser-based remote sensing technology, LiDAR measures distance by sending thousands of pulses of light with a laser from an aircraft and analyzing what reflects back (http://tinyurl.com/pe8ayfh).

Only a handful of cases of documented cost/benefit analyses actually exist to guide the decision-making process when choosing from all the available technologies designed to significantly improve inventory knowledge. Hence, EFI technologies still remain a marginal practice among forestry technology and service providers. Confident in its capacity to transform the forest sector, FPInnovations set out to find out what EFI is really about.

Partnering with Tembec and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) allowed researchers from FPInnovations’ Value Maximisation research program to evaluate the monetary impact of EFI on forest operations and primary wood products manufacturing. The results have turned out convincingly in favour of EFI: great return on investment, better knowledge of forest inventory, smaller road network, efficient harvesting operations and increased forest machine productivity. With smaller mill yard inventories of greater value, sawing cost can be reduced and lumber value increased, mostly due to the increased size of timber. The big question now is: why haven’t more companies picked up on the new generation of technologies designed to help them be more profitable?

Innovation in the field of forest inventory is no science-fiction. Today, there are very real cost-competitive technologies that allow accurate data gathering about forest stand attributes. Using these tools, foresters can truly maximize the value of forest products by lowering production costs and increasing the value of processed forest products. However, one obvious barrier in justifying the investment relates to the complexity of validating the benefits. Testing EFI processes and technologies involves getting access to data collected along the entire forest sector value chain. Since FPInnovations is all about value chain integration, researchers were able to gather the relevant information to compare the volumes as well as the wood net value resulting from two inventory data sets (traditional vs LiDAR-EFI).

Very promising advances
In addition to being costly, traditional forest inventories are difficult to update. In terms of stands, they produce a lack of volume precision in the area of 20 to 40 per cent, often making it necessary to obtain additional data in order to make informed decisions. There is a lack of data on variability of dendrometric characteristics within forest stands which limits harvest-planning decisions.

Accuracy of inventory data is very important since many decisions and actions are taken along the wood value chain based primarily on forestry inventory data. Inaccuracies result in costs for forest stakeholders at various levels and also mean that landowners run the risk of not maximizing benefits or value from resources (wood fibre, habitat, tourism, etc.).

Aerial LiDAR
One of the challenges met by the Enhanced Forest Inventory process is to provide foresters with precise and detailed information, both on a large and operational scale for each block to be processed. The arrival of aerial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has allowed foresters to meet this challenge head on. The quality of the information can now exceed expectations and an entire forest can now be inventoried at resolution as high as 400 m2. Furthermore, major steps have been taken toward posting the internal attributes of the wood’s fibre on forest maps using the EvaluTree program (a joint collaboration by FPInnovations and the University of Northern British Columbia).

Aerial LiDAR generates measurements in 3D space that provide a good description of the forest canopy and stand structure, which can be used to accurately predict tree crown dimensions, height, volume canopy density and biomass. Measurements made at the ground surface can be used to accurately map waterways (creeks, bogs, rivers, lakes) and topography across an entire forest (figure 1). While limited plot data are needed to calibrate LiDAR predictions, field sampling is no longer required for stand-, block-, and forest-level estimates. The wall-to-wall precision provided by LiDAR leads to better growth projections, product recovery models, taper models, biomass models, as well as silvicultural optimization and operational planning.

Maps created with LiDAR also provide valuable information for road construction by identifying optimized log extraction routes. Block contours are also better defined, impacting the precision of performance calculations (m³/stem/ha). Furthermore, a more detailed knowledge of forest structure makes silvicultural prescriptions easier. Combined with FPInterface software, LiDAR obtained cartographic and georeferenced data allow better prediction of operational costs for harvesting, transportation, road construction and silviculture.

Field testing EFI technology
By comparing two inventory data sets (traditional versus LiDAR-EFI), FPInnovations researchers were able to estimate costs and benefits of each method. To ensure the accuracy of LiDAR inventories, actual volumes harvested (scaled) were compared to yield estimates derived from the traditional inventory (OMNR provincial inventory) and to the LiDAR-enhanced inventory. The study focused on 14 cutblocks from Tembec’s 2009 forest management plan. Ultimately, in this study, the cost of $0.10/m³ for the LiDAR-EFI was largely offset by reduced wood costs. FPInnovations observed a net gain of $1.57/m³ when compared with the actual harvest as planned from traditional forest inventory.

Watch FPInnovations’ video on EFI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VmAy6rxt-U


For more information, please contact Francis Charette at 514-782-4608 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The FPInnovations report “Better planning with LiDAR-enhanced forest inventory” can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/p2yzcp7.

 

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