The scope of Engineered Wood Products is immense. Engineered wood
products are a high-performance, consistent, reliable and environmentally
responsible choice for everything from construction to materials
handling applications to home projects. New building systems
and high-tech products are changing the way builders build and
homeowners live. Leading the change into tomorrow are high performance
glued engineered wood products and systems that provide builders
with cost-effective and labor-saving alternatives in construction
applications behind the walls.
Glued engineered wood is manufactured by bonding together wood
strands, veneers, lumber or other forms of wood fiber to produce
a larger and integral composite unit that is stronger and stiffer
than the sum of its parts. The phenomenal growth in the use and
acceptance of engineered wood is proof that a new era is dawning
in residential building.
We spoke with Tom Williamson, Executive Vice President of Engineered
Wood Systems, a Tacoma, Washington-based affiliate of the APA.
explained why these products have become so popular: "Glued
engineered wood products provide designers with greater flexibility
to create the open spans desired by today's home owners. And they
result in stronger and more durable floors, walls and roofs. They
are carpenter-friendly and lightweight, making them easier to use
by the builder."
Williamson brought up the benefits to the environment: "Manufactured
wood products use less wood fiber than traditional wood products
to achieve the same or better performance. They make use of wood
elements that might otherwise not be suitable for use as a structural
product. In addition, these products make efficient use of faster-growing
trees from managed forests and farms and previously under-utilized
species which helps preserve old-growth forests. Also, engineered
wood compares very favorably to non-wood products with regard to
pollutants and emissions during manufacturing."
To promote high quality building practices using engineered wood
products, the APA instituted the Code Plus Program. It requires
participating builders to go one step above minimum code requirements.
For example, most areas require some sort of let-in bracing or
corner bracing using OSB or plywood on the corners. A Code-Plus
home would have fully sheathed walls using OSB or plywood. The
APA provides materials such as brochures, window decals and a certificate
suitable for framing for builders to promote the fact that their
homes are built according to Code Plus criteria.