Specifier Program Update

On June 6th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

I have 4 highlights from the Specifiers Program to discuss for this edition of Wood Connections: 

Lunch & Learn (L&L) sessions to new firms

As mentioned in my previous article, many of our L&L sessions are with firms we have already met and are returning with sessions on specific products; many initiated by industry, which is great. As also mentioned, one of our goals is to have met at least once with every major architectural and designer firm in BC by the end of our current fiscal year – that is with those who want to see us. To that end, we have held L&L sessions with 3 new firms, introducing our industry and great products.

Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) Annual Conference

This is the association’s second such conference and BC Wood used the opportunity to exhibit products from our industry and to network with VRCA members. The conference itself also included workshops for the contractors on a number of topics and a keynote speaker. As this is the VRCA’s second conference, it is still very much in the growing stage. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile event for us as we made several new contacts and are in the process of setting up lunch & learn sessions with some of them. Thanks to all who supplied product and displays for the BC Wood exhibit.

BC Wood / Live Edge Design Event Exploring the Use of Wood in West Coast Design (Thursday, June 6th)

This event is being held at the BC Showcase at Robson Square. The response has been so overwhelming that unfortunately, we have been unable to accommodate many of those who replied to our invitation. We will have an overflow group and will report further on this event in our next Wood Connections.

BC Wood / Unison Windows Seminar and Factory Tour on the Introduction of Wood Curtain Wall systems (Thursday June 14th)

This event also received a great response; actually it received the greatest response we have ever had for any single event to a point where we are scheduling additional sessions. This is an innovative product just being introduced into BC (and all of Canada) and obviously our architect community is extremely interested in it.

Congratulations to both Live Edge Designs and Unison Windows for organizing events that have caught the attention of their audiences. It is also gratifying that the Specifiers Program proved to be the perfect vehicle for connecting both of these companies with their target audiences, the specifier communities.

As always, if you have any questions about this article or wish more information on the Specifiers Program, please contact me by phone at BC Wood’s office or e-mail me at rmanion@bcwood.com.

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How to Design Great Trade Show Display Graphicss

On June 6th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

Skyline Tradeshow Tips -May 15, 2013

Walk around your next trade show and you’ll see a lot of great designs.  They look good, attract your attention, engage and tell a story.

You’ll also see a lot of bad designs!  Too many pictures, confusing messages and, what does that say?  It’s so small and there is so much text, I can’t even read it!

When it’s time to design your trade show display graphics, consider a few important points:

  • Who you are:  Obviously you want to be easily found in the show hall.  An effective way to accomplish this goal is by not only placing your logo & branding at the maximum height, but also repeating it in several different locations throughout the design.
  • What you do:  Great, your prospect has found your booth.  Now, can they quickly understand what your company does?  A tagline or short sentence should be near your logo, so that the attendee can relate who you are to what you do.
  • How you can help them:  Now that we understand you’re the “Acme Anvil Company” and you make “The most durable, USA-made and reconfigurable anvils” in the world, it’s time to explain why this is important and how it will add to their bottom line.  For example “Our anvils will increase your productivity by 37% and cut down-time by 1/3rd.”  Short bullet-points are another effective way to share this message, but don’t get too carried away.

Click here to read the entire article

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By: Jason Chiu

Based on strong demand from industry and past students, the Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC) along with the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) has developed an eight week online Green Marketing & Business Practices course to complement the suite of eight existing online courses in the Management Skills Training Program.

The course is scheduled to start on June 10th, 2013

The new Green Marketing and Business Practices Course will cover a wide range of material, in an effort to address the overall topic of green marketing. The course will introduce students to key points from a maximum range of topics outlined in the course layout and provide additional reading material for those interested in specific areas. Most of this material will be available online in HTML format, with the remainder available as downloadable PDF documents.

After completing this module, you should be able to:

  • Define green marketing and sustainability
  • Evaluate current operations in terms of green performance (separate the wheat from the chaff), e.g., identify what is being done and what is easy to do
  • Incorporate green marketing strategies into your company’s marketing plan
  • Develop a business case for green marketing for your company or for a specific project based on green market segmentation
  • Identify sources of environmental regulations including export regulations
  • Describe current trends and expected changes in green marketing
  • Produce ethical green claims and avoid “greenwashing” attacks

To learn more about the program, obtain specific information and/or to register for one of the courses, please contact:

Jason Chiu

Centre for Advanced Wood Processing

Tel: 604-822-0082

Email:  jason.chiu@ubc.ca or  cawp@cawp.ubc.ca

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We invite you to join us on June 11 & 12 at our 75th Anniversary Open House. Come see the latest in Woodworking Equipment and Technology and to celebrate this milestone!

Akhurst Machinery Limited was founded by William (W.A.) Akhurst in 1938. After World War II, Spud Akhurst joined his father in the company where the company grew to become the largest equipment distributor in Canada to the wood industry.

FEATURING:


Omnitech is globally regonized as a leader in nested based CNC router solutions.

Come see why Akhurst has been recognized as their Dealer of the Year for 5 years running!

TIME & LOCATION:

June 11 & 12, 2013
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Akhurst Machinery Limited
1669 Foster’s Way
Delta (Annacis Island), BC
V3M 6S7 (map to our location)Tel: (604) 540.1430
Toll Free: (1.888.265.4826
Fax: (604) 540.1780
Email: van@akhurst.com

For more information, please contact us at 604.540.1430 or email us at van@akhurst.com

Download Brochure

 

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Going out on a limb for lumber stocks

On June 6th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

For investors who missed rally, a second chance to get aboard?  

Ticked off because you missed the big rally in lumber stocks that began in the spring of 2012?

Join the club. I missed the surge too, even though I wrote about the improving prospects for lumber back in November, when the sector was barely halfway through its explosive move up.

“Western Canada’s forest products industry is back in gear, riding a rebound in the U.S. housing market and surging lumber prices,” I gushed at the time.

“The turnaround is reflected in the shares of major producers like West Fraser Timber, International Forest Products, Western Forest Products and Ainsworth Lumber. All are up sharply.”

Much to my surprise – and that of some industry analysts, who prematurely predicted an end to the rally at the end of 2012 – the run-up continued until spring. By the time it fizzled out in April, West Fraser’s shares had doubled to nearly $93 apiece, Interfor’s stock soared 140 per cent to $10.80, Canfor almost doubled to $22, and Ainsworth’s stock more than tripled to $4.20.

Then, just as abruptly, the curtain came down. With China’s economy (which now consumes a big chunk of Canada’s lumber exports) slowing and producers restarting lumber mills from Texas to Western Canada, prices slammed into reverse. After gaining more than 40 per cent in 2012, lumber futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) slid by about 30 per cent, from a high of $407 US per thousand board feet in March to a low of just $277 last week.

That prompted analysts to slash their average price forecasts for 2013. The lumber experts at RBC and CIBC now see prices averaging between $350 and $360 per thousand board feet this year, roughly $20 below prior forecasts.

The good news? The correction in lumber prices (and lumber stocks) may already be over. Lumber futures on the CME gained for the third straight day Monday, closing at $310.50 per thousand board feet, a 12 per cent uptick from last week’s lows.
Click here to read the entire article

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A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest…

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I decided to try something a little different for this weeks’ article in the Wood Connections. In today’s fast paced world of social media, we are constantly bombarded with information; staying on top of what is going on in our industry can be tough. So to help out, I’m sending a market report direct from the source.  So to help out, I’m sending a market report direct from the source.

I’m currently – as in right now – at the Hospitality Design Show (HD13) in stifling hot Las Vegas. I have been wandering around the show, meeting with exhibitors and attendees and sourcing out the latest in wood products design being showcased from manufacturers from across North America and Europe.

Here are some of the things that I heard and that caught my eye.

Wood continues to have a significant presence at the show. From Flooring to Wall Panelling, furniture to sculptures, wood is everywhere. A company out of Portugal was showing some innovative wall panels made from a variety of species, the most interesting being a stacked oak panel manufactured from reclaimed wine barrels. They have used this product in residential and commercial applications across North America.

A flooring supplier from Anaheim is showing engineered flooring manufactured from Reclaimed materials including rusted metal laminated to a plywood substrate. I thought this was an innovative use and representative of “mixed media’’ where materials are combined to create unique products. I have seen wood and resin, wood and glass, wood and metal, and enamel painted wood used on a variety of products throughout the show; this certainly can be considered a trend at this years’ HD show.

BC Wood member and manufacturer, Martha Sturdy is leading the way in mixed media, showcasing wood benches and sculptures that have been fire charred and stained black, creating a very unique and different look.

This is some of the market info that I have found so far and I still have over half the show to walk. In reading this, if anything interests you or you want to me to dig up some further intel, please send me an email to dfarley@bcwood.com or text me on my cell at 604 728 8786.

Below are images from the show. Now back to walking the show.

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Above image: Wood furniture

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Image above and below: Martha Sturdy’s booth featuring fire charred sculptures and benches

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Above image: Wall panels made from wine barrels

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Above image: Enamel painted outdoor furniture

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Above image: Wood sculptures from Europe

 

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Above image: Metal and plywood floor

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Above image: Wood, resin, and LED lighted table

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mkI got the pleasure of meeting with Mori Kono, a Japanese-Canadian artist. He started as a log home builder after he moved to BC in 1994. Over the years, his passion for carving grew and it quickly became his main focus. In 2005, he established MK Carving & Sculpting in Abbotsford, BC. He creates custom wood carvings and sculptures including hand carved doors, carved mantel pieces, 3D free standing pieces, wall mounts, hardwood detailed carvings, classical architectural carvings, memorial carvings, and custom signs. He creates these custom pieces using all types of wood including local coastal and exotic woods.

Mori has a unique process in creating his pieces. He spends time connecting and learning about the client so he can incorporate their personality and characteristics into the piece. He also spends time researching about the project and discussing the meaning behind the project with the client so the appropriate emotions are conveyed.

Mori’s respect and passion for wood, positive energy, and unique style has landed him many awards including Canada Home Builders’ Association’s Best Creation of Unique Feature of Room Interior award for creating a wrap around staircase with a cougar post (image below).

For more information, visit www.mkono.net 

mk2 cougar_3mk1

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US Market Update

On April 25th, 2013, posted in: Industry News, Markets, USA by Comments Off

A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest…

Last week, I had the pleasure of driving across the great State of Texas, meeting with builders and distributors in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. The southeast corner of the State, along with Dallas, continues to be the economic engine of the region leading the US in construction activity. This is readily apparent as you drive into the city of Houston. The suburbs surrounding Houston are abuzz with construction activity with new subdivisions and multi-family housing developments sprouting up throughout the region. Housing starts in the greater Houston region are up 27% over 2011 with 23,480 homes either being built or are under construction for the 2012 year. When you add in multi-family building and a strong light commercial construction sector, you can really appreciate how busy the region is.

What’s the best way to take advantage of this activity? As always, getting your product in front of buyers and end users is the first step. Two key building product distributors in the State are McCoy’s Building Yard and Tomball Forest Products.

McCoy’s is a family owned building yard and supplier to the residential and light commercial construction industry. They have 80+ stores spread throughout the States of Texas and Arkansas and as such, are significant players in the building industry throughout the region.

Like McCoys, Tomball Forest Products is a family owned timber and building product supplier active throughout the southeast region of Texas. Tomball is a two step wholesaler, selling softwood and dimension lumber materials to building across Texas. Tomball specializes in Western Red Cedar and currently works with a number of BC mills and remanufacturers.

In conversations with buyers from both companies, a common theme was heard. They are both extremely busy and have had strong sales activity. In fact, both firms mentioned that the last quarter represented the best sales over the last five years. They are cautiously optimistic that construction activity in the Texas market will continue to develop.

Finally, the good news is that BC Wood members will have the opportunity to meet with these two key players in the Texas market as both are expected to send buyers to the GBM this September. If the Texas market is of interest, or if you want more information on this or other markets in the US, please contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com

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Welcome to the 10th anniversary of the Global Buyers Mission™ (GBM) – a three-day, invitation only networking/tradeshow event developed to bring together pre-qualified international buyers of wood products from around the world, with Canadian manufacturers of products that include finished materials, building supplies, and remanufacturing products.

The GBM continues to be the best business building event in Canada for wood products manufacturers interested in growing their export market opportunities – and developing new business relationships with architects, designers, developers, builder & contractors – and other exhibiting wood products companies. Response from our 2012 Exhibitors surveys indicated an estimated $48+ million in new business from attendance at the event.

To celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we are also putting on a little competition to see who can come up with the best booth design/display. This will be judged by a committee of your peers and international buyers, and the incentive is to win back the cost of one booth space! (That’s better than an ipad, right?!)

We are very pleased to be partnering once again with the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) on the event, as they deliver their Cedar Summit program on the 4th and 5th. We will also draw the important architect / designer / contractor / builder decision makers with our popular Wood First program, which will run through the whole event. Last year, pre-qualified wood products buyers came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Eastern Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

We will be back at the beautiful Whistler Conference Centre and have negotiated unbeatable hotel rates for our delegates in Whistler Village.

You will not want to miss this opportunity to showcase your products to over 250 pre-qualified international buyers plus North American specifiers!

Exhibit space is limited and will be available on a first-come / first-served basis. If you haven’t already registered, contact us for your online registration link at gbm@bcwood.com or call 604-882-7100. The link will include a floor plan showing the space and showroom layout for exhibitors.

In case you haven’t seen them yet, here are some links to a few short videos from last year’s event:

2012 Global Buyers Mission Video: http://youtu.be/75FB6QDMv1o
2012 Wood First Video: http://youtu.be/2oAK2n6Vf8U
2012 Global Buyers Mission Exhibitor Testimonials: http://youtu.be/C5j5u6ShUP8
2012 Global Buyers Mission Buyer Testimonials: http://youtu.be/c2Xwy8yRbio
BC Wood YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BCWoodAssociation

Proposed Program Schedule

Thursday – September 5th
Association Business & In-Market Representatives Meetings
Evening Welcome Event at the spectacular Roundhouse Lodge at the Peak of Whistler Mountain for all participants

Friday – September 6th
Morning Networking/Tradeshow/Meetings
Afternoon WRCLA Sponsored Golf Tournament; Architects in-booth presentations; or Whistler free time
Gala Evening Event

Saturday – September 7th
Morning Networking/Tradeshow/Meetings

2013 Exhibitor Fees

BC Wood, WRCLA or Canadian Wood Products Association Member:
10 x 10 booth – $2,079 (includes 2 exhibiting participants)
Non-member:
10 x 10 booth – $3,129 (includes 2 exhibiting participants)
Each additional company participant: $400 / Spousal Program: $150 (includes 2 Evening events)

Exhibit Registration Includes:

  • 2 full participants per booth space
  • Basic electrical, pipe & drape, covered table & 2 chairs, carpet & Wi-Fi
  • All meals during the event including the Thursday night Welcome Event at the Roundhouse Lodge & Friday evening Gala Event
  • Full access to Thursday Association Programs
  • Complete multi-lingual company listing in the Mission Program Guide

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like more information on the GBM or how it could benefit your company.

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Design duo Michael Thomas Host and Tanja Hinder are the creative force behind mth woodworks, a local woodworking company based in Vancouver, BC. They combine salvaged Western Red Cedar tree stumps and birch branches with organic resin, creating one-of-a-kind furniture pieces that connect people with beautiful West Coast forests.

This success story started many years ago, when designer and builder Michael Host left his hometown of Vancouver, BC to pursue his passion – the design and construction of timeless furniture. His path led to places like Australia and New York where Michael became an accomplished furniture maker. His journey also brought him to Europe where he was inspired by the architecture and furniture designs. Michael spent many years studying and acquiring renowned and unique woodworking techniques.

Tanja Hinder, on the other hand, grew up in Switzerland. Fascinated by architecture and furniture design, Tanja soon found herself involved in many design-consulting projects. In 2001, she travelled to Vancouver where the paths of Michael and Tanja crossed for the first time. The rest as they say “is history!” Tanja eventually immigrated to Canada and become an aspiring furniture and interior designer.

Over the past year, they have been able to refine their construction techniques to enhance the longevity and durability of their designs. They also further developed their original concept in a new series of products that complement the organic shapes of their salvaged woods in a surprising way.

Today, mth woodworks’ mission is to connect people with BC’s beautiful surroundings by fusing together raw natural elements with organic resin.

“The inspiration for our designs comes from, well, EVERYWHERE. However, nature and travel definitely fuel our creative minds. To us, these are the most important ingredients for all our creations. Guided by clean lines and functionality, we are proud to offer “the bloom collection” and “the host collection” to a diverse clientele.”

For more information on mth woodworks, please visit: http://www.mthwoodworks.com/

Click below to watch a great video on how they salvage their wood:

 

If you can not see the video link above: click here

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Specifier Program Update

On April 25th, 2013, posted in: Architects, Industry News, Seminars by Comments Off

In our last Wood Connections, being the first issue of BC Wood’s new fiscal year, we provided a summary of the events from the 2012 – 2013 fiscal year. For this issue, I will discuss what we have planned for the upcoming year.

To begin, we will become more involved with the various associations we are now connected with, including the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA), the Independent Contractors Business Association (ICBA), and the Architect Institute of BC (AIBC). Each of these associations has annual conferences which we will be participating at in whatever capacity that is available to us. For example, we have already booked exhibition space at two of these associations’ conferences, VRCA’s conference which will be held in Whistler at the end of May and at the AIBC’s conference in October. This will be the first time BC Wood will have participated in these events.

Regarding AIBC, one of the major reasons we are participating in their annual conference is that this year, for the first time, they are partnering with the American Institute of Architects – Northwest & Pacific Region. The conference takes place on October 23-26 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Aside from these specific events, we are also planning on the following:

  • A minimum of 40 Lunch & Learn sessions for Architects, Interior Designers, Contractors, and Builders at their facilities
  • Group seminars which will be held in offsite locations
  • Factory tours and accompanying seminars for interested participants

The goal for all these activities is to continue to increase awareness of the great products we make in our Province to the aforementioned groups so they will ultimately specify and use BC manufactured value-added wood products.

Speaking of great products from our industry, I had the pleasure of visiting a project last week that made extensive use of a BC produced product, Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL). Although it has been around for a while, LVL’s BC production is in its early stages. Manufactured by Brisco Manufacturing in Brisco, BC (East Kootenays), this LVL has been used for columns, beams, walls, stairs, and a mezzanine floor. The architect who designed the project and specified the LVL is Michael Green. The project is still in its construction stages and is not expected to be completed until July. Even at this stage, one can clearly see the beauty of this wood product. I can hardly wait to see the project when it is completed and the product is fully finished.

*Picture above: LVL Column & Beams

*Picture below: LVL Mezzanine

Last week, I also attended a conference hosted by the International Wood Products Association out of Washington, DC. The conference was at the Westin Bayshore and was attended by representatives from USA and Canada. During the conference, at a panel discussion, another couple of great BC products were given homage, Cross Laminated Timbers and Silva Panels, with both being highly touted.

All in all, a pretty good week spotlighting some great BC produced products

All of these products and many others have been given a great deal of exposure to the Specifier Community through the Specifier Program. As we are just embarking on our new fiscal year, if your company has not yet participated in the Specifier Program it would be a great time to start. For further information, please contact me at rmanion@bcwood.com

 

*LVL Wall & Stairs

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Wood iPad Cash Registers Add Creative Twist

On April 25th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off


Wood iPad cash registers are popping up all over, allowing small shop owners to use the latest technology in creative wood frames to ring up sales. Two companies, Happy Owl Studio and Tinkering Monkey, both create these next-generation wood registers.

The team at San Diego, CA-based Happy Owl studio, who self-describe as “Apple devotees,” launched their “cash register of the future” last year. The Cashbox, as it is called, is an all-in-one iPad point of sale system featuring a bamboo box handcrafted from Cali Bamboo plywood available in Flat Grain Amber, Flat Grain Natural and Marble Woven.

 

According to the company, each box is available with custom laser engraving. “A lot of people are getting lost in the surface-level beauty of the Cashbox,” said Devon Read, Happy Owl Studio CEO in a statement, “but the real beauty is under the hood. Payment processing with iPad is a game-changer.”
 Click here to read the entire article

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For Sale: Cuttingedge Portable Bandsaw Mill

On April 24th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

Cuttingedge Portable Bandsaw Mill

  • Fully Hydraulic
  • Will cut 50″ diameter log
  • Power with 56HP Kabota Diesel Engine, 2500 hours
  • 9HP Kohler Gas for log handling functions
  • Mail deck 24′ cutting length with 10′ extension
  • Hydraulic Log Loader (have more pictures)
  • We sell Lenox thin kerf bandsaw blades welded to length

If you are interested, please contact Fred from F&B Saws at 604-826-1834 or  fbsaws@hotmail.com

 



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11 Quick Tips For International Exhibitings

On April 24th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

Are you joining the growing ranks of exhibitors who are being asked to take your trade show displays international?  Ja?  Si?  Oui?

Let’s face it; exhibiting internationally is a daunting task.  Trade shows are not easy to master, and with the added complexity of arranging your trade show booth in a different continent, language, time zone, and culture – well, it’s even harder.

But the opportunities are there, and your management is asking for you to make it happen.  So here are 11 tips, provided by Senior Account Executive Leslie Hopkins and Project Manager Julie Comfort of Skyline Houston, and Director of Development Philip Foust of Skyline Exhibits and Events, who have traveled around the world with their clients:

  1. When exhibiting abroad, you need more of everything: more time, more money, and more planning.
  2. It may sound obvious, but take the time to research before you go – about the country, the city, the people, and the show regulations.
  3. Learn about cultural differences, which transfer to how local attendees do trade shows differently.  What is considered polite and “politically correct” changes from country to country.
  4. Different cultures need different common phrases, even when you are communicating in English.  When emailing outside of the United States, it’s better to write “can you please?” instead of “will you please…”
  5. You have to remain flexible, even more so than domestically.

Click here to read the entire article

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Preventing Wood Dust in the Plant

On April 24th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

One of the most important things a woodworking facility can do is engage in housekeeping and fugitive dust control. If underlying surface colors are not readily discernible on your equipment, there could be a dust deflagration hazard.

Do not ignore the wood dust. Clean it up, but do not blow it off with an air gun as that simply releases and stratifies the dust – use a vacuum to collect it. Then investigate to determine the source of the dust. For example, if the ductwork is not airtight, seal joints to prevent the release of dust. When inspecting the workplace for dust accumulations, consider all flat surfaces including rectangular-shaped ductwork, overhead beams, lighting fixtures and areas such as hung or suspended ceilings.

Click here to read the entire article

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B.C. joins the race to the skyline

On April 24th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

The announcement last month of the awarding of the contract to build a contemporary, 90-foot wood building in Prince George officially launches British Columbia into the race to build the world’s first wood skyscraper.

The six-storey Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) at the corners of George and 5th Avenue will be the tallest contemporary wood building in North America, and will rival the tallest examples anywhere in the world.

New seven, eight, nine and 10-storey buildings have arisen during the last five years in Sweden, Austria, Italy, London and Australia respectively.

These buildings, based on massive-timber-panels, have attracted the attention of innovative designers, progressive builders and environmentally responsible buyers.

Even at only six-storeys, the mezzanine and vaulted ceilings of the WIDC will make equivalent to about a nine-storey building according to architect Michael Green of Michael Green Architecture (MGA), who championed the winning design.

Click here to read the entire article 

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How long has it been? The answer: 57 months or nearly five years. June 2008 was the last time U.S. monthly housing starts, seasonally adjusted and at an annual rate (SAAR), were higher than one million units.

March 2013 new home starts in the U.S. were 1.036 million units SAAR, according to a joint press release from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In June 2008, they were 1.046 million units. Between then and now, they dropped as low as 478,000 units (less than half a million) in April 2009. They last “peaked” at 2.273 million units in January 2006…

The single-family segment of homebuilding accounted for 60% of all residential groundbreakings in the latest month, leaving the remaining 40% to multi-unit construction. The share more typically taken by single-family starts is 70% to 80%, with 20% to 30% being of the multi-unit variety.

Regionally, the strength to-date in 2013 has been mainly in the West, where average monthly starts are +63.6% versus the first quarter of last year, an increase of nearly two-thirds. The comparable figure for the South is +31.8% (almost one-third higher) while in the Northeast it is +26.9% and in the Midwest, +18.7%.

The monthly pattern in the South and West through the first three months of this year has been a steady progression of steps upward. In the Northeast and West, monthly starts have been more level.

Returning to the national scene, how significant is a “starts” figure of one million units?

It’s a huge psychological breakthrough. Far below that level, homebuilders are drowning. Slightly under a million, they’re still floundering. Above the one-million-unit threshold, residential contractors are breathing fresh air again.
Click here to read the entire article

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Central Valley Cabinet Doors, based in Abbotsford, BC, manufactures custom wood cabinet doors, distributes a line of Thermofoil doors, and re-faces existing cabinets. They have been supplying custom cabinet shops in the Fraser Valley with locally produced cabinet doors since 1994.

In 2008, they expanded by selling to the end user who wanted to replace their existing doors with new ones. Over the next few years, they began to sell and promote several products that helped streamline the re-facing process. Re-facing is a process of giving your kitchen a face-lift without having to rebuild the entire kitchen. The current layout stays the same; however, the cabinets get re-skinned, new doors are put on, new hinges and hardware are added, etc. to change the appearance of the original cabinets. The process is quite cost-effective and a popular choice amongst homeowners on a budget with a limited timeframe. Central Valley Cabinet Doors offers a few different solutions for re-facing such as Shaker White Thermofoil door. Watch this quick video on their re-facing solutions.

If you can not see the above video link, go to: http://www.centralvalleycabinetdoors.com/refacing-video.php

Central Valley Cabinet Doors has the ability to custom create what the customer specifies. They prefer to use locally sourced wood; however, they can import rare species and have a wide variety of material available according to the customer’s specifications.

For more information on Central Valley Cabinet Doors, visit www.centralvalleycabinetdoors.com

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Specifier Program Update

On April 9th, 2013, posted in: Architects, BC Wood Activities, Canada, Industry News, Markets by Comments Off

We have another fiscal year behind us as April 1st marks the beginning of a new year for both BC Wood and the Specifiers Program.

Although we had a late start in 2012, the Program picked up considerable momentum beginning in October and continued quite a hectic pace through to March 31st, the end of our fiscal year. Although the major audience was the architect community, the program also experienced an expansion into the construction community with us joining and become active with the major construction associations in BC. As we look back, here are some of the highlights for the 2012 – 2013 year:

    • We hosted almost 50 events, including lunch & learn sessions, group seminars, and tours.
    • These events put us in front of over 800 architects and designers and their respective support staff, contractors, builders, and engineers.
    • While Greater Vancouver is where the majority of events took place, we also held sessions for specifiers throughout the province including Victoria, Nanaimo, Squamish, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton. We were accompanied by industry representatives who each provided educational seminars on their respective products.
  • One of our last events of the year was our first group session for the Independent Construction Business Association (ICBA) (picture below). For this group, instead of a lunch & learn, we held a “breakfast & learn”. This worked quite well for the contractors as it ended at 9:00am, thereby, allowing those that attended to minimize the time from the jobsites. Five companies from industry participated in the session and each gave 15 minute educational presentations on their respective products to the group. Afterwards, most stayed behind for 30 minutes or so to answer questions on a one-on-one basis.

  • We have a group session booked for Mid-May with the other major construction association, the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA).
  • We held our first group seminar for the CHBA, Sea to Sky Chapter, up at Whistler.
  • In total, 24 companies from Industry participated in the Specifiers Program in varying degrees.
  • Throughout the year, we were contacted by several architect firms requesting seminars on specific products which we arranged for industry representatives to present on. This epitomizes one of the major benefits of the program; follow up sessions are where relationships are formed between specifiers and companies, which in turns greatly increases the company’s profile and chances of having products specified.
  • We fielded numerous requests from specifiers looking for information on specific products or where to source them. In these cases, we put them in touch with the appropriate companies. If the products are available, having high quality, made in BC products used on BC projects is a win-win for both the specifier and industry. Certainly, the specifiers are now aware of this more than ever before.

All in all, this was a quite busy and successful year for the Specifiers Program. My next Wood Connections article will cover our planned activities for the coming year. In the meantime, should you want to participate in the program for the upcoming year, or simply want more information, please feel free to contact me at rmanion@bcwood.com or you can reach me by calling the BC Wood office.

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25 Of The Most Common Trade Show Mistakes

On April 5th, 2013, posted in: Industry News by Comments Off

The past 7 years, working with clients in the trade show industry have allowed me to work with many different companies, industries, marketing teams and personalities.  I’ve had the benefit of seeing some really great success and trade show strategy.  And, I’ve also seen companies who have stumbled, because of mistakes that have been made in several different areas of the trade show strategy.

So, I’d like to share with you the 25 most common trade show exhibiting mistakes.  You’ll see that they can all be filed into several different categories, like pre-show, at-show, post-show, logistics, strategy, exhibits, etc.

  1. Not planning ahead.  Yes, we’re all really busy at the office with a lot of other things, but if you’re not planning for your trade show 12-9-6-3 months ahead, you’re setting yourself & company up for failure.
  2. Going Cheap.  If you’re looking to save $5, $20, $200 here and there, you’re focusing on the price of things, rather than the investment.  Those extra bucks for the nicer carpet, the extra plants or the better looking display will add to the experience of your attendees and set your company apart from others.
  3. No Pre-Show Marketing.  If you don’t tell anyone that you’ll be at the show, how can you expect to have a lot of people stop by your booth space? No one has time to wander around these days. They’re coming prepared to see who they want to see. Give people a good reason to stop by your trade show booth space and invest in those e-mails, post cards & promos to intrigue their interest ahead of time.
  4. Bad Graphics.  Have you ever seen a billboard on the highway with a bunch of copy?  It’s hard to read, right?  Same with trade show displays.  Make sure your graphics quickly tell who you are, what you do and how you can help them.
  5. Failure to Follow-up on Leads.  I know you’ve heard (from CEIR.org) that 79% of leads are not follow-up after a show. Shocking.  Don’t be one of those companies.  Create a closed-loop system, before you go to the show, to make sure no leads fall through the cracks.

Click here to read the entire article

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