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.
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
For more information, please contact us at 604.540.1430 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest…
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 email@example.com or text me on my cell at 604 728 8786.
Below are images from the show. Now back to walking the show.
Above image: Wood furniture
Image above and below: Martha Sturdy’s booth featuring fire charred sculptures and benches
Above image: Wall panels made from wine barrels
Above image: Enamel painted outdoor furniture
Above image: Wood sculptures from Europe
Above image: Metal and plywood floor
Above image: Wood, resin, and LED lighted tableread more
I 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.netread more
Over the past year and a half, BC Wood has been working with its Canada Wood partners in Japan to build large-scale wood structures under the Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project. The first of these buildings was a small library completed in January. The second project was the high-profile rebuilding of the Yuriage Market which was the largest fisherman’s/farmer’s market in northern Japan before the 3/11 tsunami. The beautiful new facilities were just opened to the public on May 4th during the Golden Week holidays.
Since 3/11, the association that manages Yuriage had been able to keep the market alive by renting space in a shopping mall parking lot just outside the devastated area. However, both the tenants and the customers wanted to see a return to the Yuriage site so that they could have proper facilities while also bringing economic activity back to the desolation left by the tsunami. In fact, this Canadian funded project became the first reconstruction effort in the area and thus now stands as a beacon of hope for this once thriving community.
Opening day saw over 15,000 people overflowing the Yurage Market grounds starting at 6:00am. By the time of the official opening ceremony at 11:00, many of the vendors were sold-out. Walking past the many stalls, it was wonderful to see locals benefiting from our contribution. In fact, as Canadian delegates went past, you could hear a chorus of “arigato” from the vendors matched with heart-warming smiles. Many member companies worked hard supplying materials for this project and it made me very proud to see the results of all our efforts.
The market consists of three areas. The largest building is the “Maple Pavilion” which was constructed using Douglas fir glulam posts and beams while finished in high-quality WRC paneling, siding, and decking in addition to engineered white oak flooring and CLT panels used in a decorative application. The Maple Pavilion will be used as a food court and outdoor seating area in addition to being a gallery documenting the history of Yuriage as well as Canada’s contributing to its reconstruction. The main shops are housed in two long 2×6 structures, also clad in WRC, each with seven individual stalls. In front of these is an open area for additional vendors to set-up in tents. The market association is now applying for loans to build permanent structures there as well, which are also planned to be constructed using Canadian building products.
During this fiscal year, one more large project will be undertaken with the remaining funds from this initiative. Prior to the tsunami, many of the commercial buildings in this area were drab concrete structures. The Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Projects will serve as demonstration projects of how Canadian wood products and technology can be utilized in developing warm and inviting facilities that encourage people to return.read more
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 firstname.lastname@example.org more
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 email@example.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
Afternoon WRCLA Sponsored Golf Tournament; Architects in-booth presentations; or Whistler free time
Gala Evening Event
Saturday – September 7th
2013 Exhibitor Fees
BC Wood, WRCLA or Canadian Wood Products Association Member:
10 x 10 booth – $2,079 (includes 2 exhibiting participants)
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:
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like more information on the GBM or how it could benefit your company.read more
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 hereread more
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
*LVL Wall & Stairsread more
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
Cuttingedge Portable Bandsaw Mill
If you are interested, please contact Fred from F&B Saws at 604-826-1834 or email@example.com
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:
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.read more
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.read more
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
Responding to membership, BC Wood has secured a coordinated space at the Gas and Oil Expo to be held June 11-13, 2013 in Calgary, Alberta. BC Wood staff, along with some members, have walked the show in the past and feel it presents a good opportunity for exposure into the fast growing oil sands regions of Alberta, the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana.
About the Gas and Oil Expo
‘We’re a leading biennial event for the North American gas and oil industry. Held in the energy capital of Canada – Calgary, Alberta – the event offers opportunities for brand exposure, business development, education, and networking. Indoor and outdoor exhibits showcase emerging technologies, a diverse range of products and services, and leading expertise. The largest Canadian energy event of 2013, Gas & Oil Expo hosts over 500 exhibiting companies and attracts 20,000 registered attendees.’
BC Wood feels there is an excellent opportunity for companies that manufacture pre-fabricated homes, industrial products such as, rig matting & components, as well as finished products such as, cabinets, flooring, and millwork.
Growth in the oil and gas sector is creating significant opportunities in select regional markets in the western United States. For example, the State of North Dakota is in dire need of additional housing units due to an influx of refinery workers. The state’s population is expected to grow by 25% over the next 15 years. The ten energy development counties where the oil sands are located, are projected to grow by at least 50%. The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency projects household growth at 30% or 80,000 new housing units by 2025.
Given that the show is fast approaching, please contact BC Wood as soon as possible to hold a position at the show as space is limited. Online registration will be available soon.
Date & Location:
June 11-13, 2013
Please contact Scott Thompson at BC Wood for more information and to register: Office: 604-882-7100; Cell: 604-880-0060; E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, a deposit is required to register for the show.
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
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:
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 email@example.com or you can reach me by calling the BC Wood office.read more
We are pleased to announce that we have moved into a larger shop in a better location.
We are now about 20km east of Kamloops, near the Lafarge concrete plant. The shop is big enough so that we can now fabricate two projects at the same time.
Our new address:
2947 Shuswap Rd
Kamloops, BC V2H1S9
For the past three years, BC Wood has had a special partnership with the WRCEA for the Japanese market. This relationship has allowed us to deliver higher impact promotions through seminars and trade shows in order to introduce Western Red Cedar to a new generation of architects and designers. These efforts are targeted at the growing use of wood in exterior applications as new certifications and installation methods help WRC meet Japan’s tough fire-code regulations.
The WRCEA has developed an extensive library of resources and presentation materials which by working together with in-market distributors, we were able to localize into a comprehensive seminar program for Japanese architects. We first delivered the program on behalf of the WRCEA in 2012 in Tokyo and Nagoya and the feedback from both the WRC distributors and attendees was overwhelmingly positive. For this reason, we expanded the program for this year and delivered it in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. Once again we had great turnouts in each city and were able to inspire participants through our lecturers’ great presentations on WRC projects both in Japan and around the world.
It was interesting to see local wood distributors who in the past had handled WRC take part. Speaking with these companies after the seminars, it was clear that they also have seen a renewed interest in WRC and are looking at putting effort into promoting the species again. Before the American housing bubble pushed up cedar prices, WRC was considered a standard species for decking. However, as Japan’s own wood first policies are creating more demand for wood products, many in the wood industry realize the potential to use WRC on the exterior of not only homes, but also commercial buildings, whether they are built in wood or concrete. I believe the positive reaction of the architects at the seminars helped further demonstrate this latent potential and will hopefully lead many of these distributors back into our WRC network.
These seminars also offered us a great venue to promote the Global Buyers Mission (GBM) to architects interested in wood first inspired designs. We look forward to inviting some of them to our 10th annual event in Whistler this September!read more