Dave Farley | dfarley@bcwood.com

 

A few comments, suggestions, and ideas…
I have just returned from a couple of important US trade events, and here are a few of my observations.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and judging by the number of manufacturers showcasing “faux wood” products at PCBC in San Francisco, the wood industry should be blushing. Plywood made from bamboo; “wood” ceramic roofing shingles; a variety of composite siding and decking materials; these products and more were on prominent display at PCBC.  While these imitation products continue to get better, they are still a long way off from the warmth and feel of real wood.
That being said, the one thing some of these products do bring to the market, which they heavily promote, is superior fire performance.  This is one very important feature, especially given the devastating wildfires experienced throughout the Western United States in recent years.
A frequently asked question fielded from both builders and architects, was whether the wood products on display were fire treated. This was usually followed up with “does the treatment impact the ability to stain the product”.  The perceived issues around wood and its performance in regions prone to wildfires will continue to be a concern. It is in the interest of manufacturers targeting this market to continue to work with treatment and coating companies, to offer products that provide some level of fire resistance.

In the next Building Connections, we will review the successful AIA National Convention, that recently took place in Las Vegas. As always, please feel  free to reach out to me at dfarley@bcwood.com with any questions or comments on the US market.