News Releases

2003 Articles and News Briefs
2002 and prior Articles and News Briefs


 News Briefs
» ICC Publishes WFCM Workbook
» Summary of Florida’s Hurricane Season To Date
» Hurricane Ivan’s Tornado Bands Wreak Havoc in Northern Virginia
» Timber Industry Sponsors New Timber Bridge Awards
» AF&PA/AWC Sponsors ASTM Centennial Annniversary Event
» AF&PA Launches New Online Career Center
» New Wood and Timber Condition Assessment Manual Published
» Lowering Environmental Costs of Home Construction
» Dr. Jozef Bodig Receives Wood Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award
» DCA-3: New 2x6 Insulated One Hour Wall Assembly
» Hurricane Charley Damage Assessments
» Phoenix, Arizona Adopts International Codes
» AWC Investigates Midwest Tornado Damage
» 12th National Timber Bridge Design Competition Results Announced
» USFA Cooperative Agreement
» Green Building Update
» San Diego Fire Prevention Taskforce
» Agenda 2020 Technology Summit II

ICC Publishes WFCM Workbook
In a cooperative agreement with AWC, the International Code Council (ICC) has published Design of Wood Frame Buildings for High Wind, Snow, and Seismic Loadings (WFCM Workbook). The WFCM Workbook provides a design example, typical checklist, and background information related to design of a wood frame structure in accordance with AF&PA’s Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) for One- and Two- Family Dwellings, 2001 Edition.

The design example uses plans from a two-story residence as the basis for a structural design to resist wind, seismic and snow loads.

Reaction to the WFCM and WFCM Workbook has been extremely positive. “I want to master the WFCM. I’m convinced it is the ‘holy grail’ to allow me to do custom residential in a timely manner,” says Bill Polhemus, Polhemus Engineering Company, Katy, TX. “Very nicely done.”

To further assist designers in “mastering the WFCM,” AWC has developed a full-day seminar called the Design of Wood Frame Buildings Workshop (AWC207). This 7-hour course, which provides valuable continuing education units (CEU), gives an overview of provisions for the 2001 NDS® and 2001 WFCM. Participants then apply their knowledge through the detailed structural design of a twostory house subjected to 120 mph wind and seismic design category D1 loads (actual load conditions near Charleston, SC); including the design of all components, diaphragms, shear walls, and connections.

For more information regarding the WFCM Workbook and Seminar, visit AWC’s website.

Summary of Florida’s Hurricane Season To Date
For the first time in 118 years a state has been hit by four different hurricanes in a single tropical storm season. Between Aug. 13, when Hurricane Charley came ashore along the southwestern coastline of Florida, and Sept. 26, when Hurricane Jeanne arrived, four major storms hit the state.

Sources at the Insurance Information Institute have been quoted as saying that more than $15 billion in claims will be paid as a result of damage from hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Ivan. Although damage assessment for Hurricane Jeanne isn’t complete, the Institute estimates the claims from that storm will increase the total by $4–10 billion. These figures don’t include claims for damage due to flooding.

A special industry damage assessment for Charley is available on the AWC website. The purpose of this summary is to review the impact of the other three storms.

Hurricane Frances
Frances struck the eastern coast of Florida on Sept. 5, coming ashore near Sewall’s Point as a Category 2 storm. The National Climatic Data Center reports that the storm had maximum sustained wind speeds of 105 mph at the time that it struck the state. After taking a northwestern track, the storm emerged in the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall again on Sept. 6 near St. Marks, Florida, as a tropical storm.

Hurricane Ivan
A Category 3 storm with reported maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, Ivan struck land near Gulf Shores, AL. Note the size of this storm, compared to Frances and Charley in the figure right.

Hurricane Jeanne
Jeanne was a Category 3 storm, coming ashore just south of the point at which Frances hit Florida, tracking closely along the same path and then turning north. It didn’t, however, move out over the Gulf and regain strength as Frances did.

Damage seen in Frances and Jeanne paralleled what was seen with Hurricane Charley. Newer structures fared better than older ones, particularly manufactured housing. With Hurricane Ivan, however, overall damage appears to be greater. At this point, it is difficult to determine whether the widespread damage was from winds, storm surge, waves, or tornados generated by the hurricane.

Although Ivan struck a wide area of the Gulf coast, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana west of the storm’s landfall experienced flooding and minor wind damage to buildings. From Gulf Shores eastward, damage was extensive along the shore. A storm surge of between 10 and 16 feet was reported, offshore buoys measured waves as high as 50 feet, and a large number of tornados were reported after Ivan came ashore.

For more information on the industry’s assessments of this hurricane season, contact Dr. Jeffrey Stone at 727/367-0531 or Dennis Pitts at 972/690-0242.

Hurricane Ivan’s Tornado Bands Wreak Havoc in Northern Virginia
Friday, Sept. 17, 2004, saw eastern bands of the remnants of Hurricane Ivan packed with tornados pass over Washington, DC metropolitan communities, leaving a trail of demolition in their wake. Major structural damage was noted from La Plata, MD, to Stephens City, VA. The Stephens City tornado was interesting based on damage it caused to agricultural wood buildings. AWC’s Dr. Robert Taylor lives in the area and provided a damage assessment of one such event.

Dr. Taylor reported: “The funnel took aim at a large recently-built post-frame building, completely stripping it of all sheet metal cladding, leaving only the wood frame, purlins, and girts still standing. It then continued, landing squarely on an old but well-built Amish-style barn about 500 yards to the north. The barn roof and wood board walls were carried aloft and not found anywhere near town. Other structures within 200 feet of the barn saw little or no damage at all.”

“The damage profile of this event on buildings was interesting in that the sacrificial light metal cladding, easily torn off the structure, saved one post-frame building from total demolition, while another typically-built barn with board siding, considered to be wind ‘leaky,’ suffered catastrophic failure.”

For more information, contact Robert Taylor at 202/463-2771.

Timber Industry Sponsors New Timber Bridge Awards
The wood products industry and the U.S. Forest Service have renewed their sponsorship of a national awards competition for timber bridges. The competition recognizes significant accomplishments in the design and construction of timber bridges nationwide. More than 100 entries were received last year. Fifteen awards were made for excellence in timber pedestrian bridges, vehicular bridges, covered bridges, and rehabilitated bridges.

To be entered, timber bridges must have been open prior to Dec. 31, 2004. Deadline for entries is April 30, 2005. Award plaques will be presented to the winners in June 2005.

The Federal Highway Administration reports about 240,000 U.S. highway bridges are obsolete or functionally deficient, requiring repair or replacement.

This is the fourth timber bridge contest sponsored by the American Institute of Timber Construction (AITC), APA-The Engineered Wood Association, and the U.S. Forest Service. For more information, contact the American Institute of Timber Construction at 303/792-9559 or The timber bridge entry blank is also available on AITC’s web page—




AF&PA/AWC Sponsors ASTM Centennial Annniversary Event
The American Wood Council is an active member in ASTM Committee D07 on Wood and chairs several sections of D07. To mark 100 years of ASTM wood standards, Committee D07 recently held its Centennial Anniversary Dinner. AWC was a gold sponsor of the celebration.

ASTM Committee D07 on Wood was formed in 1904. The committee has a membership of approximately 220 and currently has jurisdiction over 110 standards published annually in the ASTM Standards publications. ASTM standards continually play a role in the wood industry and address issues relating to a wide range of wood products used in construction.

In the September issue of the Forest Products Journal, the Forest Products Society has included an article highlighting the committee’s evolution and growth over the last century. The article also looks at the challenges that lie ahead through globalization, composite materials and electronic technology.

For more information on Committee D07, visit ASTM’s website.

AF&PA Launches New Online Career Center
The American Forest & Paper Association is pleased to announce the launch of the Career Center, a new online resource designed to bring member companies and other industry employers together with a large, qualified audience of forest, paper and wood products industry professionals.

Employers and job seekers can use the AF&PA Career Center to make employment connections. The center features quick and easy job posting, a searchable resume database and robust reporting. The AF&PA Career Center is free to job seekers; special introductory rates and discounts are available for AF&PA member companies interested in posting positions.

For more information, please visit or contact Michelle Tucker at 202-463-2583,

New Wood and Timber Condition Assessment Manual Published
by Robert J. Ross, Brian K. Brashaw, Xiping Wang, Robert H. White, and Roy F. Pellerin
The deterioration of an in-service wood member may result from a variety of causes during the life of a structure. It is important, therefore, to periodically examine wood used in structures to determine the extent of deterioration so that degraded members may be replaced or repaired to avoid structural failure. Inspection professionals use a wide variety of techniques to assess the condition of wood in service. Visual, mechanical probing, and stress wave or ultrasound-based techniques are all used either individually or in combination by inspectors. While these techniques are based on solid technical information and supporting research, no practical, comprehensive manual exists where information on inspection of wood in service can be found.

This manual is an attempt to address this need. The manual stems from numerous research studies, inspections, and lectures dealing with assessing the condition of in-service wood and timber. A concerted effort has been made to provide clear and concise explanations of various aspects of inspecting in-service wood and timber. To this end, a number of photographs and drawings obtained from actual inspections are included.

This manual is organized into six chapters: Chapters One through Three present background information on techniques currently used by inspectors, which include information on visual inspection techniques, mechanical coring or probing techniques, and stress wave or ultrasound-based techniques. Included in each chapter is a detailed description of the technique, a list of currently available tools and where they can be obtained, and guidelines for their use. Each chapter concludes with a list of references that serve as the technical base for the technique. Chapter Four is devoted to inspection of fire-damaged wood. Chapter Five includes a sample report. Summaries of several inspections are included in Chapter Six.

Softcover sprial bound, 8.5 by 11 inches, 74 pages, $39 for FPS members or nonmembers (plus delivery charge). Purchase this manual online through the FPS secure shopping cart on or phone 608-231-1361 ext. 202. Forest Products Society, 2801 Marshall Ct., Madison, WI 53705-2295 USA, or AWC's website online shopping.

Lowering Environmental Costs of Home Construction
Most energy that goes into building U.S. homes is consumed not by power tools, welding or trucking during construction but during manufacture of building materials, according to a comprehensive life-cycle assessment comparing typical wood-, steel- and concrete-frame homes.

Using the least energy-intensive building materials and taking steps toward such things as recycling and reusing more building materials makes sense, considering the nation's energy concerns and attendant issues of pollution and global warming, according to the University of Washington's Bruce Lippke, professor of forest resources. He and 22 other authors recently published a report tallying the environmental impact of home construction.

Considering the energy required to produce building materials, construct, maintain and demolish a house on a time period of 75 years is one part of a cradle-to-grave analysis known as a life-cycle assessment. In this case, researchers determined that construction of a hypothetical Minneapolis steel- frame home used 17 percent more energy than the matching wood-frame home. Similarly, constructing the study's hypothetical Atlanta concrete-frame home used 16 percent more energy than a matching wood-frame house. The designs in both cases were typical of homes in those regions. See Table right for more details.

The house designs were analyzed in the study by the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM), a research group started by 15 universities and research institutes, see A 12-page summary recently published in the FPS Forest Products Journal and the full report are available at Life-cycle inventory international protocol experts reviewed the report and information from this study is slated to become part of the Department of Energy's lifecycle inventory database for designers and engineers at

The report offers many suggestions of other opportunities to reduce energy demands of home construction that include:
- Redesigning houses to use less fossil-fuel intensive products;
- Changing building codes that result in excessive use of wood, steel and concrete;
- Recycling demolition wastes; and
- Increasing durability of homes through improved products, construction designs and maintenance practices.

CORRIM has started a new $1 million research project that expands the current effort to include all U.S. wood-product supply regions, other nonstructural wood products, and additional research on design and process changes to reduce environmental burdens.

For more information, contact Bruce Lippke at 206/543-8684 or

Wood Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award
The American Wood Council presented the FPS/ AWC Wood Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Jozef Bodig at the Forest Products Society Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Bodig is Professor Emeritus of Wood Science and Civil Engineering at Colorado State University, with 40 years of contributions to the field of wood engineering.

The Wood Engineering Achievement Award was established in 1996 by the Wood Engineering Division of the Forest Products Society and is cosponsored by AF&PA's American Wood Council. The award recognizes excellence in wood engineering and alternates each year between: Lifetime Achievement, Young Engineer, and Engineering Innovation. The Award consists of an engraved plaque and an honorarium provided by AWC.

In awarding Dr. Bodig, the Judging Committee valued the following information in his nomination: "Perhaps the most consequential among his accomplishments was his leadership role in developing the first reliability-based design procedures for any wood structures (specifically for wood power utility structures). He later was a leader in a three-year, $1.7 million industry initiative to develop a comprehensive probability-based design code for wood structures."

For more information, contact Buddy Showalter at 202/463-2769.

DCA-3: New 2x6 Insulated One Hour Wall Assembly
Continuing a successful string of ASTM E119 fire resistance tests on wood frame assemblies, AWC recently conducted a successful full-scale fire test on a 2x6 wood stud wall tested at full design load. The new assembly, notable because of the inclusion of R-19 fiberglass insulation with 5/8" Type X Gypsum on the exposed side and 3/8" OSB on the unexposed side (see figure), passed the one hour E119 fire test. This latest assembly will be incorporated into AWC’s DCA No. 3 - Fire-Rated Wood Floor and Wall Assemblies, located on AWC's website at:

For more information, contact Brad Douglas at 202/463-2770.

Hurricane Charley Damage Assessments
Storm Stats
Hurricane Charley (Figure 1) made landfall along the Southwestern coastline of Florida at Cayo Costa, a barrier island just west of Cape Coral on Friday, Aug. 13, 2004. At landfall at approximately 3:45 p.m. EDT, Charley was classified as a Category 4 storm with winds estimated at 145 mph. At 4:35 p.m., wind gusts of 111 mph were measured at the Punta Gorda Airport. A 7-foot storm surge was recorded in Fort Myers at the time of landfall. The worst storm tide (the combination of normal tide level plus storm surge) was north of Naples at about 10 to 13 feet above mean sea level.

Charley continued its track (Figure 2) northeast across the State of Florida through DeSoto, Hardee, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties. At approximately 9:15 p.m., the eye of the storm was centered over Kissimmee, in northern Osceola County. Orlando International Airport reported a gust near 105 mph, with sustained winds from 60-70 mph. The Daytona Beach Airport observed 69 mph sustained winds, with an 83 mph gust. Charley passed into the Atlantic just northeast of Daytona Beach around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. Charley raced north-northeast at 25 mph re-entering the continental U.S. near Myrtle Beach, SC as a much-diminished storm. This was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Just under 36 hours prior to Charley’s landfall, Tropical Storm Bonnie struck the Florida Panhandle near Apalachicola. Not since 1906 have two storms struck the state of Florida so close together.

Damage Assessment
On Thursday, Aug. 19, field personnel from AF&PA’s American Wood Council (AWC) and APA-The Engineered Wood Association (APA) toured the damage-stricken areas of Charlotte County where the eye of the storm came ashore. Their goal was to inspect damage on Pine Island, especially Bokeelia, a small community on the northern tip of Pine Island (Figure 3), over which the eye of the hurricane is reported to have passed. Enroute, the team passed by devastated “mobile home parks” in Punta Gorda and site-built developments along Florida Route 765 (Figure 4), which runs from I-75 at Punta Gorda southwest to the western edge of Cape Coral and Pine Island Road. This area was known to have a mix of wood-frame and concrete/masonry construction. Dr. Tim Reinhold of the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) informed the team that the area had both building failures and buildings without serious damage.

The inspection team witnessed failures of manufactured housing, especially older structures that were not designed or manufactured to withstand hurricane force winds. Also seen were several newer manufactured housing units that appeared to have fared quite well through the storm. The newer units displayed placards that indicated they had been manufactured to withstand coastal wind loads.

For newer site-built structures in this area, most appeared to have fared quite well, except for some commercial structures that were framed with what appeared to be light gauge steel. Houses and apartment buildings of wood-frame construction and of concrete/masonry construction withstood the ravages of the storm with little or no damage. A log home on Burnt Store Road also appeared unscathed.

In Bokeelia, where the eye of the storm passed and winds were the greatest, several multistory wood frame apartment buildings were viewed with little or no damage (Figure 5), including one under construction (Figure 6). Wind loads on a partially enclosed structure, such as the one under construction, are higher than on a fully-enclosed completed building. The performance of this building illustrates the capability of code-conforming wood-frame construction to withstand hurricane force winds successfully. The metal strapping and other forms of hurricane fasteners (Figure 7) that are typical in wind-resistive construction and in conformance with AF&PA’s Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) and Florida Building Code successfully held the structural elements together during this major hurricane.

AWC staff traveling through Myrtle Beach, SC after the storm passed through that area reported only tree damage. No visible structural damage was seen.

Additional Assessments
Staff also evaluated photos from the Florida State Emergency response team’s website at the following address:

Noteworthy, are photos of older structures built prior to new building codes, including the WFCM, developed since Hurricane Andrew struck Florida in 1992. Figure 8 shows an airplane hangar typical of the occasional damage seen on older wood structures, particularly along the roof edges where uplift forces are greatest. Figure 9 also shows loss of roof sheathing at edges and gable end walls. Click on any of the photos at the right to enlarge.

For more information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Stone at 727/367-0531 or

Phoenix, Arizona Adopts International Codes
In a decision that is likely to reverberate into California, the Phoenix City Council on June 16, 2004 approved the I-Codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC) as the building safety codes for the city. The Phoenix City Council voted 6-3 in favor of the I-Codes, following last week’s unanimous code recommendation from the Phoenix Code Review Committee. The committee’s decision came after a thorough threemonth review of construction codes, with multiple meetings and public comments from architects, building owners and managers, engineers, disability rights organizations, fire fighters and concerned citizens.

The resolution stated, “The City Manager recommends to the City Council that the I-Codes be used as the model code for the City of Phoenix Construction Code. ... [Transition to the I-Codes] will take less staff time, and require less training for staff and customers, and appears to be less costly for the City as well as the industry.” In its action, the city adopted the 2003 Building, Energy Conservation, Existing Building and Residential Codes. “Only through unbiased comparison of competing interests can an informed decision be made, which serves the best interests of the city of Phoenix,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer James Lee Witt.

AWC Investigates Midwest Tornado Damage
AWC investigated damage to wood frame structures in Granville, Joliet, and Utica, IL, that resulted from tornadoes on April 20 that killed eight people and caused extensive damage.

The tornado that hit Utica was classified as an F3 and the one in Joliet was considered an F1.

In Utica, where the most damage occurred, it appeared the tornado touched down directly on Main Street, wiping out a series of very old “ordinary construction” buildings with masonry exterior walls and wood interior structures. It was in the basement of one of these buildings that eight people were killed when the building collapsed on them. The randomness of destruction was striking—right behind Main Street were many old wood frame homes and a small group of newer manufactured homes, which sustained almost no damage (except the loss of some shingles). In all three communities, many porches and garages were upset, pushed over, or blown down while adjacent dwellings stood. It seems that roofs, eaves and roof trim, porches, garages, and windows were the first things to go and the only things to go in many structures, as might be expected.

A study published in the Spring 2004 issue of Disaster Safety Review, a quarterly journal of the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), emphasized the need for windresistant design in tornado-prone areas of the country. For information on tornado protection, this study or the latest edition of Disaster Safety Review, visit the IBHS web site,

For more information, contact Paul Coats at 815/724-0048.

12th National Timber Bridge Design Competition Results Announced
Fourteen teams of students from U.S. universities matched wits in the recently completed National Timber Bridge Design Competition. Open to student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Forest Products Society (FPS), the competition was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service through its Wood in Transportation Program. Additional financial support was provided by the Southern Pine Council, Unit Structures LLC, Wood Protection Products, Inc., and Weyerhaeuser Company. Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Inc., coordinates the annual competition.

Each team designed, constructed, and tested their bridges on their home campus, then submitted documentation of their activities and results to a panel of judges for review. The competition is conducted via the Internet. Each team is required to post design drawings, test results, and project highlights on the Web at

Winner of the Best Overall Design Award sponsored by Weyerhaeuser Company was University of Texas at San Antonio. Their design consisted of a transverse 2" x 4" deck supported by five longitudinal beams working with a halfthrough arch at each curb. The laminated arches each had five 1/4-inch suspension rods supporting the outside beams. This entry also placed second in Best Deck, judged by performance (deflection), weight, percent wood, practicality, innovation, and aesthetics.

The second place winner was Clarkson University. Their entry placed first in Most Innovative Design, second in Best Overall Design and third in Most Aesthetic. Their bridge support structure included two box girders designed with an internal cable truss system of two 3/8-inch steel cables placed between each girder’s three webs.

San Francisco State University won second place in Best Support Structure, third in Best Overall Design and third in Most Innovative Design. Their bridge featured epoxy resin glue and carbon fiber at all joints to maximize stiffness, use of Brazilian Ipe wood in the two parallel trusses due to its density and resistance to decay, and coated 3/4-inch plywood decking.

The State University of New York-Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) Forest Products Society Chapter received a first place award for Most Aesthetic Design, and also placed second in the Most Innovative category.

The test bridges were 13.1 feet long and 4.3 feet wide and were loaded with a test weight of approximately 4,500 pounds. Average weight of the bridge models was 856 pounds. At full loading, maximum bridge deflection ranged from 3/32 inch to 3/8 inch. Maximum allowable deflection was 3/8 inch. Percent non-wood materials in the bridges averaged 7.6 percent, although a maximum 25 percent, by weight, was allowed.

The competition’s objectives are to promote interest in the use of wood as a competitive bridge construction material; to generate innovative and cost-effective timber bridge design techniques; and to develop an appreciation of the engineering capabilities of wood among future transportation and forest products engineers. Following the competition, most of the bridges were placed into use as trail bridges.

Judges for the competition were Scott Groenier, P.E., National Wood in Transportation Program, USDA-Forest Service; and Dr. Rakesh Gupta and his Wood Engineering class at Oregon State University.

USFA Cooperative Agreement
AWC has entered into a cooperative agreement with the FEMA/U.S (see March 2003 News Briefs). Fire Administration (USFA) to develop a national-level information and demonstration project for enhancing fire service awareness of different types of lightweight construction components and their performance. Progress is reaching the midpoint of the 18-month program. Deliverables are on schedule and interest in the program from industry and the fire service continues to grow.

The project is divided into four main areas of focus. For the most part, activities within these areas are being performed concurrently. A brief summary of each area follows.

Information Gathering Session with the Fire Service
In late 2003, the last of the scheduled fire academy visits were completed. Overall, seven state fire academies were visited and comments from
those visits have been compiled. Chief Ron Coleman, retired California State Fire Marshal, served as the industry consultant on each visit.
Comments from all the fire academy meetings will be used to direct development of educational materials on lightweight construction.

Resource Material
An industry-wide task group is writing Resource Guides. The guides under development include:
- Lumber
- Panels
- I-joists
- Structural Composite Lumber (LVL, LSL, OSL, and PSL)
- Trusses
- Glued laminated timber
- Adhesives
Draft versions of most of the guides are complete and the first round of reviews is underway. Near final drafts are expected in mid-May. The USFA
grant calls for circulation of the guides to various fire service organizations for comment. When complete, the guides will be published and made
available to the fire service by USFA.

The guide content will also be used to develop a wood-product-specific educational website for the fire service. The vision is for the site to become the “one-stop” tool for fire service education on wood frame construction.

Recommended Changes to NFA Curriculum
Upon completion of the Resource Guides, a review and integration of new material into the curriculum of the National Fire Academy (NFA) will be conducted. The NFA, located in Emmitsburg, MD, was established by the federal government to educate state, regional, and local fire service instructors. Assuring that the curriculum is comprehensive and accurate will improve the message to the entire fire service.

Teaching Props
As part of the academy visits, the need for handson learning material for the classroom was discussed. The grant also calls for providing a handson
display containing the most modern lightweight construction components. While the details are not complete, input from the academy visits has been valuable.

For more information, contact Kenneth Bland at 202/463-2765 or Dr. Kuma Sumathipala at 202/463-2763.

Green Building Update
Development of a model residential green building guideline for use by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is progressing well. The American Wood Council participates in the stakeholder group, responsible for developing guideline criteria. The project contractor, NAHB Research Center (NAHB-RC), is making every effort to assure an open forum, balance of representation, and due process.

The guidelines will be available for use by local, regional, and state Home Builder Associations (HBA) wanting to initiate a green building
program. Since some green building criteria is related to regional conditions, it is difficult to develop a guideline that works for all parts of the
country. Once completed, it is expected that HBAs will make modifications appropriate for these regional variations. The guidelines will be a
valuable tool for builders to use in examining their current practices and making changes in site planning, resource selection, and environmental
impacts of residential construction. The guides are scheduled to be publicly available late in 2004.

For more information, contact Kenneth Bland at 202/463-2765.

San Diego Fire Prevention Task Force
The San Diego Regional Fire Prevention Emergency Preparedness Taskforce is responsible for preparing new urban wildland fire provisions to be adopted and enforced in the San Diego, CA area. This committee’s work is running parallel to efforts of the California State Fire Marshals Office and is addressing issues from past wildland fires in the San Diego area. At its recent meeting, AWC staff was able to provide the task force with a very comprehensive comparison of NFPA 1144 and the International Code Council’s (ICC) 2003 Urban Wildland Interface (UWI) codes. After much deliberation, it was decided that the 2003 ICC/UWI would be proposed as the basis for the UWI codes. Each community will take this base document and make whatever amendments they see fit. The committee also agreed to the following concepts:
- Roof coverings will be Class A;
- Windows, skylights and glazing will be double-paned;
- Floor projections will be protected;
- No venting will be allowed in soffits;
- Exterior walls will have materials for one-hour fire-rated construction on the exterior side of the wall;
- Gutters and downspouts will be non-combustible;
- Projections will be protected or of heavy timber construction.

Issues on which the committee was unable to reach agreement were:
- Fire shutters
- Sprinklers
- Eave protection
AWC is continuing to monitor this important issue for industry.

For more information, contact David Tyree at 719/633-7471.

Agenda 2020 Technology Summitt II
AWC recently helped plan and participated in the Agenda 2020 Technology Summit II. Primary sponsors included AF&PA, USDA Forest Service, and the Technical Association for the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI). Other sponsors included the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), USDA NRI, National Science Foundation (NSF), Center for Paper Business Industry Research (CPBIS) and the Institute for Paper Science Technology (IPST).

Keynote speakers included Pete Correll, Chairman & CEO of Georgia Pacific, who kicked off the Summit with a message urging researchers to develop new ideas and new technology to bring profitability to industry. Ann Bartuska, the new Deputy Chief for Research with the USDA Forest Service, also spoke about the future plan for Forest Service research.

Of the 11 technical sessions on the program, three specifically addressed wood products: VOC/HAP destruction, Durability, and Technologically Advanced Workforce. A brief report on each follows.

VOC/HAP Destruction
EPA has instituted new rules that limit the amount of Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC) and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) that mills can emit. Seventy-five to 100 OSB mills are allegedly under scrutiny, especially southern pine mills, as they emit turpines during the pressing process. To destroy VOCs, companies have installed regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTO) to incinerate emissions. These RTOs cost about $5-10 million to install and $1 million per year to operate. However, one researcher has developed a process to add a thin outer layer of hardwood chips to OSB before pressing, which absorbs turpines. Research is at the pilot stage at this point, but estimates are that if industry can implement this technology, they can save $1.3 billion in avoided capital and operating costs through 2009.

Researchers and industry representatives developed a plan to create durability performance methods and design tools. Estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy indicate that damage due to moisture costs approximately $10 billion annually to remediate. Plans to conduct research for new products as well as development of computer models, construction standards, and training were all part of the discussion. Agenda 2020 organizers indicate that this will be a high priority issue in the research portfolio.

Technologically Advanced Workforce (TAW)
This Agenda 2020 group has secured a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop mill worker training at local community colleges. Alabama Southern Community College (ASCC) is the lead institution. ASCC has established a relationship with a pulp and paper mill to provide a two-year associates degree for their mill workers. They’ve found that productivity skyrockets and safety increases dramatically when workers get this training. During the TAW session, the group discussed developing a parallel program for wood products mills. Part of the discussion included the WoodLinks program, which is geared toward secondary wood products manufacturers.

For more information, contact Buddy Showalter at 202/463-2769.


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Enhanced infrared satellite image of Hurricane Ivan just prior to landfall. Image: Courtesy of NOAA















Old historic barn at tornado funnel ground zero near Stephens City, VA.  






Award of Merit, 2002 Timber Bridge Competition Milwaukee Street Bridge, Jefferson, WI
This two-span pedestrian bridge was commissioned by the City of Jefferson, WI, to cross the Rock River. A 3-hinged buttressed arch has vertical rods supporting floor beams and stringers with longitudinal deck panels. The structure is 240 ft. long with a clear width of 12 ft.
Award of Merit, 2002 Timber Bridge Competition Tar River Trail Bridge, Rocky Mount, NC
This bridge was commissioned by Rocky Mount Park and Recreation to cross the Tar River, completing a greenway path for bikers, runners, walkers and hikers. The structure includes two glued laminated arches with two outside girders, eight interior stringers, plus diaphragms and vertical suspension posts.

The main bridge span is 227 ft. long and 14 ft. wide. Owners believe it may be the longest clear span laminated arch suspended deck bridge in the country.
























Researchers comparing two versions of this typical Minneapolis house 2,062 sq. ft. in size and built to code determined that building the structure using steel framing would use 17 percent more energy than building it with wood framing. (Graphic credit: CORRIM)




























Figure 1: Hurricane Charley Radar Image Figure 2. Hurricane Charley Path
Figure 3. Pine Island Area Map   
Figure 4. Mobile Home Park along Florida Route 765 (Burnt StoreRoad)
Figure 5. Bokeelia Wood-Frame Apartment Building
Figure 6. Bokeelia Wood-frame House Under Construction
Figure 7. Floor Framing of Bokeelia House Under Construction

Figure 8. This airplane hangar is typical of the occasional damage seen on older wood structures, particularly along the roof edges where uplift forces are the greatest. Figure 9. Loss of roof sheathing at the gable ends results from improper nailing of the wood structural panels.












Above: A tornado-damaged flower shop in Joliet, IL. Lack of metal framing devices to connect rafters to wall top plates are often responsible for damage.

Above: A garage in Joliet, IL, destroyed by the F1 tornado on April 20. Inadequate connections at intersecting walls and lack of rafter to wall connections often results in damage.

























































































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