Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 20, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

America-First turned upside down in lumber markets

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 20, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Donald Trump’s America-First policy on trade is boosting profits for Canadian companies more than US firms, according to a story in Bloomberg Politics. “If it were a weak market… they’d have to eat the tariffs”. But “housing production is holding steady” says the NAHB, and Maine’s Governor—a critic of softwood duties—blames the high prices on a coalition of businesses that are in a position to potentially “price-gouge distressed Americans“.

new biomaterial made mostly from wood pulp and chitosan (sea shells) could replace plastic laminates, greatly reducing pollution. In other wood news, the Arkansas’s first demonstration of mass timber construction breaks ground via a large library storage facility, while New Zealand chases mass timber manufacturing to solve its housing shortage.

Finally, as wildfire stories subside, there’s no end in sight on the debate over logging’s role in forest management and US Secretary Zinke’s call for more active forest management. Here are the headlines:

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Edmonton designer harnesses forest smells with unisex fragrances

Metro News
September 19, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Josh Smith

An Edmonton fragrance-maker sees the forest for the breeze. Josh Smith came to Edmonton to take a forestry program at NAIT, but switched his career path when he found a way to harness the scents of the woods in unisex fragrances. Libertine Fragrance specializes in smells like mossy forest floors and freshly cut hay. “Some are kind of woody, I’ve got more cedar and fir notes and those sort of things – some that are more herbal and grassy, and on the other side more fruit or floral inspirations,” Smith said. …Smith’s business started as a school project, when he took design at the University of Alberta and incorporated what he previously learned at NAIT.

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Forestry

Douglas Fir Beetle Is Here

CKPG News
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robert Schuetz, IFS President

Mayor and Council has heard the grim details: Another bark beetle infestation is making its presence felt in the city. A presentation was made by Carrier Lumber and Industrial Forestry Service. It outlined that the epidemic has grown within the Prince George Timber Supply Area from 1,305 hectares to 8,127 hectares between 2015 and 2016, and has begun to appear in City limits. Robert Schuetz, President of IFS, says the Province did approach the City in the past about the issue but did not get the response it had hoped for with respect to concerns over the beetle. Schuetz says the beetle normally would kill small numbers of trees. But, they are finding groups of ten or more trees killed at a time, indicating a problem. Outbreaks generally last two to four years and the epidemic “will not disappear by itself.”

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B.C.’s forest industry assesses impact of summer’s wildfires

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s wildfires, still not fully under control, have already scorched the equivalent of the entire year’s timber harvest in the province’s Interior. …”What’s important for people as they come back to their homes and they want life to get back to normal, they want to go back to work and for many, that means coming back to work in our mills,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the Council of Forest Industries. …”Forestry in British Columbia is in transition and these wildfires have compounded that, especially in the Interior where the mountain pine beetle wood is starting to run out,” said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Doug Donaldson. The rookie minister has been meeting with the industry to fast-track new cutting permits as well as salvage licences. With about 150 fires still burning at last count, however, it will be months at least before a clear picture of the losses – and alternatives – emerges.

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No need to fear wildland fire in our forests

By Mike Garrity – Alliance for the Wild Rockies & Chad Hanson – John Muir Project
Montana Standard
September 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Why is Congressman Gianforte afraid of the Park Creek Fire? Congressman Greg Gianforte has spent a lot of time lately talking about his fear of forest fires. That’s understandable — many people fear and misunderstand this natural process. But we are especially confused about his fear of the Park Creek lightning fire, north of Lincoln, Montana. Gianforte has repeatedly claimed that an illegal logging project — the Stonewall project on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest — would have stopped the Park Creek fire or substantially reduced its intensity, if a federal judge had not enforced federal laws and halted it.

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Blue Park Spruce Beetle Salvage Project approved

Alamosa News
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CREEDE Divide District Ranger Martha Williamson signed the decision notice approving the Blue Park Spruce Beetle Salvage Project on Wednesday, September 12. This timber management project is located on the Rio Grande National Forest about 10 miles southeast of Creede in the Blue and Long Park area. “The Blue Park Spruce Beetle Salvage Project will recover the value of dead and dying trees while supporting local and regional economies with a stable supply of forest products,” said Williamson. Williamson approved the proposed action analyzed in the environmental assessment. The proposed action allows for harvesting dead and dying trees on approximately 3,200 acres of forest lands, yielding about 13 million board feet of sawtimber, or enough timber to provide all the wood products needed to construct more than 430 homes.

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One-on-one with Congressman Greg Gianforte

By David Winter
ABC Fox Montana
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Congressman Greg Gianforte and journalist David Winter

David Winter sat down with the Congressman as he approaches his first 100 days in office. We covered a variety of topics, from his biggest challenges so far in Washington, to his new Forest Jobs Tour. …”We harvest about 100 million board feet of timber in Montana on federal land now,” says Gianforte. “If we could get back to 300 million board feet, we could get back to these mills at full capacity.  So, we have the capacity, the demand exists for the timber, and from a conservation perspective, when we sequester carbon in a fully mature tree and turn it into a two-by-four and put it in a house, that’s good for the environment too.” And good for jobs says Gianforte. 

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‘Good Neighbor Authority’ brings IDL a new mission: More active management of fed forests

By Betsy Russell
The Spokesman-Review
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tom Schultz, Dept Lands Director

Idaho has been seeing success with using the “Good Neighbor Authority” it was granted under the 2014 federal Farm Bill to partner with the U.S. Forest Service and increase active management and timber harvests on national forests in the state – and it’s poised to ramp the program up. “Right now we have two foresters doing GNA projects across the state, so we’re looking to significantly expand this program,” state Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz told the state Land Board today. In the department’s budget request for next year, it’s asking for eight new positions, all from dedicated funds. That would allow the department to create a new GNA Bureau within its Forestry & Fire Division, and up the staffing for GNA programs from the current 4.3 positions to 12.3. Two Forest Service officials touted the success of the program to the Land Board on Tuesday.

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Wildfires prompt calls for more private management of public forestland

By Kim Moore
Oregon Business
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Milli fire is one of more than a dozen large wildfires that took hold in the state this summer, in what has been a bad season for forest fires across the entire west of the country. But unlike many of this season’s wildfires that grew out of control – the Eagle Creek fire in the Gorge received the most attention because of its proximity to Portland – the Milli fire is cited as a success story because it was easily contained. Most of the fire is now under control. …The Milli fire is an example of the positive outcome of how forest management collaboratives can help reduce wildfire risk while maintaining a healthy forest.

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Rain dampens flames, but fire season isn’t over yet

By Samantha Matsumoto
The Oregonian
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Rain and cool, cloudy weather have slowed fire growth in recent days, allowing firefighters to make significant progress containing several large blazes. But even as the first day of fall approaches Friday, forestry officials warn the state isn’t in the clear just yet. Fire season still has about another month to go. This week’s rain is a good start, said Jim Gersbach, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry. But only sustained periods of heavy rain will end the fire season, he said. That typically doesn’t happen until mid-October. “Fire season is still in effect,” he said. “Usually we need quite a period of soaking rain to feel we can declare the fire season over.”

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‘Management’ code for logging

Letter by Kathryn Harrington
The Register-Guard
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In response to Shelly Collins’s editorial (“Environmentalists fanning flames,” Sept. 18) in which she asserts that environmental forest practices have “killed our economy” and “managed to destroy this beautiful state with wildfires”: Our forests were sustained for more than 12,000 years before the logging industry clear-cut huge swaths through our landscape contributing to landslides, forest fires and decreased salmon population. The logging industry has virtually wiped out our forests and intermittently replanted them with young trees more susceptible to burning.  …Oregonians, do not succumb to the industrialists who hope to capitalize on these environmental tragedies. Do not support more logging under the guise of “management.”

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More logging on public lands means more wildfires

By Anthony Ambrose and Wendy Baxter, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley
The Sacramento Bee
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It has been more than two weeks since Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released an underwhelming report about the fate of our national monuments and America’s public lands. To date, the recommendations remain unavailable to the public, although a leaked report over the weekend recommends major changes to benefit extractive industries, including logging.  Zinke also released a controversial statement on fire management in response to the mega-fires sweeping across the West, stressing a “more aggressive approach” for fire prevention. That translates to clear-cutting and essentially a pass for logging companies to move in. It throws a bone to the timber industry while failing to provide funding for well-thought-out and locally vetted management plans.  In California, the 2012 Giant Sequoia Management Plan, developed with community input and years of effort, would be lost to private industry management, an approach that has a bad track record on fire. 

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Forest Landowners Celebrate Field Day in Oakville

By Candra Burns
GrayHarbor Talk
September 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On a bright and sunny summer day,forest landowners came together for field sessions and educational opportunities put on by Washington State University Extension Forestry and the Washington Department of Natural Resources Small Forest Landowner Office. The Field Day event, held on August 19, was hosted by John Henrikson of Wild Thyme Farm and provided resources to landowners from across Washington State. The field day was inclusive with every topic ranging from agroforestry to help with your forested property taxes. …The stations were nestled in the woods and had experts from each field educating both new and experienced landowners.

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Log It Now or Lose It Forever

By Dave Skinner
Flathead Beacon
September 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…This year, we’ve got fires at all points of the compass and we’ve been completely smoked under a hot, still sky. But this time, we’ve got the technology — satellites, infrared, aircraft, evacuations — so we know for sure we have too dang many huge fires threatening too dang many communities. My only question is, will 2017’s aftermath be ugly enough to motivate Congress to brain the heck up and actually change federal forest policy for the good? … If a forest with 100 trees is only getting enough water to keep 50 trees healthy and growing, how should we adapt? Log 50 trees, right? Environmentalists would prefer all 100 trees die “naturally” through bugs or fire than let any be “exploited.”

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Natural Resources Council of Maine warns: Lawsuit likely if commercial logging permitted in national monument

Maine Biz
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, served notice to the Trump administration that allowing “commercial logging” in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument would “almost certainly trigger a lawsuit.” Pohlmann’s warning is in response to a leaked report from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to President Donald Trump advising that the executive order that created Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument be amended to promote a “healthy forest through active timber management.” …”Without more details, we cannot yet judge whether these recommendations are acceptable and… problematic for the intended purpose of this monument, or illegal and likely to trigger action in the courts,” Pohlmann said.

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We’re wood to go, PM

Deniliquin Pastoral Times
September 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Local timber workers are waiting at the ready to deliver Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s vision for a stronger timber industry, according to Deniliquin’s Gulpa Sawmill owner Ben Danckert. Mr Danckert, who is chair of The Nationals’ Red Gum branch, said all the industry needs is access to the forests which had supplied commercial timber for generations. …Mr Turnbull said he was ‘‘committed to developing this (timber) industry as a growth engine for regional Australia’’ at the Australian Forest Products Association dinner last Tuesday in Canberra.

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Forest Fires

85 per cent containment on Elephant Hill fire

By Tara Sprickerhoff
100 Mile House Free Press
September 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Elephant Hill fire has not seen any grown in the last while, and as of today the fire is 85 per cent contained, says Fire Information Officer Erin Catheral. “Crews are continuing to make good progress on the fire, this with the cooler weather conditions that we have received has definitely helped with suppression efforts,” she says. “Just having a guard around the fire isn’t sufficient for containment, we have to remove fuel from the guard around the fire perimeter,” says Catheral.

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Snow and rain blankets Oregon wildfires, beginning end of multiple blazes including Eagle Creek and Chetco Bar fires

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
September 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

As heavy rain turned to snow in Oregon’s high elevations Tuesday, fire crews prepared to wind down operations on multiple wildfires across the state. Four inches of snow fell on fire camps on Santiam Pass, bringing welcome help to firefighting efforts but also creating cold and wet conditions for teams looking to bring an end to Oregon’s tumultuous fire season. Most evacuations caused by the wildfires have been eliminated statewide, while closures on trails and campgrounds mostly remain.  Landslides and flash floods have become a more pressing threat, especially in places with steep slopes burned this summer such as I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge and U.S. Highway 20 on Santiam Pass. 

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Rowe Mesa wildfire to grow as ‘controlled burn’

The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

After lightning ignited a small fire on Rowe Mesa southeast of Santa Fe, Santa Fe National Forest managers decided to expand the blaze into a much larger “controlled burn” rather than extinguish it immediately. The Palmer Fire began Sept. 12 in a mostly grassy meadow speckled with ponderosa pine and piñon-juniper, between the Pecos and Las Vegas ranger districts. The fire covered just 35 acres, but the Forest Service said it intends to vastly increase the burn to 11,500 acres. 

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Tenderfoot 2 Fire now 50 percent contained, officials “cautiously optimistic”

By Jack Queen
Summit Daily
September 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The winds came with fury on Tuesday, but they were too late to rouse the Tenderfoot 2 Fire near Dillon. By the afternoon, its once-fearsome plume of smoke had reduced to pale wisps, and in the evening fire officials declared it 50 percent contained. Firefighters and aircraft hammered away at the fire early in the morning when the day was still calm, and their work paid off, keeping the blaze from growing even when the wind howled as fast as 50 miles per hour. “We had a solid box around the fire before the winds picked up,” U.S. Forest Service incident commander Eric White said Tuesday evening.

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Company & Business News

Governor: Greed drives lumber prices following hurricanes

By David Sharp
The Associated Press in the Seattle Times
September 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Maine Gov. LePage

PORTLAND, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage is calling for a suspension of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber to ease prices as families and businesses prepare to rebuild after hurricanes Harvey and Irma — and with two more months of hurricane season to go. The Republican governor blames “corporate greed” for driving up costs and says large lumber companies are in the position to price gouge. “It is unconscionable that a coalition of businesses is in the position to potentially price-gouge distressed Americans who are in dire need of those products to rebuild their lives,” LePage wrote… LePage’s comments drew criticism from Jason Brochu, co-owner of Pleasant River Lumber in Maine, who said the governor shouldn’t be using hurricanes “as a political ploy.”

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Trump’s ‘America First’ Vow Turned Upside Down in Lumber Market

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg Politics
September 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Donald Trump’s policy on trade since becoming U.S. president has been all about putting “America First.” But in one corner of the commodity world, his actions are having the opposite effect. In a move intended to protect the domestic lumber industry, the U.S. this year slapped duties of as much as 31 percent on imports of timber from Canada… Prices surged, increasing costs for American buyers — and boosting profit for Canadian producers. Shares of Canadian softwood lumber producers Canfor Corp. and West Fraser Timber Co. are outperforming their American peers with gains of more than 40 percent this year, placing them among the top performers on the BI Global Paper and Wood Products Index. By contrast, shares of U.S. rival Weyerhaeuser Co. are up about 10 percent.

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Palliser Opens New Manufacturing Facility

By Palliser Furniture Holdings Ltd.
Canada Newswire
September 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Palliser Furniture held a ribbon cutting ceremony this week in their newest manufacturing facility, citing growth in two segments of their business as the reason behind the need to grow their capacity:  theater seating (Encore by Palliser) and the entry-level price point brand (North American Furniture Company). The new 65,000 square foot facility will be located in Matamoros, Coahuila, Mexico, adjacent to their existing cut and sew operation and will employ up to 180 employees. These 180 new jobs range from operators and technicians to engineers and management. “We are so proud of this new facility” said Cary Benson, President and CEO of Palliser Furniture. “This is our fifth manufacturing facility in North America.”

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Residents learn that Northern Pulp mill in Nova Scotia again over pollution limits

Canadian Press in Global News
September 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — Residents of a Nova Scotia community who are learning second-hand about excessive air pollution from a nearby pulp mill say the province is being lax and secretive about emission levels. Matt Gunning, a volunteer with the community group Clean the Mill, says people living across the harbour from the Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Inc. mill in Pictou should be able to monitor pollution levels on the provincial Environment Department’s website — especially when they are over the limit. …Company spokeswoman Kathy Cloutier said the company is disappointed with the results for its power boiler, and is trying to determine what happened.

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Housing Production Holds Steady in August

National Association of Home Builders
September 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Nationwide housing starts fell 0.8 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family production rose 1.6 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 851,000 after a downwardly revised July reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.9 percent above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 6.5 percent to 329,000 units after an upward July revision.

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Domestic lumber demand is tailing off just as export log demand is picking up, putting upward pressure on local log prices

By Scott Downs
interest.co.nz
September 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Domestic lumber demand is flat. The demand from Christchurch is dropping significantly, but there is an increase in the Otago Lakes area driven by building in Queenstown and Wanaka. There has been a cooling in the development of medium to high rise apartments as banks require a high percentage of pre-sales before lending, but buyers don’t want to place deposits if the build isn’t confirmed. The rest of New Zealand is flat with some mills reporting their sales into the areas of Hamilton and Tauranga down on last year. These areas are still growing but the rate of growth has slowed.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canada joins international tall wood alliance

Daily Commercial News
September 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

MONTREAL — Canada’s special envoy to the European Union Stephane Dion joined 19 other international dignitaries in signing the Bordeaux Alliance recently, committing nations to adopting strategies to boost the use of wood in midrise and tall wood buildings. The initiative was one of several taken to promote the use of wood in construction at Woodrise 2017, a conference held in Bordeaux, France beginning Sept. 14. A media statement called it the first world congress dedicated to midrise and tall wood buildings. The representatives also made a formal call for stakeholders to take one step closer toward carbon neutrality by strengthening the share of wood used in building construction. Canada’s FPInnovations… was one of six organizations to sign a research memorandum.

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New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution

Phys.Org
September 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

An inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications has been developed by Penn State researchers, who predict its adoption would greatly reduce pollution. Completely compostable, the material—a polysaccharide polyelectrolyte complex—is comprised of nearly equal parts of treated cellulose pulp from wood or cotton, and chitosan, which is derived from chitin—the primary ingredient in the exoskeletons of arthropods and crustaceans. The main source of chitin is the mountains of leftover shells from lobsters, crabs and shrimp consumed by humans. These environmentally friendly barrier coatings have numerous applications ranging from water-resistant paper, to coatings for ceiling tiles and wallboard, to food coatings to seal in freshness.

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University Libraries Break Ground on High-Density Storage Facility

University of Arkansas Newswire
September 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A high-density storage facility is under construction off Hill Avenue in south Fayetteville, designed to house University Libraries items in a climate-controlled environment. …”The new Library Storage Building represents a new and innovative era for the University Libraries on many levels, but in particular, the LSB will be the first demonstration of mass timber design and construction in the state of Arkansas,” said Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture. …”We are very proud to bring the first CLT project ever constructed to the region,” said architect Roger Boskus. The utilization of CLT is also inherently green. …In keeping with the green construction method of the CLT panels, the exterior of the Libraries Storage Building will be fire-hardened wood siding

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How Materials Homes are Made of Influence Your Health

The Green Optimistic
September 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Studies have proved that houses need far more than solar panels and recycling systems in order to be considered not only green but also healthy. One such research project has shown that homes that do not have proper ventilation may face the dangers of Volatile Organic Compounds buildups, which are harmful to both the environment, as well as to the inhabitants of the buildings. …The results have shown that there are several factors that impact VOC emissions. The most important of them is the age of the materials. Research has shown that new or renovated buildings have the largest concentrations of VOCs.

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A New Dimension For The Furniture Industry: BASF And Sonae Arauco Win Innovation Award 2017

Textile World
September 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

PORTO/LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany — At the International Composites Congress in Stuttgart, BASF and Sonae Arauco were jointly honored with the AVK (German Federation of Reinforced Plastics) Innovation Award 2017 for a new development in 3-D moldable wood fiber components. The two companies ranked first in the category “Innovative products/components or applications” for providing the furniture industry with a storage stable composite that can be processed by hot molding. In contrast to standard thermoset boards, the new wood-based composite is able to be post-molded and its surface can be structured in short cycles on standard furniture molding equipment.

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Easing Our Housing Crisis – An Engineered Solution

By The Forestry Industry Engineers
Scoop Independent News
September 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Perfectly poised to solve our housing shortages is mass timber manufacturing, already common in Australia. The new engineered wood factories are set to grow our capacity to speed up quality house-building right now in New Zealand. That’s the view of our wood engineers organising a high-technology engineered wood building conference next week in Rotorua. If our New Zealand can replicate wood panel plants that are commonplace in Europe and Canada it will add plenty of building capacity. It will go a long way to solving the housing supply shortage, says Rotorua engineer, John Stulen, of the Forest Industry Engineering Association, organiser of a national wood technology conference next Thursday. …“Right now here in New Zealand we need at least one or two more large wood panel manufacturing plants.”

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