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The Evolving Role of Associations: The Engineered Wood Association

Posted by Alan Naditz

Aug 17, 2018 2:51:08 PM

There’s more to this trade group than mere handling of wood.

For more than 80 years, APA – The Engineered Wood Association – has focused on helping the industry create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility and reliability. Combining the research efforts of scientists at APA’s 42,000-square-foot research center with the knowledge gained from decades of field work and cooperation with its member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry.

APA_300dpiNumber of members: 172
Member breakdown: Engineered wood product mills in 23 states and seven provinces
Headquarters: Tacoma, WA
Website: www.apawood.org
Key services offered:  Development of performance standards for building products and tools; creation of product reports to help engineered wood product manufacturers expedite market entry of their goods; provide highly technical educational resources to residential and commercial building professionals; free on-site consultancy services on the latest construction techniques and code requirements pertaining to engineered wood.
Mission: APA has focused on helping the industry create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility and reliability. Combining research efforts of APA scientists with knowledge gained from decades of field work and cooperation with member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry.

APA is a nonprofit trade association that has grown and evolved with the engineered wood industry. APA was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, and was later recognized as the American Plywood Association. In 1994, APA changed its name to APA – The Engineered Wood Association to better reflect the range of products manufactured by APA members and the international scope of the Association.

Its members are well-known manufacturers whose mills produce the majority of the structural wood panel products made in North America, plus a host of engineered wood products, including glued laminated timber (glulam), wood structural panels, wood I-joists and structural composite lumber.

APA has a long and extensive history in building codes and standards development activities. It serves as the secretariat for the standing committees of U.S. Product Standard PS 1 for Structural Plywood, the consensus softwood plywood standard, and Voluntary Product Standard PS 2, the U.S. harmonized performance standard recognized under the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. APA has developed many performance standards over the years, including plywood siding, wood structural panel and sheathing, glulam, wood I-joists, rim board, and cross-laminated timber (CLT). APA issues APA Product Reports designed to help manufacturers expedite market entry of their products.

APA provides builders, designers and specifiers with a wealth of information, from basic construction instructions to highly technical data, for a variety of residential and commercial building applications. APA’s Help Desk, Resource Library, and field representatives provide a diverse range of support—from the basics of building structurally sound floors, walls, and roofs to recommendations for complying with stringent energy and code requirements to special design considerations for areas prone to extreme conditions, such as high wind, seismic activity and moisture intrusion.

APA and APA EWS trademarks are the manufacturer’s assurance that the engineered wood product conforms to manufacturing and product performance standards shown on the trademark. The mark appears only on products manufactured by APA members committed to APA’s rigorous program of quality inspection and testing.


The Sukonik Building Company, Limerick, PA

Brothers Jon and Neil Sukonik were already enthusiastic about energy savings for their homebuyers. The goal of the co-owners of Sukonik Building Company (www.sukonikhomes.com) in Limerick, Pa., was to economically build a structurally sound home with the meticulous detail they were known for, while simultaneously minimizing energy costs.

APA-SukonikProject-Finished 300The Sukoniks knew efficient equipment and lighting, as well as proper air sealing and mechanical design, would play a role in meeting their goal. They also knew they needed to put more insulation into their homes without adding costs or jeopardizing structural integrity. But they needed extra advice on framing.

Advanced framing techniques would enable them to improve the energy performance in their homes by increasing the volume of insulation. The increased insulation would also help the Sukoniks meet more-stringent energy codes and gain an advantage over their competition.
APA engineered wood specialist Mary Uher met with the Sukoniks and their architect/build teams, as well as the local code officials, to walk them through advanced framing techniques and provide consultation as needed. The additional training in green building became an important part of the Sukoniks’ construction philosophy and crucial to improving energy efficiency.

The APA offered other benefits. There was a wealth of information, from basic construction instructions to highly technical data, for a variety of residential and commercial building applications. And, APA’s Help Desk, Resource Library and field representatives provide a diverse range of support—from the basics of building structurally sound floors, walls and roofs to special design considerations for areas prone to extreme conditions, such as high wind, seismic activity and moisture intrusion.

“APA’s members benefit from our work in the field as we strengthen the engineered wood market through training and education,” APA Marketing Communications Manager Heather Rasmussen says. “When our member mills’ products are properly specified and installed, customers are happy with the results.”

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