A Wealth of Essential Wood Products Resources Online

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A Wealth of Essential Wood Products Resources Online 1
Jackson Morrill
President & CEO of the American Wood Council

AWC’s work crosses many aspects of our industry. One core role is to serve as the nationally recognized technical authority on wood building products through the dissemination of standards, design tools, guidelines and educational resources that support safe, resilient and carbon conscious construction. AWC maintains these important and helpful technical resources through our recently updated website. We have curated a comprehensive library over the years to advance the use of wood products and to help code officials and designers more easily review plans or design wood projects.

Among the notable improvements to our website, we revamped the Resource Hub to make it more user friendly and efficient. The landing page now groups resources into 11 separate categories, including Design Standards, Code Conforming Wood Design, Calculators & Tools, Technical Reports and more. Cover art for each category includes some of the familiar illustrations and graphics from various manuals to help frequent visitors quickly identify what they are looking for on the site. The Resource Hub also includes a handy filter tool to sort for categories and topics.

Our website also features a designated section with information on the full scope of wood products, explainers for how different products are used in construction, as well as information on adhesives and fire performance. We call this resource our Wood Products Directory, and its intent is to describe in detail how products are engineered and applied in the field. For example, users clicking on the “Panels” category will find a description of the differences between oriented strand board (OSB), plywood and particle board, best practices for use, as well as access to our Wood Panels Guide.

The Directory also includes a pictorial guide with visual representations of how wood is used in floor, roof and wall framing systems. For example, the Lumber Floor Framing section shows that these assemblies are composed of joists, girders, and sheathing. It also shows the difference between an I-joist floor framing system and a truss floor system.

AWC also maintains a Code Adoption Map for state and municipal jurisdictions across the country. By clicking in a state, users can see the current codes and the editions that have been adopted, including the International Building Code, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and International Fire Code. There is other applicable information, including the adoption status of the tall mass timber provisions within the code. The map itself also identifies states that have jurisdictions or statewide adoption of the tall mass timber construction types, indicated with a unique cross-hatch design element.

One final update I’d like to highlight is it provides an overall picture of the importance of the wood products industry to this country and our economy. Using 2020 data points (the most recent available), AWC has developed an Economic Impact Map that breaks down by state and congressional district the impact of wood products, from total employment and tax contributions to employee/payroll contributions and the dollar value of goods and products shipped. This feature provides visitors with the option for free pdf downloads of state and district-level data.

Our staff is constantly reaching out to code officials, designers and fire service members across the United States to provide in-person, direct technical assistance, and we’ll continue to provide this important service to these communities. Our web tools provide an important supplement to these outreach efforts, and I would encourage you to look through and share them widely. We hope you find these improvements and tools to be helpful in supporting and facilitating the design of safe and resilient wood building construction.

By Jackson Morrill

Jackson Morrill President & CEO American Wood Council

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