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Codes and Standards

With its staff of engineers and code experts, AWC ensures the continued regulatory acceptance of wood products in the marketplace. It does this by defending against attacks from competing materials in codes and regulations, and maximizing opportunities for wood in residential and commercial construction by monitoring national, state and local regulations and maintaining a leadership presence in standard-setting bodies. AWC is the only organization that advocates for all segments of the wood products industry before building code-writing bodies in the U.S. It is also the authoritative ANSI-accredited standards developer of wood construction standards and design tools referenced in these codes.

Fighting for Wood Before America’s Building Code Authorities

The American Wood Council’s engineers and experts work exclusively to maintain and expand market opportunities for wood through building codes and standards in the face of stiff competition from competing materials such as concrete and steel.

No single company can represent the broad industry before building code authorities, nor maintain the technical expertise required to engage full-time with the leading construction code-writing bodies — but AWC can and does.

Over the past year, AWC’s advocacy has:

  • Protected wood panels’ dominant place in the residential sheathing market against efforts to impose unsubstantiated energy requirements that would have favored foam sheathing;
  • Defeated effort by steel interests to grab market share by creating lower energy-efficiency requirements for steel studs than for wood studs;
  • Promoted use of I-joists and trusses in residential construction by defeating proposals that would have imposed additional, unsubstantiated requirements on engineered wood products than competing materials


For AWC to continue to advocate for the industry, it needs broad industry participation and the resources that come with it. Specific challenges include:

  • Earthquake Codes: Efforts are underway to have wood derated for residential construction in earthquake-prone areas, sought to be replaced by steel;
  • Energy Efficiency: Recapturing markets lost to energy performance Building Codes and Standardsrequirements biased toward competing materials and increasing regulation resulting from new energy legislation;
  • Fire Safety: Educating the fire community on the safety and performance of all wood products, and responding to the current fire service focus on engineered wood products;
  • Structural Specifications: Opposing substitution of wood structural panels with foam sheathing and preventing technically unjustified changes to the IRC’s bracing code.

Recent News

Deck Guide Updated to 2009 IRC | New Errata for 2005 Wood Design Package

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