Letter from the Chairman & CEO

As we turn to 2022 and the implementation of our new Strategic Plan, we take a moment to look back at 2021 and the notable accomplishments achieved by AWC’s remarkable staff across a wide range of areas foundational to the success of this industry.

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educational events and trainings
of code officials agree that AWC is a trusted resource
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& Standards
AWC Sets the Stage for Mass Timber Advances in the IBC and IFC Process

Group A Process: AWC scored major wins for our industry as part of the 2024 I-Codes Development process. The 2024 International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code will allow for fully exposed mass timber ceilings in buildings up to 12 stories.

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The current provisions for no more than 20% exposed mass timber ceilings in Type IV-B construction has been revised to allow for fully exposed mass timber ceilings.

Fire Design Specification

After six years of work, AWC released its new 2021 Fire Design Specification for Wood Construction (FDS), which contains all the need-to-know fire design information for wood members, assemblies, and connections to meet code requirements. The FDS also provides calculation procedures to address the added fire resistance and thermal benefits of protection by use of additional wood cover, gypsum panel products, and insulation. The additional calculation provisions were developed to allow for standardized methods of calculating thermal separation and burn-through requirements as outlined in the ASTM E119.

Multi-Species Lumber Grade Mark Resolution

AWC worked with the American Lumber Standards Committee to develop a new table of design values for multi-species lumber grade marks. The new table was urgently needed after the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) issued a press release warning of the potential for catastrophic failure of wood structures built with European lumber, which eventually escalated to lumberyards in surrounding states refusing North American lumber with a specific gravity of less than 0.42.

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Lumber Supply
& Workforce
AWC Engages Leaders on Pandemic Supply Chains, Labor and Transportation

Leading the Industry Response: AWC led the industry response to lumber supply concerns, including being active with Congress, the Biden Administration, and media publications. President & CEO Jackson Morrill participated in several meetings with the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and …

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Lumber Supply Podcast
Construction Revolution: Episode 2 - AWC/GE Frisco - Wood Supply Chain

Over the year, AWC responded to more than 20 media inquiries on lumber supply, including eight fielded on behalf of AWC’s membership. One of those was from a new podcast, Construction Revolution, geared toward helping those in the construction industry build long-term success. AWC’s Heather Stegner was invited to be a guest on the podcast’s second show. During the interview, Stegner covered a range of topics, from the lumber supply chain challenges to long-term capacity effects of the Great Recession as well as industry innovations and the carbon storage potential of wood products.

The Public-Private Partnership Behind a Stunning Mass Timber Basketball Arena

Video Case Study on Public-Private Partnerships a Hit: AWC kicked off National Forest Products Week with a robust panel discussion highlighting the public-private partnerships critical to the construction of the University of Idaho’s new mass timber basketball arena. The virtual event began with a viewing of a 10-minute video highlighting the vision of the project, the role of Wood Innovation Grants in proving the concept, the carbon benefits of building with wood products, and the industry’s strong role in seeing the project to fruition.

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substituting mass timber for conventional building materials could reduce construction emissions by almost 70%

using wood in half of new urban construction could achieve emission reduction goals by 9%


In the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), AWC and the forest products industry worked to include a pilot project for five mass timber buildings to be constructed by military branches.

Shoring Up Industry Data

AWC uses data related to harvesting and manufacturing operations to communicate the good performance of the industry in both policy and the marketplace, and both are demanding increased transparency.

Federal Push & Beyond

Throughout the year, AWC worked with Capitol Hill and federal agencies to ensure we were a trusted resource when it came to conversations about reducing embodied carbon in the built environment.

Tall Mass
AWC Assists States and Localities with Tall Mass Timber Adoption

AWC continued to support states and localities interested in adoption of the tall mass timber provisions. In 2021, 13 more states or localities either began the process or reached out to AWC to indicate interest in adopting the tall mass timber provisions. In total, with the provisions having only been officially released for one year, 19 states and cities have taken action or shown interest in incorporating tall mass timber into code.

In addition to working with legislatures and building code departments on incorporating tall mass timber provisions in to state and local codes, AWC’s Fire Service Engagement team has played a key role in educating local fire officials on all of the fire testing done prior to approval. For example, both AWC’s field staff and fire service team were actively engaged in Wisconsin, home to the 25-story Ascent building, as the state researched tall mass timber.

AWC Details Approaches to TMT Adoption in Structure Magazine

Our work in supporting states and localities in adoption of the tall mass timber provisions has often prompted the question on the best method of incorporation.

AWC wrote an article in Structure Magazine on the three main approaches to incorporating the 2021 IBC tall mass timber provisions into state and local code.

State & Federal
AWC Plays Major Role in State Building and Fire Codes

AWC continued to thwart attempts by competing building material groups to push anti-wood legislation, especially in what are now the typical targets of Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey. In Los Angeles in particular, AWC enlisted support from prominent groups, including the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Business Council, and U.S. Green Building Council, and submitted a letter in opposition to the Los Angeles City Council. AWC also successfully encouraged the Environmental Defense Fund to oppose the motion in Los Angeles, adding an important environmental perspective to the debate and highlighting the potential negative environmental consequences of limiting wood construction.

Also in California, AWC staff successfully argued against making any revisions to ASTM E2632 that would have significantly altered a critical wood deck fire test in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas. The current test is used in California to show the acceptance of certain wood decking surface materials in WUI areas. A proposal would have expanded ASTM E2632 to require testing of the entire deck assembly, including joists. AWC pushed against any change to the current standard, arguing doing so would have jeopardized the acceptance of recognized decking materials. The committee ultimately voted – with AWC’s support – to write a new standard for the purpose of evaluating fire performance of the entire deck assembly. AWC is committed to participating in the development of this new standard.

PCWP MACT Testing Scope Narrowed

EPA is developing a hazardous air pollutant (HAP) testing plan to fill information gaps as part of its reconsideration of the Plywood and Composite Panel (PCWP) MACT. EPA sent three dozen air emission testing requests to nine companies primarily focused on OSB, particleboard and MDF. While burdensome, AWC’s joint advocacy efforts with members resulted in the scope of testing shrinking by at least an order of magnitude compared to where EPA started, saving companies significant amounts of money.

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The EPA’s Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC) reviewed the health effects studies of low-level exposure to particulate matter and are recommending lowering the current limit of 12 ug/m3. AWC met with EPA to stress the significant scientific uncertainties in available health studies and the challenge of mills to meet the tighter limits that are expected during EPA’s reconsideration. AWC is committed to work with our coalition to develop advocates and champions for moderation (not lower than 8 ug/m3) and keeping the standard closer to the current at the federal, state and local level.

Fire Service
Addressing Negative Perceptions

After the Boston Globe’s “Real Estate” blog posted an article with negative comments about wood construction and troubling statements attributed to a Massachusetts Fire Chief, AWC worked on several fronts to respond. First, AWC teamed with a Massachusetts-based mass timber expert who submitted a rebuttal highlighting the safety measures taken in wood construction and the carbon benefits of mass timber. AWC staff submitted a letter correcting the story’s inaccurate characterization of code requirements and the code development process. The newspaper declined to publish the letter, so AWC posted it to the website.

AWC’s Fire Service Relations Manager Ray O’Brocki used the article as an opportunity to work behind the scenes to build relationships within the fire service and ensure AWC is seen as a resource. Ray reached out to the Fire Chief and set up an in-person meeting to hear his concerns and dispel some of the inaccuracies about engineered wood products mentioned in the blog piece and to offer training and resources. The Chief shared that he had no grave concerns about wood construction and said the reporter cherry-picked his interview comments, leading to the misrepresentation and negative tone. The productive meeting ended with the Chief, who teaches a building construction course at a local community college, inviting Ray to make a presentation to the class.

AWC has been a true partner to the fire service community for the nearly two decades I’ve been involved. AWC’s proactive outreach and measured approach is highly valued and it remains a great fire service resource for training and best practices.
President of the National Fire Sprinkler Association and former State Fire Marshal
Building Relationships

In 2021, AWC’s Fire Service Engagement team has built relationships with fire officials in 39 states and Washington, D.C. In addition to building out a wide network, the team continues to focus on building out new relationships in states such as New Jersey and Massachusetts that have been traditional targets for competitors attempting to limit wood construction. To date, no such limitations have been successful.

Courtesy of FDIC International
TMT at FDIC International

AWC’s Fire Service Relations Manager has become a known quantity in educating the fire service about wood construction, tall mass timber and construction fire safety practices. In 2021, among his almost 30 training events, he presented at FDIC International, a prestigious fire service meeting that attracts thousands of fire and rescue officials from around the country for training and industry product and services. The tall mass timber presentation was selected from more than 900 proposals and allowed AWC to showcase its ongoing efforts to educate on wood products and fire safety to a broader network of fire officials. Another presentation of note was at the annual Congressional Fire Institute (CFSI) National Symposium, which educates federal members of Congress on fire and emergency service.

28 Fire Service Trainings
40 Meetings with Targets
Leading Strategically

As AWC moves into its second decade, we continue to be uniquely positioned to advocate for the wood products industry on the front lines of codes and standards development and legislative and regulatory policymaking. What is new today, however, is that the industry sits at an important inflection point …

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