As we turn to 2023 and the implementation of our new Strategic Plan, we take a moment to look back at 2022 and the notable accomplishments achieved by AWC’s remarkable staff across a wide range of areas foundational to the success of this industry.
Click each issue below to get a short preview of AWC’s accomplishments in 2022.
Code Development Work Saves Millions
In the 2024 code cycle, AWC was successful in a code change resulting in nearly $3 million in savings for developers while also lowering the building’s carbon footprint by 20%. Other expected results include defeating proposals that would have led to increased costs and inconsistent enforcement.
Expanding Wood Use through Standards & Education
AWC expanded its library of ANSI-approved standards with the adoption of the Fire Design Specification, continuing to make it easier for designers and code officials and fire officials to find what they need in one place to ensure wood buildings meet the highest safety standards.
Established Credible Resource for Fire Service
Outreach efforts to the fire service and fire code officials culminated in 2022 in the reversal of a major group’s opposition to tall mass timber construction, as well as several collaboration opportunities that are indicators of AWC’s role as a trusted resource.
Carving Out a Reputation as a Thought Leader
From launching a lifecycle inventory database, outperforming initial collection goals, marking legislative wins, getting key carbon leaders into the field, and spreading the word on wood’s sustainability story, AWC made strides toward ensuring wood’s many benefits are recognized.
Positioning Wood as a Solution; Defending Against Unfounded Bills
The omnibus funding package contained significant wins toward our lifecycle assessment work, and we made moves to position mass timber as an affordable housing option. Meanwhile, we continued to be successful in preventing unwarranted limitations on wood construction.
Advocating for Science-Based, Reasonably Tailored Rules
AWC worked successfully with EPA on a testing plan and a significant rule affecting the wood products industry. Work on the final rule has been a 20-year effort and highlights AWC’s endeavor to engage partners to work toward reasonable outcomes based in science.
AWC was successful in getting a code change into the final amendments for the Group A 2024 International Code Council (ICC) code cycle that allowed for nearly 100% exposed mass timber ceilings, rather than 20% exposed, in Type IV-B construction. This code change has the potential to help drive architects, designers and builders to move toward tall mass timber construction due to significant cost savings, carbon reductions and aesthetic benefits.
After nearly seven years of AWC convening meetings, collaboration and consensus building, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the Fire Design Specification for Wood Construction (FDS) as an American National Standard. Officially designated as ANSI/AWC FDS-2022, it is the authoritative, one-stop shop resource for all the provisions for the fire design of wood members, assemblies and connections needed to meet the current code requirements.
Impressively, 100 percent of respondents said AWC webinars increased their knowledge of the respective topics.—According to an AWC survey
The AWC’s fire service engagement initiative made critical inroads with fire service leadership in 2022. One of the most notable achievements and displays of the strength of these relationships from extensive outreach efforts was the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ (NAFSM) decision to change its position on tall mass timber buildings.
AWC developed and launched a lifecycle inventory database to collect industry data, which will be used to support generation of industry environmental product declarations and provide critical carbon-related data to support AWC advocacy efforts. This database is a core element of AWC’s five-year strategic plan for the sustainability program.
with 87 percent member participation.
AWC focused efforts on positioning mass timber as an affordable housing option in preparation for the inclusion of grant funding for such projects in the 2023 Farm Bill. A key piece of this initiative was a video showcasing a representative from Community Roots Housing, the developer of the Heartwood workforce housing project in Seattle, discussing the positive benefits of incorporating mass timber in this project.
AWC successfully worked with EPA staff to narrow the scope of its hazardous air pollutant (HAP) testing plan that will support the PCWP rulemaking to exclude kilns, gas and indirect fired dryers, and most equipment before and after presses.