Dans le cadre de l’initiative « Vivre avec le bois », FPInnovations désire identifier les besoins et les dynamiques de marché associés aux différents produits du bois de deuxième transformation afin d’en améliorer la pénétration sur le marché. Dans ce contexte, cette étude documente les préférences des consommateurs et leur processus de décision au moment de l’achat de différents matériaux de construction.
Dans le cadre de l’initiative Vivre avec le bois – Dynamique des marchés, un portrait sommaire de l’industrie canadienne du bois a été dressé afin de présenter la répartition ainsi que les capacités de production des différents manufacturiers à l’échelle du pays.
Ce rapport présente brièvement les principales tendances de marché qui caractérisent quatre différents segments de produits de seconde transformation : les recouvrements de plancher, les armoires de cuisine, les patios et terrasses et les revêtements extérieurs. Une attention particulière est apportée aux tendances des produits en bois.
La présente proposition de valeur résume les conclusions des différentes études menées au Canada et aux États-Unis, lesquelles identifient les menaces ou défis ainsi que les différentes occasions qui se présentent pour l’industrie du bois de la deuxième transformation, en particulier pour les quatre secteurs suivants : revêtements de plancher, patios et terrasses, parements extérieurs et armoires de cuisine. Le but ultime de cette proposition est de dresser les pistes de recherche afin de maintenir ou d’accroître les parts de marché des produits du bois existants ou de gagner des marchés avec des produits novateurs. Ce rapport évalue également les priorités d’actions en fonction des menaces ou défis auxquels l’industrie fait face.
Industrial markets were investigated due to their relatively high importance for the wood products sectors. In 2009, it was estimated that about a third (33%) of all lumber use went to markets other than construction. The information collected in this project allowed estimating consumption volumes for the five (5) sectors studied: bedframe, engineered flooring substrates, formwork, pallets and crates, and household furniture.
In addition to gaining a better understanding of volumes and products used, the project focused on trying to identify unmet user needs or product issues influencing satisfaction with wood products. This kind of information could result in opportunities to substitute products currently used or develop new markets for wood products currently used. Clear cut opportunities specific to each sectors were difficult to identify.
It is apparent that wood product users are yearning for straighter products and products displaying fewer defects like wane, knots, etc. This could point towards potential markets for finger jointed and engineered products. The demands for more products that are more visually appealing is somewhat surprising since these are not typically associated with industrial applications. The information comprised within this report will serve as the basis to explore future business opportunities for wood products in specific business cases.
This guide is meant to help Canadian wood product manufacturers navigate the green marketplace by serving as an introduction to the green building movement, which is an increasingly important driver of material selection. In addition to the voluntary LEED program in widespread usage through North America, several US green codes and standards are also in place, leading designers to turn to manufacturers for help in meeting some of the objectives of those voluntary and regulatory programs. Some important examples of green codes and standards include the National Green Building Standard for residential buildings, the Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, the California Green Building Standards Code, and the US International Green Construction Code.
Survey work conducted in 2012-13 focused on residential and remodeling. Both builders / contractors / remodelers and homeowners received questionnaires. In the case of builders (924 respondents) questions centered on material use and volumes consumed. Homeowner questionnaires (993 respondents) were designed to capture the rate at which typical projects were completed in (2012) as well as intentions to complete undertake projects in 2013-14. Survey highlights include:
Types of projects completed
Most common projects completed in 2012 include flooring (22.5%) and insulation (14%).
Both types of projects are expected to remain popular in 2013-14.
Increased incidence is expected in cabinets, decking and windows.
#2 and better lumber represents half (50%) of all lumber used in R&R.
Treated lumber is the most used lumber type used (22%). It is followed by SYP, Douglas fir and SPF.
Metropolitan markets with the largest decking installations on average are typically located on the west coast. They include Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. The Detroit area displays decks of a similar average size (800 sq ft).
Treated wood remains the number one decking product used (34%) slightly ahead of composite decking (31%).
Fiber cement is the top siding choice in Top 20 metro (US average) with a 28% market share. Vinyl (14%), cedar (13%), OSB (7%), other lumber (7%) and fiberboard (3%) are also commonly seen in repair and remodeling.
Hardwood flooring (and engineered wood flooring) has a large market share (38% combined) in repair in remodeling.
Results for repair and remodeling combining both datasets will be published in April at http://podium.fpinnovations.ca/en/connexion. Past results on new residential construction are presently available. Data presented in PODIUM is based on original survey work which has historically been a staple of FPInnovations’ research program. This data can be used by industry and associations in combination with other more generic data sources to provide better understanding of specific markets both regionally and by application.
It is expected that PODIUM will become the main display of FPInnovations’ business analysis group expertise offering not only Top 20 data, but also links to presentations given recently and research reports.
By 2015 the total opportunity for wood tall buildings (5-30 stories at 100% market penetration) is assessed at 4-7 BBF of lumber and engineered wood products. This volume comes from 339 million square feet, broken down as follows: 208 million sqft nonresidential and 131 million sqft residential, or 282 million sqft US and 57 million sqft Canada.
This opportunity may appear rather modest in terms of volumes of lumber, especially as the US market recovers. However, there is a clear opportunity for those willing to step up and get into the development and or construction with wood-based building systems.
In the US, the 5+ storey class accounts for 17% of the nonresidential area and 24% of the residential area, with an overall 18% share (US, 2008-2012 average). In Canada, the ratio of high-rise/low-rise is quite different, especially in the residential sector with a 66% share for the 5+ storey class (Canada, 2008-2012). When looking at all storey classes, three quarters of all residential area in the US occurs in the 1-4 class whereas in Canada the 1-4 storey class accounts for only one third of the floor area.
Even though the 1-4 storey class accounts for most of the total construction floor area the 5-30 storey class new construction market as of 2012 was worth over $164 billion in the US alone (75% nonresidential). It is, therefore, clear how innovative companies will be more likely to capitalize on the opportunity by leveraging on the added value associated with design and precision manufacturing of engineered wood products As a point in case, the FOB price at the mill for an engineered wood product can be as high as 4 times that of lumber.
Overall, Canada’s market is smaller than the US, however in the 11-30 stories class Canada’s residential market is only slightly smaller than the US (22 vs. 27 million sqft). By 2017 Canada is expected to surpass the US in this height class.
This report covers the macroeconomic indicators and market conditions of six Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Content focuses on import/export activity in each country’s wood products sector, housing market drivers at national and metropolitan levels, and the potential for increased Canadian participation in each market.
This project relied upon a survey of 562 homebuilders in the 20 U.S. metro areas of the Case Shiller Index;
Objectives were to uncover homebuilders’ needs in insulation materials, wall sheathing, studs, floor joists, roof systems, and prefabricated walls. Other objectives were to monitor the substitution of wood products at the metro level;
In insulation products, most important builders’ needs are improving R value and improving water tightness of the envelope;
In wall sheathing, the most important need is to improve the water tightness of the envelope;
For studs, the most important needs are to increase straightness and to decrease both lumber sorting and rejection on site;
For floor joists, the most important needs are to improve the product to reduce floor squeaks and to improve the product to ease the installation of ducts, plumbing and wires;
In roof systems, the most important need is to improve products to make attic space available;
In prefabricated walls, the most important needs are to reduce the time delay between order and delivery, and to ease the process of making plans changes when using prefab walls;
24% of respondents feel that the use of concrete as a primary structural floor material will increase greatly or somewhat. 56% think that the product to be used is poured concrete over steel deck, 44% think it will be precast/prestress panels;
20% of respondents feel that the use of concrete as a primary structural wall material will increase greatly or somewhat. Poured (formwork) is the most often foreseen technology (50%) followed by blocks (masonry) at 27% and precast or prestressed panels at 23%;
Statistically, the expected future use of concrete has not changed overall between 2008 and 2011;
In wall systems, untreated wood products have gained much market share between 2008 (69%) and 2011 (88%). This was especially done at the expense of pressure treated wood products and concrete blocks;
In floor systems, untreated wood products have gained significant market share between 2008 (65%) and 2011 (80%). This gain was done at the expense of pressure treated products especially;
The use of OSB as a floor sheathing material has almost remained unchanged between 2008 (46% market share) and 2011 (47%). The market share for plywood in floor sheathing has shrunk from 29 to 26% over that period, while treated products (OSB or Plywood) have increased their share from 17% to 21%;
In wall sheathing, OSB has lost a few points in market share, from 57% to 55% between 2008 and 2011. Plywood, too, had a lost, from 18% to 16%. Products who have experienced small percentages of increase, albeit coming from a lower base in the market, are preservative/mold treated OSB, Radiant Barrier OSB, and Foam sheathing; and,
In decking materials, the rapid rise of market share for composite decking appeared to come to a halt. Between 2008 and 2011, the market share for this product category has been stable at some 29%. Meanwhile, the market share for both treated and untreated wood products has increased.
Building construction - Materials used - United States
A recent study at the University of British Columbia and FPInnovations has established a link between wood and human health. In the study the presence of visual wood surfaces in a room lowered sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation. The SNS is responsible for physiological stress responses in humans. This result opens the door to a myriad of stress-related health benefits that the presence of wood may afford in the built environment. The application of wood to promote health indoors is a new tool for practitioners of evidence-based design.
Wood & Human Health Series; Issue 1 dealing with wood aesthetics
This project looks at the preferences for structural wood products within the top 20 residential homebuilding markets in the United States. A first objective was to document the attributes demanded by homebuilders in structural floors, walls and decking applications. The project further characterizes the performance of wood, steel, and concrete on these demanded attributes. The study was completed into two subsequent steps. The first step was a quantitative survey of an average of 50 builders per market in the Top 20 markets. The second step included focus groups with homebuilders in four of these markets: Philadelphia, Chicago, Phoenix, and Denver.
Results show that wood products continue to be under pressure from the growth of concrete in wall and floor systems. While the basis for growth in the use of concrete was traditionally found in the U.S. South, this survey points out that western and northern cities of the United States may become susceptible to the growth of concrete slab floors. The intended future use of concrete in walls was also high in some Northern jurisdictions such as New-York, Minneapolis, Washington, and Philadelphia, indicating a possible spread of concrete use in walls in some markets which traditionally relied on wood. However, the discussions with builders in Chicago and Philadelphia tempered this threat, as most of participants to the focus groups were much relying on wood for their projects. Nevertheless, the survey shows that, according to homebuilders, concrete significantly outperforms wood on durability, strength/structural integrity, and acoustic performance. Two of these attributes (durability and strength/structural integrity) are among the Top 3 important attributes in both floor and wall applications. With that said, it is important to point out that wood obtains a high score on the performance scale for both these attributes, despite the difference with concrete. These attributes may guide the development of future wood based products and building systems. On code acceptance, wood also scores high on the performance scale, and is at least equal with concrete.
Wood based sheathing (OSB, Plywood and Fiberboard) detain over 85% of the market in 17 of the 20 metro areas. However, foam and kraftboard sheathing have gained some importance in selected markets. In Chicago, the market share of foam and kraftboard together even reaches 24%. When comparing the performance of wood-based sheathing with foam-based sheathing, plywood and OSB are significantly thought superior to foam for strength, structural integrity, resistance to jobsite damage, environmental friendliness, and code acceptance. Foam is said to perform better than OSB or Plywood for both acoustics and energy performance. As a result, acoustics and energy performance in sheathing applications prove to be valuable paths for product development. This was confirmed in focus groups sessions.
Most generally, builders interviewed for the discussion sessions expressed the need for new products addressing their concerns. In focus group sessions, labour issues came out as one of these concerns (except in Chicago). Especially, the current housing downturn has forced many trades out of the homebuilding sector, and most builders met fear that there will be a severe shortage of qualified labour once the housing market rebounds. Other issues that builders actively pursue include a combination of insulation and structural properties for sheathing (confirmed by the quantitative research), low maintenance and low call-back products, and ease of installation. From the discussion sessions, there is also room for new insulation products.
Composite decking has captured at least 20% market share in 12 of 20 of the metro areas. The highest market shares are found in Denver (71%), Washington (50%), Seattle (45%), and Philadelphia (40%). Clearly, composite decking now offers the greatest competition to wood in decks. This is shown by the satisfaction measures of decking materials which are greater for tropical hardwood and composite/plastic lumber than for wood, treated or not. Composite materials seemingly suit better the most demanded attributes, including durability, appearance, and longevity. The importance of low maintenance was further confirmed through the focus groups.
Programme des technologies transformatrices ; Projet no 201000339
La tendance vers la construction verte est en croissance fulgurante depuis les dix dernières années. On estime que le marché de la construction verte représente environ 5 % du marché actuel de la construction. La majorité des bâtiments conçus ou construits dans une perspective environnementale se situent dans les secteurs non-résidentiel ou multifamilial. C’est dans ce contexte que nous nous sommes intéressés à la possibilité de développer et vendre des isolants faits à partir de bois; un matériau généralement reconnu pour ses vertus écologiques. La principale application ciblée dans le rapport est les cavités murales.
Ce rapport se présente en cinq (5) principales sections :
Le marché mondial pour les produits isolants est énorme. Il est estimé à plus de 190 milliards de pi² base R-1. Près de 70 % de ce total est destiné au marché de la construction qui comprend la construction résidentielle (45 %) et non-résidentielle (23 %). La majorité des isolants consommés à l’échelle mondiale sont utilisés en Amérique du Nord et en Europe de l’Ouest. De manière générale, le marché est dominé par les mousses plastiques et la fibre de verre. Le marché pour les isolants autres (alternatifs) oscille entre 2 et 6 % en fonction des marchés dont il est question. Cette proportion est généralement plus élevée dans la réparation et la rénovation que dans la nouvelle construction. Il existe des variations régionales qui sont documentées dans le présent rapport.
Structure industrielle :
Les isolants sont des produits dont la valeur unitaire est relativement faible. Il est par conséquent difficile de livrer ces produits sur de grandes distances. La majorité de la production mondiale se fait dans les deux grands marchés mondiaux soit l’Amérique du Nord et l’Europe de l’Ouest. Le tiers du marché (33 %) est dominé par cinq grandes entreprises qui opèrent plusieurs divisions. Elles sont : St-Gobain, Rockwool, Owens Corning, Johns Manville et Knauf. Il faut dire que les produits dominant actuellement le marché nécessitent d’importants investissements en capitaux. Ceci explique, en partie, cette concentration du marché au chapitre de la production.
Politiques et réglementations :
Cette section documente les grandes tendances qui risquent d’affecter la demande pour les produits isolants. L’augmentation des coûts de production des mousses pourrait offrir des opportunités pour d’autres produits. Les exigences relatives aux émissions de gaz à effet de serre pourraient jouer en faveur des isolants faits à partir de bois. Les politiques de réutilisation des matières résiduelles présentent des opportunités quant à l’utilisation de ces résidus pour fabriquer des isolants. La hausse des exigences de performance énergétique exigera l’amélioration des produits communément utilisés ainsi que des innovations à partir des matériaux moins fréquemment employés.
Performance environnementale :
Cette section montre que les produits isolants à base de bois peuvent contribuer à l’obtention de 8 à 9 % des points pour les systèmes de certification LEED et Green Globes. Il faut toutefois être conscient que l’isolant représente une petite proportion des matériaux entrants dans la construction d’un immeuble (<1 % en valeur). Ceci démontre l’intérêt, du point de vue de la construction verte, à développer des produits qui ont d’autres fonctions que simplement celle d’isoler.
Comportements et exigences d’achat :
Des entrevues exploratoires auprès d’architectes et autres utilisateurs d’isolant ont démontré un intérêt pour des produits plus verts. Les principaux facteurs intervenant dans la sélection du matériau isolant sont sa résistance thermique, son coût et la familiarité avec le produit. Les produits isolants conventionnels ne reçoivent que très peu d’intérêt de la part des architectes. L’isolant n’est pas perçu comme étant très innovateur (c’est plus ou moins une commodité) et a peu d’incidence sur le concept (esthétique ou fonctions) du bâtiment. Une des tendances qui semble poindre actuellement à l’horizon est celle des isolants qu’il est possible d’agrafer par l’extérieur du bâtiment.
Les autres sections du document présentent le contexte dans lequel le projet s’est exécuté (contexte, objectifs, équipe de projet, etc.) et font état des conclusions à retenir (discussion et conclusions). Les propriétés et caractéristiques générales des différents matériaux isolants sont présentées en annexe. Cette section complémentaire recense des exemples de produits pour chacun des principaux types de matériaux utilisés sur le marché incluant la fibre et la laine de bois.
Les informations colligées dans le cadre de ce projet permettent d’établir ces constats généraux :
À court et moyen terme, les principaux marchés pour l’isolant fait à partir de bois sont le marché non-résidentiel et multifamilial.
Le positionnement du produit isolant bois devrait être du côté des produits verts ou respectueux de l’environnement. Il ne s’agit pas d’un matériau dont la performance surpasse les matériaux communément utilisés.
Pour profiter pleinement de ce positionnement stratégique, le(s) produit(s) développé(s) devrai(en)t :
o Incorporer d’autres fonctions (pare-air, pare-vapeur, pare-feu, revêtement structural extérieur, parement extérieur, structure, etc.).
o Utiliser des matériaux issus de la démolition d’immeubles existants, fibres agricoles et autres intrants avec une faible empreinte écologique.
o Être analysés objectivement par l’entremise d’une analyse de cycle de vie.
La conclusion du rapport soulève certaines avenues de recherche pour les années à venir. Parmi celles-ci, on note les pistes suivantes :
Meilleure connaissance des types de construction les plus susceptibles d’utiliser des isolants verts faits à partir de bois.
Critères (incluant le prix et spécification de produit) recherchés par les différents utilisateurs.
Identification des marchés industriels (pas liés à la construction) susceptibles d’être réceptifs à des produits à base de bois.
Potentiel d’utilisation des matériaux de différentes sources (récupération, agricole, etc.) dans la fabrication de produits isolants.
Développement des propriétés (ex. : résistance à la compression) et des procédés.
In this study market opportunities for treated glue-laminated (glulam) products were investigated in the industrial wood sector. The main benefits of treated glulam are through-product treatment and the ability to manufacture treated products in shapes and sizes that do not fit into common treating chambers. These attributes provide for very durable and large glulam structures that are appropriate for outdoor use. For these reasons bridges, power poles, and sound abatement barriers were investigated. These are markets where wood has lost market share to or is being challenged by concrete and steel substitutes.
The vehicular bridge market was once heavy to the use of wood. Today wood accounts for only 7% of the number bridges in the US and less than 0.9% of the actual surface area of bridges in place. In interviewing municipalities in Canada it is clear that wood is not the preferred material with many wood bridges being replaced by concrete. Further, none of the municipalities contacted were planning wood bridges. However, wood bridges are still being installed. In the US 0.9% of the bridges installed by area in 2007 were wood. This is good news as wood is holding its market share. Steering clear of high volume or large bridges, local bridges are well suited for wood as they are plentiful, small in scale, and many are in disrepair. If 20% of local bridges were built with wood in Canada this would have equalled approximately $51 million in wood bridge construction in 2007.
Municipalities are much more open to the use of wood for pedestrian bridges and overpasses. Their quick construction and aesthetics are positive attributes in this application. One municipality contacted is planning multiple wood pedestrian bridges in the next five years. However, for the purpose of this market review there is little published information on pedestrian bridges.
Noise abatement barriers are a good high-volume technical fit for treated glulam. Increases in traffic and current road infrastructure improvements will lead to more demand for sound abatement in the future. This market is dominated by concrete, but at a very high price. If treated glulam can give adequate durability and sound performance properties it would be approximately 20% cheaper than concrete. The market for sound barriers in Canada could utilize up to 10 mmbf of wood per year to construct 80 km of barrier. This product can also be marketed as a high-performance acoustic fence for residential markets.
Treated glulam was also considered for utility poles. It is transmission grade poles where glulam would best fit the market as the demand is for longer poles which are more difficult to get in solid wood. This type of pole is where wood is currently being displaced by tubular steel. If glulam poles were used in 25% of the replacement transmission poles per year this could equal 8 mmbf. Light poles or standards are another market to consider. While this is a relatively low volume market glulam light standards are a premium product in European markets.
This project looks at consumption patterns for structural wood products within the Top 20 residential homebuilding markets in North America. A first objective was to document the use of wood, steel, and concrete materials in structural floors, walls and decking applications. In all these applications, the most important attributes required by homebuilders were outlined and ranked. The project further allows characterizing the performance of wood, steel, and concrete on these demanded attributes.
Results show that wood products continue to be under pressure from the growth of concrete slab floors. While the basis for growth in the use of concrete slabs was traditionally found in the U.S. South, this survey points out that western and northern cities may be also susceptible to the growth of concrete slab floors. According to homebuilders, concrete significantly outperforms wood on durability, strength/structural integrity, and acoustic performance. Two of these attributes (durability and strength/structural integrity) are among the Top 3 important attributes in floor applications.
The use of concrete in structural walls, either poured or concrete blocks, is well over 65% in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. Concrete use in walls also reached a market share ranging between 20% and 30% in New-York, Minneapolis, Washington, and Philadelphia, indicating a possible spread of concrete use in walls in some markets which traditionally relied on wood. The market share for wood in walls remains very strong especially in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Concrete significantly outperforms wood on durability, strength/structural integrity, and acoustic performance. Two of these attributes (durability and strength/structural integrity) are among the Top 3 most important attributes in walls. For wood to remain a competitive alternative in walls and floors, these attributes should be guiding the development of future wood based products and building systems.
Wood based sheathing (OSB, Plywood and Fiberboard) retains over 85% of the market in 17 of the 20 metro areas. However, foam and kraftboard sheathing (alone or in combination) have a market share of 10% or more in 6 areas: Detroit, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Phoenix, and Chicago. In Chicago, the market share of foam and kraftboard together even reaches 24%. When comparing the performance of wood based sheathing with foam based sheathing, plywood and OSB are significantly thought superior to foam for strength, structural integrity, resistance to jobsite damage, environmental friendliness, and code acceptance. Foam is said to perform better than OSB or Plywood for both acoustics and energy performance. As a result, acoustics and energy performance in sheathing applications prove to be valuable paths for product development.
Composite decking has captured at least 20% market share in 12 of 20 of the metro areas. The highest market shares are found in Denver (71%), Washington (50%), Seattle (45%), and Philadelphia (40%). Clearly, composite decking now offers the greatest competition to wood in decks. This is shown by the satisfaction measures of decking materials which are greater for tropical hardwood and composite/plastic lumber than for wood, treated or not. Composite materials seemingly suit better the most demanded attributes, including durability, appearance, and longevity.
Past market studies (Lavoie, 2008; Fell et al., 2006; Robichaud, 2003; Eastin et al., 2001) have shown that wood is increasingly threatened by replacement materials such as concrete, wood plastic composites and steel. It is within this context that this project sought to estimate market shares and explain material preferences of homeowners in decking, floor and wall applications. Issues of environmental performance of materials as well as influence of communication media were also addressed. Fifty (50) respondents from the top 20 metropolitan construction areas were surveyed yielding a total of one thousand respondents. The originality of this project largely lies in the fact that results can be analyzed at small-scale as opposed to the four region approach most construction data employs.
A significant proportion of North American homes (40%) have decks. Most of them are built using treated lumber (55%). Wood plastic composites, the key threat to wood products, have yet to capture 10% of the market. Yet, based on homeowners’ preferences for next deck surfacing products, wood plastic composites are in position to increase their market shares to 38%. Some cities, such as Washington, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Denver, have anticipated market shares equal or above the 50% mark. Consequently, wood plastic products are in a position to gain ground (over treated lumber and other non-treated wood alternatives) in decks. Strength/structural integrity and durability/low maintenance are two attributes on which they perform well. Incidentally, these two attributes are also those that homeowners look for the most in decking products.
Wood floors (over basements or crawl spaces) represent the majority of floors (51%) currently built in the US. Current concrete (mainly slabs) market share stands at 37%. Attributes most sought by homeowners are strength/structural integrity, durability/low maintenance as well as lower energy bills. Despite the fact that perceptions of durability and strength remain challenges for wood floors, it appears they will acquire 10% market shares in future floors built in the US. Key assets of wood products include lower energy bills, ability to make repairs, warmth in winter and comfortable to walk/sit on. It is possible that affordability issues will stimulate the expansion of wood products in floors. This may be an indication that there are region/climate specific opportunities for wood products. Yet, it is likely that concrete floors will maintain or increase their shares in most markets of the South region (where they are mostly built) based on homebuilders’ influence on material selection.
Market shares for wood products in wall applications suggested that homeowners were generally uninterested by wall material selection. This manifested itself in potential added shares for alternative techniques such as insulated concrete forms and structural insulated panels.
One of the key outcomes of this project consists in the data collected on perceptions of environmental merit of building materials. In short:
Ø Wood’s environmental assets (green, renewable, recyclable, etc.) continue to be shadowed by concerns of regeneration/scarcity of the material.
Ø Steel is seen as being equally recyclable as wood. It is seen as a durable material.
Ø Concrete is viewed as the best material to ensure low energy costs. This is an attribute homeowners currently rate very highly.
Ø The impact of materials on greenhouse gas emissions is not a salient/tangible concept in the minds of homeowners. It is likely to gain in importance as green building standards and knowledge of environmental impact of product on a lifecycle basis develops.
Ø Energy efficiency/costs issues (more than any other environmental issue) are important for homeowners. Following structural issues (durability and strength), homeowners are giving significant consideration to energy efficiency. It is the most important complaint homeowners have about their current house. Unfortunately, wood is supplanted by concrete on the energy issue in floor applications.
Respondents were asked to identify the information sources that influence them the most in their material selection decisions. The top five communication media identified are (in order) physical examples, neighbours/friends/relatives, home center staff, TV shows/DIY network and internet/websites. The results suggest complementary promotion and communication strategies should be evaluated by the wood products industry.
Transformative Technologies - Federal Initiative Final Report 2008/09
Vancouver, British Columbia
‘Creating value via innovation’
Value creation is at the core of FPInnovations’ mission. This is an ongoing project focused in better assessing the value proposition of our organization’s undertakings while also scanning the marketplace for innovations. Over the past year, the Forintek Division adopted a methodology developed by SRI International to assess value creation from innovations. This project mainly reports the results of applying that methodology, known as NABC (Needs, Approach, Benefits, and Competition) to the Transformative Technology Projects identified as suitable for such approach. A follow up project contracted to CINTRAFOR on perceptual mapping for decking materials is also reported here, at a preliminary level. Among all the products included in a survey targeting U.S. decking and railing builders wood plastic composites are rated with the longest serviceable life, easiest to maintain, minimal surface checking and the most environmentally friendly. Longevity and ease of maintenance are rated as the best features of plastic lumber.
The first part of this project (2007/2008) studied innovation according to three components or domains: manufacturer, user, and R&D organizations. In the latter domain, some initiatives were proposed to be carried out at FPInnovations to foster innovation and their status is also reported here. Similarly, we update the research being done on the living with wood component.
Among the Transformative Technology projects, cross laminated timber is the project with the most potential for a successful product development and commercialization. We show it to be feasible to manufacture in Canada, with significant environmental and technical virtues, a large North American market and a competitive cost structure for low rise apartments and non residential buildings, such as schools. The analysis for wood plastic composites was done in detail under project 5905B. A detailed feasibility analysis for a commercial plant in West and East Canada found low margins for decking whilst attractive margins for railing. WPCs could become more profitable once the housing crisis and the high inventories are past. Regardless of price and theoretical margins, the decking and railing business is highly dependent on having the right distribution channels and sales force. Engineered wood products such as the proposed VSL shows interesting opportunities and should be further pursued. Its value proposition comes from its superior mechanical properties and lower cost. Its suitability for smaller logs is also a desirable trait.
A lower level of market erosion for treated lumber in Canada by WPC and global environmental trends signal for the need of developing innovative agents for treating lumber. Carbon-based preservatives may be the answer, although several crucial questions will have to be answered. If copper were to be banned, then new opportunities will arise. More research needs to be done but the opportunities are significant, with a potential market share of 180-300 MMBF in the residential market.
Increased acceptance of finger jointed studs and the need to comply with fire resistance code has created a significant demand for high performing adhesives, such as PUR and PVA. Chemical modification has brought substantial improvement in softening and bonding properties of PUR and PVA finger-joints, while nanotechnology is expected to raise the adhesives’ autoignition temperature. The latter approach will be tested next year. The maximum market penetration is estimated at 900 MMBF fingerjointed studs.
A project looked at impregnation and surface modification using nanotechnology. This has the potential to allow the use of lesser known species by improving surface properties in a cost effective way. This process has an IP advantage for FPInnovations. The potential market penetration is estimated at $100-300 million. The economics of a commercial plant will be worked out next year.
Finally, a research breakthrough led by PAPRICAN on cellulose nanocrystals was analyzed in terms of its value proposition. Findings suggest a potential market value of $300 million, with the immediate application being water-based paints and coatings. This analysis continues with the evaluation of a pilot plant to be built in Eastern Canada. FPInnovations has secured an IP advantage on the technology.
Canadians spend 88% of their time in indoor environments. With such high exposure to buildings it is important to understand what type of environment they are surrounded by. This study took an initial step to create an inventory of materials used in different types of buildings. Not only does this study look at what materials are used in buildings, it also studied how occupants see their surrounds with respect to an inventory of environmental descriptors. Finally, respondents in this study were asked if they would like to see more or less of a series of materials used for each building types. The goal of this study is to provide a baseline for which to set priorities with respect to targeting further visual wood use in buildings.
This report contains a literature review on buildings and their users. Building inventory and construction data is contained within this report for homes, offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, libraries, and recreational facilities. It also looks at the annual users and intensity of usage of each type of building. This provides a baseline for which to evaluate the human benefit of using more wood in various environments.
Two surveys were executed to collect primary data for this study. A study of the general Canadian population over 25 years old looked at the use of materials in their home environments. There were 545 respondents to this survey. The second survey had the same population parameters but looked at the use and experience in non-residential buildings. There were 646 respondents to the non-residential survey.
Highlights and results by building type are below:
There are 32.5 million regular users of home environments. Half of the average Canadian’s waking time is spent in their home. In general, the materials used in the home matched the materials desired in homes and in other types of structures. These priority materials are wood, glass, and plants. The reason that home materials match the desired materials is that 67% of Canadians are homeowners and they can remodel their home environment to their own desires. This is a high priority sector because of the volume of inventory (close to 13 million homes) and the intensity of remodelling and new starts.
Offices have some 4-6 million regular users in Canada. There are 410 million square feet of commercial office space in the country. Wood is used in offices but not intensely. Material use is actually quite spread out. However, respondents would like to see more wood and plants in their office environments to make them more agreeable. Offices are generally perceived to be clean but not particularly warm, healthy, or productive. This is a priority sector as commercial spaces turn over often and are remodelled and new furniture and fixtures are added. In 2007 there were over $5 billion in permits issued for construction and remodelling to office buildings, not including the fixtures and furniture.
Hotels are a medium to high priority for further wood use. There are only 376 thousand regular users of hotels (workers) but there are 84 million overnight stays per year in the country. When people do stay at hotels they are foregoing their comfortable home environment. Hotels can recreate this with the appropriate use of materials. While there was a moderate amount of wood used in hotels it was clear from the study that more wood, glass, and plants are desired. The top descriptor for hotels was clean, but relaxing and warm were also common. Hotels were not seen as natural, healthy, or productive.
Hospitals are a low to medium priority for further wood use. While respondents would like to see more natural materials in hospitals this must be tempered with the intense durability and cleaning demands of a hospital setting. Hospitals are high stress environments. However, respondents disagreed that hospitals felt healthy or natural. The only statement they agreed with was that hospitals are clean. Respondents desire less concrete, metal and plastic and more wood, glass and plants. Durability must be a key consideration for further wood use. This could involve hardening and coatings. Alternatively, wood could be selectively applied to ceilings where durability is not an issue and patients are often forced to stare from their bed.
Schools are a moderate priority for further wood use. Like hotels the need for a positive indoor environment must be tempered with the need for durability. Schools and colleges are heavily used with close to 7 million regular users (teachers, staff, and students). This puts school use on par with office use in Canada. Respondents reported concrete, plastics, and glass were the most commonly seen materials in schools. Of these they wanted to less concrete and plastics and more natural materials. Design for durability is needed to add more natural elements to schools.
There are approximately 2700 non-school libraries in Canada. Libraries faired well with respect to the match between actual and desired material usage. More natural materials are desired but respondent were moderately happy with library attributes.
Pools and arenas are heavy users of concrete and metal. There are approximately 2500 ice rinks and 1200 public swimming pools in Canada. Interestingly half of this infrastructure was built in the 1970’s and is therefore due for replacement and renovation. These buildings have had infrastructure money directed at them as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package. While more natural materials are desired these demands of these structures mean that mixed material solutions are the most likely.
Strategies for more visual wood use:
There is a desire for more wood use in many non-residential buildings. One of the key issues is the heavy use of these buildings makes wood surfaces more susceptible to wear and tear. The key to more visual wood use in non-residential construction is to focus on its strategic application rather than applying what we do in residential construction. Momentum is beginning to build in the structural / visual application of wood. These applications are often in roof systems where wood performs well structurally and is not subject to user wear and tear.
Three strategies for further visual wood use are:
1. Up and away – visual wood applied where user wear and tear is reduced,
2. High performance surfaces – hardening and finishing to reduce wear and tear and to aid in cleaning,
3. The mixed material toolbox – apply wood in combination with other materials considered natural or preferred. These are plants, glass and stone.