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May 3, 1999

PATH Wood Consortium Launches Next Generation Products Drive

Leading wood and wood based product organizations have established a research and development consortium, under PATH auspices, to develop, demonstrate and deploy technologies to keep wood a top choice for residential builders, developers and homeowners far into the next century.

Members of the "PATH Consortium for Wood-Frame Housing," include: the American Forest and Paper Association; APA -- The Engineered Wood Association; the National Association of Home Builders Research Center; the National Planning Committee for Forest Products of the National Association of Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges; and the USDA's Forest Products Laboratory. The USDA Forest Service’s Forest Product Laboratory in Madison, WI will administer the consortium.

"New wood products and technologies are under constant development," said Michael Ritter, project leader for Engineered Wood Products and Structures at the Forest Products Laboratory. "Materials such as glued laminated timber, oriented strand board (OSB), structural composite lumber, I-joists and wood and non-wood composites all need to be looked at in new and different ways. Questions concerning durability and affordability for finishes and a host of wood based housing products will be addressed. This consortium will focus research and development efforts, help evaluate innovations and get good wood products to market faster," he said.

The consortium will:

  • conduct an assessment of wood and wood based research needs and priorities;

  • coordinate both research and demonstration of new wood technology;

  • make recommendations and guidelines for evaluating the new wood technology from technical, economic and market perspectives;

  • develop durability and performance standards for wood;

  • sponsor and promote meetings, conferences and other forms of technology transfer, such as a Conference on Durability and Disaster Mitigation of Wood Frame Houses, which is scheduled for November 1999 at Madison, WI; and

  • create a web site for the exchange of wood technology research and development information.

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