2017 Sustainable Versatility Design Awards Announced

Grow your own building headerThe 6th Annual Competition for Architecture Students, sponsored by NELMA, took the design challenge to a whole new level this year with its robust set of guidelines.  The setting was the design of a new home for the student’s School of Architecture that had to feature Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) for the structural system, SPFs-graded lumber for framing, and Eastern White Pine for appearance applications of the building.  A total of 40 students registered for the challenge representing 20 universities across the country.

The final judging involved 16 design entries.Jeff-Omkar-DanThe First Place Rich Quitadamo Sustainable Versatility Design Award winner was announced in a ceremony held during NELMA’s Annual Meeting on September 21 in Newport, Rhode Island.  Omkar Prabhu, a 5th-year student from Mississippi State University took the top prize with his design titled, “Exporing Avenues in Timber – A Mass Timber Building for Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design.”  Check out Omkar’s virtual tour video of his design that showcases his project.

Second Place was awarded to Curtis Reed, also a student entry from Mississippi State University for his design, titled, “Mississippi State University ExO (Experience x Opportunity).  Professor Jacob Gines, a significant supporter of wood’s use as a contemporary building construction material at the University, provided guidance to each student throughout the project.

NELMA’s Marketing Chairman, Dan Paige, reviewed all submissions as one of four judges, noting, “This was one of the most intriguing activities I have been involved with as Chairman.  The variety, scope, and creativity shown by the student entries was very insightful as to the thinking of today’s student architect. Every entrant showed clearly in their design and their narrative that our Eastern and Great Lakes Softwoods are a sound and sometimes better alternative to traditional building materials.”

View the image details of the First and Second Place designs in our Awards Program

NELMA’s 2017-2018 Buyers Guide + Membership Directory Now Available

The latest edition of NELMA’s Buyer’s Guide + Membership Directory is hot off the press and ready for distribution to potential2017-2018 Membership Directory customers that need a handy reference tool to locate products and services provided by the members of the Association.  The 2017-2018 issue continues in its small booklet, spiral-bound, one-page per member format, and is divided into the following categories:

  • Lumber Manufacturers (alphabetical by state)
  • Secondary Wood Products Manufacturers (alphabetical)
  • Lumber Wholesalers (alphabetical)
  • Industrial Equipment Manufacturers (alphabetical)
  • Industrial Services Providers (alphabetical)

NEW for this edition is the inclusion of member mills located in the Great Lake states that were formerly part of the Northern Softwood Lumber Bureau (NSLB), now with NELMA.

This information is also accessible on NELMA’s website under the “Product & Member Locator” tab, where information is continually revised as necessary to ensure that the absolute most current member information is viewable.

Copies of the Directory were recently mailed to all NELMA members, with additional copies available free of charge upon request; just let know anytime via phone (207-829-6901), fax (207-829-4293), or email (info@www.nelma.org).

NELMA Grows Attention with Architects @ ABX in Boston

The ArchitectureBoston Expo was held November 15-17 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, drawing over 8,000 professional 2016 ABX Logo short architects, designers, and architecture student attendees from throughout New England and beyond, in addition to around 400 exhibitors.  This is an annual stop on NELMA’s Exhibit tour to reach out to this important target marketing audience.  The Expo is one of the largest events for the design and construction industry in the country, and the largest regional conference and tradeshow.

Exhibit Image at ShowNELMA’s “Eastern White Pine: Grown for Modern Spaces” exhibit cover was used for the Expo to attract visitors to learn more about the Sustainable Versatility of designing, specifying, and building with locally harvested and milled northeastern softwood lumber products.  Adding to our message of sustainability, the exhibit featured a seedling cup giveaway labeled, “Grow Your Own Building”!  According to Matt Pomeroy, NELMA’s Director of Inspection Services who staffed the exhibit during the 3-day event, “This simple item added to the overall attention our exhibit typically receives.   We were complimented over and over for having the most useful and purposeful giveaway ever!”

For 2017, ABX announced that  Greenbuild and ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) will be co-located in the same location, with the events to take place the week of Nov. 6-10.  Both will be held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) in Boston, MA, creating one of the largest events for the building community in North America.  NELMA will be there!

And now…..our annual “Find NELMA on the Show Floor Contest”!!  Take a look at this overview photo below of a portion of the ABX Show Floor and pick out where NELMA’s exhibit is located.  Click on the image to enlarge.  First call to the office gets a unique prize!

View of Expo Floor

“See the Stamp, Trust the Quality” in Forest Products Export Directory 2016

The Association’s “See the Stamp, Trust the Quality” full-page advertisement has been published once again within the Forest Products 2016 CoverExport Directory, the source book that is purchased by thousands of importers and buyers from around the globe.  This is the 41st edition of the book and NELMA’s 7th consecutive year to direct inquiries to nelma.org website for further northeastern species information and the product locator feature.  The ad placement is part of the Association’s export marketing visibility through funding provided by the USDA and the Softwood Export Council.

Norway Spruce Approved for SPFs Grouping Inclusion

After 4 years of discussing, researching, locating, verifying, planning, sampling, testing, and analyzing, Norway Spruce becomes the 10th Birth of a Species Graphic - White BGsoftwood species to be included within the Spruce-Pine-Fir south (SPFs) grouping of species for design values.  The official notification was received by NELMA from the American Lumber Standard Committee’s (ALSC) Board of Review on October 20, 2016.

This approval capped 4 months of destructively testing more than 1,300 pieces of 2×4, 2×6, and 2×8 lumber by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composite Center in Orono, followed by 8 more months of deliberations and intensive review by the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.  Their final assessment came to the same conclusion: Norway Spruce may join the other species within the SPFs grouping and adopt the same strength values important for use by engineers, architects, and builders in construction applications.

Norway Spruce Forest - Maine
Norway Spruce Forest – Maine

Norway Spruce becomes the first major, U.S. grown new wood species to be fully tested since strength values were first conducted in the 1920s.  Norway Spruce is a native, well-established softwood species in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe where it is a significantly important commercial wood source in countries such as Germany, the Baltic States, and yes, even Norway.  The species uniqueness starts with its dramatic appearance unlike any other spruce.  The tree’s drooping branchlets are an identification trademark and gives rise to Norway Spruce as a favorite Christmas tree species, as noted by its annual selection as the “Tree” that adorns Rockefeller Center in NYC for the holiday season.

NELMA’s historical research found that its introduction to America began in 1860 when European immigrants brought Norway Spruce stock with them and first planted the species in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  A Harvard Forest Research report in 1936 documented an additional 58 Norway Spruce plantations throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York, as its popularity, notable high-survival rates and relative fast growth compared to native softwood species became known within the region.

Based on this early success, Norway Spruce seedlings became a critical component of President Roosevelt’s back-to-work program in the 1930s thatReforestation1 replanted thousands of acres of abandoned agricultural lands in the Northeast created by the Great Depression.  The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were tasked with this reforestation project whose purpose was to stabilize barren soils and reduce erosion.  More than 113 million Norway Spruce seedlings were distributed by state nurseries for replanting projects in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, just through 1932, prior to the kick-off of CCC.  Millions more were made available to the Corp for hundreds of projects that followed for the next 10 years in the region.

The result of this hard work may be found today in large volumes of rich stands of Norway Spruce in the Northeast, a new found legacy left by the CCC.  Their work will have an important economic impact on today’s lumber industry as the species begins enjoying its increased value from previous markets of pulpwood, paper chips, and 1” board material.  More than 2 billion board feet of standing sawtimber is listed in current data collected by the U.S. Forest Service in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern regions.  With the high sampling error with the data, inherent for “minor” species in the survey itself, there is likely 2 to 3 times that amount in reality.

What does this means to NELMA lumber manufacturing members?  Norway Spruce grown in the U.S. may immediately be procured by a mill to incorporate within their current Spruce-Pine-Fir species mix.

The approval of the species marks the end of a lengthy but necessary process of bringing a new species to the marketplace, taking more than 1000 Association staff man-hours in the final 2 years alone.

Additional information may be found on our dedicated webpage for media.

New Inspector Added to the NELMA Staff

NELMA is pleased to welcome Brian Ward as a new employee to the Association in the position of Inspector, effective August 29.  BrianBrian Head2 brings more than 25 years of experience in Eastern White Pine lumber grading and quality control to the position, most recently at Pleasant River Pine, located in Sanford, Maine, and previously at Limington Lumber in East Baldwin, Maine.  He is a native of Maine and resides with his wife, Pamela, in Hollis Center, Maine.

Please join us in welcoming Brian to the NELMA family!