Market Overview

The U.S. is BC’s largest export market for lumber and value-added products. The U.S. remains the leading consumer of BC forest products, including lumber and mass timber, as well as a full range of value-added products, such as doors, windows, joinery and finishings, and furniture

With the market moving toward multi-family living, there is growing potential to expand the use of wood into multi-family/multi-storey construction, as well as into non-residential applications (commercial, institutional, recreational and educational).

Opportunities for the BC value-added sector also exist in resort homes, log and timber frame structures, prefabricated housing, cabinetry, shakes and shingles, millwork and finishing, and landscaping and outdoor living.

Photo: The Canyons, Portland, Oregon | Credit: Marcus Kauffman, Oregon Department of Forestry

Key Stats

#

0

global market for BC forest products

0

%
of BC’s value-added products are destined for the U.S. market

0

%
of BC lumber exports go to the U.S. (by volume)

Why the United States?

  • The largest market for BC lumber and value-added products
  • Robust repair and remodelling sector
  • Shared interest in advancing wood construction technologies
Photo: TV home-renovation hosts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan in front of the Real Cedar bunkie, Haliburton, Ontario | Credit: Western Red Cedar Lumber Association

Market Priorities

  • Promote wood use in multi-family and non-residential sectors
  • Target mass timber and value-added product opportunities, including engineered and remanufactured wood, millwork, cabinets, furniture, prefab, log home and timber-frame housing
  • Provide technical advice and education to help architects, builders and developers capitalize on advanced wood technologies and systems, including mass timber and wood-concrete-steel hybrid solutions.
Photo: 1430 Q Street in Sacramento, California | Credit: Greg Folkins

Strategic Approach

FII’s efforts in the U.S. are focused on supporting industry partner-led programming to expand the use of wood in priority segments. A combination of promotion, technical support and education programs have built capacity and interest with developers, contractors and building and design professionals. Value-added programs target the growing repair and remodelling sector as well as the mid-rise, hybrid and mass timber construction markets.

Photo: The 2020 International Builders Show (IBS) | Credit: BC Wood

Featured Projects

The sky is the limit for wood

There has been a growing trend: developers and building owners are looking for efficient, innovative and sustainable ways to increase density, and they’re pursuing taller and larger wood-frame and mass timber projects as a means to that end. Once rare, five-storey wood-frame buildings have become common across the U.S. and, soon, the U.S. will be home to the tallest mass timber building in the world with the Ascent tall wood project–a 19-over-6, 259-unit high-rise set for completion in 2022.

From retail space to affordable housing to office parks, WoodWorks directly and indirectly influenced nearly 1,580 projects across 2020/21, impacting over 1,121 million board feet of wood product volume, continuing an impressive track record of year over-year growth, up 16 percent* over 2019/20 results. In particular, WoodWorks supported clients on 98 mass timber projects—an almost 30 percent increase from the previous year. The significant growth in mass timber projects is happening across the U.S., with parity between east and west divisions.

Throughout the year, WoodWorks continued its program to provide education and technical support related to the design, engineering and construction of commercial and multi-family wood buildings in the U.S.

*Based on wood volume of direct and indirect influenced projects

Photo: 80 M Street, Washington, DC | Credit: Hickok Cole

WRCLA: Showcasing the versatility of western red cedar through education

To drive online engagement and expand market reach, the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) undertook a comprehensive and strategic social media strategy across 2020/21. WRCLA social media campaigns showcased high-impact content through videos, posts, newsletters and blogs. Aimed at raising awareness of—and interest in—western red cedar products, all outreach and advertising directed consumers back to realcedar.com for further content and detailed product information.

Another component of the WRLCA social media strategy includes engaging with consumers on its Real Cedar DIY videos and adjusting content accordingly. By responding to consumer feedback, the WRCLA has seen significant growth on YouTube and, in particular, in the number of video views, hours of videos watched and subscriber growth.

To further expand promotional efforts, the WRCLA worked with design influencer, and founder and publisher of Canadian House and Home Media, Lynda Reeves, on a product integration project that involved western red cedar siding incorporated into Lynda’s own lake house renovation. This resulted in video, print and social media coverage, driving interest in western red cedar amongst the media property’s one million viewers, 2.4 million readers and 2.1 million social media followers

Photo: Canadian House and Homes / Lynda Reeves Project | Credit: WRCLA

BC Wood’s Export Readiness Program

BC Wood’s Export Readiness Program is focused on helping small and medium sized businesses expand their focus from the domestic market, and to grow their businesses by starting to export their products. The program helps B.C. value-added manufacturers—who would otherwise not have the operational capacity—break into international markets (primarily the U.S.). The program starts by identifying the individual needs of a business, and then works to support these companies to fill these needs through customized training workshops, coaching and peer networking activities.

Although COVID-19 removed any opportunity to deliver the programming in person, BC Wood pivoted to a virtual format that opened new doors for the program as wood product manufacturers across sectors, and across the province, were able to attend the program online from remote locations. This increase in reach resulted in the program doubling the number of participants from the previous year.

CSSB: Growing awareness through social media

To further expand awareness and brand recognition, the CSSB conducted a social media campaign, running ads from November 2020 to March 2021 across Facebook and Instagram that directed traffic to the CSSB website. The campaign focused on engaging influencers in the product specification process and answering customer questions, with a goal to modernize the association and compete with alternative products. The campaign was successful, resulting in a 76 percent increase in website traffic over the previous year. With the success of the campaign, social media will remain a top priority of the CSSB moving forward.