October 19, 2023

DHA eNews - USDA Finds Engineered Wood Flooring "Carbon Negative"

This Week's Insights

In early October, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Western Hardwood Plywood Producers and Canadian Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association Fall Meeting in Eugene, OR. This was a great opportunity to see many DHA members and discuss trends and concerns in the industry. If you missed it, my presentation is available here. This meeting leaves me looking forward to our annual DHA meeting, May 14–16, in Scottsdale, AZ.

DHA continues to promote and advocate for decorative hardwoods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published its life-cycle assessment of prefinished engineered wood flooring. The assessment finds that engineered wood floors are "carbon-negative," providing important proof of the superiority of real wood products.

Not only are wood products great for the environment, but people also love the natural beauty that continues to stand the test of time. Fads—even white kitchen cabinets—come and go. In a recent survey from the National Kitchen & Bath Association, designers said that wood cabinet colors are making a comeback.

If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association


Photo © AHF Products

USDA Finds Engineered Wood Flooring "Carbon Negative"

DHA sponsored the USDA Forest Products Laboratory's life-cycle assessment of prefinished engineered wood flooring in the eastern U.S. Last week, the laboratory published the results. In a win for our industry and the environment, the assessment states, "This study showed that engineered wood flooring can be considered a carbon-negative material that stores carbon (22.85 kg CO2eq/m2 flooring) for decades and thus can help to mitigate climate change."

Designers & Architects Choose Wood Over White Cabinets

In the National Kitchen & Bath Association 2024 Kitchen Trends Report, designers, architects, and remodelers showed a clear preference for wood cabinets. After years of white cabinetry, wood is making a comeback. When surveyed about the most popular kitchen color trends, 28% chose wood, outpacing the 25% who chose "white."

Bipartisan Law Promotes Active Forest Management

A bipartisan bill, the Promoting Effective Forest Management Act of 2023, has been reintroduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill directs the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to establish yearly acreage targets for mechanical thinning and address the shortages that plague the logging workforce, and mandates a scientific basis for changes in definitions of old-growth and mature forests.

DHA Pushes For Tax Rules That Promote Investment, Innovation

DHA and our allies are pushing Congress to extend key tax regulations that support investment and innovation by protecting businesses' right to immediately deduct R&D expenses, enabling businesses to invest in growth and job creation by deducting interest payments, and encouraging investment by permitting the full deduction of capital equipment purchases.

AHEC, SHC Adopt New Strategy For EUDR

After the passage of the European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) in July, the American Hardwood Export Council and Sustainable Hardwood Coalition (SHC) are now focused on helping U.S. hardwood suppliers meet those stringent requirements. These include geolocation to the specific "plot(s) of land" where harvesting takes place, legal harvesting, and zero risk of deforestation in accordance with the EUDR's narrow definitions.

In The News: AHF Products

Brian Carson, President and CEO of DHA member AHF Products, was selected by Woodworking Networks as a Wood Industry Market Leader and is featured in their "Talking With" series. AHF Products also opened a showroom in Plano, TX, where customers can see hardwood flooring products and speak with AHF Products experts.

Stiles Machinery Hosts Manufacturers Solutions Seminar

The two-day educational Manufacturers Solutions Seminar will be held November 8–9 at the Stiles Machinery showroom in High Point, NC. All manufacturers of wood products are invited to attend.

Capital Testing Publishes Guide For ASTM E84

Required fire test ASTM E84 assesses the surface burning characteristics of building materials from wood products to paint and coatings. See Capital Testing's ASTM E84 information page to brush up on who requires the test, how it works, and what data is included in all reports. 

Concrete & Steel Are "Dinosaurs," Says Architect

Vancouver architect Michael Green said, "I believe we have very much left the industrial age, and the materials of the industrial age are the dinosaurs of architecture, and we all have to understand that." Since launching his firm, Green has been a leader in wood construction, only using concrete or steel in secondary structures and foundations.

Residential Furniture Orders Are Mixed

New residential furniture orders grew by 28% in July vs. one year ago. However, July 2022 was a low month where orders had declined by 37% vs. the prior year. This July, backlogs returned to normal levels and inventories were up slightly vs. June.

Healthy Forests Could Help Slow Climate Change

In a new study, scientists identified "opportunity hot spots" in the western U.S. where they recommend using proactive forest management to prevent larger wildfires and carbon loss. Suggested practices include forest thinning and prescribed fire.

Debate Swirls In The Shawnee National Forest

The Shawnee National Forest is a microcosm of the debate about how North America should manage public lands as wildfires burn through Canada, Hawaii, and Louisiana. The U.S. Forest Service seeks to take a more active role in encouraging forest health and mitigating wildfire risk, while many environmentalists want to create preserves where nature can heal itself.

Restoring Degraded Forests May Be Better For The Environment

A new global analysis mapped forests across the globe to find areas that could support more trees and wildlife. The study revealed that focusing restoration efforts on degraded forests—those that retain 50–80% of their tree density—could deliver rapid gains for carbon storage and wildlife habitat.

Large Trees Fueled Massive CA Wildfire

A new study covered in The Washington Post shows why we need to manage forests to prevent devastating wildfires. Experts identified what fueled a 2021 wildfire in California's Sierra Nevada: the remains of decades-old, large-diameter trees. The wildfire burned for more than three months, destroying about 90,000 acres of our national parks and thousands of giant sequoias.

U.S. Housing Market Predictions For Q4
Canadian Housing Starts Are Flat
Canadian Building Permits Increase By 3.4%
High Mortgage Rates Push Housing Sentiment Lower
Home Affordability Is Still A Concern
Construction Spending Up By 0.5%
Consumer Price Index Rises By 0.4%
U.S. Job Growth Exceeds Expectations
Small Business Optimism Wanes
Remodeling Market Sentiment Declines In Q3
Wood Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

In what year and under which administration was the U.S. Forest Service created?

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