ReThink Wood

  • Wood is Renewable

    Wood is a renewable and responsible choice that helps reduce our environmental footprint.

  • Wood Meets Code
    Advanced technology and modern building codes are expanding the opportunities for wood in construction.
  • Wood Costs Less

    Wood products offer advantages in terms of material, construction and environmental costs.

How to Prevent and Reduce Fire Losses in Buildings Under Construction

The American Wood Council released three manuals and a website designed to inform developers, local building departments and fire departments on how to prevent and reduce fire losses in buildings under construction. The website can be found at:


A series of three manuals were developed in a cooperative effort between AWC and FireforceOne, a consulting firm led by former California State Fire Marshall Ronny Coleman. The manuals are:

  • Basic Fire Precautions during Construction of Large Buildings — applies to the design and planning stages, as well as the actual construction of buildings.
  • Hot Work during Construction of Large Buildings — describes best management practices of hot work, which is likely to reduce the occurrence of large loss fires more than any other specific topic with buildings under construction.
  • Fire Department's Role in Prevention and Suppression of Fires during Construction of Large Buildings — outlines pre-fire planning for large building projects, and prepares tactics and strategy for a fire if it occurs.

The manuals are available for free download at:

New UBC Student Residence to be Among World's Tallest Wood Buildings

One of the tallest wood buildings in the world will soon be constructed at the University of British Columbia in Canada, providing housing for hundreds of students. When completed, the $51.5-million residence building will stand 53 metres tall (about 174 feet). The tall wood building will consist of a mass timber superstructure atop a concrete base. UBC aims for the building to achieve a minimum LEED Gold certification, a rating system that evaluates how environmentally friendly a structure is in its design and energy use.


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Reuse Wood Website

The American Wood Council (AWC) and Canadian Wood Council (CWC) have partnered with Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) to develop an online North American directory outlining reuse and recycling options for wood and wood products.


Their website can be found at

The Candlewood Suites on Redstone Arsenal

On March 29, 2016, the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) hotel in the United States opened in Huntsville, Alabama. The Candlewood Suites on Redstone Arsenal is a four-story, 62,688 square foot structure with 92 guest rooms, and features 1,200 CLT wall panels and 200,000 CLT fasteners.

Click here to learn more about The Candlewood Suites on Redstone Arsenal.

CAD Details
Access drawings and illustrations for wood-frame construction designed for high wind, seismic, and snow loads.
CAD/REVIT Construction Documents

Prepare construction documents faster by leveraging available details related to light-frame wood construction.

Heights And Areas Calculator
Ease building code analysis while maximizing your wood building project within the limits of the International Building Code (IBC).
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)
The American Wood Council (AWC) has developed environmental product declarations (EPDs) for North American wood products, including softwood lumber and glue-laminated lumber (glulam).
Span Calculator
Performs calculations for all species and grades of commercially available softwood and hardwood lumber as found in the NDS 2005 Supplement.
Connection Calculator
Provides users with a web-based approach to calculating capacities for single bolts, nails, lag screws and wood screws per the 2005 NDS.
Carbon Calculator
Promote the carbon benefits of your wood building project.
Athena Impact Estimator
A software tool that is designed to evaluate whole buildings and assemblies based on internationally recognized life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology.
WEBINAR - The Evolution of Fire Life Safety in Building Codes

Date: April 13 2016

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Cost: Free


Over the last 80 years, prescriptive height and area limitations have remained relatively unchanged in North American building codes while technological advances and fire service capabilities have improved considerably. Through an examination of historical code development and identification of the risk factors on which codes are based, we can set the stage for a re-examination of public perception with regard to combustible construction. This presentation will cover techniques for mitigating fire damage and reducing fire spread while describing how an understanding of code intent can be used to argue equivalent fire performance when wood solutions lie outside typical code-approved applications.


Speaker: Keith Calder, MEng, PEng, Jensen Hughes

Keith has over 15 years of experience in the application of building codes, fire safety standards, performance-based design and forensic analyses. He has a Master of Engineering degree from the University of British Columbia in Fire Protection Engineering and is currently enrolled as a Doctoral Student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Use and Egress and Joint Task Group on Combustible Construction for the National Building Code of Canada. With a focus on research and the development of complex alternative solutions, he has amassed a vast knowledge of the development, interpretation and application of North American building codes. Keith has provided code analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a site specific building regulation for a tall wood building constructed in British Columbia, as well as changes to the 2006 British Columbia Building Code to allow for buildings of combustible wood frame construction to be 5 and 6 stories in building height.


Join at 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, 12 pm Central, 1 pm Eastern


Click here to register

WEBINAR - Mass Timber Building Systems: Understanding the Options

Date: May 11, 2016

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Cost: Free


Mass timber represents a rapidly advancing technology that can be utilized as an alternative to steel and concrete to frame a variety of mid- and high-rise building types. This presentation provides an overview of available mass timber systems, with an emphasis on their advantages and unique design considerations. Topics will include connections and fasteners, which differ from those used in light-frame wood construction, including available options and code requirements. Practical design considerations with regard to project location, climate, material sourcing, weather and fire protection, as well as detailing for dimensional variability, will also be reviewed. Cost estimating will be discussed, as successful mass timber projects require a complete understanding of both the system itself and impact on trades.


Speaker: Bernhard Gafner, P.Eng, MIStructE, CEng, Dipl. Ing., Fast + Epp

Bernhard has a decade of international building design and construction experience, having worked in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. He has a degree in Timber Engineering from Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, is a Member of the Association of Professional Engineers in BC, and is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Structural Engineers UK. He offers a unique skill set in the field of structural engineering due to his hands-on experience as licensed carpenter. While possessing expertise in timber engineering, Bernhard is proficient in all major building materials. He believes in using the right material for the right project. He has an excellent track record in developing concepts for structural systems and connection details – creating innovative and cost-efficient solutions..


Join at 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, 12 pm Central, 1 pm Eastern


Click here to register

Webinar: Significant Changes and Introduction to High Winds Guides

Date: May 11, 2016


Time: 1:55pm - 3:00pm


Cost: Free


Engineering concepts from the 2015 Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM), used to develop the 2015 WFCM High Wind Guides, will be covered, along with updates on changes to the 2015 WFCM. The WFCM and High Wind Guides provide designers with time-saving tools using prescriptive solutions (based on structural engineering principles) for wood structures to resist anticipated wind loads. Example problems showing how to apply tabular solutions offered in the High Wind Guide will also be presented.


Presenter: Lori Koch, PE, AWC


Join at 1:55pm Eastern, 12:55pm Central, 11:55am Mountain, 10:55am Pacific


Click here to register.