Birdbrain Ideas and Behavior Modification
Preparing to write this month’s column, I’d been thinking about several topics, and eventually decided that the theme would be the Fourth of July. But then…(bang, clatter)…I was ready to start writing…(bang, clatter)…and all I could think was—when...
The long overdue rebirth of domestic wall panel technology is finally upon us, as U.S. manufacturers have begun to innovate. For the last 30 years, they ceded the upper end of the market to the Europeans, and focused on manual framing and sheathing solutions. For the last 10 years, they have...
Breaking Down the Barriers
My wife reached out to me recently, frustrated with a new furniture company. She was attempting to purchase several items for the house and found a few she thought were perfect. After thirty minutes of attempting to checkout with the sales associate, it was determined that she could not purchase...
Production Scheduling Problems?
There is nothing like the scheduling of orders to bring out the worst in people. Timely delivery of orders naturally creates a division between salespeople on one side of the issue and production on the other. Management normally plays the role of referee, with a tendency to favor the...
Fall Protection on Post-Frame Roofs
For the past several years, my research at Virginia Tech has examined the safety of workers who are constructing metal plate-connected wood truss roofs at height. This work can be very hazardous without proper fall protection systems and procedures in place. Falls from height are the result of...
How Important are Neatly Stacked Trusses?
There is a certain obsessive compulsive behavior that motivates some fabricators when it comes to stacking completed trusses and preparing them for shipment to the customer—but did you ever think of the benefits of tight, stacked, aligned trusses?
One of the most difficult parts of a...
Houlihan, Efficiency, Lean, & the 5M’s
How can we measure and improve employee productivity? It’s a common question now, one that I am often asked within the Component and LBM industry, but that wasn’t always the case. We’ve come a long way and learned a lot!
Back in 1911, mechanical engineer Frederick W. Taylor,...
Making Code Official Connections
Building officials are the gatekeepers to building construction. To approve any construction, including where wood is the principal product, they need to know a lot of information. The American Wood Council aims to make the job of building code official a little easier when it comes to knowing...
Housing’s Growth Rings
Housing Inventory Looking Bullish
Seven years later, the Great Recession now a memory, and as many years of construction growth behind us, the US housing situation is “critical.” We have added fewer new single family homes over the last decade than any of the previous five...
All Things Wood:
Anatomy of an Inherently Dangerous Deck
Over the period of nine days starting on June 9, 2017, five deck collapses in five states (MT, VA, OH. MI, and WI) were reported in the news media. Using the injury data from the media, the five collapses resulted in a total of 57 injuries. In one case, WAVY.com reported that, after an...