See the Tallest Wood Building (18 Stories) Rise in 2 Minutes

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See a two-minute time-lapse video of the timber and CLT construction phase. Photo credit: Seagate Structures/Pollux Chung


The Brock Commons residence hall at the University of British Columbia has become the latest world’s tallest wood-framed building.  The 18-story, $39 million tower is a hybrid mass timber structure designed by Acton Ostry Architects.  More than 400 students will move in when the tower is completed in September 2017.



Wood construction started on June 6, 2016 and progressed at a rate of two floors per week. The structure incorporates 1,302 glulam columns and 464 5-ply CLT panels each 169 mm thick throughout the 16 floors of wood construction.  It is wrapped in a panelized envelope system. 


It takes about six minutes for U.S. and Canadian forests to grow the 2,233 cubic meters of wood that was used in this project.  The estimated avoided and sequestered greenhouse gases from the wood used in the building is 2,432 metric tonnes of CO2, equivalent to removing 511 cars off the road for a year.


Is ISPM 15 wood packaging required in the West Indies?

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West IndiesDo we need to stamp wood ISPM 15 for the West Indies?

LK in Wisconsin

PLIB Response:

The “West Indies” covers many different islands.  Some of them require ISPM 15 certification for wood packaging while others do not show up on the list of countries that require it.  Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad/Tobago are three countries that are listed as requiring ISPM 15 certification.  Consider having your wood packaging ISPM 15 certified and labeled as such if you are shipping to the “West Indies” just to be safe.

Question on Western Red Cedar siding rules

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RF from the UK asks…”I wonder if you can tell me if the grading rules for Western Red Cedar are available online.  We have purchased several thousand square meters of No. 2 Clear and Better cladding in the UK and our supplier is telling us it’s No. 2 Clear and Better…”

PLIB Response:

There are several different sets of rules for Western Red Cedar.  The one that applies to the wood you have will depend in part on what country the wood came from and also on the grade.

If the cedar came from Canada, then the rules that cover it may be those published by the National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA) in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Those rules are available on their website at  You will find the rules on their “publications” page.

If the cedar came from the U.S., the rules could be those published by the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau (WCLIB) in Portland, Oregon or rules published by the Western Wood Products Association (WWPA) in Portland, Oregon.  The WCLIB rules are available on their website at You will want to look at Standard Grading Rules No. 17.  The WWPA rules are available at their website at You will find them under their “publications” page.

The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) also publishes some proprietary rules for Western Red Cedar siding.  Their website is useful because you can go to the type of siding you have and they cross reference the various rules mentioned above that pertain to different grades of cedar siding, including their own proprietary rules when appropriate.  Here is a link to the siding page on their website which will get you started.

Finally, it is also possible (but not likely) that the wood was produced under our rules, the Export R List.  While they are not yet up on our website at this time, if you find that the wood you have was produced under an R List rule, let us know and we will email you the relevant rules.


PLIB Staff and Friends Build Ramp for Deserving Family in Rampathon 2016

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Rampathon 8

PLIB Rampathon team (L to R) Front row: Hannah Petersen, Joan Petersen, Chris Anderson. Back row: Ben Haynes, Jeff Fantozzi, Kevin Tinsley. Not pictured: Nicholas Wiklund

On a wet, rainy Saturday in May, three PLIB staffers and three friends gathered at the Thompson house in nearby Algona and stared at the growing puddle of water and mud that was slowly encroaching on their work space. The weather was far from ideal but the cause couldn’t be better. The group had gathered to build a much needed access ramp for Colby Thompson, a six year old boy with severe mobility issues and the victim of shaken baby syndrome. 

Colby’s case is well known in the State of Washington; it inspired legislation known as the Colby Thompson Act which was signed into law in May 2011 by then Governor Christine Greqoire.  The Act aims to address unlicensed child care in Washington State and Colby’s parents fought hard to see that the legislation was passed.  They continue to support educational efforts and remain active in the legislative process on this subject. It’s a battle they will fight for the rest of their lives, alongside their precious, sweet son.

On this particular Saturday; however, the Thompson family would be the recipient of a wheelchair-access ramp that would help mom and dad maneuver Colby’s larger wheelchair in and out of the house, making life a little easier for the family and allowing Colby the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine that Washingtonians cherish in the summer months.

Rampathon 3 websiteRampathon 4Rampathon 7

The ramp was built by the PLIB team as part of the Master Builders Association’s (MBA) annual Rampathon event which has been active since 1993. It was the second year PLIB participated in the event (click here for information about last year’s ramp).  According to the MBA “Rampathon is an annual program…where members and volunteers build free wheelchair-access ramps for…homeowners throughout King and Snohomish counties.”  Over 400 ramps have been built and more than 1.7 million dollars in in-kind contributions have been provided as part of the program. 2016 was the biggest event so far, with 37 ramps built. Local and regional media outlets covered this year’s event and you can learn more about the Thompson’s story and other Rampathon participants by viewing KING 5’s coverage of the 2016 Rampathon.

Thompson family website

“To be able to help a family like the Thompsons and make their life a little easier in a small way is very humbling and rewarding for every member of our team” said PLIB President, Jeff Fantozzi. “Rampathon is a great program that gives us an opportunity to give a little back to our community and brings our employees and friends a little closer to the people who live and work next door to us.”

Rampathon 9

The rain and mud didn’t have a chance. When Colby and his mom rolled down the ramp for the first time, Colby’s smile said it all.



Rampathon 10


For more information on the MBA Rampathon project, see the MBA website or click here.

PLIB Members Elect New Directors for 2016 – 2017

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Members of the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau met on June 28th in Whistler, BC and elected its Board of Directors for the June 2016 – June 2017 year.  Following the Member meeting, the new Board elected its officers for the ensuing year.


PLIB Directors for 2016 – 2017. Pictured from left to right: Dale Bartsch, Karl Hallstrom, Paul Beltgens, Alan Sherrington, Eric Fritch, Greg Smith, John Blodgett. Not pictured: Steve Killgore, Ken Thorlakson

PLIB 2016-2017 Board of Directors

  • Dale Bartsch, Hy Mark Wood Manufacturing, Spangle, WA
  • Paul Beltgens, Paulcan Enterprises Ltd., Chemainus, BC
  • John Blodgett, Douglas County Forest Products, Roseburg, OR
  • Eric Fritch, Fritch Mill, Snohomish, WA
  • Karl Hallstrom, Zip-O Mills, Eugene, OR
  • Steve Killgore, Roseburg Forest Products, Dillard, OR
  • Alan Sherrington, Weyerhaeuser Co, Federal Way, WA
  • Greg Smith, Gilbert Smith Forest Products, Barriere, BC
  • Ken Thorlakson, Tolko Industries, Vernon, WA

PLIB Officers 2016 – 2017

  • John Blodgett – Chairman of the Board
  • Ken Thorlakson – Vice Chairman
  • Jeff Fantozzi – President, Treasurer
  • Hannah Petersen – Secretary

PLIB 2016 Annual Meeting Recap

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_DSC5997_8157Members of the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau met at the Weston Resort & Spa in beautiful Whistler, BC on June 27th and 28th for the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Members.  It was the 110th annual meeting since the Bureau’s incorporation in 1906 (PLIB was founded in 1903) and a memorable one at that.


At the Annual Meeting of the Members, the members received the annual President’s report and were updated on the activities and programs that PLIB oversees, reviewed and approved the 2015 auditors report and elected new directors for the 2016-2017 term.  John Neels, Executive Director of the National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA), was a featured speaker and provided a thorough overview of the role NLGA plays in the Canadian and U.S. lumber systems.  Following the Annual Meeting of the Members, the new Board of Directors met and considered a wide variety of items critical to the function of the organization including reviewing the core business activities, finances, regulatory issues, activities with affiliated organizations and a new lumber grading training tool that staff rolled out at the meeting.

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Besides tending to the business matters of the Bureau, members took advantage of the spectacular weather by enjoying many outdoor recreational activities including golfing, biking, hiking, zip-lining and touring Whistler Village, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. One of the highlights of the meeting was the walking dinner tour where members were treated to vintage wines and culinary specialties from a variety of excellent restaurants and specialty desert shops in Whistler Village.  During the tour, members were treated to a hands-on demonstration of wine sabering, complete with audience participation. 


By all accounts, the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Members was a great success and members and staff are looking forward to next year’s meeting in Banff, Alberta.

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Pallet Recycler Prosecuted for Fraudulent WPM Stamps

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April 1 – Atlas Wood Products, Inc. and its owner/president have pleaded guilty and been sentenced in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California to criminal violations related to the creation of counterfeit industry-issued stamps used in the marking of wood pallets.  The stamps, bearing the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) trademark and agency identification, are typically used to mark wood packaging such as pallets, boxes, crates, etc. that are destined for international markets. 

The wood packaging IPPC stamp is an internationally recognized mark that signifies that the wood packaging complies with International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15  “Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade”, commonly referred to as ISPM 15.  The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspection and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The judgement included one felony count with five years of probation and total monetary penalties of $100,000. 

Fraudulent stamps and protection of the international and agency trademarks are taken very seriously by PLIB and other agencies.

For more information on this investigation, click on the link to the APHIS website here.

For more information on ISPM 15 and the wood packaging program, see “ISPM 15 Wood Packaging” under the Services tab on the PLIB home page or click


Time-lapse Video of Six Story Mass Timber Building Being Built From Ground Up

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Hines T3 buildingThe Hines T3 mass timber project in Minneapolis is under construction and you can watch its rapid progress by clicking here. The building was permitted under Special Provisions sections of the building code and is 6-story heavy timber built on a one-story concrete podium, for a total of 7-stories.  Hines, a large international developer, is building T3 with plans that it become their model office building, to also be constructed in other U.S. cities. As of this posting, the live webcam shows the fourth floor partially framed with prefab panels and the core nearing completion. 

For more information on this specific project contact Ken Bland, American Wood Council (AWC), at 202-463-2765. 

~ Courtesy of the American Wood Council ~