Posts Tagged 'engineered wood products'

Tech, Smech…..By Phill Barrett

April 28, 1994 NPR Memo - the internet is coming

In a 1995 interview on NPR and in a Newsweek essay, scientist Clifford Stoll declared the internet to be a fad. The Motorola Dynatac 8000x (a.k.a. the “Brick” phone) was considered by many as a pretentious status symbol to be used only by Gordon Gecko types.

Motorola Dynatac 8000x (a.k.a. the "Brick" phone)

Motorola Dynatac 8000x (a.k.a. the “Brick” phone)

Obviously, Mr. Stoll was wrong about the internet and the cell phone is now the primary tool of communication for a large portion of the population of planet earth. Access to the internet is now considered a basic human right according to the United Nations and the average low end cell phone has more computing power than the on board computer of the Apollo 11 moon lander.

With the advent of tablets and smartphones, connectivity and productivity have soared in recent years. News, stock tips, 140 character updates from your friends about their activities, weather, and “friend” requests are all delivered to you instantly. It seems there is no end to the stream of information. The naysayers are fewer in numbers as more of the planet tunes in and connects.

Building Information Modeling Software (BIM)

National Lumber’s Engineered Wood Products Division is utilizing online meeting software and Building Information Modeling Software (BIM).

National Lumber is a company embracing connectivity. Connectivity with our customers equals better communication and closer collaboration. National Lumber’s Engineered Wood Products Division is utilizing online meeting software and Building Information Modeling Software (BIM) to “build” our customer’s project before it is built. By connecting a National Lumber design employee with a customer via the internet we are reducing design issues, wasted material, travel time, paper and miscommunication.

National Lumber is utilizing smartphone technology and tablets to provide instant access to installation and engineering documents. Many architects now email their plans directly to National Lumber on behalf of their clients to ensure that everyone is working with the correct revision — reducing confusion and delays.

The technology at your fingertips has the power to transform your business’ bottom line in amazing ways. Take advantage of the tools you already own and communication, productivity, and profitability will soar. National Lumber’s employees are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to collaborate. We welcome you to call 1-800-370-WOOD to get started on your most productive year ever.

Phill Barrett
EWP Division
National Lumber
Mansfield, MA

Tax Incentive To Build Green

green building tax incentive helps put money back in your pocket

Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction puts money back in your pocket.

Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction

Have you taken advantage of the green building incentive yet? The Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction is set to expire on December 31, 2013. The program affords building owners deductions on qualifying energy-efficient upgrades done within the last six years. Real estate advocates are in the process of lobbying Congress to extend or expand the program. Read more about the green building incentive in this article by Bendix Anderson, NuWire Investor.

Have these deductions changed the way you or your clients plan buildings?

Enlarge Your Bottom Line by Reducing Your Waste Line

Going, going, gone green? Not if you are still framing your projects the way your daddy did. Green means more than using sustainable sources of materials or hyper–insulating your projects. The three “R’s” of the green movement are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. There should be a fourth “R”, Rethink. Rethink your processes and how you have built in the past and where your profits are coming from in the future. Material used wisely is money. To be truly green, you must reduce the amount of material going into your project and at the same time reduce, reuse or recycle the waste (trash) coming out. Advanced framing techniques (a.k.a. Optimum Value Engineering and Value Engineered) focus on reducing the amount of material used in a home as well as reducing the waste.

Some advanced framing techniques include:

  • Inline framing – Stacking rafters over studs over floor joists
  • Increasing on center spacing of framing members – 19.2” and 24”
  • Using the “right size” headers and eliminating headers in non-load bearing walls
  • Utilizing Engineered Wood Products in floors, walls and roofs
  • Prefabricated wall panels
  • Designing with roof and floor trusses
  • Purchasing pre-cut, ready to install framing components.
  • Purchasing prefabricated components, such as, stairs, dormers, etc.
  • Designing the project to dimensions of framing materials (2’ increments)

The quickest, most cost effective way of going green without breaking the budget on redesign or re-engineering is to make the most of pre-cut and ready to install framing components. Providing materials in a “ready to install” state is a growing trend in the building materials supply industry. Panelizing, componentizing and prefabrication can be applied to almost every project. The advantages include:

  • Little or no on-site waste
  • Faster construction cycle
  • No on-site loss of material
  • Purchasing only the correct amount of material
  • Limited installation errors

Some suppliers add a minimal charge for pre-cutting materials; however, when compared to the cost of dumpsters, wasted material, lost time, lost material and lower labor costs, the savings can be significant. Recently, at an active adult project in Lexington, MA the framing contractor decided to use a pre-cut engineered I-Joist floor system from National Lumber. He claims his time to build has been reduced by one day over the previous duplex with the same floor plan built using nominal length I-joists. The savings came from the floor system only — the pre-cut I-joists were labeled to correspond to the full color layout provided by National Lumber’s Engineering Department to speed up installation and ensure proper placement. Imagine the possibilities of using a total ready-to-install package of wall panels, roof trusses and precision end trimmed components.

The benefits are easy to see: lower construction costs, lower disposal costs and smaller environmental impact =  a smaller Waste Line and an Enlarged Bottom Line.

Phill Barrett, National Lumber Engineered Wood Products Division

To discuss planning your next project with National Lumber, contact Phill at 508-509-9310 or email

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