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Interfor's TrendWatch - See what we're seeing

Our leadership team has deep expertise and a bold vision. Find out about our take on evolving trends and patterns in the industry, and how we are carving out a solid, strategic future for our company. 

Advanced Technology Makes Taller Wood Buildings Possible

Steven Hofer, Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
November 10, 2014

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre, which recently opened at the University of British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George, is the world’s tallest modern all-wood structure. But if Michael Green has his way, it won’t hold that title for long.

Michael is the award-winning Vancouver architect and wood advocate who designed the Centre. As far as he’s concerned, wood buildings can be 30 stories high, or even more. It’s a message he took a national symposium Toward Taller Wood Buildings in Chicago last week.

And lots of people are listening – including architects, engineers and builders who want to reduce their costs and improve their environmental performance. They’re finding advanced wood technology lets them put up taller wood structures that meet or exceed building code requirements for strength, fire safety and acoustics.

The six-story Wood Innovation and Design Centre is a striking example. It is 90 feet high, meets all code requirements, and only has concrete in its ground floor slab and mechanical penthouse. An eight-minute video shows the innovation and collaboration involved.

Better yet, the Centre will soon be a gathering place for researchers, academics and our future design leaders – students who will be able to build on the vision of leaders like Michael Green.

Interfor Invests $50 Million in Castlegar Mill

Steven Hofer, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
November 6, 2014

Interfor is pleased to announce the investment of $50 million in state-of-the-art technology at our sawmill in Castlegar, BC. This investment is the latest in a series of proactive decisions towards building value for our customers and positioning Interfor for future success.

The project will convert the mill into a two-line operation from three lines. It will also increase production capacity to 210 million board feet from its current level of 185 million board feet. It builds on our acquisition last year of an additional tenure near the mill totaling 175,000 cubic meters of fiber annually. The investment will significantly improve lumber recovery, productivity and grade outturns at the facility, and lower conversion costs.

We will begin construction at Castlegar this month, and expect the upgraded mill to be in full operation in the first quarter of 2016. There will be some downtime during construction but no customer supply or service disruptions at any point.

These strategic decisions are why we are able to stand behind our promise to deliver quality products to our customers “on spec, on time, every time”.

Building International Markets Together

Steven Hofer, Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
October 30, 2014

Interfor was part of a recent forestry trade mission to Asia led by BC Forests Minister Steve Thomson. The mission showed the immense value of industry-government collaboration to build and strengthen international markets – and gave us a chance to meet with some of our customers in Japan and China.

Trade mission delegates marked the 40th anniversary of Japan’s first demonstration 2x4 wood-frame home. In China, we witnessed the signing of an MOU with Jiangsu Province to promote wood-frame construction and met with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, which is actively promoting the use of wood.

In both countries, the North American forest industry has been instrumental in raising awareness of the benefits of wood construction, and has helped with the development of construction codes and grading standards.

The results are outstanding. In 2013, Japan had a single-year record with 120,111 housing starts using 2x4 wood-frame construction – that’s 12.5% of all housing starts in the country. In the same year, British Columbia alone exported more than $1.4 billion worth of softwood lumber to China.

This has also meant a lot to our Company. China has become our second-largest market, after the United States. We recently opened an office in Shanghai so we can serve our Chinese customers better. Interfor and its predecessors have been involved in Japan since 1936, and today it is our fourth-largest market.

Interfor Connects with Truss Manufacturers

Steven Hofer, Senior VP Sales & Marketing
October 20, 2014

Interfor’s experienced sales team was recently at the Structural Building Components Association’s BCMC Conference to feature our quality MSR and Dimension lumber product lines.

The show, which had over 700 attendees, provided an opportunity to educate existing and potential truss manufacturing customers about Interfor’s wide range of MSR and Dimension lumber products.

Interfor has 10 mills that manufacture Dimension lumber. Six of which also manufacture MSR lumber. Both products lines are available in a wide species range including Southern Yellow Pine, SPF, Douglas-Fir/Larch and Inland Hem-Fir.  

Interfor’s size and geographic diversity means we are able to build value for our customers with more quality products and more choice for our truss manufacturing customers. 

Interfor’s Product Offerings Grow

Steven Hofer, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
October 16, 2014

Interfor is proud to announce it will now be marketing Ilim Timber’s European lumber products in North America. This means more choice for our customers.

We already have one of the broadest ranges of lumber products in the world, and Ilim Timber’s European spruce and red pine lumber is a perfect complement to our existing whitewood program.

The first shipment of European spruce and red pine will arrive on the eastern seaboard of the US in the second half of October this year.