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April : American hardwood seminar attracts leading players from timber sector in Western Cape region

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18 April, 2016

American hardwood seminar attracts leading players from timber sector in Western Cape region

U.S. hardwoods offer sustainability, wide diversity and standardized grading for complete transparency and assurance

April 13, 2016 -
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has successfully hosted a seminar in Cape Town, which was attended by over 35 specifiers, importers, traders, and end users of hardwoods. Aimed at helping attendees obtain a better understanding of the physical properties, grades and the potential for applications offered by the different species of American hardwoods, the high-impact event also emphasized the wide variety of American hardwood species, their environmental credentials, as well as their importance in sustainable design.

 AHEC follow up

The highlight of the seminar was a discourse on the wide variety of American hardwood species as well as their solid environmental credentials and their importance in sustainable design. Roderick Wiles, AHEC Regional Director, provided an introduction to American hardwoods, covering topics including sustainable forest management and selection harvesting in the United States, hardwood production, U.S. hardwood species and suitability for applications. Neil Summers, AHEC's Technical Consultant talked on new market opportunities for American hardwoods. His presentation covered thermally-modified American hardwoods (TMT) and also looked at the potential for American hardwoods in structural applications and cross-laminated timber (CLT).

In addition, Dana Spessert, Chief Inspector, National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) provided an introduction to grading American hardwood lumber and a practical demonstration of the NHLA Rules for grading American hardwood lumber. Although the NHLA grading rules were originally conceived for the U.S. marketplace, a reasonable knowledge is essential for buyers worldwide in order to attain their expected degree of quality. With this in mind, the seminar aimed at making the most of Dana's valuable experience, which encompasses over 27 years as an inspector of hardwood lumber, in a bid to educate buyers of hardwoods in South Africa.

Speaking at the event's sidelines, Roderick Wiles said, "With its long and proven record of sustainability and continuity of supply, the U.S. hardwood industry offers high quality timber to address the demands of global customers. With this in kind, AHEC is taking major initiatives to educate buyers, end users and specifiers across the globe. South Africa is an established market, with an increasing volume of hardwoods being consumed in the country and our presence through this seminar is part of our strategy to support the efforts of our export companies and achieve further growth for U.S. hardwoods globally."

About AHEC

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among U.S. hardwood companies and all the major U.S. hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In addition, AHEC also produces a full range of technical publications.

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