2020 was—in a word—unpredictable. In many ways the COVID-19 pandemic defined the year within the building industry, but LP Building Solutions also launched new products, worked toward innovation and established partnerships, all reinforcing the company’s purpose of Building a Better World™. We caught up with several of our leaders to look back on the year, the changes it brought, and the wins we celebrated together
Thinking Back on 2020
In your opinion, what were the most pivotal points in 2020?
Mike Sims, SVP, Marketing and Business Development: I think that we will look back on 2020 as the inflection point for single-family suburban housing demand. Much like what happened following 9/11, people are nesting and looking for the safety and comfort of home. Housing has become a priority and people are willing to invest more with lower interest rates, offsetting some of the affordability challenges.
Brad Southern, Chief Executive Officer: The most pivotal point was the building industry’s being designated essential so that LP could continue to build, repair and remodel homes. The strength in housing during 2020 demonstrated the ability and commitment across the supply chain to serving our customers and communities. All aspects of the supply chain worked tirelessly to keep things going and doing so while protecting our employees and customers. Activities ranging from builders ordering product to potential homebuyers touring homes have effectively moved online. The industry adapted quickly to provide the necessary products and services to homebuilders, homebuyers and homeowners.
How has COVID-19 impacted worker safety now and in the future?
Craig Sichling, VP, Specialty Sales & Marketing: A cornerstone of our culture is safety, and anytime there is an event, either internal or external, we use it as an opportunity to learn from and to check our processes. With COVID-19, we have incorporated many of the standard recommended precautionary measures that most companies have taken over the last six months. I also believe that some of these safety protocols will stay with us, as they are health and wellness best practices.
What do you see as key learnings from COVID-19 that will help drive forward the LP purpose of Building a Better World™?
Southern: The quality and comfort of your home has never been more important or more appreciated. LP products contribute to the structural integrity and aesthetic beauty of the home. That reinforces the safety and comfort one finds when home. COVID-19 has made our mission to Build a Better World even more critical and more important to our customers and the communities we serve as people have become more appreciative of the safety and comfort their home provides.
What were LP's biggest wins for building a better world in 2020?
Southern: The designation of building product manufacturing and home construction as essential services demonstrated the importance people place on shelter and community. Our ability to safeguard the health of our workforce so that we could deliver the products and services needed to supply critical components of the building industry hopefully provided comfort to people as they sought the safety of their home environment.
LP’s 2020 Highlights
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, LP Building Solutions responded by shifting training programs online. For example, building professionals joined the Kruse Brothers on video calls to improve their skills and continue to take advantage of these ways to boost their businesses. LP also provided pro advice, perspectives, and tips and tricks for customers to help keep their businesses alive and well during tough times.
Through the LP Foundation, LP Building Solutions was also proud to support COVID-19 relief efforts with donations that provided PPE for frontline workers, housing for those who needed to avoid exposure after their work in healthcare and childcare for long hours and extended shifts. Donations also supported hunger relief to those whose nutrition was affected by school closures.
Southern adds, “I’m proud of our mills and the LP Foundation for stepping up to support COVID-19 relief efforts and encourage everyone who can to lend a helping hand.”
LP celebrated the launch of LP® SmartSide® ExpertFinish® Trim & Siding in early 2020, offering builders and homeowners a collection of 16 versatile prefinished colors that look great and remain durable for years to come. LP WeatherLogic® Water Screen also launched, designed to maximize a build’s moisture protection and to help extend the life of exterior surfaces with increased ventilation. It’s ideally used in tandem with LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier panels, offering even more moisture management technology.
Kyle Stumpenhorst of @rrbuildings and Jordan Smith of @jordansmithbuilds completed the first ever “LP House” in Texas, a construction project built using the full portfolio of LP Building Solutions products. From LP® SolidStart® LVL and I-Joists to LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier and LP SmartSide ExpertFinish siding, the LP House showcased LP’s dedication to resilient, durable and beautiful building solutions on a modern farmhouse.
LP Structural Solutions, LP Elements® Performance Fencing and LP SmartSide siding were also featured in HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Other notable LP SmartSide siding collaborations included a Military Makeover renovation project and This Old House’s 2020 Idea House. The brand also partnered with Pro Builder and Thrive Home Builders to provide a sustainable siding solution for the Ultimate Zero Energy Now (Z.E.N.) Home.
Here’s to a year to remember! Though 2020 presented challenges no one had navigated before, the building industry—and LP Building Solutions—emerged resilient and ready to take on anything 2021 will bring. Stay tuned for more innovation and better solutions for better building from LP.
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Our purpose, Building a Better World™, had guided us in the years prior to 2020, but it was uniquely tested with this year’s challenges. As the comfort of home became increasingly important we sought to put our communities and customers first in new ways, serving them with the need for resiliency and safety in mind.
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