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International Focus:  Ecobuild U.K. 2013

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International Focus: Ecobuild U.K. 2013

More than 45,000 building industry professionals packed the house at Ecobuild U.K. 2013, which wrapped up in London at the end of March. With 1,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and innovations, it’s clear that sustainability and energy conservation continues to be the dominant force behind R&D efforts in the European market, just as it is in North America, and engineered wood was well represented.

With an efficient manufacturing process that uses 100 percent of the log and extraordinary durability to resist warping, splitting and shrinking, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) has become a strong seller in the U.K., where the country’s weather can create serious problems for traditional lumber. Likewise, laminated strand lumber (LSL) and I-joists with LSL are growing in popularity for both performance and environmental reasons.

The U.K. and Ireland have strict standards for timber procurement, including chain of custody, which makes PEFC and/or SFI certification an important consideration. North American manufacturers like LP Building Products that have already embraced sustainability are seeing this commitment pay off with easier access to the European market despite some of the toughest environmental regulations in the world. LP recently received European Technical Approval (ETA) and CE approval to add a full range of LP® SolidStart® I-Joist products to its international product line.

Among the biggest themes at Ecobuild 2013: the harsh, double-dip recession in Britain hasn’t slowed down enthusiasm for green building. “The ‘green’ shoots have survived another tough winter and are ready to burst into a new spring for the construction industry,” said Paul King, chief executive of the UK-Green Building Council.

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