International Wood International Wood 2005 - Page 56

KNOCK ON WOOD “Knock on imported wood.” Easy to do. Just look around and you’ll see wood in your schools, homes, offices, and banks. And even a lot of the products that don’t look like wood, like RV’s, have imported wood throughout. So it truly is part of our everyday lives. Why so much, why everywhere? Imported wood has a wide range of applications and price points, from the most exclusive project, to the everyday interior construction needs. These and many other uses are profiled in this edition of Imported Wood . The trend toward imported wood products was evident in an industry survey conducted five years ago of architects, builders, and designers. A majority of those surveyed characterized imported wood products as excep- tionally beautiful, and a cost effective choice. These architects projected an increased use in the U.S. of imported wood for all of these reasons, and they were right. Total wood imports in 2004 vs. 2003 grew by $6 billion to $21.8 billion (excluding furniture) – an impressive 38% gain in that year alone, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service. Aside from the well-known practical benefits of using imported wood, there are other considerations surrounding the use of imported wood products – Where does it come from? How is it har- vested? How do you prove it came from a legal source? Can it be used in “green building?” All of these issues are part of the vernacular when talking about imported wood. Sustainable, Legal Trade Imported wood products undergo clear and definite legal checks, both overseas and by U.S. government officials, before the wood is made available to consumers. Some wood species have extra requirements before they are allowed legal entry into the United States. Although small in number, these particular species are regulated by an international convention to ensure that international trade does not threaten their sur- vival in the wild. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) regulates trade in certain species through a system of permits. CITES affords species three levels of protection, each with varying requirements. It is important to note that a CITES listing and proper documentation dem- onstrates the legal acquisition and sustainable management of that species. IWPA members can help imported wood users further understand CITES and provide copies of CITES permits and certificates upon request. Consult the IWPA member listing in the back for contact information You can also read about CITES at http://citestimber.fws. gov/timbertreespecies.html. Green Building Green building is a new concept that is gaining momentum. Green or sustainable building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, and maintenance. Research shows that wood is a “hands-on” winner when it comes to building green. Lifecycle analysis (a methodology for assessing the total environmental performance 56 IMPORTED WOOD