The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has announced plans to host a seminar for specifiers, importers, traders, manufacturers and end users of American hardwoods in Cape Town next month – April, 2016.
The seminar, which is being held at the River Club in Observatory on Friday, April 8, 2016, will help attendees obtain a better understanding of the physical properties, grades and the potential for applications offered by the different species of American hardwoods, and discuss AHEC’s commitment to cater to and expand further in South Africa, which has demonstrated a consistent and healthy appetite for U.S. hardwoods for many years.
Roderick Wiles, AHEC Regional Director, will provide an introduction to American hardwoods and cover topics including sustainable forest management and selection harvesting in the United States, hardwood production, US hardwood species and suitability for applications.
Neil Summers, AHEC’s Technical Consultant, will deliver a talk on new market opportunities for American hardwoods. His presentation will cover thermally-modified American hardwoods (TMT) and also look 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) will provide an introduction to grading American hardwood lumber and a practical demonstration of the NHLA Rules for grading American hardwood lumber.
“Our seminar will be specifically about American hardwoods for interiors (flooring, joinery, furniture), although we will also cover the topic of thermally-modified hardwoods for exterior applications, such as decking and cladding, as well as certain applications for non-durable hardwoods in exteriors, such as American white oak for windows and doors. We shall also look at the environmental credentials of US hardwoods and touch on Life Cycle Assessment and carbon footprint of materials and transport. The presentations will be educational, but also inspirational, as we will show many different and exciting projects from around the world, where American hardwoods have been used,” said Wiles.
AHEC considers this direct interaction with industry and specifiers vital to sustaining and stimulating demand in South Africa. According to Wiles, growing interest in American hardwoods must be supported by a better understanding of the physical properties and potential for applications offered by the many different species, as well as their environmental credentials. The seminar will provide the perfect opportunity to share the experts’ collective knowledge and for AHEC to build a stronger relationship with South African architects, furniture designers, craftsmen, interior designers and members of the timber trade.
“With the strengthening of the US dollar and the already weak South African rand, American hardwoods have become even more expensive for South African buyers. Nonetheless, they are well-established and well-regarded for their quality and consistency and there remains a ready market for them. According to the latest statistics released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), total exports of US hardwood lumber and veneer to South Africa reached a value of USD 11.783 million in 2015, increasing by 7 percent over 2014. Despite currency fluctuations, the growth in exports can be partly attributed to the fact that South Africa’s design community is developing and increasingly looking towards establishing itself on the world stage,” concluded Wiles.
To register for the seminar, contact Jennifer Rees, Häss&DAS Brand Factory on 076 119 8819 or [email protected]