OSB: From the Forest to the Home
It all starts in the forest. Before Oriented Strand Board (OSB) gets installed in the home, it starts out in the forest as a renewable resource.
Throughout Canada and the United States, Weyerhaeuser serves as a steward of the forest. As the company harvests fast-growing, small-diameter trees to create OSB products, they replace them with seedlings — more than 50 million seedlings every year.
"On average, 98 percent of each log we harvest is used to produce small fiber strands or to generate energy," says George Hendry, marketing development manager for Weyerhaeuser. "We're all about efficiencies. Even parts of the tree unsuitable to make OSB, like the bark, are burned to supply energy to our self-sustaining mills."
Weyerhaeuser OSB products coming from Canada and the United States have a SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certification for fiber sourcing. This important designation indicates that Weyerhaeuser adheres to responsible procurement standards set by SFI, an independent, non-profit organization, when harvesting trees, whether the forest itself is certified or not.
Thanks to SFI requirements for logger training, nearly 95 percent of the fiber delivered to SFI Program Participant mills (like those operated by Weyerhaeuser) is harvested by professionals who have been trained in sustainable forestry practices. Those professionals are trained in water quality, biodiversity and other sustainable forest practice issues and requirements.
Weyerhaeuser's OSB panels are born out of heat and pressure. Using energy generated from waste, the strands are dried and mixed with adhesive resins and wax. The resinated strands are formed into a thick mat with strands oriented in layers to optimize performance. Heat and pressure are applied to compress the mat to its final thickness. The finished engineered panel may be anywhere from 3/8-inch to 1-1/8-inch thick and ready for the jobsite.
"Historically we produce reliable panels that builders request because they hold nails extremely well, look good and have properties that perform in the field," says Hendry. "Builders need OSB subflooring they can count on that can be obtained quickly. For decades we've been producing OSB products that meet or exceed PS2 standards. These top-quality subfloor panels take the worry away for builders.
"What makes Weyerhaeuser OSB products stand out ahead of the competition? It's a bit like the colonel's secret recipe for chicken. It's all in the ingredients we combine, our 30+ years of experience and the intense care we take in manufacturing every single OSB panel."
Thicker is Quicker
Imagine this: a jobsite where framing is going faster than anticipated. How? By selecting thick Edge Gold panels for the subflooring.
"The 1-1/8-inch Edge Gold OSB panels are a great replacement on commercial projects for lightweight concrete toppings or gypcrete," says Alex Kuchar, OSB technical manager for Weyerhaeuser. "Using the thick OSB panels eliminates the curing process that can take days with concrete products. A builder can save labor and time using Edge Gold — plus the overall weight of the structure is reduced when eliminating a concrete type of subfloor.
"As an added bonus, these dense panels have greater nail retention and push out the default joist system. Nailing intervals can be at greater on center intervals, perhaps reaching even 24 inches on center!"
To help facilitate speed of installation, Edge Gold panels feature a fastener marking system on the surface of each panel. A series of dashed lines are located across the width and on the panel surface with each dash approximately two inches long by 3/16 of an inch wide.
The dashed lines on the panels are spaced out to accommodate support spacing of 16 inches, 19.2 inches and 24 inches on center. The dashes are placed 12 inches apart so that the proper fastener spacing on the interior of the panel can be maintained.
"Science advancements have changed the way structures are built," says Kuchar. "Engineered wood products make it possible to span greater lengths, use stronger sheathing and reduce jobsite labor. These are tremendous building improvements for both residential and commercial buildings."
Builders looking for another reason why Edge Gold panels stand out from the competition will find it in the company's patented Down Pore® self-draining technology.
Created to help eliminate standing water on subfloors, Down Pore's notch and groove system channels water away from the end of the panel and away from the supporting member. The result is that standing water collected on the surface of the floor during construction drains away.
Backed by a 200-day "no sand" limited warranty, Edge Gold panels are warranted for 200 days after delivery to the job site against the need for edge sanding due to edge swell caused by water absorption. The panels themselves are also backed by a 50-year limited warranty.