Why Join OSWA?
"To promote the benefits of Structural Wood Products for use in construction throughout Ontario, facilitated through an exchange of information with municipal building departments, design professionals and related construction stakeholders."
OSWA is OUR new association that was conceived and created by the membership of the Ontario Wood Truss Fabricators Association (OWTFA), recognizing the need to better represent how structural wood in general is promoted and distributed in the Ontario market. Truss fabricators have always played a critical role in the support of wood structures in the market, not just the truss components themselves but the entire wood structure. As the composite wood product mix expanded and new innovative structural wood elements appeared, the wood truss industry and OWTFA led the way in the development of design tools and manufacturing technology that allowed the design community to imagine new and creative designs utilizing wood for the main structural elements. Now with the formation of the OSWA, we bring together the expertise not only of the wood truss fabricators in Ontario but we add the resources and knowledge of the engineered wood manufacturers, structural wood distributors and the building design community to form a unified team that will help spread the message of the real economic and environmental benefits of using more structural wood products in Ontario buildings.
Without a formal body like TPIC or similar for Engineered Wood Products (SCL, I-Joists, etc.), through the cooperation and mutual goals of its members, OSWA can bring together the technical expertise needed to resolve design details that have historically been proprietary in nature. The development of standard details that have the support of all the EWP producers such as multi-ply laminations, hanger connections, small brick cantilevers, bearing requirements, rim and squash block capacities and others will make it easier for specifiers, distributors as well as the inspectors to promote and support the use of structural wood in Ontario and beyond.
Tools and Resources
OSWA brings together all the expertise needed to ensure that the design community and building officials have what they require to promote and support structural wood use. As the primary source moving forward for not only truss design knowledge, OSWA will be able to incorporate EWP design into our “Tech Notes” and “Designer Hints” and will modify our OBOA presentation to ensure we inform the municipal building departments of not only truss issues but also to add EWP and other complimentary product issues in the near future. Our new OSWA brochure will no longer have to limit content to manufactured wood trusses but will incorporate all the products our members support and sell. The OSWA website will have links to useful design tools that will help both the designers and inspectors support the overall use of structural wood in the market. With an expanded membership, we have additional resources to call upon to help develop and distribute the tools necessary to expand the wood market in Ontario.
Promotion and Marketing
With the new OSWA structure, we can bring new perspectives to the promotion of wood products to the market. The benefits of wood trusses for residential buildings is widely known and trusses now represent the majority of roof systems for Part 9 buildings in Ontario. Now however, with the help of the specification community and others, we can add to that a variety of Part 9 and Part 4 buildings where trusses were not historically the first choice. We can show how wall panels save time and money over stick built options or maybe show the market the advantages of building up to 6 stories for their new development now that the code allows for the expanded use of wood. In our ever growing energy and environmentally conscious society, we can call upon our specifier and government agency and other OSWA member partners to spread the message of our renewable resource and the benefits of carbon sequestration of our structural wood elements. The more wood that is used, the more new growth is planted to produce clean air and the more carbon is contained in the structure and not released into the atmosphere. Durable, renewable, insulating, architecturally pleasing, versatile, improved carbon footprint, lightweight, readily available and cost effective. The message has always been clear and OSWA now has the resources to make sure it is clear to everyone in the market.
Now more than ever, OSWA brings together everyone involved in the structural wood industry. We have opened our doors to specifiers, building officials, wall panel manufacturers and others adding to the already wide array of core members that consists of truss fabricators, truss plate and hanger manufacturers, EWP manufacturers and EWP distributors among others. The opportunity to work with others together on a project or simply to learn what they are doing in their individual markets is now more than ever possible and accessible, particularly during our association events such as our annual golf tournament in the fall or annual general meeting during the slower winter months. With the central focus on promoting structural wood use, we can now come together in a cooperative mutually beneficial environment and help resolve any barriers or concerns that might exist.
As the structural wood industry advocate, we now have strength not only in the number of members we have but also in regards to how much OSWA contributes to the Ontario economy as a whole, whether directly or indirectly. Add to that our government and professional partner members, together we have the voice and expertise to address any concerns or road blocks that might restrict us from moving forward successfully as an industry. Restrictive insurance practices, unfair or restrictive code requirements or pending changes that have been proposed that could hinder our industry, restrictions imposed for fire concerns, safety and labour laws, all examples of areas that require a common voice and thoughtful approach to resolving for the benefit of all parties concerned. OSWA will be this advocate that will ensure its members a fair and unobstructed path to success in providing structural wood products and associated technical expertise to the building industry in Ontario.