Expanding markets is central to the Softwood Lumber Board’s (SLB’s) mission, as new and larger markets create increased softwood lumber demand and consumption and increased revenue for producers and manufacturers. After weathering the financial and housing crises of the 2000s, American markets across all construction segments are crossing the threshold of recovery, and this is creating more opportunities for softwood lumber. Through its research and programs, the SLB is poised to capitalize on these opportunities, drawing more architects, engineers, and designers to wood and ultimately changing how America builds.

Beyond residential, the SLB is using the latest industry data to identify other market opportunities for growth, including big box stores and municipal buildings such as fire departments, schools, and hotels. Although wood dominates the one- to four-story residential segment, it is virtually nonexistent in non-residential construction and at five stories and above. Capturing just 25% of the one- to four-story non-residential segment will generate between 1.5 bbf and 3.5 bbf of incremental demand annually; reaching a 67% market share in both residential and non-residential five- to six-story buildings will create 1 bbf to 4 bbf of demand; and capturing 30% of market share in the seven- to eight-story segment will generate an additional 1 bbf of demand.

“The tall wood headlines are terrific and open doors, but it’s the common, repeatable buildings that will generate the volumes of softwood lumber demand,” says Cees de Jager, SLB’s Chief Marketing Officer.