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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Nonresidential Building Construction in the United States,

FPL's Centennial Research Facility, opened in June 2010, is a combined steel and wood structure with precast concrete panel exterior skin, composite wood fins, and an EPDM roof system. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Snapshot: The construction of low-rise nonresidential buildings is an important market for lumber, structural and nonstructural wood panels, and engineered wood products. Consumption in 2008 was substantially higher than in 2003, and helped maintain solid wood products consumption rates during the midst of the new residential construction downturn.

Nonresidential construction is an important part of U.S. construction markets, and a major market for wood products. This was especially true in 2008. As U.S. housing markets slipped to record low levels of activity, nonresidential construction climbed to unprecedented levels. In 2008 the total value of all nonresidential construction was $715 billion, 67 percent of all construction. The buildings component of nonresidential construction was valued at $456 billion, 64 percent of all nonresidential construction, and 43 percent of all construction. Low-rise buildings of four or fewer stories had construction valued at $412 billion in 2008.

The construction of nearly 84,400 new nonresidential buildings and additions in 2008 translated into 2.5 billion square feet (ft2) of floor area, 0.5 billion ft2 of exterior wall area, and 1.9 billion ft2 of roof area. Wood products are an important part of the mix of building products used in nonresidential buildings. In 2008, an estimated 1,758 million board feet of lumber, 2,677 million ft2, 3/8-in. basis of structural panels, 79 million ft2, 3/8-in. basis of nonstructural panels, 68 million linear feet of wood I-joists, 56 million board feet of glulam timber, and 4 million cubic feet of structural composite lumber were used. Not included are the amounts of wood used for facilitation (formwork, scaffolding, etc.), millwork, and other non-construction uses.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 McKeever, David B.

External Partners:
  • Wood Products Council/Wood Works.

Fiscal Year: 2011
Highlight ID: 287
Related Research Emphasis Areas: