Expo Construcción 2023 Sheds Light on Southern Pine in Colombia
Expo Construcción 2023 attendees may have indicated a preference for steel because of the perceived complexity of constructing wood-frame structures.
However, there was a notable interest in sustainable housing, which allowed three Southern Forest Products Association representatives, who were part of a larger American Softwoods contingency, to emphasize using wood-based materials in construction at the Bogotá, Colombia, trade show held from May 30-June 4.
Expo Construcción 2023 Experience
Expo Construcción 2023, the first one since the COVID-19 pandemic, occurs every other year and is one of two primary construction shows that draw visitors from all over South America. This year’s show had more than 430 companies from 17 different countries with an estimated 48,000 attendees.
A range of attendees visited the AMSO booth, with the majority being builders, architects, and importers. Most of those professionals were interested in OSB and Southern Pine lumber, but some visitors were unfamiliar with certain exhibited products and their applications within the construction sector, including Southern Pine grading, high- and medium-density overlay (HDO/MDO) panels, and glulam beam application.
It helped that the booth showcased a selection of AMSO-promoted materials with images showing product application. This approach attracted substantial attention from attendees for use in decking, decoration, pergolas, cabins, and more. Purchasing preference, meanwhile, varied among attendees, with some interested in procuring them from the United States while others wanted local sources.
A notable trend AMSO booth representatives heard was using OSB panels in combination with steel frames. And while attendees indicated a preference for steel because of the perceived complexity of constructing wood-frame structures, there was a notable interest in sustainable housing, which allowed SFPA and AMSO representative to tout the benefits of wood-based materials in construction.
Southern Pine Promotion in Colombia
Before Expo Construcción 2023 started, AMSO representatives visited Serrano Gomez, a medium-sized lumber distributor, which also has architects and wood building designers throughout Colombia.
They recently restructured their company and are now focused on designing and building with U.S. softwood lumber – mainly use Southern Pine because of its strength and because they have a plant to treat Southern Pine.
American Softwoods in Colombia
Colombia has imported 3.5 Mbf of Southern Pine and pressure-treated lumber year-to-date through Augus. That number is down 12 percent compared to the same eight-month period in 2022.
However, there’s a limited understanding of OSB, Southern Pine lumber, and engineered wood products within the context of wood frame construction and structural applications in Colombia. There’s also concern about load-bearing capabilities, particularly given many houses in Colombia are constructed with masonry.
Universities in the region lack knowledge about the proper use of these materials in the construction sector. Based on feedback from attendees at Expo Construcción 2023, AMSO will look into organizing an educational seminar during the next show to educate various stakeholders, including builders, importers, specifiers, architects, engineers, students, and professors.
SFPA members: Don’t forget to check out the contacts secured during the show and their corresponding contact information on our members-only site!
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