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SBIO Extension

Extension Highlights

Dec. 17, 2013 – The wood products industry in Virginia is a critical contributor to the economy of the state, an industry represented by more than 1,000 primary and secondary industries and over $25 billion in economic impact. 

The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) at Virginia Tech is one of the leading U.S. academic programs in the field of renewable materials with a focus on cellulosic materials such as wood products. Besides research and teaching efforts, SBIO has an important role in dissemination of new knowledge in the area of renewable materials through SBIO’s three extension specialists.

SBIO Extension Faculty Participate in Jr. Hokie Showcase


Wood Magic event sponsored by Montgomery County 4-H. Wood Magic event sponsored by Montgomery County 4-H.

Dr’s Brian Bond, Henry Quesada, John Bouldin and Urs Buelhmann put together a Wood Magic event for this years Junior Hokie Showcase sponsored by Mongtomery County 4-H. The event was held at the Alphin Stuart Arena on Virginia Tech’s campus. Over 150 children and teachers participated in the “rock stars” event that demonstrated the differences in bending strength for different wood species. SBIO faculty and graduate students assisted by providing the event every afternoon from October 14-18th.

Housing market updates


Housing market updates

The United States wood industry’s fortunes depend heavily on the well-being of the United States housing market as more than 50 percent of the industry’s business is tied directly to housing. Indeed, the past six years were challenging for the housing market as well as for the wood products industry due to the economic and financial crisis. By now, the U.S. housing market has improved over the past few months, the outlook for the United States economy and the housing market in particular is mostly positive. Thus, the fortunes of the United States wood industry are positive, with the constraints being the general economic conditions and the influence of rising interest rates on housing market. 

Urs Buehlmann and his collaborators at the US Forest Service, Al Schuler and Delton Alderman, publish monthly updates on the U.S. housing market to provide our industry partners with timely information to gauge market opportunities and to allow for planning. These housing reports, which are disseminated free of charge via email are intended to provide industry participants with a wide range of data to allow for independent assessment of the situation and future markets. 

All past housing reports can be viewed at: To be added to the mailing list for the free monthly housing reports email to

Increasing value of products and services for American hardwood companies 

Recent marketing research conducted by Henry Quesada, SBIO extension specialist, identified factors that American hardwood producers need to improve to remain competitive in international markets. Buyers from Germany, China, and Vietnam indicated that the most important factors to improve are price, quality, availability, and on time delivery. More information on this marketing project can be found at

Upcoming Events 

The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) at Virginia Tech and conjunction with the Virginia Forest Products Association (VFPA) and Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) is offering an educational session on May 15, 2014 as part of the 2014 Richmond Expo organized by VFPA. The educational session is divided in two tracks. The morning track will focus on drying operations and the afternoon track will focus on financial management principles for forest products industries. For more details please visit the web page



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