Taiwan Wood Mission Delegation Visits ICC-ES

Taiwan Wood Mission members
Taiwan Wood Mission members: Lin Min-lang, Xu Fang, Cleo Fu, Rao Yu-chen,   Gary Nichols, Michael O’Reardon, Christine Shi, Le Ming-Hsien. Not shown:  Dr. Tao Chi-Chun.te.
Bookmark and Share

Download PDF

On August 25, 2010, a Taiwan Wood Mission Delegation touring the southeastern United States to learn more about Southern pine wood products visited the ICC-ES Regional Office in Birmingham, Alabama.  While there, the delegates met with Michael O’Reardon, Regional Manager, and Gary Nichols, Vice-President for Birmingham Operations.  The Taiwanese government and industry representatives wanted to learn more about wood construction products, as there has been an increased use of wood construction in East Asia, and because the Taiwanese have become more interested in American construction techniques after a recent series of earthquakes in China.

The tour focused on Southern pine grading procedures, forest sustainability practices, and preservative treatment of wood products to prevent decay and termite damage.  The purpose of the visit to ICC-ES was to learn more about the product evaluation service, specifically evaluations of wood products treated with proprietary preservatives. 

Michael O’Reardon gave a PowerPoint presentation on “Approving Innovative Building Products,” with an emphasis on preservative-treated wood (PTW). The presentation covered the product evaluation process, and the International Building Code® (IBC) and International Residential Code® (IRC) requirements for preservative-treated wood uses and its labeling (end tags). Michael’s presentation included a discussion of how PTW is approved in the United States by building officials using either American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Standards or ICC-ES Evaluation Reports. 

While the Taiwanese delegates explained how codes and standards operate in Taiwan, Gary Nichols discussed how codes and standards are used by local jurisdictions in the United States to approve products. Rao Yu-Chen, of the Taiwanese group, expressed an interest in learning about the ICC-ES product evaluation process, as this would help her assess preservative-treated wood that was imported into Taiwan carrying evidence of evaluation by ICC-ES. Rao is Senior Technical Specialist with the Taiwan Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI), and is responsible for researching, establishing, reviewing, and implementing Taiwan National Standards (CNS) relevant to wood and the papermaking industry.  BSMI operates under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and is the authority responsible for standardization, metrology and product inspection in Taiwan.  

The visit of the Taiwan delegation was coordinated by the Taipei office of the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) and American Softwoods.  Their tour also included visits to SFPA-member lumber mills in Alabama, and to offices of SPIB and the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA).

The Taiwanese delegates were gathering information on green building products, preservative-treatment of wood, and the use of wood to meet earthquake standards in new construction.  The delegates expressed an interest in further dialogue with O’Reardon and Nichols, and were assured that ICC-ES would provide answers to any additional questions.

Besides Rao Yu-Chen, the Taiwanese delegation included Dr. Lee Ming-Hsien, Senior Engineer with the Taiwan Architecture and Building Center (a building inspection, evaluation and certification organization within  the Ministry of Interior); Dr. Tao Chi-Chun, a Researcher with the Ministry of Interior’s Architecture and Building Research Institute (ARBI); Dr. Lin Min-Lang, an Associate Researcher with the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE); and Christine Shi, a Product Manager with BuildTech International Co., Ltd.  The group was accompanied by Cleo Fu, Agricultural Marketing Specialist for the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Trade Office; and Xu Fang, who works for WG Consulting Limited, the organization representing SFPA and APA in China.  

As always, your articles ideas and submissions are welcome. Send them to along with a daytime phone number at which to contact you with questions.