Times have certainly changed for the North American lumber industry over the last couple of years. In late 2019 and early 2020, lumber prices were tanking, and sawmills were either stripping back operations or shutting down permanently. Over the past year, however, the cost of lumber has skyrocketed by more than 250 percent. Even more remarkable, lumber prices have risen nearly 350 percent since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. In fact, lumber prices hit an all-time high of approximately $1200 per thousand board feet in April of 2021.
What’s Good for the Lumber Industry Can Be Devastating for the Construction Industry
Although the dramatic upswing in the cost of lumber has certainly been an incredible boon for forestry harvesting and lumber processing companies, homebuilders and commercial contractors have definitely not fared as well. In fact, the construction industry is struggling to keep pace with the soaring cost of lumber. According to a financial analysis by the National Association of Homebuilders, rising lumber prices have increased the final cost of the average new single-family home by more than $24,000 and the final cost of the average multifamily residence by more than $9,000. This has placed an enormous burden on builders and buyers alike.
To combat the rising prices of lumber, improve their own bottom line, and pass the considerable value on to their clients, smart homebuilders and commercial contractors have been turning to high-quality, steel-skinned, structural wall panels for their building projects. In addition to reducing the need for costly lumber, these building panels come with a number of structural, aesthetic, safety, economic, and environmental benefits.
The Specific Advantages of Rockwall Fire-rated Wall Panels
For example, the wall panels offered by Structural Panels Inc under the brand name Rockwall are made to look great and provide exceptional energy efficiency for a lifetime. Extremely versatile, Rockwall fire-rated wall panels are ideal for virtually any industrial or commercial building project. In addition to its basic wall panels, Structural Panels Inc offers a full line of Rockwall products that are ideal for ceilings, partitions, soffits, and demising walls.
Rockwall fire-rated wall panels are made of a special Rockwool mineral fibre core called “Conrock.” Sandwiching Conrock material between two permanently bonded laminated sheets of steel, Structural Panels Inc can provide exceptional thermal performance and incredible fire protection for any physical structure.
In fact, a Rockwall fire-rated wall panel with a 4-inch Conrock core can withstand a full hour of exposure to fire. Rockwall fire-rated wall panels with core thicknesses of 5 inches and 6 inches provide 2 and 3 hours of fire resistance, respectively.
The Shifting Strategies of the Construction Industry
Based solely on their exceptional physical properties and multitudinous benefits, builders have been turning to fire-rated wall panels in increasing numbers for years. The skyrocketing cost of lumber is just one more reason to give wall panels a try. After all, as the construction industry scrambles to change its operational strategies in the face of the mounting lumber crisis, a switch to Rockwall fire-rated wall panels is certainly worth considering.