Jared Rothstein, CLMA Industry Affairs Coordinator
The Composite Lumber Manufacturers Association (CLMA) is the national trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of composite lumber to the residential and commercial building construction markets. CLMA’s members manufacture composite decking systems and components including deck boards, guard post attachments, gates, handrails, and fascia boards. Established in 2005 and headquartered in Washington, DC, CLMA serves as the leading voice of the composite lumber industry in contributing technical information to building code officials, regulatory agencies, consumers, and allied trade groups. CLMA has worked diligently to promote the benefits of composite lumber products and brings a unified voice on common issues and concerns important to its respective members.
CLMA offers two membership categories which include Regular Membership and Associate Membership. CLMA Regular membership includes any firm, partnership or corporation involved in the manufacture of composite lumber – products made from a combination of plastics and filler materials sold as a substitute for wood in building applications. CLMA Associate membership includes any firm engaged in the business of supplying materials, services, equipment, machinery, or testing to composite lumber manufacturers.
Activities and Initiatives
CLMA’s standing committees include the Codes and Standards Committee and the Communications Committee. In addition, CLMA is an active stakeholder in the Deck Codes Coalition, International Codes Council (ICC), California Wildfire Protection Building Construction Task Force, and ASTM. CLMA members directly participate on the Association’s committees and contribute their expertise toward industry initiatives and CLMA issues management.
CLMA’s involvement at ICC has proved beneficial to the industry and to its members. Code proposals CLMA submitted were approved for the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) to bring composite lumber decking and guard system requirements in alignment with revisions CLMA successfully incorporated into the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC). CLMA also submitted code changes to revise ICC’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) requirements for decking to be consistent with current California WUI requirements. CLMA has also helped other decking stakeholders formulate code change proposals on foundations, posts, beams, and guard attachments for the 2018 IRC.
CLMA recently launched a communications program that included the full redesign of the CLMA website with a streamlined user interface, updated content, and new sections for meetings, news, membership, technical resources, and more. Other programming has included the development of technical bulletins, press releases, and quarterly newsletters to ensure that the latest information on technical developments, regulatory changes, and installation best practices are available to CLMA members and the public alike.
CLMA convenes at least twice annually, providing valuable educational and networking programming for attendees in the wood plastic composite industry. CLMA’s membership meets in conjunction with the International Builders Show (IBS) each year, as well during the CLMA Annual Meeting, which typically features a tour of a composite lumber research and testing facility.
In 2016, the CLMA Annual Meeting was held in Madison, Wisconsin and included a tour of the Forest Products Laboratory to learn more about their wood performance research. The tour featured a walk-through of their 87,000-square-foot Centennial Research Facility, a dynamic multiple-use laboratory capable of formulating wood preservative products, testing full-scale building structure strength, developing advanced composite materials, and testing durability of wood products within a weather simulation chamber.