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APA - The Engineered Wood Association, The Leading Resource for Information About Engineered Wood Products™

Course Catalog

Wood University courses are constructed to give you the knowledge you need to better specify, utilize and sell engineered wood products. While all units contain interesting and useful information, some units may be of varying interest to you, depending on whether you're a designer, builder, retailer or student.

  • Each course description indicates the primary audience for which it is designed.
  • Each course can be taken individually or as a group, at your own pace. The estimated time needed to complete each course is listed in the course description.
  • Each unit contains a series of lessons and concludes with a series of questions and answers that test your level of understanding.
  • Wood University courses are accredited by the American Institute of Architects (AIA/CES) and the American Institute of Building Designers continuing education systems.

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Course Registration:

Wood University courses are free of charge! However, to ensure that Wood University properly records your continuing education units, and to help us effectively track and monitor visits to this online learning web site, you must register prior to beginning a course.

Once you have registered for a course and received a password, you may return to the Wood University Learning Center as often as you like to review or complete the units within a course at your own pace. To get the most out of each unit, we encourage you to use the glossary and additional resources links.


Course 101: Engineered Wood Basics

UNIT 1 - Understanding Engineered Wood Products
  • Introduces the engineered wood product family: categories, characteristics and quality standards.
  • Suggested students: all.
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: one hour.
UNIT 2 - Selling Engineered Wood
  • Explains engineered wood product features, as they relate to system applications.
  • Suggested students: Sales professionals in retail or wood products distribution. This course is particularly well suited to new sales employees.
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: one hour and fifteen minutes.
UNIT 3 - Structural Wood Panel Grades and Applications
  • Explains the information shown in the APA trademark and how it relates to floor, wall, and roof construction. Also explains APA Performance Rated Panels, span ratings, exposure durability, grades and specialty panel definitions.
  • Suggested students: all.
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: one hour.
UNIT 4 - Glulam Basics
  • Primer on glued laminated timber, one of the oldest engineered wood products. Explains specification and application of APA EWS Trademarked Glulam.
  • Suggested students: all.
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: 45 minutes.
UNIT 5 - APA Performance Rated I-Joist Basics
  • Primer on the composition, specification and application of APA Performance Rated I-Joists.
  • Suggested students: all.
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: 45 minutes.

Course 201: Design of Wood Connections

In this course, the National Design Specification (NDS) for Wood Construction provisions are followed, but designers should verify local code acceptance. The course material is based on the connection design work and experience of Robert Taylor, director of technology transfer, American Forest & Paper Association; Kirk Grundahl, executive director, Wood Truss Council of America; and Tom Williamson, vice president, quality assurance and technical services division, APA. Please note that units do not need to be taken in numerical order. Level of difficulty may vary depending on students' experience levels.

UNIT 1 - Connection Design Theory
  • Gives an overview of how wood connections are designed, primarily following the National Design Specification for Wood Construction® (NDS) guidelines, with additional information on fastening engineered wood products drawn from APA - The Engineered Wood Association's recommendations and other sources as referenced.
  • Suggested students: design professionals
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: one hour
UNIT 2 - Fastener Types
  • Describes the common fastener types used in wood connections, and the design details unique to each, including power-driven nails, issues with large-diameter bolts, specifying nails, understanding when and what fasteners are interchangeable, and corrosion-resistant fasteners.
  • Suggested students: all
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: one hour
UNIT 3 - Connection Techniques
  • Provides techniques for efficient, durable, and structurally safe connections. This unit presents various common structural details that meet the basic principles of wood connections. In addition, this module provides common detailing errors, provides potential results of these errors, and provides recommendations for improved details.
  • Suggested students: all
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: one hour
UNIT 4 - Connection Design Examples
  • Demonstrates the process of connection design via 14 design examples for various connection types and configurations. Although Unit 1: Connection Design Theory is not required, a precursory knowledge of connection design is recommended.
  • Suggested students: design professionals
  • Estimated time needed to complete unit: one hour

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