For more than three decades, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been the global face of the U.S. timber industry, championing the performance, sustainability and aesthetic potential of American hardwoods worldwide. As the leading international hardwood trade association for North America, AHEC operates a non-profit programme representing thousands of businesses engaged in the production and export of timber – ranging from small family-run sawmills to major flooring manufacturers. Established to unite this wide-ranging spectrum of companies with a single global voice, AHEC has successfully built an internationally recognised brand, marketing more than 20 commercially available hardwood species and increasing demand around the world.

AHEC’s success is rooted in its recognition of the role played by design in shaping and sustaining the hardwood market. By working closely and creatively with designers and architects in more than 35 countries worldwide, sharing detailed practical knowledge of the properties of individual species, AHEC has furthered the appreciation and understanding of American hardwood among the international creative community. AHEC’s varied programme of imaginative, ambitious collaborations, high-profile architectural and design projects and involvement with major events and exhibitions has helped inspire new applications and approaches for hardwoods as sustainable design and construction materials.

AHEC’s activities are grounded in the sustainable nature and environmental credentials of hardwoods. This is embodied in the organisation’s pioneering work on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which measures the complete, multi-faceted environmental impact of a given hardwood, including: primary energy demand (from renewable and non-renewable resources); global warming potential; acidification potential; eutrophication potential; and photochemical ozone-creation potential.

Thanks to AHEC’s support and resources, designers, architects, developers and specifiers have the information and incentive they need to select and source the perfect woods for their project, while hardwood producers and exporters secure new opportunities to bring their lumber to valuable markets around the world.

This website provides this information in the form of AHEC’s special projects, films, sustainability profiles, species guide, grading standards, case studies and examples of the many hardwood species available. It is also an important source of comment and market news. If you want to keep up to date with our latest projects, you can sign up to our newsletter below. We deliver technical workshops for architecture and design studios, as well as for the timber industry, if you are interested in organising one for your company, get in touch

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