By using roundwood that is often not be suitable for lumber production, wood-based panels make efficient use of the forest resource by providing engineered wood products with defined strength and stiffness properties.

Wood-based structural panels such as plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) are widely used in residential and commercial construction. Wood-based panels are often overlaid on joists or light frame trusses and used as structural sheathing for floor, roofs and wall assemblies. These products provide rigidity to the supporting main structural members in addition to their function as a component of the building envelope. In addition, they are often an integral component of the lateral force resisting system of a wood building.

In order to qualify for a particular end use, such as structural sheathing, flooring or exterior siding, wood-based panels must meet performance criteria related to three aspects: structural performance, physical properties and bond performance. For more information on performance rating and potential end uses of wood-based panel products, refer to APA – The Engineered Wood Association.