New mid-rise tim­ber ad­vi­sors aim to get the mar­ket mov­ing

In­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on mak­ing the most of the cost, time and other ad­van­tages of tim­ber build­ing sys­tems

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

TO AC­CEL­ER­ATE the up­take of tim­ber fram­ing and mas­sive tim­ber build­ing sys­tems in mid-rise projects in ac­cor­dance with the re­cent changes to the Na­tional Con­struc­tion Code, the new WoodSo­lu­tions team of de­sign, en­gi­neer­ing, con­struc­tion and de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ists has started a pi­lot pro­gram in Mel­bourne, com­ple­mented by a smaller-scale ac­tiv­ity in Bris­bane.

Ear­lier this year, a series of work­shops, fa­cil­i­tated by For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia (FWPA) and at­tended by se­nior in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives, saw Jen­nifer Cover, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the United States’ WoodWorks pro­gram (www.woodworks.org) out­line the struc­ture and achieve­ments of the US wood field force ad­vi­sors. Based on their con­sid­er­able suc­cess, a sim­i­lar model was de­vel­oped for trial in the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

Ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion with in­dus­try and po­ten­tial spon­sors out­lined the scope and op­er­a­tions of the new Tech­ni­cal Field Force Pi­lot Project, with funds in ex­cess of $1.5 mil­lion over three years be­ing com­mit­ted from a large num­ber of in­dus­try spon­sors in­clud­ing key gold spon­sors who are AKD, Aus­tralian Sus­tain­able Hard­woods, Bowens, Hyne Tim­ber, Meyer Tim­ber, Park­side Tim­ber, Tillings, Tim­ber­link, Tim­ber Queens­land, XLAM and Wes­beam with match­ing con­tri­bu­tions from the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment via FWPA.

“This is an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment for our in­dus­try,” said Ric Sin­clair, FWPA’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. “First, we un­der­took the re­search, se­cured the code change to al­low mar­ket ac­cess and now we have a ded­i­cated pro­gram to en­cour­age up­take of the re­search by the build­ing com­mu­nity. Our high cal­i­bre pro­fes­sional team is fo­cussed on mar­ket ex­ten­sion, and we know from re­search that it is im­por­tant to get in­volved in the early stages of projects to en­sure adop­tion.”

With ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in prop­erty de­vel­op­ment, con­struc­tion, tim­ber en­gi­neer­ing and ar­chi­tec­ture, the WoodSo­lu­tions team of Pro­gram De­vel­op­ment Man­agers are ide­ally placed to li­aise with de­vel­op­ment, de­sign and con­struc­tion pro­fes­sion­als, pro­vid­ing generic in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on mak­ing the most of the cost, time and other ad­van­tages of tim­ber build­ing sys­tems.

Mel­bourne-based Gerry Ney­lan, a con­struc­tion, plan­ning and prop­erty spe­cial­ist and WoodSo­lu­tions team mem­ber, said this was a great op­por­tu­nity to en­gage with the mar­ket­place about con­struct­ing new projects more quickly, qui­etly and safely – while also ad­dress­ing is­sues such as so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity. Sen­ti­ments that were echoed by Bris­bane-based Ste­fan Ger­ber, a tim­ber en­gi­neer, who added that after only a few weeks he is al­ready find­ing many de­sign­ers and en­gi­neers are highly in­ter­ested in dis­cov­er­ing more about new op­por­tu­ni­ties with tim­ber.

“Typ­i­cally, the out­puts of re­search, even fol­low­ing a build­ing code change of this or­der, we would ex­pect changes in de­sign and build­ing prac­tices and ma­te­rial spec­i­fi­ca­tions to take many years to flow through the mar­ket,” ex­plained Mr Sin­clair. “This new pro­gram will sub­stan­tially re­duce the up­take time and gen­er­ate greater sales vol­umes for tim­ber prod­ucts. The chal­lenge for our in­dus­try is to en­sure that the whole sup­ply chain is knowl­edge­able, pre­pared and able to meet the in­creased de­mand.”

If you would like to know more about the pi­lot pro­gram and the ben­e­fits of be­com­ing a fi­nan­cial sup­porter, email Ric Sin­clair at ric.sin­clair@fwpa. com.au.

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