Chang­ing per­cep­tions of en­gi­neered wood in con­struc­tion

Australasian Timber - - MIDRISE CONFERENCE -

MORE AR­CHI­TECTS, de­sign­ers and project man­agers are find­ing that en­gi­neered wood is now rapidly be­com­ing the lead­ing choice for so­lu­tions to meet de­mands of both build­ing codes and build­ing own­ers.

A bonus for this bur­geon­ing new de­vel­op­ment is that en­gi­neered wood prod­ucts are in­creas­ing the prod­uct of choice of dis­cern­ing ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers. These changes bring ad­van­tages in­clud­ing bet­ter earth­quake en­gi­neer­ing de­sign, faster and cheaper project man­age­ment and ma­te­rial cost ben­e­fits.

Be­yond the con­struc­tion ben­e­fits that wood brings, peo­ple oc­cu­py­ing these new age of­fice build­ings are re­port­ing high lev­els of sat­is­fac­tion with the work­ing en­vi­ron­ments that of­fices de­signed in wood bring their oc­cu­pants.

To recog­nise this and spread the mes­sage, a na­tional con­fer­ence is planned for builders, de­vel­op­ers, build­ing own­ers and their ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers, de­sign­ers and specifers for Septem­ber 28 in Ro­torua. The “Chang­ing Per­cep­tions of En­gi­neered Tim­ber in Con­struc­tion” con­fer­ence fea­tures an in­ter­na­tional line-up of speak­ers. The 2017 con­fer­ence theme is “Ad­van­tages of Tim­ber in Mid Rise Con­struc­tion”.

“We’ve brought to­gether a wide group of peo­ple from build­ing de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing spe­cial­ists to the project man­agers who lead com­mer­cial con­struc­tion work.

The one thing they have in com­mon is their new-found en­thu­si­asm for the at­tributes of en­gi­neered wood as a rev­o­lu­tion­ary new build­ing ma­te­rial,” says con­fer­ence di­rec­tor John Stulen.

“Ev­ery sin­gle speaker has gained their early work ex­pe­ri­ence with tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als, so they are wellplaced to recog­nise that wood meets or ex­ceeds both struc­tural and aes­thetic de­sign re­quire­ments.

“Many com­pa­nies, like Lendlease, one of Aus­tralia’s largest de­vel­op­ers, are dis­cov­er­ing hugely pos­i­tive re­ac­tions from em­ploy­ees of their new of­fice ten­ants to these new wood-rich of­fice en­vi­ron­ments. Their world­class of­fice build­ing, In­ter­na­tional House at Baran­goo, has set new stan­dards for com­mer­cial and en­vi­ron­ment bench­marks,” he said.

“One of the lead­ing com­mu­nity and home builders, Strong­build has just won an award for their Macarthur Gar­dens res­i­den­tial apart­ments as well – so there is wide ac­cep­tance of these new en­gi­neered wood build­ings and tech­niques.”

The list of in­ter­na­tional speak­ers in­cludes:

• Karla Fraser, Se­nior Project Man­ager, UR­BAN ONE Builders, Vancouver, Canada

• Andrew Dunn, CEO, Tim­ber De­vel­op­ment As­soc, Syd­ney, Aus­tralia

• Adam Strong, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Strong­build, Aus­tralia

• Jeremy Tomp­son, Project Man­ager, lendlease, Syd­ney, Aus­tralia

• Julian Ad­ding­ton, Di­rec­tor, Engco, Christchurch

• Linda Lodetti, Man­ag­ing Quan­tity Sur­veyor, Josephs & As­so­ciates, Christchurch

• Bernie O’Fa­gan, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, RM De­sign, Christchurch

• Daniel Scheib­mair, Tech­ni­cal Man­ager, Build­ing Of­fi­cials In­sti­tute NZ

Ro­torua was the ob­vi­ous choice as host city for an in­ter­na­tional com­mer­cial build­ing con­fer­ence with it’s ‘Wood-First’ pol­icy mak­ing it a lo­cal leader in en­cour­ag­ing sus­tain­able com­mer­cial build­ings. The con­fer­ence is set to be part of a wood technology week of events com­ing to the city in Septem­ber, in­clud­ing the FIEA WoodTECH 2017 two-day con­fer­ence and trade expo.

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