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Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

Hous­ing starts crash in first half of year

Prop­erty con­sul­tant firm Knight Frank has re­ported that hous­ing starts in In­dia’s eight largest cities fell over 40% in the first half of 2017, the big­gest drop in the last seven years. The weak mar­ket sen­ti­ment was, said the con­sul­tants, due to the lin­ger­ing ef­fects of de­mon­e­ti­za­tion and the prob­lems builders are hav­ing deal­ing with new reg­u­la­tions.

Mov­ing into mass tim­ber pro­duc­tion

Turnkey mod­u­lar con­struc­tion com­pany Katerra plans to open a mass tim­ber pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Spokane Val­ley,

WA. The 250,000-square-foot plant will pro­duce en­gi­neered wood prod­ucts in­clud­ing cross-lam­i­nated tim­ber (CLT) and glu­lam. The fa­cil­ity will gen­er­ate

150 jobs. The com­pany is work­ing with Wash­ing­ton State Univer­sity’s Com­pos­ite Ma­te­ri­als and En­gi­neer­ing Cen­tre to de­velop and test the prod­ucts.

Rise in Ja­pan’s log and sawn­wood ex­ports

In the first six months of this year Ja­pan ex­ported al­most 480,000 cu­bic me­tres of logs, up over 50% year on year. Sawn­wood ex­ports jumped al­most 60% to around 63,000 cu­bic me­tres in the same pe­riod. China was the largest buyer of Ja­panese logs and the Philip­pines be­came one of the ma­jor buy­ers of sawn­wood. Im­porters in Tai­wan P.o.C have ex­pressed in­ter­est in Ja­panese ply­wood, LVL and CLT. Ja­panese sawn­wood is ex­ported to the US where it is used as a sub­sti­tute for west­ern red cedar for fenc­ing.

Fib­ria’s new pulp mill start-up

In­ter­na­tional tech­nol­ogy Group An­dritz has com­pleted start-up of key pro­duc­tion tech­nolo­gies and equip­ment for Fib­ria’s new pulp mill in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Fib­ria’s new pulp mill has a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 1.95 mil­lion tons of eu­ca­lyp­tus pulp per year. Com­bined with the ex­ist­ing mill at Três Lagoas the to­tal pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity reaches 3.25 mil­lion tons per year, thus mak­ing Três Lagoas one of the largest pulp pro­duc­tion sites in the world.

Ja­panese wood prod­ucts ex­ports ris­ing

Ja­pan’s wood prod­ucts ex­port this year is in­creas­ing. Dur­ing Jan­uary and June this year, log ex­port vol­ume was 479,141 cbms, 51.2% more than the same pe­riod of last year and lum­ber ex­port was 62,557 cbms, 58.6% more. China is the largest buyer of Ja­panese logs and Philip­pines be­comes one of ma­jor lum­ber buy­ers. Next tar­get is to in­crease ex­port of value added prod­ucts like ply­wood and lum­ber from logs but for this, de­vel­op­ment of new mar­kets is nec­es­sary.

Qua­dru­pling CLT pro­duc­tion

SmartLam, the first com­mer­cial man­u­fac­tur­ers of cross-lam­i­nated tim­ber (CLT) in the U.S., is ex­pand­ing its op­er­a­tions and head­quar­ters into a for­mer Wey­er­haeuser lum­ber mill prop­erty - qua­dru­pling its pro­duc­tion. Go­ing from 20,000 cu­bic me­tres of

CLT an­nu­ally to over 80,000 in the new fa­cil­ity, the com­pany will also in­stall a state-of-the-art equip­ment line and add 75 new em­ploy­ees. The ex­panded site will also help SmartLam de­velop new types of en­gi­neered wood. “As more ar­chi­tects and builders learn about the per­for­mance and ef­fi­ciency of CLT, de­mand for our prod­ucts has ac­cel­er­ated rapidly,” said Casey Malmquist, pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of SmartLam.

Com­pletely new “pack­age”

Thimm Ver­pack­ung has cel­e­brated the of­fi­cial open­ing of its new Holledau plant in Bavaria. State-of-the-art pro­duc­tion tech­nolo­gies, ef­fi­cient and high­lyau­to­mated pro­cesses cou­pled with a flex­i­ble, cus­tomer-ori­ented or­gan­i­sa­tion with a com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice el­e­ment are just some of the high­lights of one of the most ad­vanced plants in Eu­rope. Tes­ta­ment to this at the new Woln­zach site are the in­stal­la­tion of lat­est gen­er­a­tion ro­ta­tion and flat-bed cut­ting tech­nolo­gies in ad­di­tion to the high-tech cor­ru­ga­tor.

Per­fect piv­otal ply­wood planter

Dan­ish ar­chi­tects Sine Lind­holm and Mads-Ul­rik Husum have re­worked their Ikea-born Grow­room pavil­ion to cre­ate an even sim­pler and more ver­sa­tile sys­tem for con­struct­ing ur­ban planter struc­tures. GrowMore is a mod­u­lar, open-source sys­tem made en­tirely out of CNC-milled ply­wood. The com­bi­na­tion of just six ba­sic ply­wood shapes and planter boxes can be used to con­struct any num­ber of unique struc­tures tai­lored to their set­ting—from cir­cu­lar “nests” to zigzag­ging screens. The trick is a cir­cu­lar “piv­otal joint” that uses M8 bolts to se­cure el­e­ments at dif­fer­ent ori­en­ta­tions.

Old ma­te­rial to solve new prob­lem

Ar­chi­tects are turn­ing to one of the old­est con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als to solve a new prob­lem: how to build homes with­out dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. A Lon­don firm says sus­tain­able tim­ber could help the city ad­dress its hous­ing short­age while re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions.

An­drew Waugh, a found­ing part­ner at Waugh Thistle­ton, told CNNMoney.

“We need to change the way we live for cli­mate change.” Build­ings are re­spon­si­ble for ap­prox­i­mately 45% of car­bon emis­sions in the U.K. but very lit­tle at­ten­tion is paid to the role of con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als, Waugh said.

Since it was first launched five years ago by For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia (FWPA), the WoodSo­lu­tions web­site has steadily grown in scope and traf­fic, at­tract­ing some 3,000 vis­i­tors each work­ing day, be­com­ing the world’s lead­ing on­line re­source of its kind.

Now, the launch of a new web­site, with im­proved nav­i­ga­tion and func­tion­al­ity through­out, is part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s on­go­ing com­mit­ment to lead the charge in terms of ed­u­ca­tion for the de­sign and build in­dus­try re­lat­ing to wood and wood prod­ucts and to en­hance the qual­ity and avail­abil­ity of in­for­ma­tion.

“The re­view process was an in­valu­able ex­er­cise,” said Eileen New­bury, na­tional WoodSo­lu­tions pro­gram man­ager and na­tional mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for For­est and Wood prod­ucts Aus­tralia (FWPA), “talk­ing to de­sign, de­vel­op­ment and con­struc­tion pro­fes­sion­als who spec­ify build­ing ma­te­ri­als about how they used the old site pro­vided in­sights that we’ve in­cor­po­rated into the new web­site de­sign. The new site will al­low our vis­i­tors to have a very in­for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ence”.

The new WoodSo­lu­tions site con­tent and fea­tures in­clude;

• new case stud­ies

• a user book­mark func­tion

• the abil­ity for users to sub­mit case stud­ies

• im­proved site search

• op­ti­mi­sa­tion for all de­vices and screen sizes.

Pop­u­lar con­tent from the old site, such as free down­loads of over 40 tech­ni­cal de­sign guides and other pub­li­ca­tions and the ex­pert ad­vice ser­vice have been main­tained and im­proved where iden­ti­fied.

“We are aim­ing to pro­vide a on­estop on­line re­source for spec­i­fiers in the de­sign and build in­dus­try from ar­chi­tects to de­vel­op­ers and through to the sup­ply chan­nels. De­sign­ers can come to the site, iden­tify the ma­te­ri­als they need in a case study and source them through the Sup­plier sec­tion,” said Ms New­bury. “We also of­fer vis­i­tors the abil­ity to up­load their own case stud­ies, sub­ject to mod­er­a­tion, en­abling them to show­case their own projects and ser­vices.

“In­ter­est­ingly, we see in­creased op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sion­als to reg­is­ter in the Sup­plier sec­tion,” Ms New­bury ex­plained. “It is an ideal av­enue for pro­fes­sion­als such as ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers, de­sign­ers and builders who spe­cialise in tim­ber to iden­tify and con­tact each other – it’s po­ten­tially an on­line net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity!” Sup­plier list­ings are free, with the op­tion to pro­vide a short com­pany de­scrip­tion, a logo and ex­ter­nal link to the sup­plier’s web­site.”

“The WoodSo­lu­tions web­site has steadily grown in scope and traf­fic, at­tract­ing some 3,000 vis­i­tors each work­ing day, be­com­ing the world’s lead­ing on­line re­source of its kind.”

■ Eileen New­bury, na­tional WoodSo­lu­tions pro­gram man­ager and na­tional mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for For­est and Wood prod­ucts Aus­tralia (FWPA) ... ring­ing in the changes!

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