China approves Radiata for buildings
RADIATA PINE IS EXPECTED TO BE MORE widely used in China following a revision to that country’s building design regulations that comes into force in August.
Currently a significant amount of the exported logs from New Zealand ends up as low-grade concrete forming timber, but this move could see it increasingly used in higher value products.
Officials in China recently announced that Radiata Pine structural timber is to be included in Chinese Code of Design for Timber Structures GB50005 from August 1 of this year.
The announcement sees the inclusion of design properties for a number of grades and sizes of NZ Radiata Pine, including SG6, SG8, SG10, SG12 and SG15 grades and 45x75, 45x90, 45x140, 45x190, 45x240 and 45x290 sizes.
To be able to use the design properties stated, the timber must be graded and verified according to NZ rules, such as NZS 3622, with third party auditing. This means that for the first time, engineers in China will be able to design buildings using the NZ grades and sizes.
The move is the result of efforts by the NZ Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association working with SCION to ensure NZ Radiata Pine grades were included in the revision, along with extensive assistance from Ministry for Primary Industries and Indufor Group.
Work is now under way to develop the handbook for GB 50005, coordinated by WPMA and SCION; meetings to be attended by Dr Minghao Li from University of Canterbury and Bill Lu of Indufor Group, with assistance again being provided by MPI and also by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.