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!