Train­ing in LWF con­struc­tion in Mysore by Cana­dian Wood

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In Del­hiWood 2017, Forestry In­no­va­tion Con­sult­ing In­dia Pvt. Ltd (FII In­dia) dis­played a North Amer­i­can-style home con­structed us­ing the light wood­frame (LWF) method. The ex­hibit was a walk­through in­stal­la­tion with un­fin­ished walls and ceil­ings, topped by an ex­posed roof struc­ture. The par­tial-fin­ish theme al­lowed vis­i­tors to closely in­spect and un­der­stand the unique con­struc­tion and weath­er­proof­ing on dis­play, the in­clu­sion of ser­vices and in­su­la­tion, the pre­fab­ri­cated style, as well as the in­ter­face of struc­tural ma­te­ri­als with in­te­rior fit-out and ex­te­rior claddings. This ex­hibit gar­nered not just aware­ness, but also in­ter­est, re­sult­ing in nu­mer­ous ques­tions about LWF de­sign, sev­eral from the south­ern part of In­dia. FII was aware that wooden houses were be­com­ing pop­u­lar in the south for re­sorts and farm­houses along the beach as well as in the hills, and in ar­eas where ac­cess to in­fra­struc­ture and ac­cess can be chal­leng­ing. These houses, how­ever, were ei­ther de-mount­able or por­ta­ble. The pre­dom­i­nant method was pre­fab­ri­cated tongue and groovein­ter­lock­ing boards, and hence it was en­cour­ag­ing to see the same man­u­fac­tur­ers who pre­fer those meth­ods ex­press cu­rios­ity in LWF con­struc­tion. The chal­lenge for FII then, was to pro­vide rel­e­vant train­ing and share the knowl­edge that is nec­es­sary for in­ter­ested par­ties to con­struct ef­fec­tively with­out com­pro­mis­ing on in­dus­try stan­dards, and im­part nec­es­sary skills to their work­force. Dan Drum­mond, a pro­fes­sional builder and in­struc­tor from Canada was roped in to teach FII’s in­au­gu­ral LWF train­ing course in In­dia. Drum­mond had pre­vi­ously per­formed the same role for Canada Wood in Shang­hai, China, and so had the ex­pe­ri­ence as well as the course struc­ture in place, in­clud­ing a de­tailed­but-edited ver­sion of the ‘Guide to Good Prac­tice’ (China edi­tion). The venue was ar­ranged in Mysore, and the class size was lim­ited to 25 in­clud­ing four FII staff. All ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing lum­ber, OSB pan­els, tools, and fas­ten­ers had been im­ported by FII from Canada. The course lasted for nine days, of­fer­ing par­tic­i­pants the­ory ses­sions in a class­room, fol­lowed by a prac­ti­cal ses­sion in a work­shop. The course was hands-on, with all par­tic­i­pants con­tribut­ing to the cut­ting, nail­ing, mea­sur­ing, and con­struc­tion of the foun­da­tion and the floor, wall and roof fram­ing, and bracing, us­ing a va­ri­ety of qual­ity tools. The course re­quired all par­tic­i­pants to learn through ac­tion, and re­sulted in a light tim­ber-frame house con­structed from start to fin­ish over the du­ra­tion of the course. The house con­sisted of pre­fab­ri­cated stud wall sec­tions over two lev­els with floor­ing and sheath­ing, three win­dows, an in­side par­ti­tion wall and door open­ing, roof trusses with eaves and fas­cia, and a fully sheathed roof. An en­try stair was added and the house was con­sid­ered com­plete to lockup stage. For tech­ni­cal or pro­cure­ment as­sis­tance, write to FII In­dia at [email protected]­di­an­wood.in or call on +91 22 49221600

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