Image

Standardising advice for NZ timber construction

28 May 2020

The Wood Processors and Manufacturers’ Association (WPMA) has long recognised the need for standardised, good quality information in New Zealand to help the wider construction sector confidently design with and approve timber structures using the many new engineered timber solutions available today.

Engineered wood turns softer timbers into beams, columns, trusses, portal frames and more that can deliver superior strength, resilience and fire resistance to other materials in the market. The 2011 Canterbury earthquake series and the 2016 Kaikoura events showed that such modern timber construction techniques will allow the built environment to withstand major events including earthquakes and fires comparatively unscathed.

Such events have also helped raise awareness within the design community of just how creative it’s possible to be with such a “traditional” construction material; something supported by the regular NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards.

“New Zealand is a leader in timber construction,” explains Andy Van Houtte, CPeng, Manager for the series of 16 Timber Design Guides. The first of the series was published in 2018, and the final ones will be released later this year.

“New Zealand has a lot of intellectual property around designing in timber,” he explains, “and the WPMA is keen to provide a one stop shop for developers, architects, engineers and the wider construction industry, with freely available peer reviewed information. That way, we believe we can provide a clear framework for everyone to understand the relative advantages of different aspects of timber construction, and how to maximise a project’s structural integrity and cost effectiveness while still complying with NZ Standards and the NZ Building Code. To be most useful, we need this to be a trans-industry project that provides a clear path to consenting and construction.”

Industry surveys and market research had confirmed which aspects of timber design that professionals were most interested in learning more about. Each Timber Design Guide was then written by a recognised expert in the field and peer reviewed through a highly qualified working group.

The nine topics covered to date include designing for fire safety, designing for prefabrication, the consenting process for timber buildings, how to cost them, standard connection details, how to work safely with prefabricated frames and trusses, explaining the varied properties of timber species, why timber benefits the environment, and timber’s social and health benefits in construction. Under way are explanations of flooring and cassette systems, acoustics, reinforcing timber beams, post and beam timber buildings, construction guidance, and seismic performance of timber buildings.

As they have been completed, the Guides are uploaded to a dedicated website which allows public access through a log-in function. Ultimately, Van Houtte is hoping for 20,000 registrations; about 90 percent of all New Zealand specifiers. The Guides can be supplied in a printed format but he’s finding that most are using the web function as required, and downloading information themselves.

In 2007 the third edition of a single, comprehensive technical manual was announced entitled The Timber Design Guide, published by the New Zealand Timber Industry Federation Inc. and authored by Andy Buchanan, previously Professor of Timber Engineering at the University of Canterbury. That and its updates (last published in 2015) covered the use of timber and wood products in large buildings through 29 chapters.

Andy Buchanan has authored two of the current NZ Wood Design Guides, and continues to be an inspiration to the development of timber buildings, says Van Houtte.

Source: Scoop (via Press Release)

Read More
Image

Earlybird rates end TODAY

Earlybird rates end this Friday for Environmental Forestry Conference On 25-26 June, ourFIEA Annual Environmental Forestry Conference is running. Registrations are going very well. We bring practical foresters together with local regulators and national policy-makers to debate and bring constructive ...
Read more
Image

Decarbonising transport & logistics

New Zealand environmental specialist, Toitū, recently held a panel to discuss how New Zealand’s transportation and logistics industry, the nation’s second-largest emissions source, can take effective climate action. They shed light on the critical pressures facing supply chains and how to respond ...
Read more
Image

FIEA wood residues conference: time for action

Low carbon economies, extreme weather events, and building resilient domestic supply chains are critical issues in 2024 and beyond. In New Zealand, this has created opportunities for the forestry sector, including significant investments in forest residues. Harvesting regulations are mandating more wood be collected from the forest ...
Read more
Image

Calling all NZ loader operators – be part of this study

Driven by mechanisation, traditional career pathways in forestry crews are evolving. As part of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme, ‘Te Mahi Ngahere i te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age’, the Scion Human Factors research group ...
Read more
Image

Kiwi bird surprises at Rosvall Sawmill

Workers at Rosvall Sawmill near Whangārei, New Zealand, had an unexpected visitor, a fully grown kiwi bird. The bird casually strolled into the mill early one Monday morning, and spent a few hours exploring the premises before it found a ...
Read more
Image

Every second counts

During hot and dry periods, there is a serious risk of wildfires. Moreover, a single spark can be enough to start one, in which case every second counts. Having fire extinguishing equipment close at hand can make all the difference ...
Read more
Image

Superhuman AI – smarter than every human by 2025

Billionaire tech boss Elon Musk has recently predicted that superhuman artificial intelligence (AI), surpassing human intellect, could become a reality as soon as next year. If this kind of prediction becomes true, are humans ready to embrace that machines can ...
Read more
Image

Swiss develop drone to explore forest canopy

Inspired by cockroaches, Swiss researchers have developed a new drone which can push away obstacles and move past them. In the future, it will be used to measure biodiversity in remote areas. Environmental monitoring in areas with dense vegetation is ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry H&S statistics updated – March 2024

Safetree NZ has released their H&S stats dashboard for March 2024. WorkSafe provides statistics on forestry fatalities and workplace incidents. These investigations help inform us of any key issues or trends as they come to light. Overall, there is a downward trend ...
Read more