An agreement to create an industry advisory service for building designers will promote and facilitate greater use of timber in New Zealand buildings, says Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service deputy director general Jason Wilson.
"This advisory service, called the Timber Design Centre, is a milestone for increasing the use of timber in the design and construction of building projects, particularly in non-residential structures such as offices, hotels and multi-storey apartments."
The Centre is an initiative between Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service and a consortium comprising Scion (Crown Research Institute), the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association, New Zealand Timber Design Society and BRANZ.
"Through this collaboration, the Centre will provide information on timber design guidance, research and development, and specialist technical advice to increase and speed up the use of timber in buildings. A great example of what is possible to be achieved through designing in wood is the world-leading Scion headquarters in Rotorua," Jason Wilson says.
He says the initiative builds on international experience and learnings and will drive the shift to using timber to its full technical potential in New Zealand, particularly in mid-to-high rise buildings.
"The Centre will also provide an independent forum for fostering connections across the forestry and construction sectors and can develop local expertise, knowledge, techniques, and skills on all aspects of using engineered timber in our buildings.
"By overcoming barriers to using timber in design and construction, New Zealand has the opportunity to replace steel and concrete with wood, lower carbon emissions, and support our country’s drive to greater environmental sustainability.
"The Centre is also a pathway to increase long-term demand for New Zealand wood products and support greater investment in domestic wood processing."
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is funding the Centre as part of the Government’s Fit for a Better World roadmap. The Centre is one of several key initiatives underway this year to help transform the forest and wood processing sector.
"By providing an innovative and inspiring source of the latest expert advice and information, the Timber Design Centre will inspire building owners and property developers to commission wooden buildings," says Jason Wilson.
"This is an exciting step to supporting design professionals to specify timber in building designs and enabling builders and contractors to build high quality wooden buildings which not only support our economic potential but will also deliver strong environmental outcomes for the future."
The Timber Design Centre is currently virtual, so head to the website to find out more and get involved.