20 October 2017
The forest and wood processing industry says it is looking forward to greater use of timber in New Zealand with the coalition government now in place.
But WoodCo Chair, Brian Stanley, says the new government needs to introduce a wood-first policy for government buildings as well.
“We’ve got a new drive from the top for more plantings, a greater thrust for forestry in regional development and a commitment to use trees for carbon sequestration. The missing link though is the government specifying wooden construction as the first choice for its new buildings.”
“Developments in wood engineering, such as cross laminated timber, are enabling medium and high rise buildings to be built with timber as their primary component. This is happening around the world. We are being left behind, with only some recent examples, such as Sir Bob Jones’ 12 storey office tower in Wellington, or the Nelson Airport terminal.”
“Wood construction has many benefits, such as sourcing locally, use of a renewable resource and quicker construction. But New Zealand architects and specifiers are not familiar with how to use modern wood. We need the government to take a lead.”
“The Rotorua Lakes Council is so far the only local government body to adopt a wood-first policy. Others who want to use a modern and efficient resource already at their doorstep could learn from Rotorua.”
Brian Stanley says the forest and wood industry is not looking for preferential treatment, because he says if wood is objectively considered as a building material it can clearly and frequently outperform other traditional building construction, particularly in earthquakes where the in-built flexibility of wood makes this natural material a class performer.
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