28 Sep 2017

Push for timber in more mid-rise construction

5:50 pm on 28 September 2017

Architects, engineers, developers and builders have gathered in Rotorua today to learn how timber can be used in more mid-rise construction.

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Photo: 123RF

The conference, Changing Perceptions, is the second annual conference on the advantages of mass timber construction, and more than 150 people have attended.

The aim is to raise awareness around using different wood products.

The industry is becoming more aware, Mr Stulen said.

"Housing New Zealand seems to be catching on to it now and there are small groups of locals where the local architect is working with an engineer who knows wood, and the quantity surveyor is getting used to the material, so it is breaking through in small groups and eventually it will really catch on."

With the demand for housing, especially in Auckland, New Zealand should look to Australia and the West Coast of North America for the success they have had with using timber, he said.

New design guides that will assist the industry to meet codes with wood will make things easier, he said.

Designers, engineers and architects say they want to see wood products in action, before convincing clients to choose it.

There are six wooden buildings in Sydney that have been used to demonstrate the success, and Australians have been good at getting the industry on board, he said.

"If we can get some people over to look at those and find out that there's no black magic, they'll be a lot more comfortable moving their clients towards those things."