21 Mar 2014

Call for wooden high rise buildings

8:30 am on 21 March 2014

The Forest Owners Association says the million dollar prize that the Greens, if in government, would put up for the first 10-storey structural wooden building in New Zealand, recognises there are many reasons why wood should be more exploited in high rise buildings.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman told the Forest-Wood Conference in Wellington earlier this week the prize was designed to help accelerate the structural timber and engineered timber industry in New Zealand.

Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes agrees with the Wood Council that current building standards would have to be reviewed and revised so they incorporated the technology needed to engineer wood.

"The standards at the moment are almost an obstacle to progress rather than being what they should be - a way of facilitating it.

"We need that standards work sorting out but then on top of that let's get some recognition and promotion of what is some pretty clever engineering and stuff that's home-grown, we do have this expertise in New Zealand and we need to take advantage of that."

Mr Rhodes says the new engineered timber is attractive and makes buildings great places to work and live as well as being structurally sound.