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EWPAA provides scholarship for National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life graduate student program

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is offering a three year scholarship opportunity for graduate students undertaking their research with the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life.

The scholarship will provide graduate students interested in wood product durability research with $10,000 funding per year, to a total value of $30,000.

The Timber Durability Centre is on the hunt for graduate students, looking to study either an MSc or PhD, to join their research team and focus on timber durability and service life prediction.

EWPAA CEO, Dave Gover, said that the purpose of the research is to ensure that all timber types receive the benefit of service life prediction and durability research, given that different types of timber have different levels of durability and different applications will have varying service life expectancies.

“We are hopeful that the scholarship opportunity will attract driven graduate students to a research area with great academic opportunity and industry relevance.” Dave said.

“Given the increased use engineered wood products in mid-rise construction across Australia, and across the world, durability of these products is an important research focus area.” Dave said.

“There are well established and proven methods to ensure the durability of timber, and these need to continue to be developed to take advantage of improvements in wood modification technologies, physical chemistry, and biological modelling.” Dave said.

“The EWPAA is proud to continue our commitment to fostering research and development in engineered wood products through the provision of this scholarship.” Dave said.

The Timber Durability Centre, whose primary mission is to revitalise durability research in Australia, is looking for BSc graduates with backgrounds in biology, forestry, civil engineering and architecture.

The Timber Durability Centre is a joint venture between the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), the Unverisity of Queensland and the Queensland
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

USC is offering qualified full-time graduate research students an annual stipend and free tuition. EWPAA scholarship recipients will receive the scholarship funding in addition to these benefits.

Opportunities are also available for science, engineering, architecture and forestry professionals seeking further advancement to undertake part time study.

For further information about the EWPAA scholarship, the new graduate program or the Timber Durability Centre, visit their website (http://www.usc.edu.au/timber-durability) or email Professor Jeff Morrell (jmorrell@usc.edu.au).

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

ENDS

Media Contact:-
Clair Borg
Communications Officer
Ph: +61 7 3250 3700
Email: clair.borg@ewp.asn.au

EWPAA supports Senate inquiry report into non-conforming building products

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) supports the recommendations and final report by the Senate inquiry into non-conforming building products (NCBPs), released last week.

The recommendations centre around increased compliance in all levels of the construction industry, from builders through to architects and engineers, with a view to the recommendations being adopted at a State level across Australia.

The Senate’s recommendations include that the State governments urgently look to increase responsibility at all levels of the construction supply chain, similar to recent legislation enacted in Queensland.  

NCBPs represent a safety risk to occupants, to neighbours, a financial risk for owners, to insurers and financiers.

EWPAA CEO, Dave Gover, says that building products manufacturers have been campaigning for government awareness of NCBP issues in Australia for several years and it is time for more effective regulation, and for meaningful enforcement.

The Senate inquiry also highlighted the importance of third-party certification schemes. 

“EWPAA and other industry associations have been running third party certification programs which blend technical expertise with rigorous certification, to ensure products are fit for purpose” said Dave.

“It is our hope that the Senate inquiry’s recommendations will influence positive change to our built environment and ensure that conforming building products are, and continue to be, readily identifiable to Australian builders and specifiers,” said Dave. 

The use of wood products is well established in formwork, industrial access and residential applications, and are a growing opportunity in mid-rise construction.

Conforming products certified by the EWPAA have been available in Australasian markets for over 50 years.

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

ENDS

Media Contact:-
Clair Borg
Communications Officer
Ph: +61 7 3250 3700
Email: clair.borg@ewp.asn.au

Wood development opportunities discussed at successful EWPAA Research & Development Forum in Brisbane

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) hosted it’s inaugural Research & Development Forum Wednesday 17 October 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.

The forum focused on product development opportunities for engineered wood products and featured a range of researchers and industry presenters discussing topics such as connector research, timber & construction adhesives development, building industry research needs, research funding models and durability research.

The forum was designed to showcase current research activity to manufacturers, as well as to highlight industry needs amongst researchers, which stimulated discussion amongst the attendees on future opportunities for engineered wood products.

EWPAA CEO, Dave Gover, said that he was encouraged by the level of engagement from attendees at the forum, and the potential impact this would have on the engineered wood products of the future.  

“We have had extremely positive feedback from our attendees and it was fantastic to see the industry so engaged with what is happening at the research and product development level,” Dave said.

“After the success of our inaugural forum, we intend to offer this event to industry every year,” Dave said.

The forum was attended by over 40 people from the Australian and New Zealand timber industries, many of whom were EWPAA members.

Presenters included Professor Keith Crews (Emeritus Professor of Structural Engineering at UTS), Bill Leggate (Product Development Manager at Koppers Performance Chemicals), Dr Rob McGavin (Facility Manager at the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries’ Salisbury Research Facility), Andrew Dunn (CEO of the Timber Development Association NSW), Dr Craig Cowled (Lecturer of Civil Engineering at QUT), Dr Robbie Currie (Development Chemist at Hexion New Zealand), Professor Jeff Morrell (Director of the National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life at USC) and Dr Chris Lafferty (Research & Development Manager at FWPA).

Anyone who would like further information about EWPAA events is encouraged to visit the EWPAA website (www.ewp.asn.au), or contact the EWPAA via phone (+61 7 3250 3700) or email (inbox@ewp.asn.au).

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

ENDS

Media Contact:-
Clair Borg
Communications Officer
Ph: +61 7 3250 3700
Email: clair.borg@ewp.asn.au

EWPAA calls for action on non-conforming building product legislation in light of Grenfell fire tragedy

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) was deeply saddened to hear of the Grenfell Tower fire in London recently and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this heartbreaking tragedy.

The cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has not yet been formally reported, but commentary strongly suggests that the type of cladding material used in recent renovations and its installation method may have contributed to the spread of the fire.

The EWPAA joins the Building Products Innovation Council (BPIC) in urging governments across Australia to implement and enforce stronger regulations to combat non-conforming building products (NCBP).

BPIC released a statement last week urging Australian governments to prioritise non-conforming building product legislation and follow the lead of the Queensland government in its recent introduction of a bill intended to control the spread of such products.

Dave Gover, CEO of the EWPAA and a member of the BPIC board, said that the issue of non-conforming building products is real and significant to the built environment.

“Non conforming building products represent a safety risk to occupants, to neighbours, a financial risk for owners, to insurers and financiers,” Dave said.

“Since the Grenfell fire tragedy, it has been reported that Australian politicians will push for investigations into cladding materials, but the NCBP issue is a much broader problem than just a particular brand of cladding or type of material,” Dave said.

“Building products manufacturers have been campaigning for government awareness of NCBP issues in Australia for several years and it is time for more effective regulation, and for meaningful enforcement,” Dave said.

The EWPAA is encouraged that the Queensland government is taking steps to combat the NCBP issue through the introduction of a new bill.

“Debate on this Bill needs to be a bi-partisan effort to pass a robust and meaningful Act which will inspire other State Governments to follow Queensland’s lead,” Dave said.

“In the absence of stronger legislation on the issue, we will continue to see non-conforming building products entering the country, with the potential to cause tragedies similar to the Grenfell fire here in Australia,” Dave said.

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

Media Contact:

Clair Hammond
Communications Officer
Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Ltd (EWPAA)
Ph: +61 7 3250 3700
Email: clair.hammond@ewp.asn.au 

EWPAA says substandard imports and non-conforming products risk Australian lives

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) has made a detailed submission to the Senate Inquiry on Non-Conforming Building Products, highlighting the inherent safety concerns and risks involved with the use and importation of these products.

The high costs involved with producing compliant products has resulted in a shortening of the supply chain, with an increasing number of developers and building companies importing products directly from overseas manufacturers.

Direct importation has provided greater opportunity for non-compliant products, such as asbestos riddled Chinese fibre cement products, to enter the domestic market and put the safety of Australian citizens at risk.

The EWPAA submission draws on evidence from over 25,000 tests performed on both certified and non-certified engineered wood products sourced from across Australasia, over a two year period up to August 2015.

These tests demonstrated that 28 percent of imported non-certified panels products were found to be non-compliant with Australian standards, in comparison with the low 1.5 percent failure rate of certified products from Australia and New Zealand.

EWPAA CEO, Dave Gover, expressed his concern over the testing results and the current lack of regulations relating to the importation and use of non-conforming building products.

“Australia has stronger legislation in place to protect trees in foreign countries being illegally logged than legislation to protect the health and safety of its citizens from wilful or reckless importation of dangerous or mislabelled building products,” said Dave.

“The EWPAA strongly recommends that legislation be enacted to protect the health and safety of Australian citizens in such a way that responsibility for compliance rests with all parties in the supply chain,” said Dave.

The EWPAA submission noted the success of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 in deterring the importation of timber products derived from illegally logged forests, and suggested its use as a template for future legislation relating to non-conforming building products.

The Inquiry has been commissioned by the Senate Economics Reference Committee to consider the effects of non-conforming building products on the Australian construction and building industries, as well as the effects of the illegal importation of products containing asbestos.

EWPAA officials will be attending a public hearing of the Inquiry, to be held Monday 30 January in Brisbane, Queensland.

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

Media Contact:

Clair Hammond
Communications Officer
Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Ltd (EWPAA)
Ph: +61 7 3250 3700
Email: clair.hammond@ewp.asn.au