The National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life, a new group designed to put Australia at the forefront of international best practice, was launched at the University of the Sunshine Coast, November 16. A strategic initiative of Forest and Wood Products Australia, the centre, based at the university, will ensure Australian design guides and standards remain world class in light of climate change, new engineered wood products and changes in building design.
EWPAA senior staff Dave Gover, CEO (second from left) and Andy McNaught, technical manager (right), are pictured at the launch with Dr Chris Lafferty, research and development manager, FWPA, Melbourne, and Jack Norton, national secretary, Timber Preservers Association of Australia.
The centre was launched by federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Anne Ruston. Partners in the centre include the University of Queensland and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. State and federal government will contribute funding along with the FWPA and universities.
FWPA managing director Ric Sinclair said the centre would create a world-leading predictive model to enable architects and building specifiers to more easily choose the right timber for the right task. “It will be an automated evidence-based tool to accurately predict the structural performance and design life of timber depending where and how it is being used,” he said. “It’s an exciting prospect and it’s one that will be a world’ first’,” he said, putting a five-year time frame on the project.