Around 10 years ago, Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), the not-for-profit company servicing the forest and wood products industry, asked a simple question: what is the main barrier preventing people in the design and construction sectors from using more wood?
The answer was an industry-wide lack of knowledge on timbers, especially in the selection and usage of different timbers to suit specific applications. Sure, there were many using wood in a conventional sense, in structural frameworks or as a featured material. But according to FWPA’s research, a number of A&D and built environment professionals remained hesitant to explore new applications for timber.
Enter WoodSolutions. This initiative, including a comprehensive new website resource, published communications, partnerships and sponsorships with relevant associations and events, as well as a dedicated advisory program educating the use of timber building systems in mid-rise projects. Supported by a national technical team, FWPA delivers presentations to designers and architects around the country.
The timing of the WoodSolutions program launch coincided with the increasing popularity of timber as a tactile, warm material, and a growing awareness of the need to address climate change.
Evidence of the positive effects of timber in living and working environments is certainly front of mind for interior designers. A recent Australian report found that a wood-rich working environment increased feelings of wellbeing, and drastically reduced the number of sick days taken by workers. Similar effects in education and healthcare environments have been reported in overseas studies, leading to an increasing interest in the concept of biophilic, or nature-inspired design.
Similarly, awareness of the environmental benefits of wood, often referred to as the ultimate renewable, is leading to the increasing use of timber systems in the built environment, headlined by award-winning multi-storey mass timber projects, such as International House by Tzannes Architects in Sydney’s Barangaroo South.
For WoodSolutions, DENFAIR 2019 presented an ideal opportunity to engage with visiting designers, architects and manufacturers, discussing the myriad opportunities and information available through the website.
“We’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed an ongoing relationship with DENFAIR,” said Eileen Newbury, National Program Manager at WoodSolutions. “We’d love to hear any suggestions about how we can improve the services and resources we offer to building designers.”
The world’s leading website for information about wood and timber products, WoodSolutions provides a platform for studios to showcase their timber-clad work. Timber suppliers are invited to list their business, while designers might ask for expert advice and connect with a community of timber supply and manufacture experts.
You can visit their website by clicking here.