Building professionals benefit from North American study tour

A tour of advanced timber buildings and factories in North America has given Australian building professionals an insight into the opportunities associated with using both cross-laminated timber and conventional timber framing in major projects.

A group of 21 Australian architects, engineers, builders, surveyors and developers visited a few of North America’s most advanced timber buildings – both engineered timbers and timber framed – during a seven day study tour this July, co-hosted by FWPA and the Timber Development Association NSW. 

The tour, which was themed “Mass Timber Meets Timber Frame”, included viewings of completed buildings and those still under construction, as well as visits to factories producing cross-laminated timber (CLT), and nail laminated timber.

Tour participant, architect Alvin Sim of fitzpatrick+partners architects in Sydney, said it was a valuable learning opportunity, and a chance to get to know other people who shared an interest in what timber can achieve.

“As a company, we are quite passionate about timber, and we wanted to know what was being done around the world, particularly in the US and Canada.”

While codes and industry methods were different in North America, some of their approaches regarding fire protection and methods of timber connections could be adopted more innovatively in Australia in future, he said.

Since 2012, FWPA has organised both international and domestic timber-related tours for approximately 150 design and build specifiers.

The tours not only give Australian building professionals a multitude of opportunities to learn, but also enable our organisation to engage more closely with them and develop an even better understanding of their concerns and areas of interest.

Tour participants gain valuable new knowledge and inspiration with what can be achieved with wood in the future.