WoodSolutions — building the construction industry’s knowledge of mid-rise and timber requirements

With the help of FWPA guides, engineering and design professionals can easily build their knowledge on timber-related requirements in mid-rise construction, helping meet the growing demand for professionals with a strong understanding of this area.

A new WoodSolutions Technical Design Guide (Mid-rise Timber Building Structural Engineering) and its accompanying webinar series aim to provide structural engineers with the information required to confidently design a mid-rise timber building.

Eileen Newbury, National Program Manager of WoodSolutions and FWPA National Marketing and Communications Manager, said mid-rise buildings (three to eight storeys) have experienced a surge in the use of timber systems recently. This growth has been partly due to the increasing adoption of traditional stick framing and newer mass timber options.

“This market movement has been facilitated by changes to the National Construction Code, which now allows Deemed to Satisfy Solutions for timber in all building classes, as well as the commercial and environmental advantages of timber systems,” said Eileen.

“With more developers and design teams looking to examine timber construction options, the need for suitably skilled professionals who can specify and optimise them is on the rise.

“One of the most important roles in the project team is the structural engineer, as they usually have the final say in which structural material is used in a project,” Eileen explained.

The new WoodSolutions Technical Design Guide, Mid-rise Timber Building Structural Engineering, has been developed to give structural engineers the latest, state-of-the-art design information.

Comprising more than 200 pages, the guide is made up of two parts: the first includes an overview of the typical structural design process for a mid-rise timber building, and more detailed explanations, considerations and assumptions for specific structural element design. The second comprises appendices with detailed examples of the design process for major structural buildings.

“Two years in the making, this comprehensive new guide is set to become an invaluable resource for structural engineers and will enable more projects to capitalise on the many advantages of timber building systems,” said Eileen.

To coincide with the launch of the guide, the WoodSolutions Mid-rise Advisory Program (MAP) has been conducting a series of three webinars for structural engineers around Australia. All aspects of the guide are being looked at in detail as part of the webinars, and participants have been given the opportunity to ask questions of the authors.

There has been an incredibly positive uptake by industry. The first two webinars were presented by Adam Jones of the MAP Team and Jon Shanks of TimberEd, and attracted 612 unique viewers. The third webinar was presented by Nick Hewson of XLam, and attracted 259 unique viewers.

Elsewhere, WoodSolutions recently collaborated with the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and Timbertruss to deliver four in-depth tours of Timbertruss’ industry-leading advanced manufacturing facility in Corio, Victoria.

Four tours over two days provided attendees with the opportunity to learn more about the cost impacts of building with timber and the mature state of the lightweight framing supply chain around the country.

The 45 attendees included quantity surveyors, builders, developers, major financial institutions and students. Feedback from the visits was overwhelmingly positive, with those involved suggesting the experience had changed their approach to timber construction.

You can access the new guide and appendices, as well as information on other WoodSolutions initiatives at www.woodsolutions.com.au

COVID-19 and WoodSolutions events

The ever-changing and accelerating situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) is impacting every aspect of our lives. The welfare of our people, members and community is our number one priority, and we have therefore taken the decision to cancel or postpone all forthcoming face-to-face WoodSolutions seminars, sponsorships and events. We will continue to review the situation and keep you advised of any changes.

In the meantime, we have been working to further develop our online learning offerings, to suit those now working from home, and negate the need for attendees to gather in person for important opportunities to upskill and discover more about the advantages of timber in the design and build areas.

As such, we have actively been liaising with design and build associations to deliver more online content to their members. Keep an eye on the WoodSolutions Campus website for details of our latest online learning opportunities.