Author: David Rowlinson
This article first appeared in Friday Offcuts on Friday 18th November
Industry, academia and government have partnered to create the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life – a new group designed to put Australia at the forefront of international best practice. A strategic initiative of industry group Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), the Centre will ensure Australian design guides and standards remain world class in light of climate change, new engineered timbers and changes in building design.
Launched on Wednesday 16 November by Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, the Centre will be based at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and partners include the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). The State and Federal Government will contribute funding along with the FWPA and universities.
The Managing Director of Forest and Wood Products Australia, 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. It’s an exciting prospect and it’s one that will be a world first,” he said, putting a five-year timeframe on the project.
“FWPA received AU$3.8 million in Commonwealth matched funding in 2015-16, and the Government has further committed up to AU$4.6 million to match voluntary contributions made by industry to FWPA for eligible research and development” Senator Ruston said.