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Wood and timber get a profile lift


FWPA’s WoodSolutions team has been out and about these past few months to show its support at industry events – sharing the remarkable sustainable and renewable advantages of wood.


Industry talks timber and wood at Wood you like to know?

Sponsoring the Weathertex ‘Wood you like to know’ event in August, participants were invited to tour the WoodSolutions full-scale multi-storey timber model construction at Holmesglen Institute. The model showcases the possibilities of engineered wood products as a sustainable alternative to steel and concrete in mid-rise construction in Australia.  

Leading the group was WoodSolutions Program Advisor Laurence Ritchie, who explained the structural, fire rating, and acoustic systems common to this construction method, and the benefits of building with the renewable material of wood.

If you haven’t yet experienced this incredible model for yourself, a time lapse video is available on YouTube allows you to watch the model as it was constructed.

Part of the event took place at Sculptform’s striking Design Studio in Melbourne, where expert guest speakers offered timely insights into the current state of wood products and their use in Australia and covered a range of topics from sustainability to biophilic design.

FWPA’s very own Boris Iskra, Codes and Standards Manager, presented on the ‘pathway to compliance with timber’.

Boris shared his expertise on the National Construction Code and how builders, designers and architects can ensure commercial buildings meet current fire performance standards, as well as access guidance on the use of timber products in bushfire-prone areas.

The use of timber products in bushfire prone areas remains a key topic of interest, and in the lead up to the upcoming bushfire season, you can hear Boris talk further on this subject in the WoodSolutions webinar series. 

The evening industry cocktail event was abuzz, with a special guest appearance by The Ultimate Renewable™ brand ambassador Adam Dovile. Adam spent time mingling with guests and sharing details of his own love of timber with attendees, all while flashing his trademark broad grin.

Head of the WoodSolutions Program Eileen Newbury said, “It’s wonderful to be back at face-to-face events! Seeing and speaking with attendees in person was such an energising and enjoyable experience.

“This event was a perfect opportunity to reconnect and provided a valuable chance for industry to learn more about wood in the current environment, as well as ongoing developments.”


In conversation with COUNTRY

In Meanjin (Brisbane), Eileen Newbury, Head of the WoodSolutions Program, and Paolo Lavisci, Program Development Manager for the WoodSolutions Mid-rise Advisory Program, were proud to attend and support the 2022 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) COUNTRY Festival of Landscape Architecture.

Between 13 and 16 October, COUNTRY invited attendees to deeply consider and discuss how architects and those in the building industry can centre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

The event consisted of six all-Indigenous panels, followed by participatory discussions with attendees, moderated by a First Nations lead. These panels were co-designed with Elders, Traditional Custodians and First Nations designers, artists and practitioners to further attendee understanding of Country, unpack design thinking and consider applications for design practice.


Location, location, location: 2022 Property Congress at sunny Gold Coast

Once again, WoodSolutions was proud to be a major sponsor of the Property Congress, and this year sponsored the ‘Green and gold for Australia’ session, which explored how lessons learned from previous Olympic Games could be applied in Australia.

The session featured keynote speaker James Tuma, Group Director – Future State at Urbis, who talked about the exciting opportunity that now exists for the upcoming the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games to create a lasting legacy.

An introductory video presented by Eileen Newbury, Head of the WoodSolutions Program, officially announced the launch of two professional development courses on mass timber construction. The new courses were developed by WoodSolutions in partnership with the Property Council Academy and the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner. Read more on these courses and how you can enrol in the November ForWood edition.

The event concluded with a panel discussion from Dr Sarah Hill, Chief Executive Officer at Western Parkland City Authority, Jason Langer, Group Managing Director at Robert Bird Group, alongside moderator Jen Williams, QLD Executive Director at the Property Council of Australia, who joined keynote speaker James Tuma on stage.

FWPA’s Andrew Leighton, Chief Executive Officer, Paolo Lavisci, Program Development Manager for the WoodSolutions Mid-rise Advisory Program, and Sarah Downey, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, all attended what is widely considered to be Australia’s number one property event (pictured).

“We thank the Property Council of Australia for organising another wonderful event this year,” Leighton said.

“It’s enriching to hear the perspectives of other industry members in this forum of ideas, as well as to have the opportunity to share our insights into what makes wood such a versatile and sustainable building product.”


And the award goes to…

FWPA helped recognise and reward quality in timber design during these past few months, with two Australian design awards sponsored by WoodSolutions.

In true awards night style, FWPA team members Eileen Newbury, Head of the WoodSolutions Program, Boris Iskra, Codes and Standards Manager, and Rhiana Archie, Marketing & Communications Coordinator (pictured) strutted down the red carpet at the Design Matters National Awards, in September. Eileen presented winner Sketch Building Design with the WoodSolutions sponsored ‘Excellence in the use of Timber’ award for his breathtaking Murray View new house project.

WoodSolutions was also proud to partner with the Design Institute of Australia to sponsor the Designers Australia Awards. This year, for the Place award, Kennedy Nolan was recognised for their work on the ‘Always’ project.

This project – a stunning beach house – seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor spaces with timber and wooden exteriors, interiors and furnishings, as well as a lush rooftop garden.

Earning an Award of Merit was the work of Studio Nine Architects, which aims to fill the need for affordable housing in South Australia by designing a 16sqm prefabricated model housing pod using timber.

Inspired by the protective bud of a flower, these eco-friendly, space efficient pods are largely made from recycled plywood and include a bed, bathroom and kitchen, as well as storage space. The vision is for the pods to be set up as ‘villages’ in under-utilised sites like carparks and vacant lots, with the first five pods in each village to be entirely carbon neutral.

Photos of these amazing projects are available to view online.

“We extend our congratulations to all winners of the Design Matters and Designers Australia Awards and are honoured to support awards that recognise the innovative use of wood products in design and construction,” Newbury said.

“It’s exciting to see how industry has embraced wood as a sustainable, future-forward building product.

The Ultimate Renewable™ continues to make its mark, and awards are a great way to highlight and encourage creativity and innovation in this industry,” Newbury said.

Find more information on upcoming WoodSolutions sponsored events in the November ForWood edition.

Posted Date: November 20, 2022

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