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A market assessment and evaluation of structural roundwood products from hardwood pulp plantations

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Published Date

April 2011

This project assessed the market for using small diameter roundwood (such as pulp logs and thinnings from sawlog plantations) as innovative building products. Using steam the poles are bent around a form to produce arched structural members providing a wide range of design options. Roundwood products have a range of advantages over sawn boards such as: improved strength attributes for equivalent cross-sectional area; reduced processing costs, lower embodied energy and reduced wastage due to minimal processing activities.

Senior architecture students from the University of Queensland produced designs for roundwood structures. Some of these concepts were included in a survey emailed to over 1,200 stakeholders representing a broad cross section of forest growers, designers, specifiers, engineers, timber industry representatives and users. The results provided an optimistic view for the potential of small, roundwood structures with 87% of respondents indicating that they liked the overall impression of the designs and concepts, versus 13% who were neutral.

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M. Dickson, G. Hopewell, C. MacKenzie, H. Bailleres, J. Switala and C. Thomas

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