timber & forestry e news issue 319

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Weekly news for the timber and forestry industries in Australia and New Zealand


  • 1ISSUE 319 | PAGE


    THE construction industry at the big end of town perhaps more than the wood sector has emerged as the lead driver of new timber pre-fab technology in Australia.

    Developers, building fund managers, bankers and investors thickened the multi-sector mix of delegates at Frame Australia 2014 in Melbourne last week.

    Theyve invested in engineered timber big-time in

    research and development and revolutionary building systems.

    Come and join us, is their cry to manufacturers of wood products.

    More than 400 people assembled at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne on May 19 for the largest gathering in the 16-year history of the event, now locked in as a one-day conference and exhibition.

    The word stimulating

    TheNATIONALvoice for




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    ISSUE 319 | 26.5.14

    Framesone dayof fame!

    Cont P 3

    Delivered weekly to timber merchants, sawmillers, wood processors, foresters, members of national, state and trade organisations and

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    Osmose and DeterMite are trademarks of Osmose, Inc. or its subsidiaries. DeterMite treated timber products are produced by independently owned and operated wood preserving facilities. *See separate guarantee document for details. 2014 Osmose, Inc.

    Innovation & Technology from Osmose. Its what we do!Find us at osmose.com.au or call 1800 088 809

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    Not only have treated frames performed in Australian houses, ongoing high intensity fi eld testing continues to confi rm that Determites highly termite repellent formula is a standout.


    But where to from here?

    A well-earned refreshment .. Kevin Ezard enjoys the close-of-conference party at Frame Australia 2014.

  • PAGE | ISSUE 3192


    NZ forest owners givenanother whack on ETS

    All growers will be concerned by the inequity of this

    Paul Nicholls David RhodesBill English Tim Groser

    NEW Zealands Treasurer Bill English has delivered a rare economic prize in his 2014-15 Budget a forecast surplus of $340 million, after a $2.2 billion deficit this financial year.

    But a measure hidden in the fine print of the Budget has forest owners wondering why they are again being unfairly singled out.

    In a Bill that is expected to become law, forest owners planning to pay their emissions obligations with international units will no longer be able to do so. These units, which typically sell for about a tenth of the price of NZ units, will still be legal tender for power companies and other emitters.

    Forest owners who have bought international units to meet their obligations during the next 12 months will be forced to sell them at a likely loss, says Forest Owners Association president Paul Nicholls.

    The number of forest owners directly affected is unknown but all forest growers will be concerned by the inequity of this, he said. For the second time in the tawdry history of the ETS, forest owners are being hit by retrospective legislation.

    Mr Nicholls says the Bill is designed to stop arbitraging by forest owners a form of trading which enables participants in the ETS to profit by selling high value NZ units while meeting their obligations using cheaper international units.

    But it also captures everyday forest owners who entered the ETS in good faith and who now want to exit because it isnt worth the candle. Small forest owners and iwi will be disproportionately affected.

    Meanwhile, power companies and other emitters will be allowed to arbitrage for another year.

    FOA chief executive David Rhodes says arbitraging does not benefit New Zealand or the climate in any way, but it is an inevitable result of allowing unrestricted volumes of cheap international units into the country.

    We, along with Maori interests, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and environmental groups have repeatedly told the government that these units undermine New Zealands ability to address climate change.

    Finally theyve decided to act. But why now? Why with such urgency? Why retrospectively? And why only forestry?

    Mr Rhodes says there is a deep irony that the only industry that has consistently criticised the use of international units in the ETS has been singled out in this way.

    Minister (Tim) Groser announced last December that non-New Zealand units would not be able to be used in the ETS from mid-2015. This provided ample time for players to adjust .. except for post-1989 forest owners, for whom mid-2015 has now suddenly become yesterday, Mr Rhodes says.

    For forest owners this continues a series of decisions by this government which are as baffling as they are inequitable. The forest sector had considerable potential to help New Zealand meet its 2020 emissions targets, but that potential has largely been squandered.

    Far from being a part of the solution, forestry is going to become part of the problem because lots of trees planted in the 1990s are approaching the harvest age of 30 years and new planting to offset those harvest emissions has been stalled for several years.

    Forced to sell inational units at a likely loss

    Industry baffled by series of decisions by the government

  • 3ISSUE 319 | PAGE

    swirled around the conference hall and trade booths.

    Most accepted the new opportunities and benefits opening for the wood sector, but they must wrestle with how it is brought together and implemented as a business

    Certainly, nobody can progress on their own it must be a collaborative effort. Forward-thinking companies have demonstrated the degree of precision needed with the new building systems, but many others are not so well structured and how they step up to the plate is an interesting challenge.

    But Frame was a turning point; these opportunities have never been presented before on such a scale.

    The market that delegates and speakers were talking about is far greater than the entire housing market. Detached houses are reducing in number, while multi-residential constructions are set to rocket.

    If the industry sticks to

    sticks just housing it will not sustain. Wheres the wood? Its not going to happen overnight, but it will happen and we could see half a dozen or more Forte buildings going up in the next two, five or 10 years.

    Asking the question are you with us? were principals from major construction companies like the Australand Property Group and Grocon, the largest privately owned development, construction and funds management business in Australia.

    Grocon built Pixel in Melbourne, the first carbon neutral office building that achieved the highest Green Star score ever awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia. Development manager David Waldren agreed to moderate the final session at Frame which centred on lower-cost residential building with timber panels.

    In Europe and North America, prefabricated and panellised timber construction has been used for many years and has become highly developed in efficient and cost-effective residential dwellings and multi-storey buildings.

    Prefabricated wood panel systems are becoming the

    If the industry sticks to sticks just housing it will not sustain

    Speakers and moderators at the wood systems for construction session at Frame Australia .. standing, from left, Scott Hedges, principal of Bygghouse, USA, Kevin Ezard, director, Frame Australia, Dr Alastair Woodard, director, TPC Solutions, Melbourne, and Ross Hampton, CEO, Australian Forest Products Association, Canberra, and seated, from left, Johann Betz, Betz Consulting, Christchurch, NZ, Walter Fahrenschon, CEO, Hundegger, Germany, and Stefan Schneider, founder, CutMyTimber Inc, Vancouver, Canada.

    Opportunities never presented on such a scale

    Wood panel systems preferred material in residential construction

    Cont P 4

    From P 1

    Smiles say welcome .. Sonia Moore, executive assistant, Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia, Brisbane (centre), and Pamela Bakes and Susan Scott of Melbourne take a break from busy delegate registration at Frame Australia 2014.

  • PAGE | ISSUE 3194

    preferred building material in residential construction, and Australia followed the trend with the construction of the all-timber 10-storey Forte apartments built by developer Lend Lease.

    The most common timber building systems in Australia use pre-fabricated timber trusses and frames. But rapidly emerging are complete floor cassettes and panellised walls, prefabricated and installed on site by mobile cranes.

    As an example, a multi-residential building project by Australand Property Group, a 57-apartment, five-storey building in Melbourne, was completed in only 11 months by utilising timber panel systems.

    The project uses prefabricated timber walls and

    roof, with complete cassette timber floors craned into place on each building level.

    During construction, Australand completed 400 sq m a day, with 11-day floor cycles to have all load bearing and partition walls in place,

    which enabled installation of services to commence a day later.

    The floor cassette system was designed and manufactured by Tilling SmartFloor using lightweight steel and timber composite structural beams.

    Conference speaker Rob de Brincat, Tilling SmartStructs commercial development manager, said Australand was a testament to the advantages of prefabricated timber systems and how all segments of the industry could wo