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Keeping up with the Joneses – Tall timber’s secret is out

Keeping up with the Joneses – Tall timber’s secret is out

Media release - Innovatek Limited

Today’s news that property expert Sir Bob Jones will build a tall timber commercial building in Wellington, New Zealand’s most recent earthquake-affected centre, is a huge step forward for wood in commercial building.

It’s no secret to wood manufacturers though. Their strongest advocate Jon Tanner, who leads the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association (WPMA), has long been promoting wood, especially for earthquake safety in buildings. Now a national conference in Rotorua is set to spread the message even wider.

Leading companies in the industry, like XLAM in Nelson, are well-versed in engineered wood products. WPMA and timber design engineers have been working hard to get the message out to building owners, developers and specifiers for years. So it’s rewarding to see our best-known property personality taking up the opportunity.

Jones’ decision comes at a great time for other property developers to get in on the act. A national conference focused on changing perceptions of timber in commercial building runs in September. Tall timber fanatic and conference director John Stulen says its time we caught up with our Australian colleagues. They already know tall timber stacks up well financially, occupants love it and wood building ticks the environment box.

"Commercial buildings in wood go up faster, better and cheaper with great design too” says Stulen. “Our conference keynote speaker managed the newest and tallest timber building yet. Karla Fraser of Urban One Builders delivered Brock Commons - an 18-storey timber building for University of British Columbia in Vancouver.”

“Australian companies like Lendlease and Strongbuild have moved quickly and decisively in the tall timber building game. They’re well ahead of their New Zealand counterparts in commercial gains. So, Jones’ decision to go big with a wood structured tall office building augers well for the whole sector in this country,” adds Stulen.

Jones’ announcement makes for an exciting week for tall timber. It coincides with news of Ara Institute of Canterbury’s new, three storey, 6500 square metre architecture and engineering building. The building - dubbed “Kahukura”is set to open soon. In it the designers, Jasmax, deployed innovative wood building technologies. It is arguably the greenest building in the Canterbury reconstruction programme.

The upcoming national building industry conference, entitled “Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber in Construction” runs on 28 September in Rotorua. It's the second annual conference for Innovatek in commercial wood building. The diverse programme attracts building owners, developers, architects, engineers, specifiers and key engineered wood suppliers. The theme is “Advantages of Timber in Mid Rise Construction.”

The conference is set to be part of a wood technology week of events coming to the city in September, including the FIEA WoodTECH 2017 two-day conference and trade expo. Rotorua Lakes Council are event partners promoting their successful “Wood-First” policy. For more details see:


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