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National conference on building technology disruption

With housing minister Phil Twyford last week publicly lamenting lack of productivity and innovation in the construction industry, it appears he or his officials are blind to the rapid disruption in timber building happening in Australia, USA and now here. Wood structures detailed with design software are now a key competitive advantage for commercial building in New Zealand as well.

Meanwhile a national conference on engineered wood for commercial and multi-residential building is set to attract hundreds of early movers. Timber construction has advanced rapidly with new design modelling software known as “building information modelling” (BIM). It fits perfectly with manufacturing engineered wood structures using accurate computer machining technologies.

“For construction companies and developers in the know wood leads the way. We’ve seen companies like XLAM and Naylor Love embrace the materials and technology,” says John Stulen, engineer and conference director for the 3rd annual “Changing Perceptions” engineered wood conference.

Stulen and his team at Innovatek say they are delighted to have a technical conference programme that’s 100% devoted to engineered wood projects in New Zealand. The technology is advancing rapidly too – wood buildings are modelled completely during design. The new method has won the respect of all of the tradespeople who have worked on a wood building project using BIM.

The conference will include case studies for both wood and BIM:

• Cross-laminated timber producer XLAM has joined forces with Housing Corporation to deliver emergency housing solutions faster than ever before;

• Leading property investor Sir Bob Jones has committed to timber structures for his multi-story office complex in downtown Wellington;

• Multiple single housing projects have been developed and delivered by a growing number of networked businesses including architects, engineers and developers working closely;

• Increased use pre-planning and detailing by multiple trades using commercially-available software for building information modelling (BIM);

• National construction firm Naylor Love has committed large project teams to both the Otago Polytechnic student accommodation building and the new Nelson airport terminal.

The conference has grown since 2016. It now attracts a wide audience of architects, engineers, developers, quantity surveyors and specifiers, as well as building officials and leading specialist trades, focused on commercial buildings; like electricians and plumbers and heating/ventilating/air conditioning specialist and leading practitioners.

The “Changing Perceptions” Conference has full one-day programme on 28 August at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. The event begins with an evening reception on 27 August. Register now at:


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