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Experts in wooden high rise buildings visiting Christchurch


Experts in wooden high rise and multi-storey buildings visiting Christchurch this week

Wellington, Monday, September 5, 2011 -- The designer of the world's tallest building, renowned British architect Andrew Waugh visits New Zealand this week.

Mr Waugh, of Waugh Thistleton Architects, designed the nine-storey Stadhaus apartment tower near London, which has set new international benchmarks for timber construction.

He is in New Zealand to speak at the NZ Wood Reaching New Heights with Wood nationwide seminar series, to be held in Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson, Wellington and Auckland from September 9-15.

“We’re looking at changing the way we build our cities - the 21st century will be built in wood,” Mr Waugh said.

NZ Wood is hosting the seminar series, which features presentations from leading architects and engineers, to showcase how wood, the building material of choice for thousands of years, is the next big thing in cutting-edge construction.

The Reaching New Heights in Wood seminars will look at the benefits of using structural timber in multi-storey and high-rise construction including seismic damage avoidance engineering, fire performance, acoustic performance, thermal performance, comfort and sustainability.

Another international speaker, Italian engineer, Paolo Lavisci, will speak about the advantages of timber construction in seismic regions based on his experiences during rebuilding efforts after the devastating L’Aquila earthquake in Italy in 2009. He said people who have been through such disasters have a preference for timber and since the rebuild the use of wood in construction has taken off in Italy.

While in Christchurch, Mr Waugh and Mr Lavisci will tour the quake-stricken central business district red zone.

Mr Lavisci arrives in New Zealand tomorrow (Tuesday, September 6) and will speak at the Forest Industries 2011 conference in Rotorua on Wednesday, September 7.

The seminars will be held in Christchurch on Friday, September 9, followed by Dunedin (Monday, September 12), Nelson (Tuesday, September 13), Wellington (Wednesday, September 14) and Auckland (Thursday, September 15).

Brief Speaker Bios

Andrew Waugh, Waugh Thistleton Architects Ltd

From designing the world’s tallest timber building, Stadhaus Tower, Andrew is now designing a multi-storey timber hotel complex on Willow Street, London. A founding Director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, he is a sought after international speaker on design and the environmental impact of architecture. As well as being closely involved in several London-based design bodies, Andrew teaches and is an external examiner at a number of architecture schools in London.

Dr Paolo Lavisci, Legnopiù srl

Paolo Lavisci’s timber engineering consultancy, Legnopiù, was closely involved with the design of high-quality, permanent replacement accommodation for 20,000 people who lost their homes after the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake in Italy. His company’s state-of-the-art timber designs were used for seven of the 185 27-unit, three-storey apartment buildings which were built within six months of the quake. They were also used as advisers on many of the other timber designs built as part of this massive building project.

About NZ Wood

NZ Wood is a major promotional and development programme to promote New Zealand forests and wood resources to improve our economy, society and our whole way of life. The industry-wide programme covers New Zealand forests and wood and is designed to inspire the use of this sustainable and versatile resource. The programme builds on the wood culture in New Zealand's heritage through a broad range of initiatives and projects that support the growth of the entire forestry and wood industry.

ends

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