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Wood - The Green Answer to the Red Zone

2 November 2011

Wood - The Green Answer to the Red Zone

Cantabrians are being urged to consider the benefits of timber for the rebuild of Christchurch.

NZ Wood – the promotional arm of the Wood Council of New Zealand – is launching a campaign to encourage the use of structural timber in multi-storey and high-rise buildings for the city’s reconstruction.

NZ Wood Chief executive Jane Arnott says the organisation wants to ensure Cantabrians get the best advice for the rebuild and that they recognise the resilience of timber.

“Architects and engineers around the world are using wood to create buildings that combine safety with sustainability and style,” she said.

“We want to encourage and inform, and we can provide compelling evidence as to why timber and engineered timber designed with structural safety in mind offer advantages from safety and cost-effectiveness to speed of construction…ideal criteria for the building material of choice in Canterbury.”

The campaign gets underway today, November 2, with a series of billboards across the city promoting wood, “the green answer to the red zone”.

NZ Wood will also have a stand at the Canterbury A & P Show to provide information about the advantages of manufactured timber, including seismic damage avoidance engineering, fire performance, noise performance, thermal performance and comfort and sustainability.

International wood construction experts highlighted the advantages of new forms of manufactured timber for creating strong, earthquake-resistant buildings during a recent visit to Christchurch.

English architect Andrew Waugh, who designed the world’s tallest wooden residential building, the nine-storey Stadhaus apartment tower near London, said wood was the building material for the 21st century.

He said New Zealand had the raw materials and could take advantage of this technology.

Italian engineer Paolo Lavisci, was involved in the design for permanent accommodation for 20,000 people who lost their homes after the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.

He said people who have been through such disasters prefer timber, and since the rebuild the use of wood in construction had taken off in Italy.

Lavisci said wood, with its high strength-to-weight ratio and flexibility, had many advantages as an earthquake-resistant construction material.

The experts were guest speakers at the NZ Wood national seminar series – Reaching New Heights with Wood – in September.

NZ Wood will be at the Canterbury A & P show, 9, 10, 11 November at Canterbury Agricultural Park.

About NZ Wood
NZ Wood is a pan-industry promotional strategy designed to inform, educate and motivate all people around the benefits of wood, and particularly engineered timber in commercial construction, and the overall benefits of our plantation forests in terms of economic, social and environmental gain.


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