Recently we sat down with the team at WoodSolutions to chat about their sponsorship and what they are looking forward to at The Property Congress this year.
1. WoodSolutions has been supporting The Property Congress for five years, what continuously draws you to this event?
The decision to sponsor an event rests on the value we can gain and on what we can offer. The Property Congress has consistently delivered on bringing together inspirational and forward-thinking leaders, and like-minded attendees.
It is important for us to know that we can talk about the many benefits of building in timber to specifiers and developers who are looking to build more sustainably and efficiently and are open to explore innovative solutions and products.
It is also a fantastic event for networking; it always helps us have conversations that may reveal questions which may form the basis of new resources that we develop or seminars/ webinars that we may organise.
2. WoodSolutions is sponsoring our opening session on ‘The Great Urban Reset and Reinvention’ featuring Richard Florida, what attracted you to this session?
We see timber as an integral part of the urban reset and reinvention process. A quickly growing market appetite for tall timber buildings is driving an extensive assortment of innovations, reinventing humankind’s oldest construction material. As a construction material, timber possesses great qualities.
It is remarkably strong and durable, it helps reduce heating and associated energy requirements and it is the only renewable building material.
According to recent studies, there are also many health benefits to using wood in construction. The UN predicts that by 2050 more than 68% of the world population will be living in cities. If we are to continue making cities liveable, to provide an environment for people to thrive in and be healthy and happy (see Tye Farrow’s concept of buildings that cause health) city planners, developers and builders should consider building more in timber.
3. As a leader in our Sustainability Masterclass what key issues do you think should be top of the agenda?
I believe it is important to address sustainability in the construction industry by taking into account the following 3 issues:
- Sustainable materials – wood is The Ultimate RenewableTM
- .Environmental impact of buildings - wood stores carbon. Approximately 50 per cent of the dry weight of wood is carbon, which remains locked in the wood for the life of the product. Responsibly sourced, certified timber is the only major building material that helps to tackle climate change. The energy consumed in the production of timber, called embodied energy, is much lower than other building materials adding to timber’s sustainability credentials, particularly from a life-cycle assessment perspective.
- Social value of buildings – there are now numerous studies on the health and wellbeing benefits associated with biophilic design. Biophilic design reflects the link between the natural and built environments and aims to provide a connection with nature even when we are indoors. As our understanding of nature connected design deepens, timber buildings and wood products will increase the value and benefits of the buildings we live, work, study, exercise and heal in.
So if we are to consider the benefits that timber buildings can bring into addressing each of the 3 points, it becomes clearer why the proposition of timber in the built environment is a viable solution for a sustainable future.
4. How is your organisation supporting knowledge gain outside the industry?
It has been over 10 years now that WoodSolutions has been set up as an industry initiative to provide independent, non-proprietary information about timber and wood products to professionals and companies involved in building design and construction. We have evolved with the times and are constantly reviewing our resources and materials to ensure they reflect the latest code changes and industry standards.
We also have a dedicated team of professionals – the Midrise Advisory Team - who offer free information and advice on planning or building a timber project of more than three stories.
We organise webinars and seminars, on demand workshops and answer to questions submitted via the online form in the Ask an Expert section of the website.
At the end of this decade of exploring, creating and disseminating materials on all-things timber, I can only say I’m looking forward to see what the next 10 years will bring in terms of timber and wood products innovation and evolution.
5. What are you most looking forward to at The Property Congress?
Similar to the previous years, there is a great lineup of speakers so I am looking forward to listening to their presentations. Following the past 12 months, there seems to be a focus on community resilience, urban development reset and reinvention so it will be interesting to see how the built environment is expected to support interaction, health, housing and business.
I am also looking forward to meeting and having face to face conversations with connections from previous events and making new connections. The building industry is ever evolving and the best way to gain insights is from the people who work in the industry and represent it.
We look forward to hearing from the team in the Sustainability masterclass on pre-conference day. Keep an eye out for the opening of masterclass registrations in June 2021.
Questions completed by Eileen Newbury
National Program Manager - WoodSolutions
National Marketing and Communication Manager - Forest and Wood Products Australia