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ARC of the future

The recently launched ARC Future Timber Hub (Australian Research Council) is Australia’s leading timber research collaboration, bringing together experts from industry, government and academia. Source: Timberbiz

It was founded as an interdisciplinary partnership between Hyne Timber, the UQ School of Civil Engineering, the Queensland State Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Arup, Lend Lease, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Scion NZ, Griffith University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Canterbury.

The Hub is supported by the University’s Centre for Future Timber Structures, which has a Hyne Timber director on its Board, Shane Robertson representing the timber manufacturing industry.

According to the UQ news page, structural engineering expert and Hub director Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai from the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology said the research facility will draw on strong industry support to make significant changes to the building design, materials manufacturing and construction industries.

“This Hub represents an opportunity to transform not just our ability to design and construct healthy, resilient, sustainable tall timber buildings; but to engage and transform the entire industry – from the sustainable forests that provide the raw timber, right through to assembling the building safely on site,” he said.

“The environmental benefits to using timber as a construction material are overwhelmingly positive, with engineered wood acting as a carbon sink instead of producing greenhouse gas emissions like its alternatives, steel and concrete.

“Using sustainably managed plantations to produce engineered wood products, and developing prefabricated construction technologies, allows engineers to minimise waste and enhance building quality and performance.

“Timber is also a fantastic natural insulator and is a quick and simple material to use in construction,” Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai said.

The diverse team will include product manufacturers, construction managers, fire safety engineers, architects, and structural engineers, all of whom were well represented at the Hub launch event including panel discussion.

Attendees also included senior representatives from Construction Skills Queensland and Treasury’s Market Led Proposal team who will assessing Hyne Timbers Market Led Proposal to build Maryborough’s new QFES Complex from engineered softwood.

This proposal is strongly supported by experts and partners within the Centre for Future Timber Structures having achieved formal endorsement as an exemplar project earlier this year.