The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, has teamed up with government and industry to find ways of building high-rise timber structures with a dedicated research centre that opens tomorrow, 12 July.
The state of Queensland will provide A$1m over five years in funding for the new research centre, which will try and develop new engineered timber products for buildings.
The centre will develop engineering solutions that address current barriers to the use of structural timber in the fast-growing and extensive medium-rise tall buildings market where timber is an ideal construction material– Leanne Donaldson, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
Australian property group Lendlease, which built the 10-storey, timber Forte apartment block in Melbourne (pictured), and UK consulting engineer Arup are involved in the new Centre for Future Timber Structures, along with Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Hyne Timber.
Centre Director, Professor Jose Torero, said the new centre would research ways to use timber to meet the challenges of sustainable construction.
"The centre houses a new Australian Research Council-funded Industrial Transformation Hub with a mission to engineer new timber building products," Torero said, according to a UQ press notice.
"The findings will help deliver tall timber buildings and transform the timber industry in Queensland."
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Leanne Donaldson said researchers from DAF’s Forest Product Innovation team at the Salisbury Research Facility had been instrumental in establishing the centre of excellence and would work closely with the scientists.
"The semi-commercial-scale processing and prototyping capacity at the Salisbury Research Facility is a key asset for the hub, which will help to accelerate research findings into solutions for industry," Donaldson said, adding that the Queensland government would provide A$1m over five years, plus other contributions to the centre.
"I look forward to seeing results that will stimulate greater use of Queensland timber in high-rise construction projects," she said, adding: "The centre will develop engineering solutions that address current barriers to the use of structural timber in the fast-growing and extensive medium-rise tall buildings market where timber is an ideal construction material."
The multidisciplinary team includes product manufacturers, fire safety engineers, and structural engineers.
Image: Participating in the new research centre is Lendlease, which built the 10-storey, timber Forte apartment block in Melbourne (Lendlease)