Mid-Rise Advisory Program taking timber education to next level
The success and continued evolution of FWPA’s Mid-Rise Advisory Program (MAP) has led to a shift of focus during its latest mid-rise event, which is hoped will inspire more members of the construction industry to consider timber as the primary material for use in future projects.
The recent Timber Innovation, Manufacture, Supply Design & Construction: Residential to Mid-rise Symposium focused on project delivery, following the positive reception of previous mid-rise seminars and ongoing interactions between the MAP team and industry over the past three years. At the symposium, real-life data and case studies were presented, outlining details of flagship buildings that are either completed, under construction or planned.
More than 300 engineers, architects, builders, developers, quantity surveyors and construction managers gathered at RMIT in Melbourne on 31 October. They heard from a line-up of leading timber industry and building professional experts, who discussed the latest knowledge and innovations. The risks, challenges, opportunities and successes associated with the delivery of specific mid-rise timber constructions were presented, including residential properties, office buildings and student accommodation.
Gerry Neylan, Lead Program Development Manager, Mid-Rise Construction at WoodSolutions, said the content of the seminar is an example of how the MAP team is moving the conversation away from academia and design, and more towards project delivery.
“Having successfully provided input into so many exciting projects, it seemed like the natural next step to start presenting some real-world outcomes enabled by the MAP team’s work,” Mr Neylan said.
“It was evident the audience was heavily invested in the discussions, keen to learn more about the experiences associated with delivering the projects presented. They seemed excited about the opportunities that timber could deliver for them in future projects.
“Our speakers were equally enthusiastic. The line-up comprised key personnel from the projects discussed, who willingly shared invaluable information, including lots of their own intellectual property, as a means of clearly demonstrating the successes they have enjoyed.
“It was great to hear the presenters share their positive experiences of working with timber in construction, and of their interactions with the MAP team. It was also encouraging to note their enthusiasm for continuing to incorporate wood into their future construction projects. We hope these presentations will have played their part in influencing to others to do the same.”
The symposium took a highly interactive approach, including an expert panel discussion followed by a Q&A session. Attendees were invited to ask questions using an app, before voting on which questions they would most like to hear the panel answer.
FWPA and WoodSolutions would like to thank all event partners whose generous funding allowed this symposium to go ahead. Partners included AKD Softwood, Australian Sustainable Hardwood, Meyer Timber, Multiplex, One Forty One, Timberlink, Bowens, MiTek, Wesbeam, Hyne, Xlam Australia, Pryda, Multinail, Hess Timber, Xlam Dolomiti, Rothoblaas, and Vida Wood.
New cost engineering guide
The symposium also provided an opportunity for the MAP to launch its newly developed Cost Engineering of Mid-rise Timber Buildings guide, which includes practical information about timber for the construction industry and quantity surveyors. It contains reference data and methodology advice for cost engineering activities directly and indirectly associated with the design, procurement and installation of mid-rise wood structures in Australia.
While many guides have been published on the design and maintenance of timber structures, there has been relatively little focus on the specifics of costing and ultimately building them. This guide has been prepared to address the need for specific cost-related knowledge, and the approaches to consider throughout the development process.
Written in conjunction with Rider Levett Bucknall, a leading independent organisation in cost management, quantity surveying, project management and advisory services, the new guide includes data from 26 completed mid-rise projects with which the MAP team has been involved. It can be viewed online at the WoodSolutions website