NZ Timber Design Award winners announced
“We have three times the number of entries over last year’s awards, which is also more than the number in this year’s Australian awards. “The evidence today is that architects and engineers are starting to see the wood among our trees.
The irony escapes nobody how we are absolute World beaters in growing wood faster than any country but we are not the fastest in embracing its almost infinite potential as a construction material.” Ms Arnott said the situation will be very different five years from now, mainly because of engineering and biological sciences which are creating new methods and materials for the design and construction industries.
One of the four judges this year, architect Pip Cheshire, said this year’s awards leave a very strong impression of the growing influence of science in timber design and construction. “What we are seeing is traditional ground where a skill saw and a hammer still prevail but science is growing in influence,” he said.
“There is also a confluence of circumstances which have conspired to turn our attention towards timber. It might even have started with the leaky building issue. Architects are very conscious of energy consumption and of their role as major agents in selecting materials in an industry which consumes large amounts of energy”.
A co-judge, Ross Davison also commented that use of timber in New Zealand is starting to cross a gap from being an alternative solution to entering mainstream standards. He said a joint industry effort will need to continue in order to achieve this. “Timber has been traditionally seen as a choice for housing and some recreational buildings, but I think a knowledge transfer from universities has now created a toolbox for engineers to offer architects for the design of design larger buildings.” Mr Davison was referring to new technologies such as laminated veneer timbers, cross laminates and post tensioned systems, all of which are represented in this year’s awards.
This year’s awards attracted 93 entries across the nine categories – a record in the more than 30 year history of the Timber Design Awards. Of these, 38 were selected for second stage judging 14 recognised with awards.
Full details on all of the award winners this year can be found here.
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