Friday Offcuts 1 June 2012
Currently a nine-storey timber structure in London called the Stadthaus is believed to be the tallest building of its type. This new construction, Forte Building, is scheduled to be completed in a very short time, by October of this year. It will be two metres higher at 32.17 metres and will beat Grocon’s plans for a 10-storey tower on the old Carlton & United Breweries site in Swanston Street, Melbourne announced last year. The Delta building, also to be constructed out of CLT, is understood at this time to be put on hold.
The news is a shot in the arm for the timber industry "down-under". The CLT prefabricated laminated timber panels, although imported from Europe, are going to clearly demonstrate the innovation in timber building and construction that we’re now seeing with new techniques and new materials being used. It complements the innovative timber engineering solutions being developed by the Structural Timber Innovation Company, the opening next month of Massey University's creative arts building in Wellington and the production of CLT from Australasia's first manufacturing facility, Xlam NZ Ltd earlier in the year. It's also going to showcase timber as the sustainable material of choice when compared to the traditional high rise materials, concrete and steel. It’s an exciting announcement that will herald a new era of timber building design and delivery for this part of the world.
CLT an array of other new innovations around solid wood and panel products will also be part of the focus for a brand new FIEA technology event planned for Australia and New Zealand in mid-October, Wood Innovations 2012. Further details on this exciting new programme will follow next week.
This week we’ve also added a couple of useful resources for you to follow up. From the US there are a number of handy - and free - spread sheet applications which may be of use to those working in the forest. The NZ Forest Owners Association has also just released a fully revised NZ Forest Road Engineering Manual which can be downloaded now off the Associations website. Enjoy.
This week we have for you:
World’s tallest timber high rise building in MelbourneThe city of Melbourne has been revealed as the location for an architectural world first. New plans were unveiled last Friday showing that the city will receive a unique addition to its iconic skyline – the world’s tallest timber high-rise building.
Major industry leaders Lend Lease have revealed that they have begun work on a flagship project, the Forte building, which will consist of a 10-storey structure completely built out of cross-laminated timber (CLT). The decision to build out of CLT could drastically change the green building – and larger industry – landscape.
While the building is planned to be a world leader in timber developments, and highly environmentally responsible, it will also stand out as a highly stylish residential development. The site will house 23 boutique apartments and four townhouses located near the water’s edge in Melbourne’s Docklands.
Lend Lease are not the first developers to consider a building of this nature in Melbourne. Grocon’s Delta building has received rave reviews for its very similar environmental principles and design elements, but will miss out on the title of the first, biggest and best in Victoria, as plans remain shelved. The Forte on the other hand is expected to be completed in October this year, approximately nine months after its start date. For more information, see details on the attached Forte Building Fact Sheet.
Source: Australian Design Review, DesignBuildSource, Lend Lease
Breathing wood on displayWho would have thought there was a new use for wood in architecture? When I think of wood I think of support beams and flooring, but Achim Menges and Steffen Reichert think about it as a fluctuating material that can work with changes in climate, not against it.
Menges and Reichert have taken wood's natural response to moisture, the fact that it absorbs moisture when it's dry and releases it when it's wet, as well as its physical properties related to grain direction and spent five years researching how they could use that to their advantage in a new building material.
What they eventually came up with is a radical new system they've called a HygroScope, "a climate-responsive natural composite that can be physically programmed to compute different shapes in response to relative humidity," they explained. When the humidity inside the glass case is increased, the HygroScope seems to breathe, intuitively responding to the climate change by ventilating the increased moisture in the air.
"The system consists of custom developed elements made from a combination of quarter-cut maple veneer and synthetic composites. More than 4,000 geometrically unique elements are digitally fabricated and the complex substructure is robotically manufactured. The composite system elements can be programmed to materially compute different shapes within variable humidity response ranges by adjusting the following five parameters: [i] the fibre directionality, [ii] the layout of the natural and synthetic composite, [iii] the length-width-thickness ratio and [iv] geometry of the element and especially [v] the humidity control during the production process."
HygroScope was commissioned by the Centre Pompidou for its permanent collection, and will be on display in their "Multiversites Creatives" exhibition, which runs through to 6 August 2012. More >>
Carbon rights issued for Australian native forestsNot-for-profit organisation, Greenfleet, has successfully registered the first Carbon Sequestration and Forestry Right and Forest Carbon Right on title under the Climate Change Act 2011 (VIC). In total, 122 ha of native revegetation is covered by the agreement, securing an anticipated 30,660 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the next 20 years* and protecting the forest and associated carbon for 100 years.
Greenfleet CEO, Sara Gipton commented, "This is a groundbreaking development in sustainable land management. The ability to secure carbon rights for native forests gives investor’s confidence in the permanence of forest carbon and means there is viable a funding source to help revegetate vast areas of Australia’s degraded landscapes".
"Greenfleet forests are funded by thousands of organisations and households around Australia, who choose to offset greenhouse gas emissions and take action on climate change. Securing carbon sequestration rights for our forests will provide additional confidence for these contributors and encourage more people to take action," said Sara.
Landholder for the property, Paul Dettmann, has worked with Greenfleet over a number of years to revegetate several properties and supports the application to secure carbon rights on title. "It is important for both the security of the carbon and the long term delivery of biodiversity outcomes that carbon rights are officially recognised on property title," said Paul.
In the coming months, Greenfleet will apply to secure carbon sequestration rights under the Climate Change Act for all eligible revegetation projects in Victoria.
NZ log export markets updateNew Zealand Exports
The first quarter log import totals from New Zealand into China equaled just over 1.5 million cubic metres. This is down 25% on the last quarter of 2011 and down 17% year-on-year for the first quarter. New Zealand still maintained 25% of the market share of Chinese imports in Q1 of 2012, down from 27% of market share in Q1 of 2011.
Chinese log imports for Q1 of 2012 equaled 6.15 million cubic metres, this is down 21% form Q4 of 2011 and down 11% Q1 of 2011.
Imports into China from Russia were down 4% in Q1 of 2012 compared to the last quarter of 2011. Year-on-year imports from Russia were also down. Russia still maintains 46% of the market share in China for softwood logs, this is about the same level as a year ago.
Pacific North West
Imports from the PNW in the first quarter of 2012 were around 1.27 million cubic metres, this was the only major exporter to China to show a year-on-year lift in export volume, up 11% on the first quarter of 2011. However, the volume imported into China from the PNW was down 34% in Q1 of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The PNW has about 21% of the market share in China, this is up on year ago levels and up four fold on two years ago.
New Zealand experienced a massive lift in export volume to South Korea in March, up 109% in Q1 2012 compared to Q4 of 2011, and up by 102% year-on-year. This is boost to New Zealand, as in recent months market share had been lost to the PNW. New Zealand normally maintains about half of the market share into South Korea.
Wood Preservation 2012 - were you there?As mentioned last week, 200 wood treaters from throughout Australasia have been meeting over the last two weeks in Rotorua and Melbourne at FIEA's latest technology series, Wood Preservation 2012. They gathered to learn about the very latest products, formulations and alternate technologies that could be picked up to improve their own operations as well as some of the key international trends that potentially will be impacting on their own future business in this part of the world.
For those attending, check out the slide show below to see if you were really there. As detailed, presentations given at both events have just been posted onto the event website, www.woodpreservationevents.com for use by all delegates. A note on how to access these was sent out to all delegates late yesterday afternoon.
Digital textbooks over printWorldWideLearn.com, a leader in education and career-focused news, recently launched "Could Apple Revolutionize Textbooks?" an infographic exploring the growth of digital textbooks as they begin to infiltrate the now paper-dominated textbook marketplace.
Although textbooks are still predominately used in education settings, a CourseSmart and Wakefield Research study revealed 71 percent of US students would prefer to go digital. When Apple released iBooks 2, a free app that brings full-screen, interactive digital textbooks to students via the iPad, the app delivered more than 350,000 copies of e-textbooks to users in its first three days. Previous digital textbook technology has not been adopted widely, but staggering sales suggests that this could change the industry.
"With digital textbooks becoming more popular we could see the shift happen quicker than expected,” said Aaron Tooley, spokesperson for WorldWideLearn.com. “Eventually, a loyal e-book following may lead to the overall decline and death of paper textbooks."
In early 2012, 24 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 owned a tablet device, up from 10 percent the year before. Additionally, more than 600 school districts nationwide have integrated iPads into students' daily routines this school year.
"Students, parents, teachers and the education system seem to be willing to adopt digital learning in the classroom," expressed Tooley. "The transition from textbooks to e-books will eventually transform the way we learn and interact in educational environments."
EU carbon emissions trading looks decidely shakyBavaria's stock exchange will abandon its carbon emissions certificate trading operations in the EU-traded CO2 market on 30 June after volumes in Europe "plunged to practically zero" in recent months, it said last week. More >>.
In another Reuters piece this week, Barclays analysts have cut their second-half 2012 price outlook for European Union carbon by 28 percent, citing a growing supply glut and prospects of further deterioration in the EU economy. More >>
Sumitomo buying Juken Northland forestsSumitomo Corporation has moved to purchase the forest assets of Juken NZ located in Northland. The purchase is subject to ratifying a log supply agreement with Juken for their Kaitaia triboard and LVL mill supplies.
Wood One established JNL as a local subsidiary in New Zealand in 1990 for the purpose of securing long-term stable wood resources. At that stage, JNL acquired management rights of state-owned forests (mainly radiata pine) in three regions in the north, east and southern parts (Northland, East Coast and Wairarapa) of the North Island from the New Zealand Government.
At the time Juken was keen on plantation radiata pine to reduce its dependence on south-sea logs. Later, JNL enlarged the plantations through new acquisitions and leasing deals in each region. The current total forested area under JNL’s management is 76,000 hectares, which is made up of 36,000 hectares in Northland, 25,000 hectares on the East Coast and 15,000 hectares in Wairarapa.
New publication – NZ Forest Road Engineering ManualThe legendary LIRA (Logging Industry Research Association) roading manual released in 1999 has been fully revised. The 2012 edition is published by the Forest Owners Association (FOA) of New Zealand. The review team consisted of Brett Gilmore, Glen Mackie and Kelvin Meredith. The manual has a modern look to it, and follows current trends of integrating reader-friendly text with images and sketches to improve the reading experience. The manual contains the following sections:
• Planning for roads and landings
• Consents and approvals
• Locating, designing, and laying out of the roadline
• Road and landing construction
• Pavement design, subgrade preparation, and pavement construction
• Water, erosion and sediment control
• Waterway crossings
• Road maintenance
All sections are technically detailed, but still written in a language that foresters and contractors will understand. Logging predicts that this very useful handbook will be a hit with forest roading managers around the globe. The manual can be downloaded from the FOA website at www.nzfoa.org.nz.
Logs from Australia plantations set to growLog supply from Australia's timber plantations is set to increase substantially according to a new report, released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Australia's plantation log supply 2010-2054 forecasts the volume of plantation logs available for timber production will increase from nearly 26 million cubic metres per year in the 2010- 14 period to reach an annual peak at 33 million cubic metres in the 2030-34 period.
ABARES Executive Director, Paul Morris, said the forecast continues a recent trend in Australia, which has seen the volume of plantation logs harvested grow in recent years, now accounting for 74 per cent of all logs harvested in Australia.
"In order to understand likely future changes, this report provides forecasts of the future supply of logs from plantations nationally and by the major plantation regions," Mr Morris said.
"The report also forecasts the volumes of broadleaved and coniferous logs produced in each region, as well as the volumes of sawlogs and pulp logs."
Significant growth is forecast in the availability of sawlogs and pulp logs from broadleaved plantations, increasing to about 13 million cubic metres per year by the 2015–19 period.
"In the 2005–29 period, the total national supply of broadleaved plantation sawlogs is forecast to average 1.3 million cubic metres a year, up from 136 000 cubic metres in 2009– 10," Mr Morris said. "By comparison, total broadleaved sawlog production from native forests in 2009–10 was around 2.5 million cubic metres."
The National Plantation Inventory has been collecting data and reporting on plantations established primarily for timber production in Australia since 1993. "This report will help companies, governments, community groups, researchers and others assess issues and opportunities for the plantation timber industry," Mr Morris said.
Ta Ann plans to downsize workforceTa Ann Holdings is planning to downsize its workforce to offset rising costs as the Malaysian government implements a national minimum wage policy, according to a report by The Star.
Group managing director and CEO Datuk Wong Kuo Hea outlined the plans at the timber conglomerate's annual general meeting, saying the policy would have a major impact on all industries in Sarawak, not just Ta Ann.
Wong said Ta Ann employs between 5,000 and 6,000 workers, around 2,000 in its plywood division and 3,000 in its oil palm plantation. He suggested that the policy had been drawn up without proper consultation, especially with representatives from the timber and oil palm industries, and said Ta Ann would have no choice but to reduce its production and labour force. Wong estimated that the policy would add $20-$30/m3 to the cost of plywood production.
Source: The Star, Sibu, Malaysia
Tools you can use for your forest operationsWe were recently made aware of an excellent internet resource that’s worthy of pointing out. It may well be of interest or use on this side of the world as well. The U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Research Station has developed some free spreadsheet applications that may help you in your forest business operations, and they’ve made them available for download on a handy ‘Tools‘ page on their site. Here’s a list of the tools with the research station’s own descriptions underneath:
Forest Residues Transportation Costing Model
A spreadsheet calculator designed to help you compare alternative methods of moving biomass from a forest to wood-using facility.
General Ground-Based Harvesting System Analysis
Excel spreadsheet for estimating total system cost based on stand characteristics, felling, skidding, processing, loading, roads and hauling, and operational factors.
Green Ton Converter
A web application allowing conversion between $/green tons and $/dry tons. This converter was developed in cooperation with Forest Business Network and is hosted on the Forest Business Network website.
Machine Rate Calculator
A spreadsheet template to analyze system balance, production rates, and costs.
You can access these handy tools by clicking this link.
Buy and Sell
...and one to end the week on...the will
A quick one that we should all be able to relate to.
And on that PC note, make sure you have a great weekend. For the Kiwis of course, you've got an extra day this holiday weekend. Cheers.
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