Friday Offcuts – 15 June 2018

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Admit it, as foresters, we all cringed at the coverage of the storms that battered the East Coast of the North Island last week. More than 200 millilitres of rain fell in less than 24 hours. Images of forestry debris accompanied all lead stories on-line, on the front pages of daily newspapers and in all of the prime-time television news bulletins. They ran over several nights. What's worse, the same images reappeared after heavy rains again this week. Logs clogging and wiping out bridges, houses being swamped by log tsunamis and mountains of slash washed up alongside rivers, farmland, the lower plains and on local beaches - it wasn’t easy viewing.

Councils, New Zealand’s Forestry Minister and the community justifiably have been indignant. At least one company was reported as saying that the answer may be pulling forestry out of the East Coast altogether. Don’t scoff. It was just over a month ago that the Nelson City Council announced that it was retiring more than a fifth of its forestry blocks because of concerns about the environmental impact (linking pine plantations to sedimentation in the local rivers) of forestry practices locally and nationwide. Farmers in flood-hit Tolaga Bay are also considering legal action against forestry companies for the damage done to their stock and properties by runaway slash.

Regardless of who’s at fault and new environmental standards that we can now hold up aiming to rectify, minimise or sort out issues like this, we all know it hasn’t been a great look. Planting the right tree, in the right place and at the right time - it’s an integral part of the Government’s billion tree planting programme. The industry, not only on the East Coast, really needs to go on the front foot here. Perception right now is everything. Unfortunately, the images are going to be rolled out and by opponents to forestry operations for years to come. It’s pleasing though to see forestry holding up their hand, owning up and suggesting that a raft of changes might follow the aftermath of the storms (see story below).

Perception is everything right? So with the birth of a new grouping of young foresters, Future Foresters, in New Zealand (website launched today), it’s interesting to see that one of the principal reasons they’ve set themselves up is to help change forestry’s perception. They’ve recognised that as an industry, we continue to be slow off the mark. Rightly so, passionate young foresters are concerned about a perceived lack of action. They’re happy to own up to forestry’s short-comings. They want though to be proactive and get involved in coming up with some innovative new solutions for the industry. The plan is to create a nationwide community of young foresters about New Zealand. It’s a great initiative, probably a long time in coming and certainly deserves our support. Further details on the new grouping, early plans and link to their new website can be found in this week’s lead story.

Finally, we’re looking forward to meeting many of you over the next couple of weeks at the FIEA WoodFlow 2018 ( series. The two wood transport planning workshops being run on the afternoon before each conference and exhibition sold out several weeks ago. Record numbers (already well over 300 from across this region) will be attending the Australasian two-yearly tech events over the next couple of weeks. We’ll keep you updated. For the New Zealand industry, if you’re involved in log measurement, harvesting, wood transport, planning or logistics, late registrations to the 26-27 June event in Rotorua can still be made on the event website. Enjoy this week’s read.

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Future Foresters down under

Future Foresters was conceived between a group of savvy young foresters during a well-lubricated conversation at the annual NZIF conference last year – aptly themed: “The Future of the New Zealand Forestry Sector”.

Skills and labour shortages, the need for more trees, and forestry’s negative public image were just a few of the issues discussed. This, combined with the incredible opportunities us new recruits at the table had already encountered, meant we were left listening with an awareness of the problems but concerned for what we perceived was a lack of action.

Future Foresters was born from the realisation that forestry’s perception needs to change. This perception issue is currently hindering the awareness of forestry as a viable career pathway for young New Zealanders and Future Foresters seeks to be part of the solution to change this.

Although initially a conversation making light of the industry’s current situation (finding humour in difficult situations might be one of the best kiwi traits) we approached a few our more experienced NZIF counterparts in the room and the response to forming a young foresters group was thoroughly encouraged.

From that slightly tipsy birth we have been working hard (and soberly…) to decide what we can do towards solving this issue and creating action. Our peers unanimously believe their futures in forestry look bright and promising (and we agree!). We are aware of the troubles forestry faces but we are also the ones who are likely to deal with consequences as we look 10, 20, and 30 years to the future. We are happy to own up to forestry’s shortcomings and want to be proactive and involved in coming up with innovative solutions.

As millennials in the forestry sector we may have slightly different values to some of our more seasoned colleagues. This does not mean that we cannot learn from those who have gone before and it also does not mean that our views should be wholly discounted. At its truest essence it means that we need to work collaboratively to find our collective voice, specifically relating to the issue of connecting with the next generation of New Zealand’s forest workers and managers.

We love forestry but we hate forestry’s perception:

We are going to give our best shot at promoting forestry for what it is by showing young New Zealanders the diverse and rewarding career opportunities that a modern-day forester has.

We want to connect all young people, within the broadest sense of the industry, to create a nationwide community of young foresters. We want to link this community to the experienced and knowledgeable current foresters and facilitate knowledge sharing opportunities so the lessons of the past are not lost. We want to provide resources and guidance to get young foresters into schools to promote their story. And we want to be able to provide a friendly, relaxed environment where young foresters can get guidance on their career opportunities and have the chance to have their voice heard within the industry.

We want to give back:

Although we are all young and starting out, we want to give back. Already we are seeing payback from the industry and want to give that opportunity to any like-minded people searching for a career that is rewarding, dynamic, and has the ability to influence landscapes and environment alike. This is what attracted us to forestry – a passion for the environment, a respect for nature, a love of the outdoors, and a desire to be a driver for change –having a career with purpose, that is what millennials want.

The Launch:

Future Foresters have been established as a special interest group under the NZIF. We are kicking off with an all-inclusive Quiz Night to be held at the Rutherford Hotel as part of the annual NZIF conference in Nelson (9th July, 7pm-late). We aim to provide an inviting and social atmosphere with an eye for facilitating important networking connections between the young and the not-so-young. This is a perfect opportunity to discover what Future Foresters is about (also it’s a free!).

We will be looking for anyone who shares our passion and is willing to be involved to sign up. We will especially be looking for leaders to represent and organise regional Future Foresters groups and events. Anyone (at any stage of their career) is invited to show their support and encourage the next generation of foresters by becoming a mentor or by offering to lend support in any way possible.

This will be the very first opportunity to get your hands on some much-anticipated Future Foresters swag and to showcase to the rest of NZ that you are part of this developing community. We employ anyone with an ounce of desire to promote the future of forestry to join us on the 9th of July and, if not, to support our cause, offer your advice, or simply encourage the young around you to be involved!!

Registrations to the conference and the Quiz Night can be found here.

And with all that being said we are working hard to create our online presence to engage and promote the industry. This begins with the hot off the press Future Foresters website launched today! Take a look, let us know what you think, and watch this space as we have many exciting developments and interesting opportunities in the works over the coming year.

Check out the new website:

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Drymill Innovations focus for WoodTECH 2018

The programmes are out. We’ve been busy working alongside many dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations locally, local and global tech providers and researchers over the last couple of months. Together, we’ve been designing the eagerly awaited WoodTECH 2018 series. It’s set to run firstly in Melbourne, Australia on 11-12 September and then again in Rotorua, New Zealand for wood producers on 18-19 September.

“Last year, we had a record turnout to the WoodTECH series” said FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “Over 400 sawmill managers, production and operational staff along with key tech providers attended. Exhibition booths actually sold out well in advance of the series being run. In fact, it was the largest gathering yet seen of sawmilling companies, saw-doctors and sawing technology providers from around the globe in Australasia”.

So, what’s on this year? Based on the feedback from last years’ event and discussions with producers on both sides of the Tasman, WoodTECH 2018 will be focussing on innovations and new technologies around dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations.

“The previous two WoodTECH events, 2017 and 2015 have both concentrated on sawmill scanning, sawing and green-mill optimisation technologies. It’s actually eight years ago since we’ve run a tech event in this area so it’s long overdue”.

The September series will be covering;

- Robotics and automation and changes being seen in wood manufacturing
- Advances in wood scanning and board optimisation
- Finger-jointing, cross cutting and ripping
- Timber gluing and laminating
- Timber machining
- Kiln drying
- Timber finishing
- Material handling operations
- Mill maintenance
- Changes to timber standards
- H&S, training and skills development

Programmes for both Australia and New Zealand have now been posted onto the event website, Check them out.

“As well as more practical sessions aimed at mill production and operational staff, we have this year been able to build in technologies right at forefront of scanning, optimisation and wood handling technologies” says Brent Apthorp. “We’ve included advanced technologies like robotics, industrial exoskeletons which are being used increasingly to reduce worker fatigue in the manufacturing environment, wearable technologies to harness the power of mobile connected employees on-site and laser cutting of wood in the series”.

Already, aside from leading Australian and New Zealand presenters, we’ve got major tech providers from Sweden, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, the USA and Canada who have lined up to present at WoodTECH 2018. As they did in 2017, exhibitors likewise, are going to provide an important tech update to local producers as part of this year’s series.

Programme information is on line. Registration details are also now live. Special discounted registration rates have been set up and limited spaces for exhibiting are still available. You can check all of the details out on the event website,

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Fallout from log flood damage continues

It comes as torrential rain on Monday last week washed 1 million tonnes of forest debris onto roads, bridges and properties in Tolaga Bay, which the Gisborne Council estimates will cost up to NZ$10 million to clean up. New Zealand’s Forestry Minister Shane Jones has called on companies to step up, but at least one company said the answer may be pulling out of the East Coast altogether. More >>

Source: radionz

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Forestry companies committing to help out after storm

President of the Forest Owners Association Peter Weir expects a raft of changes within the industry, he says, following criticism about the way it handles debris.

Residents in the Gisborne region are calling for the industry to be held accountable after logging debris carried in floodwaters, caused million tonnes of logs and forest debris to be dumped on farms, in rivers and on beaches over the last week.

Flood-hit farmers around Tolaga Bay have demanded an immediate halt to all forestry in the area, until a government inquiry into the industry was carried out.

Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir, who is also the environment manager for a Gisborne forestry company, said the debris was from trees harvested five years ago. He told Checkpoint not much could be done to help with the clean-up until roads were restored.

"We have offered housing to people who are dislocated. We are offering our counselling services to such people. We would love to get down with our machinery out of the forest to help the clean-up but there is a couple of large holes in the district council road where landslides have come down on farms," Mr Weir said.

"Farmers don't want our heavy machinery on their paddocks because the paddocks are sodden and we can absolutely understand that. So, we all have to collectively take a breath and wait until this dries out a bit."

Mr Weir said it was the first he had heard of the farmers' request for $100 million to clean up the mess but his company was committed to help in other ways.

"Our company has committed to make excavators available for as long as it takes to do the clean-up but as I say we have to wait for the sun to come out and the paddocks to dry out a bit before we can do that." More >>.

Source: Radio NZ

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Forestry workplace culture and technology brings results

A major event on forest safety practices is set to showcase how forestry leaders have brought about practical benefits to logging and forestry workplaces through changes in culture and technology.

“The forest industry has developed major new safety improvements in both workplace culture and technologies to reduce harm on the forest floor,” says Forest Industry Engineering Association event manager, Gordon Thomson. “We’ve got lots of practical leaders to talk about real case studies for this year’s conference series.”

Registrations are now open for the August 2018 series running in Rotorua and Melbourne. Thanks to great support from industry, led by principal event partners McFall Fuel and VicForests, a special on-line early-bird delegate registration offer is now available for a limited time. To take advantage of this offer go to the event website, Forest Safety

“Our Safety & Technology conference coming this August has a great line up of inspiring and practical speakers. Many of them have already delivered safety outcomes for their teams and clients. The practical information they will bring includes some notable results with industry leading contractors,” adds Thomson.

“FIEA has once again teamed up with the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) to organise workshops in addition to our one-day conferences,” says Thomson. “Here in New Zealand we have worked with Fiona Ewing of FISC. So FISC will host a workshop for people to interact – from the forest floor to the CEOs.”

In Australia there is a pan-industry workshop on the afternoon before the FIEA conference – from 1 to 5pm on 14th August also at the Bayview Eden Hotel in Melbourne. FIEA has worked with Diana Lloyd of Forestworks in Australia as well as Stacey Gardiner from Australian Forest Contractors Association.

Some of the ‘must-see’ keynote speakers are:

- Hillary Bennett, practical thought leader and champion of safety culture change with many forestry crews in both New Zealand and Australia;
- Dale Ewers, industry innovator and director of both Moutere Logging and international forest automation equipment manufacturer, DC Equipment.

The conference lineups of local speakers are all practical industry leaders and safety champions. They’ve come forward to support the 4th FIEA Forest Safety & Technology Conference. This conference series sold out in 2017 and is running again in August 2018 in Rotorua and Melbourne.

The summit is on 8th August in Rotorua at the Distinction Hotel. The following week, 15th March, it runs at the Bayview Eden Hotel in Melbourne. For full conference details see:

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TV and online spreading the wood message

Across Australia, award-winning architect Peter Maddison, host of Grand Designs Australia, is entering the living rooms and devices of hundreds of thousands of people, with news about the wellbeing, productivity and other advantages of wood for Planet Ark and Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA).

The commercials, produced under Planet Ark’s Make It Wood brand and co-branded Wood. Naturally Better.™ will run on free-to-air and pay TV in metropolitan and major regional markets across Australia, plus online, in an impactful, targeted schedule.

Now in its sixth successful media exposure, the campaign, comprising a 30 second and 15 second spots, covers the wellbeing and productivity benefits of wood in the workplace, supported by messages about the advantages of other uses of timber, including framing and wood in the home.

On free to air TV channels 7 and 9, the spots will feature in popular programs including the News, A Current Affair, Better Homes and Gardens and House Rules. The videos will be complemented by an online content marketing campaign designed to amplify the message and engage users by extending the information about the role of wood in promoting wellbeing and improved productivity in the workplace.

“A new message in this campaign is the role that wood can play in creating work environments in which people feel greater wellbeing and more productive,” said Eileen Newbury, FWPA’s National Marketing and Communications Manager.

“This information comes from a ground-breaking report that is one of the first instances in the world in which anecdotal evidence about the benefits of wood in the built environment is supported by reliable data,” Ms Newbury said, “it has received international coverage, and we look forward to it stimulating conversation in the Australian market.”

The report, Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity is available for download at:

The commercials, which are available for use by FWPA members and Wood. Naturally Better.™ Program Partners, can be viewed at;

Source: FWPA

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Lidar market expected to reach US$2b by 2023

According to a comprehensive new market research report, the overall Lidar market is expected to reach over US$1.8 billion by 2023, up from US$819.1 million in 2018, at a CAGR of 17.2%. Encouragement from the governments and institutes for the adoption of Lidar while conducting geological surveys is the major factor driving the growth of this market.

Introduction of technologically enhanced Lidar is also fuelling the market. The report, titled "LiDAR Market by Type (Mechanical LiDAR and Solid-State LiDAR), Installation (Airborne and Ground-Based), Application (Corridor Mapping, ADAS & Driverless Car, and Engineering), Range, Component, Service, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2023" is published by MarketsandMarkets.

Further information on the report findings and a link to download the report can be found on News.

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Proposal to improve ETS forestry rules

New Zealand’s Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Climate Change Minister James Shaw have released a consultation paper proposing a dozen improvements to forestry regulations in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

“We have listened to the sector and these improvements are another step towards making investment and participation in forestry easier and cheaper,” Jones said in a joint statement with Shaw. The proposals take into account feedback from the 2015/16 NZ ETS Review, along with insights from the submission of mandatory emissions returns from the 2,300 forestry participants in the scheme.

Forest owners participate in the ETS in two ways. Owners can apply to register their post-1989 forest land into the ETS to earn the main unit of trade in the ETS, the New Zealand Unit. Pre-1990 forest landowners can harvest and replant their forest without any liability but when non-exempt pre-1990 land is deforested they must submit an emissions return and pay units for deforestation.

The proposed changes address gaps and weaknesses in the current carbon accounting methodology, and correct other technical issues that have become apparent since the regulations were last amended. They also simplify the operation of the forestry components of the ETS, without running counter to longer-term solutions that require legislative change, and reduce fiscal and reputational risk to the Crown, according to the discussion document.

The submission period will be open until 3 July and ministers will consider final proposals arising from the documents later in 2018, and any new or amended regulations would come into force in early 2019, the ministers said. They added that the changes are independent of other policy changes that may occur following the NZ ETS review and which will be consulted on later this year.

Further information and details relating to submissions can be found here.

Source: BusinessDesk

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Top NZ forestry scholars rewarded

Winners of the inaugural IFS Growth Tertiary Scholarship awards have been announced for 2018. This prestigious scholarship initiative was established by IFS Growth, to support exemplar students, in pursuit of a qualification for the forestry industry. The award provides a powerful kick-start into the world of forestry with cash towards course tuition fees, work experience opportunities and entry into the company’s graduate career programme.

CEO of IFS Growth James Treadwell is excited about the calibre of the successful applicants this year. They have been put through a rigorous selection process. The scholarship criteria include academic excellence, and the ability to demonstrate a strong affinity and passion for the forestry industry.

“We look for those dedicated students, who are motivated to succeed long-term, within the forestry industry. Forestry offers a great range of rewarding jobs for graduates interested in areas such as sustainability, R&D, innovation, the environment, management, as well as traditional forest floor logistics. We’ve seen an increase in capability and diversity in the scholarship applicants which bodes well for the industry’s future”.

Three clear scholarship winners have been selected from a strong field this year: Rhys Black, Grace Marshall and Dan Montgomery. All are currently students of University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry. They will each receive $5000 per annum towards their university course fees and gain a place in the IFS Growth’s graduate scheme. The future looks bright for these foresters of the future, and for the industry they are headed towards.

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Director appointed to Timber Durability & Design Centre

One of the world’s most renowned figures in timber durability and protection, Professor Jeff Morrell of Oregon State University, has been appointed as Director of the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life for a term of five years.

The Centre, which is based at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, is a strategic initiative led by FWPA, and is a partnership between industry, academia and government designed to put Australia at the forefront of international best practice. It aims to use evidence-based data, systems and tools to underpin consumer confidence in the performance of timber products.

In particular, the goal over the next five years is to develop a predictive, evidence-based model to enable architects and building specifiers to more easily choose the right timber for the right task, accurately forecasting structural performance and design life.

Professor Morrell is currently a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Wood Science & Engineering at Oregon State University and is a former President of the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) and the International Research Group on Wood Protection.

He has extensive standards development experience through his involvement in AWPA and currently chairs the Committee on Treatment Standards for Utility Poles, which has seen him work with a variety of treaters on quality control, particularly with difficult-to-treat species.

Although based in his home country of the USA for most of his career, Professor Morrell has spent a number of years working in Australia on sabbatical, where his important work around wood durability and protection has seen him become a well-known and respected figure within both the local and international industries, and the local research community.

Managing Director of FWPA, Ric Sinclair, said he was delighted to welcome an expert of Professor Morrell’s calibre. “Jeff has a long-held interest in Australia’s forest and wood industry, and it is exciting to hear his enthusiasm for maximising the many opportunities that exist here. We believe he is the perfect fit for the role, having spent extended periods of time working within and familiarising himself with the Australian industry, while also bringing a fresh perspective thanks to his vast international experience and impressive body of work,” he said.

The Centre was launched in 2016 under the leadership of Founding Fellow Professor Phil Evans and, although based in Queensland, it has been set up to take a national and international approach. Other partners investing in the Centre include the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

To find out more about the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life, contact Chris Lafferty at Forest and Wood Products Australia on

Source: FWPA

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New forestry scholarship launched

A new forestry scholarship was launched at National Fieldays on Wednesday by New Zealand Forestry Ministers Shane Jones and Meka Whaitiri. The new scholarship aims to grow the capability of the forestry sector and increase the number of women and Maori in the industry.

“The new scholarship – Nga Karapihi Uru Rakau – provides $8,000 a year to Maori and female students enrolling in either a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering at the University of Canterbury,” Shane Jones said.

“It also provides a paid internship with Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) and other forestry employers. Four scholarships will be awarded for the 2019 academic year, and this will increase to a total of 18 over the next three years”.

“The One Billion Trees programme is a key focus for this Government and we want to ensure that our young men and women see forestry as a sustainable and exciting career. We need to ensure we have the right skills today and in the future to increase sustainability, productivity and value in the primary industries, and address environmental challenges”.

Nga Karapihi Uru Rakau - Forestry Scholarships will be available both to school leavers and people working in the industry who want to upskill and undertake tertiary study. Applications open in September and close in December with the successful applicants announced early next year.

More information about the scholarships and how to apply here.

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PF Olsen replacement CEO announced

Forestry services firm PF Olsen Ltd has announced a replacement CEO for Peter Clark when he steps down at the end of September this year.

Te Kapunga Dewes will join the Rotorua headquartered company as CEO. Mr Dewes has a strong background in forestry and wood processing and for 7 years was the NZ General Manager for Contract Resources, a substantial firm servicing the energy sector. He has a degree in Forestry from Canterbury University, and an MBA with distinction from Waikato University.

PF Olsen has 200 staff and employs hundreds of contractors servicing forest establishment and harvesting operations across Australia and New Zealand. The company was founded in 1971 by the late Peter Olsen. Peter Clark joined it in 1979 and became CEO in 1999.

Mr Dewes will be just the third CEO in the 47-year history of the firm. He joins at a time when the forest industry is in a growth phase. There is an expanding harvest profile based on extensive plantings during the 1990s and recognition that planting more trees is a cost effective domestic response needed to meet New Zealand’s international climate change commitments.

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Timber prefab picks up major Australian award

A timber, prefabricated “innovation hub” by Architectus has been named the overall winner of an awards program that rewards innovative education design. The Macquarie University Incubator won the overall prize at the 18th Excellence in Educational Facilities Awards. The awards are organized by the Association for Learning Environments Australasia, which describes itself as the “peak body advocating for innovative learning environments throughout Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.” The organization draws its membership from both education sector and design and architecture.

The Incubator was also the winner in the “New Construction / New Individual Facility over $8 million” category. The jury said the building, which was completed in 2017 in just five months, “makes innovators want to be there and users want to innovate, linking the mind and spirit through form.

The predominantly timber building, which was fabricated off–site and assembled at Macquarie University, includes a ceiling structure made of cross–laminated timber (CLT), large span Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) beams and Glulam V columns. Construction involved Lipman and Strongbuild.

Johnson said the use of a range of engineered timbers allowed the architects to create “a sequence of spaces that are tactile and characteristically warm. And, somewhat unexpectedly, the natural aroma of this timber palette is a pleasure for its users.” More >>.

Photo: The Macquarie University Incubator by Architectus. Image: Brett Boardman


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Design build giant acquires Michael Green Architecture

In three short years, the design/build firm Katerra has grown from a Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s bright idea into what soon could be one of the largest commercial residential construction firms in the U.S. The strategy: vertically integrate every layer of construction, from design to the fixtures and subcontracting in order to lower costs, build faster, and raise quality.

The means: venture capital (over US$1 billion so far) plus acquisitions of existing companies in the building and products industry. Now Katerra is moving to buy architecture firms, and today is announcing the acquisition of the mass timber innovator Michael Green Architecture of Vancouver (who has visited this region a number of times to profile tall timber buildings), with a staff of 25. Other purchases are on the way.

“It was love at first sight,” said Michael Marks, chairman and co-founder of Katerra, by phone. “Michael Green and his team have built a reputation for engaging design and leadership in the use of mass timber. This goes a long way to support our mission to utilize cutting-edge technology and systems to revolutionize the construction industry.”

To date, Katerra has focused on market-rate multi-family housing, student and senior living, and master-planned developments for the apartment giant Wolff Company, supplying everything from integrated wall systems to cabinetry and fixtures. But the company is plotting a major mass timber push with a state-of-the-art 250,000-square-foot CLT factory in Spokane, Washington, opening in early 2019.

One of the earliest and most forceful North American proponents of mass timber, Green is best known for two of the continent’s largest CLT structures: the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, British Columbia, and T3, a 220,000-square-foot seven-story office building in Minneapolis.

“It’s an unusual deal: they effectively bought our brand,” Green said of the merger. “It couldn’t be a better scenario: we get all of Katerra’s cool innovation capacity and R&D. We’ve been developing product concepts for mass timber and now we’ll be able to get into the shop and create some major leaps forward.”

Marks, the former head of Flex and interim CEO of Tesla, started Katerra in 2015 with Fritz Wolff, chairman of Wolff Company, and Jim Davidson, one of the founders of the venture firm Silver Lake. Nineteen projects are under construction, and dozens more in design, with reported billings of US$1.3 billion, and over 1,500 employees.

Green said his firm is awash in new work since T3. The alliance with Katerra will give the office needed capacity without loosening his fingers from design. He will continue with non-Katerra “one-offs,” like two new mixed-use towers in Paris and a 200,000-square-foot culture/sports complex above the Arctic Circle in Gallivare, Sweden. He will also continue to operate his own non-profit design/build school.

“Architects have done a great disservice to the world by concentrating on those who can afford architecture rather than on making architecture affordable to more people,” Green said. “That fundamental belief is driving us toward the Katerra model. I want to be on the inside track. Michael Green Architecture will retain its name and location, but now as a subsidiary of Katerra with Green as CEO. Neither party disclosed the acquisition’s terms.


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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... robot for sale

A father buys a lie detector robot that slaps people when they lie. He decides to test it out at dinner one night. The father asks the son what he did that afternoon.

The son says, “I did some school work.”

The robot slaps the son.

The son says, “Ok, ok. I was at a friend’s house watching movies.”

Dad asks, “What movie did you watch?”

Son says, “Toy Story.”

The robot slaps the son.

Son says, “Ok, ok. We were watching porn.”

Dad says, “What? At your age I didn’t even know what porn was.”

The robot slaps the father.

Mum laughs and says, “Well, he certainly is your son.”

The robot slaps the mother.

Robot for sale.

And on that note, enjoy your weekend and we look forward to catching up with many of you next week in Melbourne at the WoodFlow 2018 event. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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