Timber Talks Series 1

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WoodSolutions Timber Talks

Timber is becoming known as the building material of the 21st Century. It is strong – a high strength to weight ratio is recently being utilised with innovative developments; it is safe – being both durable and achieving fire ratings; it is sustainable – the most viable mainstream building material option, storing carbon to reduce the effects of global warming.

Research by McGraw and Hill suggests that innovation in the construction industry has been stagnant for over 50 years - with less than 2% being invested in R&D in the USA. Now, innovation suggests that timber may match the productivity gains shown by other industries, as new applications of traditional products and new engineered wood products  are suitable for prefabrication that allows rapid construction cycles and reduces costs.

Presented by Adam Jones, an Australian engineer working in the industry, Timber Talks, gives you an informative and inspiring insight into the best design practices, latest innovations and interesting case studies from the world leading experts in timber design, specification and construction.

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S1 E01 Timber Talks: Enabling Productivity with Prefabricated Timber Systems, Adam Strong

Adam Strong is Managing Director at Strongbuild, a Sydney-based company specialising in streamlined building systems and sustainable resources with a focus on the design and delivery of multi-residential, aged-care and retirement living projects. One of the advantages of timber, is its ability to enable prefabrication for a building to simultaneously improve quality, price and program for a project.

In this interview with Adam we discuss:

  • How stepping back in the supply chain has given Strongbuild the control to produce higher quality offsite, enable higher productivity onsite and push innovation
  • Why early contractor involvement is key to unlocking all of the productivity benefits for timber construction
  • Why design, detailing and logistics are fundamentals for a successful prefabricated project

Building professionals globally are turning to timber in mid-rise construction as it provides a healthier, environmentally friendly (carbon), sustainable, efficiently off-site prefabricated solution that dramatically reduces construction times and accordingly the overall cost of the project

If you want to find out more about Strongbuild, go to www.strongbuild.com.au


S1 E02 Architectural Opportunities for Biophilic Design, Caroline Pidcock

What can we say about Caroline Pidcock that her Wiki bio - see below - doesn't? Other than we are very privileged to have her as one of our first podcast interviewees.

We enjoyed it, and hope you do too.

Caroline Pidcock

(from Wiki - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Pidcock)

Pidcock is a campaigner for environmental and community issues. Her commitment led to her standing as an independent candidate for the Legislative Council in the 2007 New South Wales state election[2] and appointment as an ambassador for the Al Gore Climate Change[3] and 1 Million Women initiatives – a movement of women and girls fighting climate change by taking practical action.[4]

More recently, Pidcock has been an active voice in the Millers Point Residents Action Group, campaigning to retain public housing in Millers Point and Dawes Point. She is also currently a member of the Sacred Heart Education Ministry and the South Australian Forestry Industry Advisory Boards.[3]Previously she has also held presidential roles with the New South Wales and National Councils of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council; Chaired the Carriageworks and Living Future Institute of Australia Boards; has been a member of the New South Wales Architects Registration and Bicycle New South Wales Boards; representative for the industry on the Australian Building Codes Board and held adjunct roles at several New South Wales based universities.[3]

Pidcock's sustained leadership in built environment sector led to her appointment as a Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 2006.

In July 2011, Pidcock was awarded the prestigious Marion Mahony Griffin Award by the Australian Institute of Architects in recognition of her contribution to architecture in New South Wales.

As part of the centenary of Canberra celebrations, Pidcock delivered the ‘Magic of Australia – with regards to the Griffins‘ lecture for the Walter Burley Griffin Society's annual Marion Mahony Griffin Lecture.


S1 E03 Part 1 - Pushing he Boundaries with Timber Construction - Jonathan Evans, Tzannes and Karl-Heinz Weiss, Lendlease

Jonathan Evans is a partner at Tzannes, who was the lead architect on International House in Sydney, a 7 storey commercial office building designed for Lendlease, which won the Grand Prix Australian Timber Design Award 2017; and Karl-Heinz Weiss, an engineer and the general manager for DesignMake at Lendlease. He has extensive experience in Australia and internationally.

In Part 1 of this discussion, we cover:

• How timber stacks up, cost wise with traditional construction

• The response of tenants in constructed timber buildings, like International House in Sydney

• The psychological and health effects of exposed timber, and opportunities in educational and office buildings

S1 E04 Part 2 - Pushing he Boundaries with Timber Construction - Jonathan Evans, Tzannes and Karl-Heinz Weiss, Lendlease

Jonathan Evans is a partner at Tzannes, who was previously the lead architect on International House in Sydney, a 7 storey commercial office building designed for Lendlease, which previously won the Australian Timber Design Award 2017; and Karl-Heinz Weiss, an engineer and the general manager for DesignMake at Lendlease, who has extensive experience he is bringing to Australia, working on projects like K5, the world's largest engineered timber office building in Brisbane, and a proposed major redevelopment at Collins Wharf in Melbourne.

Jonathan and Karl-Heinz are teaming up together for their next project, C1 in Barangaroo which is being called 'The Big Sister' of International House, which is also 7 storeys, but have decided to continue to push the boundaries, by increasing the floor spans by a further 50%..

In Part 2 of this discussion, we cover:

  • How to break new ground and innovate in both engineering and architecture
  • The lessons learned from previous projects, to be taken into C1
  • The flow from digital work flow, to physical prefabrication and then to construction of building elements
  • The importance of sustainability and reducing embodied carbon in our buildings

S1 E05 Recent Advances in Timber Construction in the UK - Part 1

Nick Milestone is the Chairman of the Timber Research Development Association, and Philipp Zumbrunnen is a director at Eurban limited, both based out of London. This is a two part series where we listen to these two world renowned international experts discuss how the mid-rise timber building market is developing, from the perspective of the United Kingdom.


In part one of this two part series, we discuss:


  • The construction targets for the UK for 2025, and how prefabricated timber systems, integrated design and early contractor involvement can be combined to meet these goals
  • The advantages timber has with design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) over traditional construction, and why we are on the cusp of a revolution in construction methods
  • The opportunities to stimulate manufacturing sector, and the response of timber construction workers on site

S1 E06 Recent Advances in Timber Construction in the UK - Part 2

In part two of this two part series, we discuss:

  • How a holistic view is the key to enabling construction gains in timber projects
  • Why the approach to timber buildings need to be designed from a first principles paradigm and the opportunities for smaller companies to come on this timber journey
  • Why Australia is in the unique position to develop a supply sustainably sourced supply chain to enable a growing market

S1 E07 Australia's Tallest Timber Commercial Office Building

Basil Richardson is a Studio Director at Bates Smart, where he leads technical design, documentation and construction for many of the firm's large scale timber projects. In this episode, we talk about 25 King Street, a 10 storey timber building which has just been completed and is currently Australia's tallest timber commercial office building.

S1 E08 A Sustainability Revolution for Construction

A conversation with Andrew Waugh, the founding director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, a world leading architectural practice in the use of cross-laminated timber. He was the pioneer for CLT, with Stadhaus in 2008 and the architect for the worlds largest CLT project, Dalston Lane completed in 2017.

S1 E09 Timber Engineering Fundamentals for Taller Buildings and Longer Floors

Dr Andy Buchanan is one of the pioneers of modern timber construction, developing new engineering concepts, such as the X-Lam technology with University of Canterburry, and is author of Structural Design for Fire Safety and the New Zealand Timber Design Guide.

S1 E10 Disruption for Construction

Robert Malczyk is a timber structural engineering specialist, and the founder of Equilibrium consulting from Canada, which has recently been acquired by construction technology company Katerra, who are looking to revolutionise the construction industry through prefabrication and advanced manufacturing. Robert is a forward thinking and procative engineer, and when we spoke to him at the World Conference of Timber Engineering (WCTE) in Korea, he caused some controversy with his forward thinking views about what disruption is set for construction on the horizon.

S1 E11 Meet the WoodSolutions Mid-rise Team

In this episode, we meet the WoodSolutions Mid-rise Team, and discuss the momentum of timber in Australia since the program's inception in 2016, and provide useful advice for professionals looking to use timber construction systems on their next project.

S1 E12 Timber Education - Bridging the Gap

Lisa Thom is a Structural Engineer, and Design Manager for Lendlease and a Timber Engineering Course Lecturer at the University of New South Wales.

S1 E13 10 Storey CLT Extension - Part 1

The project, 55 Southbank Boulevard is a new landmark  in Melbourne, being crowned as the the worlds tallest timber building extension, with a 10 storey cross laminated  structure sitting on top of an existing 7 storey concrete building. 

S1 E14 10 Storey CLT Extension - Part 2

In part two of this two part discussion: The role of building information modelling, and the utilisation of these models for fabrication and construction The importance of collaborating with shop drawers and and installers for successful prefabrication All of the key lessons learned on the project 

S1 E15 Michael Green - Improving Efficiency, Flexibility and Quality with Integrated Design

A fascinating chat with Michael Green who founded Michael Green Architecture in 2012 with a focus on advanced wood buildings that support community, health and the environment.  Michael is known for his research, leadership and advocacy for timber buildings, and is the author of 'Tall Wood Buildings' and has multiple TED Talks that have had hundreds of thousands of views.

S1 E16 Christophe Sigrist – Complex Structures

Christophe Sigrist is a professor of Timber Design and Steel Design at the Burne University of Applied Sciences, a member of numerous code technical committees in Europe and a Director of ongoing research work, undergraduate and post graduate projects on cutting edge timber design.

S1 E17 Greg Nolan – Wood Masterclass: Material Basics, Durability and Conceptual Design

Greg Nolan is an Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania's Discipline of Architecture and Design and Director of the University's Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood. Greg has been involved with research and development aimed at improving the use of wood and timber products in sustainable building, and maximising the recovery of wood products from available resources.

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