Timber Talks Series 2

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WoodSolutions Timber Talks: Series 2

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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S02 E12 - Ho Ho Vienna - Richard Woschitz, Woschitz Group

HoHo Vienna is the world's tallest wooden tower, standing at 24 floors and 84m in height and is a great example of how we can combine concrete and timber to achieve the best solution for mid to high-rise buildings. Richard Woschitz, of the Woschitz Group is the Structural Engineer for the project. We spoke to him about the structural system and the feasibility for high-rise timber buildings, importance of including fire authorities for innovative projects and managing moisture during the construction process

S02 E11 Future of Mid-rise Timber Buildings - Jennifer Cover, WoodWorks USA

The market for mid-rise timber buildings is growing at a rapid pace all around the world. Jennifer Cover is the President and CEO of WoodWorks in the USA, an organisation very similar to that of WoodSolutions here in Australia. Jennifer is involved with a large range of projects across the USA with a lot of learnings for us building professionals here in Australia. I was lucky to sit down with her to discus innovative project delivery models, when to engage with suppliers and the cost differences for timber buildings compared to traditional construction.

S2 E10 Re-imagining Cities with Sidewalk Labs

Re-imagining Cities with Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Labs are owned by Alphabet, the same organisation that owns a familiar company called Google. They combine forward thinking-urban design and cutting-edge technology to radically improve urban life around the world. They're planning to build a city out of timber as part of their Quayside development in Toronto, to get the carbon sequestration benefits and fast build times possible with timber.

Karim Khalifa is the Director of Building Innovations at Sidewalk Labs, today we speak to him about the timber buildings they're looking at - including a 35 storey proposed timber tower, how Alphabet engineers can assist in construction and innovative fire design approaches.

To find out more about Sidewalk Labs, head to:


The WS Technical Design Guide can be found here:


S2 E07 Landscape Architecture and the External Use of Timber

Shaun Walsh is the National President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and the CEO of City Parklands in Brisbane. Shaun's professional career has spanned 25 years in landscape architecture. Landscape architects are responsible for the design of al the spaces between our buildings, having a major impact on the well-being, sustainability and physical comfort of the occupants in a city. In this episode we discuss biophilic design, lessons from the indigenous and the designing for the external use of timber.

S2 E01 Michael Marks on Katerra’s Vision for Construction

Michael Marks is the co-founder of Katerra, a vertically integrated company setting up a global supply chain, utilising factories and prefabrication to paving an entirely new construction process with a quantum leap in efficiency. Michael has been named the top 10 CEO's of all time within Silicon Valley, as he has previously grown Flextronics from $93 million revenue to $16 billion, and was previously an interim CEO of Tesla.

The multi-trillion dollar global construction industry is ready for change. Construction companies typically invest less than 1% of revenue into new technologies - lower than every other major industry. Katerra is on a mission to change this by optimising every aspect of building design, materials supply and construction. Early results indicate we can expect an improvement in quality, increase in productivity and a reduction in overall costs.

S2 E02 2019 National Construction Code Changes - Part 1

Changes to the 2019 National Construction Code Volume One increase the range of buildings, up to an effective height of 25m, in which fire-protected timber construction systems can be used. New responsibilities are placed on the Structural Engineer, Architect and Certifier. Today we speak with Paolo Lavisci, the Mid-rise Program Development Manager at WoodSolutions and Boris Iskra, National Codes and Standards Manager at FWPA about:

  • What are the new 2019 NCC updates,

  • Which building types have the greatest opportunities from the changes

  • The general movement of building codes around the world

This is a two part series in which the first focuses on the DTS provisions of the 2019 NCC. The next episode explores the performance solution approach for exposed timber.

You can download WoodSolutions Mid-rise Technical Design Guide here

S2 E03 Life Cycle of a Timber Product

Sustainability is currently a trend around the globe, and Australia has signed to the Paris Climate Change agreement, committing to keep global warming to below 1.5C to 2.0C. The buildings industry has made a lot of progress in understanding the solutions for operational energy, and inevitably the proportion of impacts that come from structural materials is increasing. Timber construction has a big role to play in reducing the  impacts of materials, and therefore understanding the effect of its complete life cycle is essential.

S2 E04 Performance Solution for Exposed Timber

Research has shown that utilising exposed timber increases our connection with nature is one of the major elements of biophilic design with proven benefits in well-being and productivity. It also is commonly desired by architects for the beautiful finish, and by developers for market differentiation. 

The performance solution and engagement of fire engineers allows designers to utilise a much higher proportion of exposed timber structure. Today we speak with Rob Dixon and Travis Stirling, Senior Fire Engineers from Arup on their perspective on achieving performance solutions. We also discuss all the risks and the options for exposing timber in mid-rise timber buildings.

If you would like free generic advice on both the DTS provisions or the performance approach for your project, the WoodSolutions team will be able to help. You can contact Adam Jones at jones@woodsolutions.com.au, and he will put you in touch with the right team member.

You can download the WoodSolutions Mid-rise Technical Design Guide here

S2 E05 Design, Prefabrication and Robotics for Efficient Offsite Construction

One of the advantages of timber, is it's ability to enable prefabrication for a building to simultaneously improve quality, price and program for a project. The design, logistics and manufacturing are all critical for efficient offsite construction to achieve these productivity gains.

At the Frame Australia 2019 conference, WoodSolutions' Adam Jones spoke with 3 world leading experts on this topic. In this episode you will first hear Nick Hewson the Design Manager for XLAM on DFMA and logistics, second is Karel Vinckier the founder of HSBCAD on the evolution of BIM, and finally you will hear from Ola Skoglund the COO of Randek on advancements in robotics.

S2 E06 Understanding Timber Connections

Hans Blass is a professor of timber engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and  is world renowned for his work on innovative and reliable structural timber connections.

He is the author of the book 'Timber Engineering - Principles for Design' and previous winner of the Marcus Wallenberg Prize, for significant contribution to forestry and forest industries.

Hans came to Australia for the Pacifc Timber Engineering Conference, PTEC, where WoodSolutions' Adam Jones spoke to him about connections, sustainability and a taste for how timber is developing in Germany.

Please note, owing to the conference venue, there is some ambient noise.

S2 E08 The story behind a 5 storey CLT apartment block Part 1

In Part 1 of the interview we discuss the influence of early contractor involvement, the relationship between the timber specialist engineer, the project engineer and the supplier engineers, and the use of building information modelling for the project.

We hope you enjoy it, and stay tunned for Part 2.

S2 E09 The story behind a 5 storey CLT apartment block Part 2

In Part 2 of the interview we discuss: How to achieve an efficient construction methodology, the importance of manageing moiosture in design and construction and the lessons learned by the architect, engineer and builder.

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