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    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
    The Honourable Leanne Donaldson

    Sky’s the limit for Queensland timber construction

    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
    The Honourable Leanne Donaldson

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    Sky’s the limit for Queensland timber construction

     Forestry Minister Leanne Donaldson today opened a research centre at the University of Queensland to develop the use of timber in high-rise construction.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is investing $1 million in a collaborative project with UQ, the Australian Research Centre and key industry players to create the Centre for Future Timber Structures,” Minister Donaldson said.

    “The centre’s mission is to engineer new timber building products, deliver tall timber buildings and transform Queensland’s timber industry in the process.

    “Many Queenslanders live in timber buildings, but timber is sparingly used in high-rise constructions and this exciting collaboration is out to change that.

    “The Centre will focus on engineering solutions that address the current barriers to the use of structural timber in tall buildings.”

    Minister Donaldson said although wood was an ideal construction material, with significant environmental and economic advantages over concrete and steel, Australian construction authorities were cautious about its use.

    “I am advised one of the issues restricting the use of timber is a poor understanding of how fire risk can be minimised.

    “The team assembled at the Centre includes product manufacturers, fire safety engineers and structural engineers who will work together to ensure Queensland leads the world in the increasingly competitive tall timber engineering market.

    “Researchers are already working closely with Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to ensure the inherent fire safety of timber products and construction.”

    The Palaszczuk Government’s $1 million in funding has been matched by the University of Queensland. Private sector partners are Queensland-based timber processor Hyne Timber, global engineering firm Arup Engineering and major building company Lendlease which has already constructed high-rise timber buildings in Melbourne.

    The Australian Research Council is providing an additional $1.5 million to the project.

    “This is all about advanced innovation. The Centre is developing products using techniques from the aerospace industry to greatly improve the strength of timber products and work is under way on the use of robotic construction to dramatically increase construction speed, reduce weight and cut waste on site.

    “Increased acceptance of timber construction in medium to high-rise structures would be a major boon to Queensland’s forest industries and that’s why this project is attracting so much interest and good will,” the Minister said.

    Researchers from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Forest Product Innovation team at the Salisbury research facility have been instrumental in establishing the centre of excellence and will work closely with scientists from UQ and elsewhere.

     

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