Who decides which materials to use in new buildings?

Professor Andy Buchanan, University of Canterbury

With increasing production of timber from New Zealand’s forests, there are enormous opportunities for increased use of timber as a structural material for innovative and prestigious buildings, ranging from houses and apartments to larger commercial and recreational buildings, as well as bridges and industrial structures.

The benefits to the New Zealand government and timber industry are many, including:

  • Adding value to a renewable New Zealand resource
  • Creation of employment opportunities in cities and regions
  • Creation of carbon sinks to assist compliance with Kyoto protocol
  • Reduced dependence on imported materials and fossil fuels
  • Development of export markets using New Zealand design expertise and materials
  • Demonstrating structural capabilities of New Zealand timber products

If the timber industry or the government or others want to encourage increased use of wood as a structural material in new buildings, we need to answer the question; “Who decides which materials to use?”

The answer is not simple because there are so many players involved.

From TDJ 13-2

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