$1.5 million grant for tall timber research in Australia

A grant of $1.5 million has been awarded to the University of Queensland to spearhead research in tall timber buildings.

The university’s new ARC Research Hub for Advanced Solutions to Transform Tall Timber Buildings aims to develop skills and knowledge in new tall timber building designs, and address architectural, engineering and sustainability issues while meeting regulatory constraints.

As interest in engineered wood use grows, the project aims to develop solutions that address barriers to the use of structural timber in the medium-to-high-rise buildings market.

The funding, awarded by the Australian Research Council, is particularly timely given changes to the National Construction Code, which now allows timber construction up to eight storeys in height.

Other key partners include University of Canterbury (Christchurch) and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, as well as industry players: Arup Pte Ltd, Lend Lease Development Pty Ltd and leading design firm Fitzpatrick & Partners.

In an interview, Hyne Timber’s CEO Jon Kleinschmidt said, “Enhanced performance, ease, speed and reduced costs associated with timber construction makes timber an obvious construction material of first choice. Australia was once a leader in timber construction and while that is now far from the case, we have the advantage of learning from Europe, America and Canada to quickly drive the necessary social and regulatory changes required here.”