Friday Offcuts – 9 November 2018

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A couple of weeks’ ago we highlighted a new a four-year, NZ$5 million programme being led by Red Stag Investments. It’s being designed to boost mid-rise building construction using New Zealand engineered and panelised framing timber. This week it was officially launched in Wellington. As we all know, the country in recent years has lagged well behind countries like Australia, the USA and Canada in adopting engineered and panelised timber for construction. With co-funding from Government, the timely push and plan involves building two mid-rise wooden buildings, collating information from these and other buildings, developing a centre of excellence to help share and grow this knowledge and ongoing active promotions to the country’s design professionals. The programme is certainly timely. The economic benefits, if successful, are substantial (NZ$155 million by 2023). Full details on this bold new initiative are contained in the story below.

As you’ve probably picked up, we’ve been ramping up our coverage of programmes that have worked well in other regions (other countries and other industries), particularly in the industry’s quest in attracting younger students to look at forestry or wood products as a future career option. This week’s story comes from another regional Wood Council in New Zealand. Maybe this is another option that could be replicated in your own patch.

The Council took a couple of local high school students from the lower North Island. They’d been selected from a competition organised by the school’s careers adviser. So, they were committed to the experience and probably felt privileged to have been chosen from those who had entered the competition. Over a week in the last school holidays, they were exposed to some real hands-on experiences in a range of forestry, wood cartage, port and wood processing operations. Aside from enthusing two students who were obviously already pretty keen on the career prospects that the industry had to offer, the students during the week took photos and videos of their experiences. They’re now making a promotional slideshow of ‘their week in forestry’ with a video to be shown at their school and loaded onto the SNI Wood Council Facebook page and website.

Now, think about that just a little more. It could be a far more innovative approach (or an additional tool to be used) to promoting the industry than perhaps careers days where we’re competing against a raft of other industries and occupations or one of us fronting at an open day at the local high school. Who better to promote the industry to their peers than two of their own - students who are still obviously “fizzing from their week of “hands on” activities. Congratulations to the Council and to those from industry who supported this initiative. That’s it for this week. We look forward to meeting many of you in Rotorua next week for the first leg of the annual technology series, ForestTECH 2018. Enjoy this week’s read.

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Hands-on experiences a hit with students

Members of the Southern North Island Wood Council joined forces to host two Wairarapa school students for a week of the last school holidays. The aim was to give the students some hands-on experience of a range of jobs they could do if they choose a career in NZ forestry.

Ngahuia Rimene and Aaliyah Savaliga, Year 9 students at Makoura College, Masterton, were selected via a competition organised by Makoura school careers adviser Therese King and SNI Wood Council Chief Executive Erica Kinder. Ngahuia and Aaliyah were treated as interns during the week, and given the chance to get involved with real work whenever possible. They were also paid a stipend.

Over the week, Ngahuia and Aaliyah spent time with several companies, got their boots dirty, and learnt about some of the jobs that make up the Wairarapa forestry scene. Their five days included time out in the forest road marking and water-flow testing on a harvesting site; a day in a logging truck; a visit to Centreport, Wellington, to see ship loading operations; learning about forest mapping and GIS; a virtual tour of JNL’s Masterton mill; and learning how to fly a UAV.

Ngahuia’s favourite day was the one spent riding in a logging truck, where she learned to chain up and use the radio. Aaliyah said that she most liked the sawmill presentation from Sean McBride at JNL, and thought she might like to work in a sawmill in the future.

During the week the students took photos and videos of their experiences and are now making a promotional slideshow of ‘their week in forestry’. This video will be shown at their school and loaded onto the SNI Wood Council Facebook page and website.

The girls disliked long walks uphill in the bush, preferring to take the ATV. Both girls thought they could see themselves working in forestry; they already have family members in the industry and were amazed at all the options they learnt about over the week.

“The SNI Wood Council feels that promoting forestry as a valid career option is important in attracting young people to the industry,” says Erica Kinder. “And what better way of doing that than getting students to promote it for us?

“This is an exciting way of interacting with schools and young people. Next year the SNI Wood Council would like to roll this initiative out to all our regions across the lower North Island. We are applying for funding to help co-ordinate this with the 87 high schools in our patch.”

The SNI Wood Council thanks the following people and companies for hosting Ngahuia and Aaliyah: Guy Farman, Farman-Turkington Logging; McCarthy’s Transport; Steve Harris, C3; Margaret Willis, Woodnet; Sean McBride, JNL Ltd; and Forest Enterprises.

Photo: Ngahuia enjoying the challenge of chaining up a load of logs.

Source: SNI Wood Council, Forest Growers Levy Trust

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Mid-rise timber construction programme launched

A new programme launched on Monday in New Zealand aims to boost mid-rise building construction using New Zealand engineered and panelised framing timber, and deliver a range of regional, social, environmental and other benefits.

Red Stag Investments Ltd, a company with its roots in forestry, wood processing and property development, has partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to deliver Mid-rise Wood Construction, a four-year, NZ$5 million Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme.

“Combining Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), glulam and panelised framing timber is a cost-effective, fast, resilient and sustainable system for mid-rise construction,” says Red Stag Group Chief Executive Officer Marty Verry. “Our PGP programme aims to encourage widespread adoption of precision-engineered timber in mid-rise building construction in New Zealand.”

“Globally, there has been rapid growth in the use of engineered timbers such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam for construction. However, New Zealand is behind other countries such as Australia, Austria, Canada, England and the USA in adopting engineered and panelised timber for construction.

“This is due to factors such as limited production capacity and little knowledge of engineered wood use and prefabrication in mid-rise building construction. Through our PGP programme, we want to create this wider understanding to double demand for engineered and panelised wood products in New Zealand buildings, and develop domestic manufacturing capacity.”

The programme will assemble a Collective of Excellence – a pool of New Zealand professionals experienced in mid-rise wood building design and construction – to help share and grow knowledge and expertise within the broader industry. Red Stag will design and build two mid-rise wooden buildings to showcase engineered timber construction, to act as reference sites and inform case studies. The first will be the Clearwater Quays ( five level apartment development at Clearwater Resort Christchurch, to be constructed in 2019 (see attached image).

Construction costs associated with the programme will be covered by Red Stag. MPI investment provided through the PGP will contribute to other aspects of the programme, such as design, collating and sharing information, and establishing the CoE.

Steve Penno, Director Investment Programmes at MPI, says benefits from the ,Mid-rise Wood Construction PGP programme will be felt beyond the co-investors. “Engineered timber provides the opportunity for New Zealand to add significant value to New Zealand grown timber,” says Mr Penno. “It’s also a natural and sustainable resource”.

“The Mid-rise Wood Construction PGP programme aims to substantially increase demand for engineered wood products in buildings, which will have associated flow-on benefits across the entire supply chain. This will create new regional jobs and renewed investment in forestry, processing, manufacturing, construction and prefabrication. Achieving the programme’s goals will significantly advance New Zealand’s engineered timber industry.”

The Mid-rise Wood Construction PGP programme was launched in Wellington on Monday with Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O’Connor, and Minister of Forestry and Minister for Regional Economic Development, Hon Shane Jones.

Additional information

Red Stag Investments Ltd is contributing NZ$3 million (60 percent) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is contributing NZ$2 million (40 percent) over the four-year term of the Mid-rise Wood Construction Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme.

If successful, the programme expects to deliver economic benefits of NZ$155 million by 2023 and NZ$330 million by 2036, driven by a 10 percent lift by 2023 in the wood construction industry’s market share across the multi-unit residential and non-residential market.

The programme aims to boost collaboration across New Zealand’s engineered timber construction industry, by sharing the insights, lessons and information it develops.

The programme has three interrelated projects:

- Project 1: Building two mid-rise wooden buildings, paid for by Red Stag, to act as showcases and reference sites and inform case studies.

- Project 2: Documenting and collating the designs, details, reports, lessons, costs and feasibility information from the two showcase buildings.

- Project 3: Promoting information developed by the programme through electronic media, workshops and site visits to New Zealand architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, constructors, real estate agents, manufacturers, urban councils, developers and investors. Project 3 also includes developing the Collective of Excellence (CoE).

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AKD Softwoods acquires NSW sawmilling business

Associated Kiln Driers Softwoods (AKD) is pleased to confirm that it has finalised the purchase of Carter Holt Harvey’s (CHH) New South Wales sawmilling business. The major assets of this business comprise of the Tumut sawmill, Gilmore treatment facility, a 50% interest in the Highland Pine Products (HPP) joint venture in Oberon and a distribution centre in Berkeley Vale.

The Tumut sawmill processes approximately 565,000 m3 of sawlogs producing a range of outdoor and structural products and the Gilmore treatment facility is a value adding site also located in Tumut. The HPP joint venture processes approximately 600,000 m3 of sawlog. All of the nearly 500 NSW employees will continue to be employed by the business.

AKD’s Chief Executive Officer Shane Vicary explains “we are excited to be acquiring the assets and merging the NSW people into our AKD team, the operations are well run and operated by dedicated, talented and passionate people.”

AKD Softwoods is a privately-owned Australian company with a proud history of 60 years in the forest industry, with 55 of those years as softwood sawmillers. From humble beginnings in the regional Victorian town of Colac where the head office remains, AKD as of today will have 12 operational sites across 3 states and employ over 1000 people.

“We are proud of our story, the products we produce and relationships we hold with our customers, employees, suppliers and communities” says Mr Vicary. “We see the NSW business as a strategic fit for the AKD Group as we have a long-term dedication to our industry producing timber products for the Australian market. This opportunity will provide AKD with a larger range and volume of products, and greater flexibility with multiple sites located across the eastern seaboard to offer new and existing customers superior service and supply security”.

This expansion continues AKD’s approach of growth and sustainability through strategic acquisitions and continual capital investment, cementing its commitment to the industry.

Source: AKD Softwoods

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New Airbus agreement for unmanned aircraft

New Zealand's Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has welcomed a new agreement with Europe's largest aeronautics and space company, Airbus, committing to work together to develop capability in New Zealand's emerging Unmanned Aircraft (UA) and space data technology sectors.

The Letter of Intent, between Airbus and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), sets out a commitment to seek opportunities for Airbus to test and trial its UA technologies in New Zealand, and to work together to support the development and adoption of new and innovative space data technologies and applications.

"Airbus has committed to collaborate on innovation challenges that combine UA and space data technologies. These challenges will generate solutions for real problems, catalyse innovation and increase our R&D capabilities in UAs and space data technologies and applications," says Minister Megan Woods.

"Airbus is an international leader in innovation, with deep knowledge and great access to data and specific technical tools – all things that we can leverage to build our own R&D capabilities".

"Airbus is already building strong connections within our innovation and space ecosystems, including a recent agreement that establishes the Centre of Space Science Technology in Alexandra as the primary provider of Airbus satellite data and products in New Zealand."

"Attracting R&D investment and activity in areas like new space and advanced aviation technologies are key priorities for Innovative Partnerships as there is huge potential for New Zealand to be at the forefront of these rapidly developing sectors," says Woods.

The Letter of Intent is another success for Innovative Partnerships. Earlier this year, both Zephyr Airworks and LeoLabs credited the programme as part of the reason they are undertaking R&D in New Zealand.

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New Forest Biosecurity Surveillance system

New Zealand biosecurity officials report an average of three new pests and diseases establish in the country every year. Understanding how exotic species make their way here is the best chance we have to detect and eradicate them before they can become permanently established. New Zealand’s new national Forest Biosecurity Surveillance (FBS) system has been designed by identifying high biosecurity risk areas for the introduction of overseas tree pests and pathogens.

Work to overhaul the existing forest health surveillance system and develop the new national forest biosecurity surveillance system began in 2015. Using a new model, a team from Bayesian Intelligence and Scion has addressed the risk of biosecurity incursion across seven import pathways (sea vessels, used vehicles, used machinery, sea containers, wood packaging, wooden furniture, live plants), and the movement of people.

The new model estimates the relative probability of introduction of a selection of potential invaders at main entry points such as sea and airports, and all other locations in New Zealand. These ‘introduction risk’ probability maps are in turn used in an optimisation model, co-developed by AgResearch and Scion scientists, which works out the best allocation of surveillance effort. For any defined budget, the optimisation process defines which types of survey should be performed within each area, and what resources should be allocated to maximise detection efficiency.

Insect species transported as eggs or pupae, which can remain undetected and survive during long distance transportation, represent significant biosecurity threats. For example, the gypsy moth family has members of high-concern to forestry. They are not yet established in New Zealand, but the moth egg masses are regularly intercepted at our borders.

The model estimated the risk of introducing this pest via each of these pathways (cars, containers, sea vessels), taking into account the volumes and spatial redistribution of items transported, as well as their estimated rates of infestations. Overall, it estimated that the probability of egg hatching, and the escape of caterpillars, is principally at ports, followed by critical locations in the container pathway (such as container cleaning sites) and the imported cars pathway (car registration sites and car yards).

This new pathways-based approach to biosecurity risk evaluation and surveillance is a departure from the traditional view that tree health surveillance should be conducted in the forest. The new model recommends that 90 per cent of surveillance efforts should be focused on urban and peri-urban areas, however the data that went into the model did not cover all pathways and some surveillance effort will also go into monitoring the forest estate. Following these recommendations, the team has carried out a feasibility trial and completed a five-year plan for rolling out surveys on a fully operational nationwide scale.

David Cormack, Chair of the Forest Owners Association Forest Biosecurity Committee, says, “The forest industry has been surveying its estate under the Forest Health Surveillance system since the 1950s to detect new pests and pathogens, monitor forest health and provide trade assurances. The Forest Biosecurity Surveillance system is specifically designed to detect harmful pests and pathogens early enough so that eradication is still an option, rather than long-term management. We have confidence in the science and look forward to rolling out the FBS over the next few years.”

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Technology transforming the primary sector

Solving rural producers’ challenges and improving productivity through technology will be key themes at next year’s MobileTECH 2019. Now in its 7th year, MobileTECH will, once again, bring together the agritech leaders, tech developers, industry corporates and early adopters into Rotoura.

“New Zealand’s agritech sector is quickly expanding and the technology is world- class,” said Ken Wilson, programme manager for MobileTECH 2019. “While we have seen some great advances in sensors and robotics, it’s the software that’s making big strides.”

A recent IDC study, commissioned by Microsoft, showed that digital products and services will make up 55% of New Zealand’s GDP by 2021. Over this time, digital transformation will be providing better margins for companies and its estimated will have added over NZ$10 billion to NZ’s national GDP.

What’s striking is the speed and widespread impact of change, forcing many traditional companies to evolve with it. Digital technologies leading this charge include innovations like mobility, cloud computing, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

This comes off the back of a report last year by the Massey Business School, which examined the impact of cloud computing and other disruptive technologies on the agricultural sector. After interviewing technologists and agri-food producers, there was a wide gap in how these two groups perceived the industry in the future.

Lead researcher, Professor Stephen Kelly, was quoted as saying, “what the agrifood sector is currently doing is brilliant, they are agile, very accepting of new technology and continually looking for better ways of doing things. But most aren’t visualising what the industry will look like in 10 years’ time.” This could have major implications for the sector.

Globally, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day. Over 90% of the world's data has been created within the last two years. Technologies like the Internet of Things will dramatically increase these numbers. The problem is no longer about how to collect data – it’s how to get the right answers at the right time for the right purpose.

Our farms, forests and worksites are becoming more connected than ever and we are rapidly accumulating data. Remote sensors are in our fields, GPS units track our vehicles, UAVs and satellites provide imagery data and electronic tagging is optimising distribution. The primary sector now has more data points than can be comprehended. The demand is now not just technology, but how to get the right analysis, recommendations and application.

“Tech developers see software advances and hands-on collaboration with local producers as the key ingredients going forward,” said Mr Wilson. “With the central theme for MobileTECH 2019 being ‘data with purpose’, we will be highlighting a number of case studies where new tools are created alongside the farmer, grower, orchardist or forestry managers.”

Further details on the MobileTECH 2019 programme can be found on the event website, The event runs on 3-4 April 2019 in Rotorua, New Zealand.

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2,400 ha of plantations retired for koala habitat

The Palaszczuk Government is increasing the protection of vital koala habitat in the Sunshine Coast region, with 2400 hectares of land being protected through a partnership with the Government, Noosa Shire Council, Noosa Parks Association and HQPlantations.

Making the announcement in Noosa on Wednesday, Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said this partnership was the first of its kind in Queensland. “This land is core koala habitat and our partnership will go a long way to protect koala populations in the Noosa area,” Minister Enoch said.

“This AU$3.5 million investment to retire the land from plantation forestry for conservation purposes is being jointly funded by the Department of Environment and Science (DES), Noosa Shire Council and Noosa Parks Association. “The intention is that the land will eventually be gazetted as National Park to make a significant contribution to growing koala populations in the Noosa Shire area.”

Ms Enoch said the area – encompassing Yurol and Ringtail State Forests – was also home to a total of 25 threatened and 3 nearly threatened species, including the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly, the Mary River Cod and the giant barred frog. “As the native forests in this area are re-established, this land will become core habitat for koalas,” Ms Enoch said.

Noosa Shire Mayor Tony Wellington said the project is a big win for koalas, the Noosa community and the people of Queensland. “Noosa Council is pleased to be able to work with the State Government, Noosa Parks Association and HQPlantations Pty Ltd to deliver this project,” Mr Wellington said.

“Through this project, HQPlantations are proving themselves to be wonderful corporate citizens, and our local community environment organisation, the Noosa Parks Association, are once again demonstrating their capacity to conceptualise long-term goals.”

Source: Government of Queensland

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BIM program wins Richard Stanton Award

A world-first building information modelling program used by Hyne Timber on their glue laminated timber (GLT) range for the design and construction industry has won the coveted Richard Stanton Award for Excellence in 2018.

The award and trophy, presented in Brisbane at the annual general meeting of Responsible Wood on Tuesday the 23rd of October 2018, recognises the life of a man who was devoted to the forest industry in Australia and internationally.

Hyne Timber’s building information modelling (BIM) is a state-of-the-art modelling software that allows the company to use digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of timber to model physical assets; using the IT software to map out projects in order to provide assistance to decision makers on projects.

A key advantage of the software, BIM provides ongoing storage of information relating to maintenance, certification and warranties to assist with ongoing asset management post construction. No company anywhere in the world has developed a BIM system for GLT that meets AS/NZS BIM standards.

Identifying an opportunity, the Hyne Timber Marketing Team, in coordination with the UQ Centre for Future Timbers, has developed a BIM system for the state government’s Maryborough Fire Station project, where Hyne Timber is the project proponent featuring Responsible Wood certified timber.

The BIM software has been used in the extensive stakeholder engagement to communicate with the community about the project. The software is a potential game-changer for timber application across all projects, specifically in the commercial sector.


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NZ trucking firm looking at hydrogen trials

NZ trucking group TIL Logistics has agreed to investigate hydrogen fuel options with Hiringa Energy. The three-phase project could involve vehicle trials of hydrogen fuel cells by 2020, the New Plymouth-based company said.

Further roll-out of the technology in the fleet would depend on the development of refuelling infrastructure that Hiringa is scoping and developing with a range of partners, TIL said.

Chief executive Alan Pearson said the company, a member of the Climate Leaders Coalition, is determined to reduce its carbon emissions and lighten its environmental footprint. “Hydrogen technology offers a zero-emission fuel solution,” he said.

“While there are a range of production, deployment and infrastructure options to be worked through, the use of hydrogen fuel has the potential to power our national fleet from a renewable source.”

Some of New Zealand’s biggest fleet operators and heavy industry are backing research into hydrogen as a potential alternative to diesel for long-distance trucking and potentially for some industrial heat applications.

Members of the New Zealand Hydrogen Association, announced last month, include Contact Energy, Fulton Hogan, HW Richardson, Siemens and Hyundai. Energy Minister Megan Woods signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Japanese government earlier this week to jointly work on the development of hydrogen as a fuel to help replace fossil fuels.

TIL's fleet comprises about 900 trucks, 310 forklifts and 170 light vehicles. The first phase of the project involves developing business cases for pilot projects and identifying the key metrics for commercial scaling. It will be completed mid-2019 and will leverage NZ$950,000 New Plymouth-based Hiringa has secured from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund for the hydrogen research.

Source: BusinessDesk

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Timberlink announces new appointments

Timberlink has announced the appointment of Jason Wilson (photo) to the newly created position of Chief Operations Officer (COO) to support its growth and development strategy. In addition, Duncan Mayes has joined the Timberlink team, taking up the position of EGM Innovation and Emerging Business.

Previously, Jason has been the General Manager of Auswest Timbers, leading a business that has seven manufacturing sites. Prior to that he spent 7 years with Carter Holt Harvey and was Strategic Development Manager during his last four and a half years with the company.

The role of EGM Innovation and Emerging Business has a mission to support the strategic commitment to grow and expand the business in sustainably relevant sectors, further leveraging the strong material base with a greater focus on value adding with advanced technology and business models.

Duncan Mayes brings with him a wealth of experience, having worked with global wood products company Stora Enso over the last 20 years in a wide variety of operational and development roles, including leading the Wood Product Division’s Strategy, R&D and Innovation and Operational Business Management.

Timberlink CEO Ian Tyson welcomed both to the business, “this is an exciting time for Timberlink and I am delighted to be able to welcome these two experienced executives to the team.”

Source: Timberlink

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Waratah Forestry Equipment celebrates 45 years

Waratah Forestry Equipment is proudly celebrating 45 years of innovation and serving customers in the forestry industry. Established in Tokoroa, New Zealand in 1973, the company transitioned to meet local loggers’ heavy-duty delimbing needs, creating a delimber-feller-buncher featuring a four-roller fixed head. Following that innovation, a red grapple processor for the Canadian markets marked the beginnings of the 600 Series and solidified its place as the original red head in the industry.

Today, Waratah heads are found in all logging applications from felling on steep slopes, to cut-to-length hardwood harvesting at the stump, to processing on a landing or debarking on endless plantations. Since its inception, Waratah, which has factories in New Zealand and Finland, has grown to support a global market.

Source: Waratah Forestry Equipment

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Iron Ash features in award winning timber building

The Macquarie University Incubator project designed by Architectus and constructed by Lipman features timber by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods Australia. Iron Ash by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods was specified for the award-winning prefabricated timber structure built to embody the vibrant ethos of Macquarie University.

Featuring a striking and welcoming facade, the Macquarie University Incubator was built as a collaborative project involving Lipman, Architectus, Strongbuild, Taylor Thompson Whitting, Arup and Against the Grain. A key objective of the prefabricated structure was to enable future dismantling, relocation and reassembly. Though it wasn’t an easy project, the building was erected in just 37 days and the entire project completed within six months.

The structure was built using prefabricated timber floor cassettes, supported on screw piles. Iron Ash treated Masslam V-columns support 22 roof glulam and CLT (cross-laminated timber) cassettes, exposing the timber both internally and externally. The building also contains 44 prefabricated facade panels incorporating 118 timber windows.

Iron Ash was specified for the V-columns and decking because it provided the assurance of longevity in an external application in addition to the appeal of being a native Australian timber. Iron Ash uses innovative technology to deliver a transparent combination of water-based additives deep into the core of Masslam, providing a beautiful and durable external timber solution.

The mass timber construction provides high strength, high appeal and high affordability in comparison with other construction systems. According to Lipman’s Phillip Tondl, the Incubator was a pilot project in mass timber prefabrication for both Macquarie University and the delivery team. The project confirms that mass timber buildings can deliver strength, functionality and beauty with speed and quality outcomes that surpass conventional construction methods.

The Macquarie University Incubator has received recognition on several platforms with awards including the 2018 Green Good Design Award in the Research and Technology category, and the ACSE Award for excellence in structural engineering in the Medium Building Projects category. The 2017 Australian Timber Design Awards saw the Macquarie University Incubator win in the categories of Innovative Structural Design, Timber Panels, Timber Windows and Doors, and Engineered Timber Products.


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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... the talking duck

A duck walks into a bar one lunch time and orders a beer and cheese sandwich. The barman is a bit perplexed by a talking duck but since the duck doesn’t make a mess or a fuss the barman doesn’t worry.

Lunch time the next day the duck returns – ham sandwich this time. Still perplexed the barman asks the duck what he is doing in the area and the duck tells him that he is working as a plasterer on the building site just across the road.

The duck becomes a regular lunchtime patron and he and the barman strike up a genuine friendship and talk about their families, football and even politics.

One quiet afternoon a few weeks later someone comes into the bar for a beer and a chat and the barman learns that the guy is the manager of the circus that has just arrived in town. The barman gets quite excited and tells the circus manager about his friend the talking duck and asks him if would possibly have a job for the duck.

Next lunchtime when the duck enters the bar the barman can hardly contain his excitement as he explains to the duck that the circus manager is interested in employing him.

The duck is not so sure though and asks “A circus. Isn’t that where they have tents and keep their animals in cages?”

The barman tries to assure the duck that it is unlikely that the circus would want to keep a talking duck in a cage but the duck interrupts saying, “But why would they want to employ a plasterer?”

A couple more.

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

Ever wonder about those people who spend ten Dollars a piece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards.

Why if you send something by road it is called a shipment, but when you send it by sea it is called cargo?

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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