Timber construction the way forward

Timber construction the way forward

Crown research institute Scion is opening up its campus to show the public, industry, and government what can be made from sustainably grown timber.
Scion CEO Julian Elder says the new innovation hub is part of a broader campus redevelopment which is set to foster innovation and collaboration amongst the forestry, manufacturing, energy, and sustainable land use sectors.
“The thinking behind this building is around the opportunities for much more sustainable buildings built from timber, how great these buildings can be, and all of the advantages they offer to New Zealand and the planet,” he says.
In New Zealand, there are lots of opportunities in the medium-rise building space from engineered wood. “We have been doing some work around the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to be gained from building medium-rise buildings out of timber instead of steel.”
A Scion study looked to all of the medium rise buildings that would be needed by Auckland in the next 10 years, and found if they were to be built from wood and engineered wood products, there would be a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
But that’s not the end of the story for New Zealand, which Julian says is very good at growing wood and could be making better use of it, rather than shipping it overseas as logs. “Building with wood is good for the planet and the economy,” he says.
“This innovation hub is part of the process of opening Scion up, making it much more accessible to the public and for more interactions with business, industry, and government. We are making this a destination for people to come to, to share ideas.”
He says the aim of the innovation hub is to share information about all the things that can be made from trees, “which is just about everything you can make from petrochemicals,” and get people thinking about what is possible.
“From our perspective, it looks like where the world is going is a much more positive place, not just for the environment but also for what New Zealand can offer.
“New Zealand didn’t have much advantage in taking things out of the ground and making things out of petrochemicals. “There is a strong global advantage for New Zealand in where all these things are headed. We have to get started on this journey.”
Scion CFO Rob Trass says forestry, wood products and industrial bio products from trees are the solution to a global reduction in the use of oil and the forestry industry has a huge opportunity to create positive outcomes.
He says the location of Scion’s Rotorua campus is critical in achieving its core purpose of creating positive impact for New Zealand out of forestry and materials from wood “We recognise we are in a really special place,” he says.
“Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s main tourist destinations, we have 600,000 visitors coming down Long Mile Road every year. The ability for us to show the public what is possible with wood is far greater here than other locations.”
Scion’s campus houses another 32 tenants including New Zealand’s largest wood processor Oji Fibre Solutions, forestry processor the Pedersen Group, and two of Australasia’s largest forest managers. “All of these organisations are aligned,” Rob says.
“They are coming here because they want to be beside other organisations and get economic value, and they want to be beside Scion because we develop opportunities for what can be done with wood.”

Timber construction the way forward
Scion’s new innovation hub taking shape.

Scion is now looking to bring in forestry engineering tenants
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts