While international trends in timber innovation continue to impress with multiple storey, timber frame structures and the integration of timber into building projects that break the mould of conventional design, the opportunity for more creative timber design in South Africa remains.

Lonza Wood Protection believes the timber industry should be engaged throughout the entire architectural and engineering value chain for new residential and commercial property development. Wood preservation treatment, because it improves the durability of timber, plays a vital role.

To support the efforts for more creative timber design in SA, Lonza has created a new campaign entitled “The Treated Wood Specified by the Expert”

Gerard Busse, marketing manager, Lonza Wood Protection, explains the rationale behind the campaign, “When we look at countries such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand and UK, we see a far greater utilisation of timber products in the entire building structure. Industry awards, such as the Timber Design Awards hosted by NZ Wood, see engineered products, when combined with conventional timber products, breaking new frontiers in terms of their structural and technical impact in building design and engineering”.

To highlight this achievement, Busse refers to the example of the 2012 Awards, where the Massey University’s College of Creative Arts (in Wellington, New Zealand) won the award for Engineering Excellence with a multi-storey, post-tensioned timber frame, resting on a conventionally reinforced concrete plinth, which was a world first.

“We need to familiarise ourselves with the great work that is being done overseas in timber design and engineering. Our campaign focuses on how Lonza partners with treaters and together engages architects and other building professionals to provide education on the benefits and options of treated timber,” says Busse.

“While the Wood Foundation was established three years ago to promote wood innovation in South Africa, the responsibility cannot rest with their initiatives alone. We, as growers of timber, producers and suppliers need to engage with all stakeholders in the architectural, engineering and construction sector to encourage the wider use of timber products in creative and innovative ways,” concludes Busse.

House Dubion in Malmesbury features double glazed windows, high bedroom windows to allow hot air to escape, large roof overhangs and extended walls with slatted screens for shade and airflow, all of which promote energy efficiency.