The Wood You Like to Know Conference, hosted by Weathertex and Wattyl Australia, brought together builders, designers, and other industry professionals in Brisbane for a day of insightful discussions on timber products in residential and commercial building projects. The event, held at the exclusive Gambaro Hotel, featured an impressive lineup of speakers who shared their expertise and perspectives on various aspects of timber use in construction.The event facilitated important discussions on the advantages of sustainably sourced wood, but also shed light on the challenges the industry is facing, such as surging global demand, future supply issues, species selection, maintenance concerns, and the importance of compliance and certification.
Yvonne Pengilly, Director of Myown Constructions and former QBCC deputy commissioner, kicked off the event with a compelling talk on compliance responsibilities and the challenges of non-conforming building products. Drawing on her vast experience, Pengilly highlighted the advantages of using timber in construction, shared successful examples of timber projects in mid-rise construction, and addressed the issue of non-compliant building products.
David Baggs, CEO & Program Director of Global GreenTag International Pty Ltd, challenged the audience to go beyond raw material certification and consider product selection and procurement in their sustainability efforts. Baggs raised valid concerns around the accountability of manufacturing processes beyond sustainability of raw materials, urging industry professionals to embrace transparency as a whole.
Nicole Sullivan, Head of Strategy & Impact Australia at ThinkStep, explored the impact of timber and carbon in driving sustainable building practices in the context of the tree change trend and green building ecolabels. Sullivan shed light on the role of timber in reducing carbon footprint and promoting sustainability in the built environment.
David Rowlinson, Make it Wood Campaign Manager at Planet Ark, presented on the topic of biophilic design and showcased examples from around the world where people are being connected to nature through the use of wood in building design. Rowlinson emphasized the importance of incorporating natural elements, such as timber, in the built environment to enhance human well-being and sustainability.
Simon Dorries, CEO of Responsible Wood and Chair of Australian Standard TM 11, highlighted the crucial role of standards, certification, and compliance in the wood products industry. Dorries shared examples of falsified product conformance labels and emphasized the need for thorough supply chain and product due diligence to ensure the use of compliant timber products in building projects.
Dr Michael Berger, CEO of PEFC International, shared his insights on the technical role of forest certification in contributing to sustainable forest management worldwide. Dr Berger discussed the benefits of PEFC certification, the challenges of implementing sustainable forest management standards, and the role of designers, specifiers, and builders in driving demand for certified timber products.
James Treble, Interior Designer, TV Presenter, and Planet Ark Ambassador, rounded out the event with the latest trends in sustainable design from around the world. Treble provided practical tips for incorporating sustainability into design projects, highlighting the importance of considering timber as a sustainable material choice.
Overall, the Wood You Like to Know Conference was a compelling event that provided engaging content and important takeaways for builders, designers, and other industry professionals. From compliance responsibilities and transparency in procurement to the impact of timber on sustainability and human well-being, the event covered a wide range of topics relevant to specifying, procuring, and using timber products in building projects. Attendees left with valuable insights and practical tips for incorporating sustainable timber solutions into their projects, driving the demand for certified and compliant timber products in the industry.The event served as a platform for engaging discussions, showcasing best practices, and driving awareness about the use of timber products in sustainable building practices.