Canadian Wood presents webinar on Developments in Mass Timber Architecture with international architect Derek Newby

Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. (FII, India), popularly known as ‘Canadian Wood’ has been actively promoting building with wood in India using wood legally sourced from the sustainably managed forests of B.C., Canada. It conducts educational seminars and training workshops that help create awareness about its wood species (Western hemlock, S-P-F, Douglas-Fir, Yellow cedar, Western red cedar), specific applications and appropriate methods of use. In case of structural applications of wood, it works closely with architects, developers, contractors and hospitality professionals while extending technical support by suggesting species and grades most suitable to the type of construction chosen or preferred, i.e., T&G (Tongue & Groove), WFC (Wood Frame Construction), posts-and-beams or even hybrid in tandem with local stone/bricks.

Canadian Wood continues to engage with the audience on various topics related to recent trends in building with wood, best practices, sustainability & certification and others. Keeping in line with its objective to introduce topics of interest and benefit to the wood working industry its recent webinar focused upon ‘Developments in mass timber architecture – Canadian perspective’.

Canadian Wood presents webinar

Canadian architect and industry stalwart Derek Newby was specially invited to present in this webinar given his experience with mixed-use, office and academic facilities, working effectively with private and public-sector clients. A LEED accredited professional and a Certified Passive House Designer, he is a vocal advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, both through the application of Passive House principles to reduce operating emissions and through the use of timber to address embodied emissions. He is also a member of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and has served on a number of Municipal Advisory Design Panels and has advised governments on timber in architecture.

Sample mass timber architecture projects discussed during the webinar(Sample mass timber architecture projects discussed during the webinar)

An in-depth introduction to various engineered products used in mass timber structures(An in-depth introduction to various engineered products used in mass timber structures)

The webinar began with specific references to the benefits of building mass timber structures such as wood’s eco-friendly nature, ability to reduce emissions, the fast-paced building process, cost comparatives and so on. As the session progressed, Derek introduced the attendees to a deep dive on various engineered wood products like cross-laminated timber, glue-laminated timber, mass plywood panel, nail laminated timber, dowel laminated timber and others, while elaborating on the link between prefabrication and modular techniques that can help optimize the process in mass timber construction projects. Information on timber composites was also provided. The highlights of the presentation were architectural case studies and projects in mass timber from Canada along with a special focus on misconceptions related to various aspects of building with wood such as durability, fire safety, seismic performance, insect/mould/moisture and acoustics.

Discussion on assembly with prefabricated elements for mass timber construction.(Discussion on assembly with prefabricated elements for mass timber construction.)

Stressing on fire safety as first priority in mass timber architecture(Stressing on fire safety as first priority in mass timber architecture)

Derek Newby said “Mass Timber Architecture is an emerging trend in building construction in many parts of the world today. Advancements in wood product technology and processing systems are driving the momentum for innovative buildings in Canada. Introducing it to the Indian audience on a platform organized by Canadian Wood was a great experience. I am grateful that the audience took such deep interest and participated actively in the event.”

Further, referring to the advantages of building with wood he said, “Construction for mass timber projects is more a process of assembly on site as parts are delivered in a highly prefabricated condition. Prefabrication saves time, sites are cleaner and less labour is required. Sometimes foundations are reduced because the material is lighter. All this is possible with detailed preparation and construction knowledge of those in the industry.”

Peter Bradfield - Technical Advisor at Canadian Wood said, ‘It was an honour to have an international stalwart of timber architecture join us in our efforts in India to share relevant category defining knowledge. Canadian Wood has always been committed to providing and promoting conversations that encourage adoption of more natural methods of building through choice of sustainably sourced timber. While mass timber architecture is at its nascent stage in India, Canadian Wood is well equipped with the required technical expertise necessary to support such ventures from initiation to execution of the project.’

While questioned about the cost of building with wood he added, ‘There is a perception of higher cost, and while this may be true at times, the reality is when we optimize the design and account for the benefits, including rapid build time, wood as an option is often more competitive than it is understood to be.’

The webinar concluded with an insightful Q&A session amongst Derek, experts from Canadian Wood and the well-informed audience. The queries raised by the enthusiastic audience clearly demonstrated the curiosity to explore the use of wood in structural applications beyond what is being pursued in the country.

In discussion, Derek Newby (top left) – International architect & guest speaker, Peter Bradfield (top right) – Technical advisor, FII India and Nirmala Thomas (bottom center)– Director, Market Development, FII India(In discussion, Derek Newby (top left) – International architect & guest speaker, Peter Bradfield (top right) – Technical advisor, FII India and Nirmala Thomas (bottom center)– Director, Market Development, FII India)
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