Architect: We should be building out of sunshine

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

“Imagine a building made of sky”, says Bruce King, a Californian architect and author of a new book entitled “The New Carbon Architecture”, due to be released soon. And we are already. Australia’s top developers are leading the way with timber buildings for midrise construction. The wood-based designs are better, faster and more user-friendly than those made of traditional materials. A conference with wide appeal on commercial timber is coming to New Zealand soon.

King’s new book is due out later in 2017. Titled ‘The New Carbon Architecture, Building Out of Sky’ – he means using building using materials that come from the sky. Carbon from the CO2 in the air, sunlight and water, which, through photosynthesis, grow plants we can process into building materials.

“For the first time in history, we can build pretty much anything out of carbon that we coaxed from the air. All of these emerging technologies – and more – arrive in tandem with the growing understanding that the so-called embodied carbon of building materials matters a great deal more than anyone thought in the fight to halt and reverse climate change”, says King.

Keynote speakers from Canada and Australia will deliver presentations on how this vision is already becoming a reality in their countries, at a national conference in Rotorua on 28th September. Entitled “Advantages of Timber in Mid-Rise Construction,” this second annual conference continues to attract architects, developers, engineers, specifiers, plus building officials and owners.

Conference organiser John Stulen says, “Australian companies are moving ahead of their New Zealand counterparts in commercial building. Their key advantages come from using engineered wood. This emerging trend in new commercial buildings is not just economical but also environmentally friendly. It’s now clear that wood structures are giving industry leaders an edge over traditional materials in many ways.”

Stulen explains the inspiration for this conference came from Rotorua’s mayor Steve Chadwick when she championed the council’s ‘Wood-First’ policy.

“Rotorua’s economy is built on wood. Adding value by engineering the resource for commercial building is a ‘win-win’ for everyone in the supply chain. Thanks to the mayor’s vision and enthusiasm this wood-first conference series was born. So, the Rotorua Lakes Council is a natural partner for us,” Stulen says.

The conference is set to be part of a week of events on wood technology coming to the city in September, including FIEA’s WoodTECH 2017, a two-day conference and trade expo. Stulen said they have also partnered several key national wood industry groups to make this happen.


Information links:

Changing Perceptions Conference – Advantages of Timber in Midrise Construction – 28th September in Rotorua:

WoodTECH 2017 Conference – Wood Scanning, Sawing, Optimisation:

About the book – The New Carbon Architecture:

Building out of sunshine: