Construction solutions in technology, not concessions

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

As government lent a sympathetic ear to construction industry financial woes last week, it’s a misconception that these outcomes somehow rest completely with their customers. Leaders of these ailing companies should take responsibility for their poor performance. Part of this is a failure to embrace change in building technologies to mitigate risk.

As Naylor Love CEO, Rick Herd, told a construction conference last week, companies need to manage risk allocation more effectively. “If a client wants unbalanced risk, that client is one you can’t afford,” he said.

What Herd didn’t say is what industry leaders like his are doing. Naylor Love’s project teams have embraced new technology bringing certainty to both client and builder: building information modelling (BIM) in concert with new mass timber components like cross-laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL).

Naylor Love and other learning and earning companies in this space have, for some time, been quietly building technical and management capabilities in the application and deployment of high tech specification for their projects. BIM brings early and detailed information to multi-disciplinary construction. BIM combines exceptionally well with improved information and communication at the earliest stages of project.

The combined systems and products break the design-bid-build paradigm by introducing detailed 3D drawings to every possible specification and location of the full components of new engineered wood buildings. The precision and productivity also come from early engagement of sub-contractors and tradespeople who can then remove unnecessary contingencies from their tenders. Why? Because they know the details from the outset as the wood components are fully detailed once the design is complete and ready for off-site manufacture.

For construction project teams it’s summed up in two words: BIM and WOOD. For developers, just three words: This saves money.

People wanting to get on board with these solutions should register now for the “Changing Perceptions” Conference on 28 August at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. It includes an evening reception on 27 August. Register now at: https://connexevents.com/cpetc2018/. Contact John Stulen 027 275 8011 for more information.

Weakened construction sector set for disruption

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

With key milestone projects now in progress and some nearing completion, more engineers are using new building information modelling technology for designing commercial buildings using engineered wood with cross laminated timber at their heart.

The construction industry at large is in a bad way, following several large recevierships, but the “BIM” revolution in wood building that you’ve probably never even heard about is quietly gaining momentum.

On 28 August, in Rotorua, a national conference on engineered wood for commercial and multi-residential building is set to attract hundreds of early adopters as New Zealand moves fast to catch up our Australian neighbours in sustainable commercial buildings.

The clear advantage over traditional design-bid-build is accuracy first and efficiency second. Engineered wood buildings are erected much faster than traditional poured concrete slabs and on-site welded steel columns. The key to wood’s speed and accuracy comes from using new design and manufacturing software known as “building information modelling” (BIM). Engineered wood structures are ripe for using these highly accurate systems and automated machining technologies.

“Wood and BIM are coming together more and more. It also involve the trades team from the outset communicating directly and to pin-point location accuracies with the design engineers and architects,” says John Stulen, conference director for the 3rd Annual “Changing Perceptions” engineered wood conference.

“This year we are delighted to have all 100% of our conference case studies outlining New Zealand wood projects,” he adds.

The conference will include case studies for both wood and BIM:

  • Leading architects, Jasmax, completed a stunning apartment building in CLT – called Merchant Quarter 2, in Grey Lynn, Auckland;
  • Naylor Love is set to complete the new Nelson airport terminal and have more BIM work too;
  • A multi-story office building for Sir Bob Jones, in downtown Wellington;
  • Nelson-based CLT producer XLAM sup[lied Housing Corporation with emergency housing solutions in CLT in growing numbers;

This national conference has grown since 2016. It now attracts a wide audience of architects, engineers, developers, quantity surveyors and specifiers, as well as building officials and leading specialist trades, focused on commercial buildings; like electricians and plumbers and heating/ventilating/air conditioning specialist and leading practitioners.

The “Changing Perceptions” Conference has full one-day programme on 28 August at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. The event begins with an evening reception on 27 August. Register now at: https://connexevents.com/cpetc2018/

Technology helps wood displace steel and concrete

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

Until recently, New Zealand developers had been slow to adopt the engineered timber structures in contrast to leaders in Australia, USA. Now, more engineers here are recognising engineered wood’s advantages with new building information modelling technology for designing commercial buildings.

In August a national conference on engineered wood for commercial and multi-residential building is set to attract hundreds of early adopters as New Zealand moves fast to catch up to our Australian neighbours in sustainable commercial buildings.

One distinct advantage is speed. Engineered wood buildings are erected much faster than traditional poured concrete slabs and on-site welded steel columns. The key to wood’s speed and accuracy comes from using new design and manufacturing software known as “building information modelling” (BIM). Engineered wood structures are ripe for using these highly accurate systems and automated machining technologies.

“Following trends in Australia and USA, the use of engineered wood is growing as BIM becomes more widely used by complete project teams – from engineers and architects right through to the trades,” says John Stulen, conference director for the 3rd Annual Changing Perceptions engineered wood conference on sustainable commercial building.

“The shorter project times have also caught the eye of all of leading trades contractors, especially when their people see BIM in action on a tall wood building project,” says Stulen.

“This year we are delighted that 100% of our conference case studies will be outlining New Zealand wood projects,” he adds.

The conference will include case studies for both wood and BIM:

  • The timber structure for a multi-story office complex that Sir Bob Jones commissioned, now under construction in downtown Wellington;
  • Naylor Love has completed the Otago Polytechnic student accommodation building and is soon to finish the new Nelson airport terminal;
  • Cross-laminated timber producer XLAM has joined forces with Housing Corporation to deliver emergency housing solutions faster than ever before;
  • Leading architects, Jasmax, designed a stunning apartment building – Merchant Quarter 2 – over a carpark in Grey Lynn, Auckland.

This national conference has grown since 2016. It now attracts a wide audience of architects, engineers, developers, quantity surveyors and specifiers, as well as building officials and leading specialist trades, focused on commercial buildings; like electricians and plumbers and heating/ventilating/air conditioning specialist and leading practitioners.

The Changing Perceptions Conference has full one-day programme on 28 August at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. Early bird registration rates close Friday 20 July. The event begins with an evening reception on 27 August. Register now at: https://connexevents.com/cpetc2018/

National conference on building technology disruption

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

With housing minister Phil Twyford last week publicly lamenting lack of productivity and innovation in the construction industry, it appears he or his officials are blind to the rapid disruption in timber building happening in Australia, USA and now here. Wood structures detailed with design software are now a key competitive advantage for commercial building in New Zealand as well.

Meanwhile, a national conference on engineered wood for commercial and multi-residential building is set to attract hundreds of early movers. Timber construction has advanced rapidly with new design modelling software known as ‘building information modelling’ (BIM). It fits perfectly with manufacturing engineered wood structures using accurate computer machining technologies.

“For construction companies and developers in the know, wood leads the way. We’ve seen companies like XLAM and Naylor Love embrace the materials and technology,” says John Stulen, engineer and conference director for the 3rd annual Changing Perceptions engineered wood conference.

Stulen and his team at Innovatek say they are delighted to have a technical conference programme that’s 100% devoted to engineered wood projects in New Zealand. The technology is advancing rapidly too – wood buildings are modelled completely during design. The new method has won the respect of all the tradespeople who have worked on a wood building project using BIM.

The conference will include case studies for both wood and BIM:

  • Cross-laminated timber producer XLAM has joined forces with Housing Corporation to deliver emergency housing solutions faster than ever before;
  • Leading property investor Sir Bob Jones has committed to timber structures for his multi-storey office complex in downtown Wellington;
  • Multiple single housing projects have been developed and delivered by a growing number of networked businesses including architects, engineers and developers working closely;
  • Increased use pre-planning and detailing by multiple trades using commercially-available software for building information modelling (BIM);
  • National construction firm Naylor Love has committed large project teams to both the Otago Polytechnic student accommodation building and the new Nelson airport terminal.

The conference has grown since 2016. It now attracts a wide audience of architects, engineers, developers, quantity surveyors and specifiers, as well as building officials and leading specialist trades, focused on commercial buildings – like electricians and plumbers and heating/ventilating/air conditioning specialists and leading practitioners.

The Changing Perceptions conference has a full one-day programme on 28 August at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. The event begins with an evening reception on 27 August. Register now at: https://connexevents.com/cpetc2018/

Photographic image of Nelson Airport courtesy of Storyline Pictures and Naylor Love Construction

Developers recognise wood building advantages

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

When it comes to timing, Sir Bob Jones certainly has the knack. With his widely publicised move to have a major commercial building in Wellington designed using wood for earthquake resistance he has again affirmed his shrewdness for timing of commercial decisions. It is now catching on around the country.

Just as Jones has chosen a mainly wooden structure for his office tower rebuild in the central business district of Wellington, developers up and down the country are moving quickly to capitalise on the benefits of engineered wood structures. As the engineers and architects leading the wood renaissance know, there are two key reasons why wood is soaring in popularity.

First and foremost, the engineering of wood for structures has grown rapidly as technology has made it more economical to manufacture large beams and panels for commercial buildings. More and more developers are recognising the advantages of cross-laminated timber (CLT) – the new wonder product for both flooring structures as well as walls, both with excellent earthquake resistant properties.

The second major breakthrough has come with more commercial acceptance of the need for sustainable materials to be used in office towers. Leading edge research in nearby Australia has confirmed that people working in wood buildings are happier and more productive than those in traditional concrete or steel structures.

“People tell the researchers they just feel better and more energised when working in spaces enclosed in real wood,” says John Stulen, engineer and conference director for the third annual Changing Perceptions engineered wood conference.

With this rapidly growing industry-leading conference running for the third time, Stulen and his team at Innovatek say they are delighted to have a technical conference programme that’s now 100% devoted to engineered wood projects in New Zealand.

“Over the past two years, we were fortunate to hear from leading engineers and project managers from Australia and Canada. Each time our audiences have asked for more New Zealand commercial projects, so we’re delighted to showcase exactly that this year,” says Stulen. “We were overwhelmed with the response to our call for speakers this year – all local projects.”

The conference has grown since 2016 and now attracts a wide audience of architects, engineers, developers, quantity surveyors and specifiers, as well as building officials and leading specialist trades focused on commercial buildings, like electricians, plumbers, heating/ventilating/air conditioning specialists and leading practitioners.

The Changing Perceptions Conference is full one-day programme on 28 August 2018 at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. The event begins with an evening reception on 27 August.

Light rail will entice light apartments enroute

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

New Zealand’s very own superannuation fund is keen to progress light rail transit in Auckland. This move is certain to trigger an apartment-housing boost along the routes. Using new cross-laminated timber building systems now available, developers will soon be competing for apartment project sites. Tall timber apartment buildings are light. They can quickly be erected over existing buildings. Around the world, higher density living developments targeting commuters always spring up where new transit stations are planned. This trend will continue in Auckland, says a building technology specialist.

The old adage ’build it and they will come’ will happen as light rail transit routes go from planning to implementation phase,” says mass timber building specialist John Stulen. “A bonus for these new apartment living developments is that engineered wood products are increasingly the product of choice of discerning architects and designers,” he says.

Stulen says the appeal for developers of cross laminated timber panels for apartments is they are light and can often be built on top of existing low-rise buildings without major re-engineering of the original supporting structures.

“But it’s even better than that – these strengthened timber panel systems bring advantages like prefabrication options, better earthquake design, faster project management and often material cost benefits too.”

Beyond the construction benefits wood brings, more and more people occupying these new age buildings are reporting high levels of satisfaction of their living and working environments when wood is exposed on interior walls and ceilings.

Detailing new building systems is the subject of a national conference on 28 August in Rotorua. This is the 3rdr Annual ‘Changing Perceptions’ Conference. It features local examples in a line up of motivated speakers. The 2018 theme is “Mass Timber – Raising Building Performance”. Organisers expect it to continue to attract construction managers, developers, architects, engineers, designers, specifers, builder and building owners.

“This year, our speakers are leaders and early adopters from throughout our local design and construction sectors. What they have in common are new experiences of mass timber systems proving their worth to them. These industry leaders now know timber is the revolutionary new commercial building material their suppliers promised,” says Stulen.

“Most of our technical specialists gained their early work experience with traditional materials, so they are well-placed to recognise how modern mass timber panels meet or exceed both structural and aesthetic design requirements,” he adds.

Rotorua was the obvious choice as host city for an international commercial building conference with its ‘Wood-First’ policy making it a local leader in encouraging sustainable commercial buildings.

For full conference details see : https://connexevents.com/cpetc2018/

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: www.cpetc2017.com

WoodTECH 2017 Conference – Wood Scanning, Sawing, Optimisation: www.woodtech.events

About the book – The New Carbon Architecture: https://www.ecobuildnetwork.org/projects/new-carbon-architecture

Building out of sunshine: https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/why-we-should-be-building-out-sunlight.html

Media Release: Industry leaders capturing timber’s commercial advantages

Tahlia HopkinsMediaRelease

7 July 2017

Australian companies are moving ahead of their New Zealand counterparts in commercial building. Wood is one of the key factors in the advantages they have gained. There is now a strong trend for new commercial buildings being built in timber. Engineered wood is clearly giving industry leaders the edge over traditional materials in many ways.

Companies like Lendlease and Strongbuild are among the leaders in Australia, and are at the leading edge of the building industry for both mid-rise residential construction and high-rise office buildings. First mover advantages such as speed of construction, material savings and performance on certain sites are giving the leaders an edge over traditional materials.

Both companies are part of an upcoming conference called “Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber in Construction”, running on 28 September in Rotorua. This second annual conference will draw building owners, developers, architects, engineers, specifiers and many service and supply companies.

The keynote speaker is a senior project manager – Karla Fraser – from Urban One Builders. This leading edge company delivered a new tall timber building – the now world-famous Brock Commons building on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus in Vancouver, Canada. The project was completed ahead of schedule and was officially handed over this week.

At 18 stories high, Brock Commons is now the tallest timber building in the world. However, recent project announcements in both the UK and USA will see that record being claimed elsewhere soon.

Conference director, John Stulen of Innovatek, says, “Building on the great response from our audience of over 150 industry professionals last year, we’ve added more case studies and a focus on showing where commercial advantages are being found.”

“We worked hard to find the right mix of speakers. With our event partners , Timber Design Society and Building Officials Institute of New Zealand, we‘ve got a great one-day conference for building professionals to learn from,” added Stulen.

“We’re thrilled to have Karla as our keynote speaker. Her expertise, enthusiasm and project experience will be very valuable, especially what she gained from the Brock Commons project.”

UBC’s building requirements reflect the university’s commitment to sustainability. Wood, as a renewable material, was chosen in part to reflect this commitment. Brock Commons was also designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification requirements.

The fire safety design of Brock Commons underwent a peer-review process involving a panel of leading fire safety experts, scientists, authorities having jurisdiction, and firefighters. In a fire, heavy timber chars on the outside while retaining strength on the inside, slowing combustion and allowing time to evacuate the building. Brock Commons has been designed to meet the one and two-hour fire ratings required for this type of building, exceeding fire and seismic standards for a concrete or steel structure.

Rotorua was the obvious choice as host city for an international commercial building conference with it’s ‘Wood-First’ policy making it a local leader in encouraging sustainable commercial buildings. The conference is set to be part of a wood technology week of events coming to the city in September, including the FIEA WoodTECH 2017 two-day conference and trade expo.

Announcing MobileTECH 2018

Ken WilsonMobileTECH

Every year MobileTECH brings together over 300 technology leaders, developers, early adopters and major industry operators from throughout the primary sector. MobileTECH, which runs over 2 intense days, is always buzzing with activity and the event held earlier this year was no exception. MobileTECH continues to be the only cross-sector event of its type to bring together the technology leaders from right across the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors.

We are pleased to announce that MobileTECH 2018 will be taking place on the 27-28 March 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand.

The theme for 2018 is “Innovation through Smart Data”.

In the past, innovations in hardware and machines were the main productivity drivers. Now business data and decision-making software are the catalysts for completely new technologies and growth in the primary sector.

Wireless connectivity, advanced sensors, smart data, automation and increasing computing power are generating new opportunities. The Internet of Things (IoT) is being rolled out to farmers and orchards across the country, satellite imagery has become an essential forest management planning tool and critical business information is available anywhere at a touch of a button.

We are generating more data than ever before. We are, however, only just starting to scrape the surface on how we can use the data to make smarter business decisions in real-time.

In a major study earlier this year, machine learning competed with doctors in the visual diagnosis of lung cancer. The machine was better than even the best doctors. Continued advancements in digitisation, analytics, artificial intelligence and automation will have a major impact on the primary sector. There is a very real probability that a machine will soon make a better decision than a farmer with 50 years of experience!

While it is still early days in the MobileTECH 2018 programme development, if you are interested in becoming a speaker (or have some great ideas for the programme), we would love to hear from you. A Speaker Interest Form is available on the event website.

If your business is also interested in working closer with us to build on the MobileTECH 2018 event, please contact us directly.

Thanks again for your support and stay tuned for more updates via www.mobiletech.events!

MobileTECH 2017 Event Summary

Ken WilsonMobileTECH

MobileTECH 2017 was held in Rotorua, New Zealand, on the 22-23 March 2017. Well over 300 attended from throughout New Zealand and Australia – a real who’s who of primary industry and technology leaders.

The theme this year was disruptive innovations and the people behind them. The general consensuses was that we are in a new era of technology within the primary industry and, to survive, the sector must embrace the change and capitalise the opportunities – both nationally and globally.
The developers, innovators, major industry operators and early adopters in attendance represented the future of our food and fibre industries.

MobileTECH 2017 featured 41 speakers and covered topics like technology disruption, the Internet of Things, rural connectivity, cloud-based platforms, automated data collection, remote sensors, robotics, field capture tools, data management and satellite mapping.

The Meet the Future Leaders Panel was once again a popular session. The panel featured Chelsea Millar, a board member at NZ Young Farmers and owner of Grassroots Media, ; Alastair Neville, a young farmer and leader from Reporoa; and Andrew Hutchinson, the 2016 NZ Young Horticulturalist of the Year. One point that stood out was the need for developers to better engage with the next generation and focus on solving the common day-to-day issues within the industry.

The Meet the Early Adaptors Panel was a new feature of MobileTECH this year. This panel brought together farmers and orchardists to discuss their views on the integration of technology within their businesses. The panel included Aka Aka Dairy Farmer Tony Walters, Canterbury farmer and Federated Farmers representative, Chris Allen and T&G Pipfruit’s National Orchard Manager, Lachlan Mckay. The Internet of Things was the big discussion point and one that will play a major part in the industry over the next couple of years.

Our Keynote Speakers included Andrew Gibbs, Partner & Head of NZ Primary Industries for Deloitte, Marcel van den Assum, Chairman of Angel Association NZ, Hannah Fraser, Enterprise Ireland’s Senior Market Advisor for Agribusiness and Mike Chapman, Chief Executive of Horticulture NZ.

Andrew Gibbs said that new advancements in agricultural biotech, digital technology and data analytics are transforming agriculture through “precision farming” on an industrial scale in developed markets. It is also creating new value chain links for smallholders, such as digital finance, mobile weather and price information.

Marcel van den Assum, one of NZ’s foremost experts in startup investment, stated that NZ has the opportunity to be a major Upstart Nation in AgriTech. The growth drivers are there, but it comes down to much more than just opportunity. The opportunity cost of not stepping up is much greater.

The TECH Talks were another conference highlight. This year we had 12 technology solutions presented during the lightening round of talks and panel discussions. We had talks on specialist apps, end-to-end solutions, UAV services, GIS, mapping, mobile platforms, data management, health & safety and payroll apps.

It is now clearer than ever that technology is set to deliver a massive step change in how our agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors operate. The Internet of Things, automated data aggregation and integrated decision support systems are key technology trends for our rural businesses.

Development of next year’s MobileTECH 2018 has already started. This event will continue to innovate and provide an important platform for mobile technologies designed to increase productivity, streamline operations and build growth for the primary industry businesses.