Last Monday, at the latest Viva networking meeting, we were thrilled to have Jason Guiver from the wood industry talk with us about the amazing possibilities of timber, both for Viva, and for the Christchurch rebuild generally.
Nelson Pine has developed its LVL (laminated veneer lumber) product in collaboration with the engineering department at the University of Canterbury and the Structural Timber Innovation Company, STIC. It is strong, lightweight and flexible – with twice the strength to weight ratio of steel and equivalent to concrete for compression strength – making it perfect for earthquake resilience, even in multi-storey buildings. Wood has the added benefit of corrosion resistance in aggressive environments and good fire performance (in some cases wood is actually used to protect steel from fire, counterintuitively). It is also inherently carbon neutral and renewable, and locally produced.
Jason went on to present some innovative local examples of uses of LVL (including curved sections) along with some international examples of construction from wood. To underscore his point about the structural strength of wood, his final slide shows an older wooden house with half of the foundations removed by a flood, yet still standing level and structurally intact.
See Jason’s presentation here: