Sustainability, Innovation & Collaboration – Tasmanian Visiting Architects Program


Wellness is becoming a very big thing,
certainly a big focus in commercial work. What can the building do to help those
inside it, as well as the planet? And I think that overlay
brings timber to the fore. The sustainability overlay brings
timber to the fore as well. Contrasting that with some of the other
materials we use, the sustainability properties of timber, the way that
it’s utilised is very important to our business. We almost ask ourselves the question,
do we have to use another material? One of the things that we hate is the
amount of transport involved in the product that we use. So, being able to source product locally
is very important, and understanding the process from the forest through to the
finished dressed piece of timber makes a huge difference. There’s three big take-outs for me; the
sustainability of the forest, the fact that the innovation that’s happening here
seems to be second nature to the way that the industry is set up, not just in the
product that they’re putting out the door, but how they’re getting every last
millimetre out of the tree, and that’s really quite astounding. And the collaboration, the collegiate
atmosphere; there seems to be quite a lot of cross-fertilisation of ideas. People are prepared to help each other
out, which is quite extraordinary, the degree to which that happens. Everybody from government to industry to
the watchdog are all on the same page. They’re working together to solve
whatever the problem might be. Competitors are open with each other about
what their processes are and what they’re doing. There’s not a lot of
industries that do that. It’s a really great way
to be running an industry. We’ve all walked away with preconceived
notions dispelled, knowledge level just gone through the roof, and a lot of great
connections as well — connections into industry, into research. So, a lot of possibilities and
opportunities open up that maybe just simply weren’t there before.

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