These figures were analysed in an opening address to a sustainable building in timber seminar in Melbourne last week by Tony Arnel, a former chair of the World Green Building Council.
“Timber will be the sustainable solution to global challenges,” he said. “Population growth and shelter will require another two planet Earths to cope.”
He added: “Buildings now generate 40% of the world’s emissions.”
Mr Arnel, who is director of sustainability with global engineering consultancy Norman Disney & Young, was speaking to a broad ‘mix’ of stakeholders in the sector – architects, specifiers, building designers, timber industry managers and consultants – at the seminar organised by Australian Forestry Standard Ltd at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
AFS CEO Simon Dorries said delegates enjoyed the ‘one-stop’ opportunity to ‘bone-up’ on green building ideas, tall timber structures, environmental product declarations – and an update on sustainable forest management practices in Australia.
An overview by seven speakers on standards and certification linked to chain-of-custody programs, emissions reduction, timber treatment and new engineered wood products kept the audience in their seats beyond the closing session.
Tony Arnel said green building activity was growing worldwide and continued to double every three years.
In a breakdown of projects, he said 46% were new commercial, 38% new institutional and 37% existing buildings and retrofits.
“Across all regions, studies show more than 60% of projects will be ‘green’ by 2018,” Mr Arnel said.
“It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: if the 19th century was the century of steel and the 20th century of concrete, then the 21st century is about engineered timber.”
Mr Arnel capsulised the “wonderful world of wood”: 385 billion cub m of wood; 17 billion metres added each year; 3.4 billion harvested annually.
Opening speaker at the AFS sustainable building in timber seminar Tony Arnell, global director, sustainability, at Norman Disney & Young (centre) with AFS director Alison Carmichael, general manager Agsafe Ltd, Canberra, and Simon Dorries, CEO, Australian Forestry Standard Ltd, Brisbane.
Nadia Godfrey, marketing manager, Woodform Architectural Design, Bendigo Vic, Conal O’Neill, graduate process engineer, Weathertex, Skye Larson, communication adviser, Vic Forests, and Stephen Mitchell, Stephen Mitchell Associates, Sydney (speaker).
Simon Dorries, AFS Ltd CEO (centre) welcomes Polytec Melbourne representatives George Abagi, national commercial and specification manager, and Garry Chillcott, national sales manager, to the AFS sustainable building seminar.
Dr Miahi Daian, wood products consultant, Margules Groome Consulting, Dr Georgiana Daian, research oﬃcer, ForestWorks, and Stuart McGonagle, national ﬂooring manager, Big River, Braeside, Vic.
Brett Taylor, sales manager, Kennedy’s Timbers, Melbourne (right) discusses recycled timber samples with Timothy Morrissey, policy adviser, Victorian Association of Forest Industries and Kristopher Orlowski, lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Melbourne.
Dr Harry Greaves, Harry Greaves Consulting, Melbourne, Alison Carmichael, AFS director, Canberra, and David Rowlinson, make it wood campaign manager, Planet Ark, Sydney.