May 11 2022 (at Zoom)

Why Wood Works - Live Round-Table Debate

On Wednesday 11 May 2022, we were delighted to welcome more than 90+ designers, landscape architects, product suppliers and Council representatives to Fleetwood’s latest round table event – ‘Why Wood Works: Unlocking the natural potential of long-lasting timber structures.

To discuss the benefits, challenges and opportunities of using of hardwood timber, we were joined via Zoom by two of Australia’s most knowledgeable figures in the area of timber durability and design life: Professor Jeffrey Morrell, Director at the National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life, and Colin Mackenzie from Mackenzie Consulting. Also part of our expert panel was Senior Design Technician at Fleetwood, Mark Jol.


You can watch a replay of the session here


Calling upon their extensive experience in the design, delivery and maintenance of timber structures, the panel covered some intriguing topics over the course of the 60-minute session. The result was an information-packed discussion.

Just some of topics the session covered included:

The global resurgence of timber as a building material of choice

Climatic hazards vary significantly in different parts of Australia – and this has a huge impact on the life expectancy and performance of different timber species

Fit-for-purpose species selection and correct durability gradings

Using the design process to maximise performance and durability of a timber structure

Why weathering is not the same thing as structural degradation

‘Perfect imperfection’ – designing with timber as a variable, naturally-ageing material (concept of wabi-sabi)

Managing moisture content – seasoned or unseasoned timber?

Using the correct coatings to extend durability – what works and what doesn’t?

Timber availability and the need to plan ahead

Potential implications of installing non-native timber species in Australian conditions

Increasing incidence of ‘Australian’ hardwood species being grown overseas

‘Responsibly-sourced’ – what does this actually mean? How can you be sure?

Timber wastage and recycling – what’s being done? Can more be done?

Read more here: Why Wood Works Webinar

“Many people tend to think about timber from a ‘flat earth’ perspective, where it’s the same all over the country. But the climatic hazards vary significantly from the top of the Australia right down to Tasmania – and, obviously, the life expectancy and performance of the timber varies according to those hazards.”  Colin MacKenzie, MacKenzie Consulting