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Canterbury rebuild boost for Hastings

Hastings company Kanuka Engineered Wood Products is set to have a major part in the Canterbury rebuild, with the University of Canterbury opting for engineered timber for its new Students Association Events Centre.

The 60m x 20m multi-purpose building uses laminated wood. All components were manufactured at Kanuka Engineered Wood Products in Irongate Rd in Hastings and prefabricated at Timbercore’s premises in Christchurch.

Andrei Martin, University of Canterbury capital projects manager, said the construction method used safer, lightweight timber structures. “Any potential risk of damage and business interruption attributable to ongoing seismic activity is significantly reduced,” he said.

The proprietary building system, which was developed by timber design and build company Timbercore, was selected because of the advantage of using a building system that can be adapted without having to go through a detailed and lengthy planning process.

Timbercore directors Kevin Barron and Peter Roil said ensuring the performance advantages of engineered timber were recognised and understood was more than half the battle to getting projects off the ground.

Renewable engineered timber offers fire resistance and enhanced resilience to seismic hazards. Other benefits included the value-added use of wood that had previously been exported as logs. Kanuka was also involved with the university’s Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus (EPIC). The 71m x 35m building has a double-storey portion and is the first rebuild of its size and scale to be built in the Red Zone.

NZ Wood said the increasing preference for timber and engineered timber solutions for the rebuild reflected the learning gained through earthquake damage in all known earthquake zones. “From Turkey to Italy and now in New Zealand the benefits of timber as a sustainable and resilient building material are coming home to roost” .

Mr Roil is also managing director of Kanuka. He said the company had 15 buildings in the Canterbury earthquake zone and all escaped damage.

“It’s not surprising. It’s a good product,” he said.