WoodWeek – 30 August 2017

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New Zealand wood products already undergo strict and independent, third-party scrutiny to ensure that they comply with the NZ Building Code. All NZ wood products are made to standards and codes set by the official NZ standards body, Standards New Zealand, and by the building industry regulator, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Adherence to these standards is then assured through inspection by independent verifiers operating throughout the country.

In light of this, WPMA have recently announced that they are working with thinkstep Ltd to enable processors and manufacturers of NZ wood products to state with certainty the environmental impacts of the products they produce and the processes they use by using the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). WPMA member companies have contributed to the development of this EPD and it will cover a wide range of wood products.

In the Bay of Plenty, Port of Tauranga is confirmed as New Zealand’s largest, fastest growing and most productive port as container volumes increase 13.8% to a record of nearly 1.1 million TEU1; ships with a capacity of between 7,500 and 11,500 TEUs calling weekly following channel deepening.

Over the ditch, Australia’s first engineered timber commercial building has taken out the prestigious Athenaeum and European Centre for Design Award for International Architecture.

International House Sydney, designed by Tzannes as part of the Barangaroo redevelopment, received recognition from two of the world’s leading design institutions: the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. This is the sixth major international design award Tzannes has received in the last two years.

Timber buildings are a hot topic at the moment, so make sure your register now for the upcoming Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber in Construction conference. The conference is set to be part of a wood technology week of events coming to the city in September, including the FIEA WoodTECH 2017 two-day conference and trade expo. Rotorua Lakes Council are event partners promoting their successful “Wood-First” policy. For more details see: www.cpetc2017.com.

Finally, for forestry companies, UAV technology plus AI, the IoT, robotics and automation and the integration of virtual and augmented reality into their operations has already started. ForestTECH 2017 is focussing on these new technologies and more. The annual conference will run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 15-16 November and then again in Melbourne, Australia the following week on 21-22 November 2017. Further details and the programmes for both countries can now be viewed on the event website, www.foresttech.events.

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Wood products QA moves to new level

New Zealand wood products already undergo strict and independent, third-party scrutiny to ensure that they comply with the NZ Building Code. All NZ wood products are made to standards and codes set by the official NZ standards body, Standards New Zealand, and by the building industry regulator, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Adherence to these standards is then assured through inspection by independent verifiers operating throughout the country. Assurance of fitness for purpose is provided by Building Consent Authorities checking that the correctly specified product goes into the right place in the structure. All of this means that customers can be confident in NZ wood products.

“That said, in this day and age, customers require much more from our product range. Our customers want to be assured that the products they are buying come with hard evidence that they are doing the right thing for the environment”, says WPMA Chair, Brian Stanley.

“This is why I’m delighted to announce today that the WPMA and thinkstep Ltd are working together to enable processors and manufacturers of NZ wood products to state with certainty the environmental impacts of the products they produce and the processes they use.”

While it is widely accepted that wood products have a relatively low environmental footprint, there is at this stage only one recognised and audited means of calculating and communicating relevant environmental impacts: the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).

An EPD is a verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impacts of products. The EPD will be published under the Australasian EPD® Programme – part of the global International EPD® System – following international standard ISO 14025 and European standard EN 15804.

Brian Stanley noted that WPMA member companies have contributed to the development of this EPD and it will cover a wide range of wood products, including structural timber, appearance timber, treated timber, finger-jointed timber and glue-laminated timber.

WPMA member companies believe that supplying authoritative environmental impact data to architects and developers, in a format that enables the total environmental performance of buildings to be calculated will result in their wood products being preferred, both over timber from other sources and to non-timber products in environmentally-discerning markets.

“Growing the market demand for quality-assured, NZ wood is not only good for the environment but is also critical for ensuring more employment and economic growth in regional NZ – a win-win-win for New Zealand”, concluded Mr Stanley.

Source: Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association (WPMA)

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Sydney timber building picks up major design award

Australia’s first engineered timber commercial building has taken out the prestigious Athenaeum and European Centre for Design Award for International Architecture.

International House Sydney, designed by Tzannes as part of the Barangaroo redevelopment, received recognition from two of the world’s leading design institutions: the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. This is the sixth major international design award Tzannes has received in the last two years.

The LendLease-developed International House Sydney opened its doors earlier this year, as the ‘front door’ to Barangaroo South. The project is built entirely of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (GLT), including floors, columns, walls, roof, lift shafts, egress stairs and bracing bays. The six above-ground commercial levels are supported by a single ground-level retail floor of conventional concrete.

“Tzannes’ design turns the limitations of structural engineered mass timber and recycled hardwood to advantage, establishing a strong visual presence and legible load path through the building column and beam construction,” reads a statement issued by Tzannes in response to the award.

“The double-height colonnade bracing columns, made from recycled iron bark, evoke memories of the forest origins of timber, these ancient trees respected in their new industrial use to further distinguish the architecture and its contribution to the design of the public domain.”

Altogether, around 3,500 cubic metres of sustainably grown and recycled timber were used in the construction of International House Sydney. This conscious decision not to use concrete meant that “thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases” were avoided.

“International House Sydney is an exemplar of placemaking architecture that reduces negative environmental impacts in the built environment,” says Tzannes. “It provides an ongoing store for carbon, pointing towards the future of commercial building construction throughout the world.”

Source: architectureanddesign.com.au


Jeremy Tompson, Project Manager from LendLease, will be speaking at the upcoming Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber in Construction conference. The conference is set to be part of a wood technology week of events coming to the city in September, including the FIEA WoodTECH 2017 two-day conference and trade expo. Rotorua Lakes Council are event partners promoting their successful “Wood-First” policy. For more details see: www.cpetc2017.com.


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A Year of Records for Port of Tauranga

Port of Tauranga is confirmed as New Zealand’s largest, fastest growing and most productive port as container volumes increase 13.8% to a record of nearly 1.1 million TEU1; ships with a capacity of between 7,500 and 11,500 TEUs calling weekly following channel deepening.

Highlights:
  • Annual container volumes exceed one million TEUs - a first for a New Zealand port
  • Total trade increases 10.3% to a record 22.2 million tonnes
  • Net Profit After Tax for the year to 30 June 2017 rises 7.9% to $83.4 million
  • Annual revenue rises 4.2% to $255.9 million
  • Port of Tauranga becomes the only New Zealand port to be “big ship capable”
  • Exports increased 8.0% to 14.2 million tonnes, while imports grew 13.7% to 8.0 million tonnes
  • A final ordinary dividend of 6.2 cents per share brings the total ordinary dividend to 11.2 cents per share - a 5.7% increase on the previous year. In addition, a special dividend of 5 cents per share will be paid, bringing the total dividends for the year to 16.2 cents per share.


New Zealand’s busiest port, Port of Tauranga Limited (NZX.POT), recently announced record annual earnings as freight volumes increased across all major cargoes.

Net Profit After Tax for the year to 30 June 2017 rose 7.9% to $83.4 million, from $77.3 million the previous year. The result was lifted by a 13.8% increase in container volumes to a record 1,085,987 TEU, as well as growth in log, dairy products and oil imports. Subsidiary and Associate companies performed well with NPAT up 4.8% to $14.645 million.

Annual revenue rose 4.2% to $255.9 million, up from $245.5 million, while EBITDA increased 6.4%, from $143.2 million last year to $152.4 million this year.

Port land was revalued during the year increasing by $63 million reflecting the increase in land values over the last two years.

Port of Tauranga Chair, David Pilkington, said the results were a satisfying culmination to the Company’s $350 million expansion programme, which included a major harbour dredging project to widen and deepen shipping channels to accommodate larger ships.

“It’s been a monumental year,” Mr Pilkington said. “The successful completion of our dredging project in September was a turning point, as bigger vessels were able to call in New Zealand for the first time.”

“As soon as the dredging was finished, larger vessels were introduced on Tauranga-only port calls,” he said.

Vessels with nominal capacities of between 7,500 and 11,500 TEU now regularly call on a weekly basis, compared to a pre-dredging maximum of 4,500 TEU ships.

“These large vessels are providing New Zealand importers and exporters with very fast, direct and economic services to North Asia and beyond. As Port of Tauranga is the only Australasian port of call on these services, it is an efficient trans-shipping option for Australian exporters,” Mr Pilkington said.

As well as larger container vessels, the Port is also seeing larger bulk cargo and passenger ships. The giant cruise ship Ovation of the Seas – at 347 metres long and 50 metres high – made its first visit on Boxing Day 2016 and made two further calls, bringing nearly 4,900 tourists each time to the Bay of Plenty.

Cargo trends
New services from Maersk, Hamburg Sud and Seatrade, and the larger vessels being utilised by the shipping lines, have had a significant impact on cargo volumes in the year to 30 June 2017. Exports grew 8.0% to 14.2 million tonnes and imports increased 13.7% to 8.0 million tonnes, with strong growth in all the largest cargo categories.

Export log volumes increased 20.1% to 5.5 million tonnes and dairy exports increased 4.9% overall.

The trend to larger ships calling only in Tauranga is reflected in the amount of containers which were trans-shipped (transferred from one ship to another), an increase of 31.0% to 245,896 TEUs.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said this was evidence of the inevitable paradigm shift towards a hub and feeder port network in New Zealand.

Source: Port of Tauranga

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Rayonier results: industry barometer

The financials of international forest companies are much more widely reported on when they are publicly listed entities. This market update report provides some insight into Rayonier as a barometer for our forest industry in NZ in general:

First Thoughts on RYN's Q2: Beat on Higher Timberland Sales

Rayonier New Zealand: Solid, helped by timberland sales. RYN reported EBITDA of US$41.9mm, but includes $23.8mm from timberland sales. "Underlying" EBITDA of US$18.1mm was dead in line with BMO estimate. 1Q17 = US$15.7mm, 2Q16 = US$16.4mm.

Volumes were 6% below BMO estimate, but domestic sawlog prices 2.5% above BMO estimate. FX was a helper. RYN sold 9,646 "productive" acres for US$24.3mm -- US$2,520/ acre -- impressive.

Notes:
Company Description - Rayonier is the second largest timber real estate investment trust (REIT) in North America. with 2.7 million acres of timberland in the U.S. South, Pacific Northwest, and New Zealand. In June 2014, Rayonier completed the spin-off of its Specialty Cellulose operations into a separate company. In conjunction with the spin-off, it brought in a new CEO (David Nunes) and several board members (Scott Jones, Andy Wiltshire).
Source: BMO Capital Markets

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Why aren't we attracting young people?

The job no one wants: why won't young people work in logging?

On a steep slope just inland from Waldport, Oregon, a young forestry worker named Jared Foster is at the controls of a large machine called a forwarder. The machine, made by Finnish company Ponnse, looks like it was designed by Michael Bay.

The front section contains a climate-controlled cabin, in which Foster sits, listening to a country music station as he works. The back features a large, articulated mechanical arm with a yellow claw, and a cage that can hold up to 20 metric tons of felled timber. The whole thing is tethered by a steel cable to a large stump at the top of the slope, to keep it from careening down the hill.

In the cab, Foster manipulates a joystick that controls the arm, which gathers up felled Douglas Fir trees as if they were Jenga sticks. It’s taken him a year to master it, and his training has included time on simulators. His supervisor, Matt Mattioda of Miller Lumber, says: “It’s as complicated as flying a plane.” Eventually, when there’s an opening, Jared will get his chance to run the even more daunting harvester that can clear a patch of firs in minutes.

Mattioda and other experts hope the new machines might help the logging industry solve its millennial problem: young people are not attracted to a life in the forest.

He says that the machines are nothing short of a technological revolution for the industry. “A few years back we would have had to clear a slope like this by hand.” Until now, mechanisation has only been possible on flat ground, because vehicles have not had the attractive capability to stay on sloped. Now, winches, tethering, and the wheel system mean that “together these machines can do the work of eight men or more”.

John Garland, professor emeritus at Oregon State University, has spent a lifetime researching the industry and trying to improve its safety record. Earlier, as we drove along a forest road to the site that Miller Lumber was clearing, he explained why the industry has struggled to attract young people to its ranks. “Logging is difficult, dirty, dangerous, and declining.”

More >>

Source: The Guardian

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Research results: UAV applications

Remotely sensed data is widely used in the forestry sector. This information has been largely sourced from satellite or airborne sensors, but recently unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as a new platform for acquiring remotely sensed data.

In contrast to satellites and aircraft UAVs are relatively inexpensive and can be rapidly deployed to collect data for repetitive forest activities. These craft currently have restricted flight times and payload capacity, limiting the potential range of applications and the type of sensors that can be carried. These attributes are likely to see UAVs fill a niche for the collection of remote sensing data to serve a variety of novel applications.

Four potential applications identified by industry were investigated:
1. Identification and mapping of wind damaged forest to plan for value recovery
2. Identification and mapping of cutover areas
3. Assessment of post-planting stocking and survival
4. Post-harvest waste assessment

The results of the study showed that UAV data collection and subsequent analysis can be used for rapid assessment of post-storm wind damage in forests and for updating stand records.

Automated cutover detection to monitor harvesting progress using edge detection algorithms was tested and showed that imagery from inexpensive UAVs could be used to accurately map forest cutover boundaries. The UAV system developed showed potential for regular, automated updating of cutover boundaries.

For planting stocking and survival assessments, the project showed that reliable estimates of stocking and establishment success can be made from the data collected from UAVs.

Evaluation of UAVs for post-harvest waste assessment showed that the imagery appeared well-suited to the assessment of post-harvest waste volume. While sweep could be accurately assessed, material covered by slash and defects such as rot could not be easily detected from UAV imagery.

In the above photos:
Left panel shows the UAV flight path (dotted green) and heading (blue lines) determined by edge detection.

Right panel shows the smoothed flight path (red) compared to the actual edge determined from ground-truth mapping (green).

Overall the results showed that UAV imagery is potentially suitable for the forest management applications assessed, and that UAVs fill a niche in terms of remote sensing data that is not currently served by other platforms.

This article is based on the work of Dr Grant Pearse and Dr Michael Watt from Scion and David Hunt from Canterbury University. The project was funded by the Forest Growers Levy Trust and Scion.

For forestry companies, UAV technology plus AI, the IoT, robotics and automation and the integration of virtual and augmented reality into their operations has already started. Looking into this new technology and options for forestry businesses in this part of the world this year has been built into the ForestTECH 2017 technology series that will be running for forest resource managers, inventory foresters and GIS specialists in November.

The annual conference series - ForestTECH 2017 will run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 15-16 November and then again in Melbourne, Australia the following week on 21-22 November 2017. Further details and the programmes for both countries can now be viewed on the event website, www.foresttech.events.

Source: NZ Forest Owners Association and FIEA

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John Deere Q3 results upbeat

Deere Q3 construction/forestry sales up 29% - Deere & Company net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 increased 31.3 percent, compared to the same period last year, to reach $641.8 million, while construction and forestry division sales increased 29 percent.

Total worldwide net sales and revenues increased 16 percent to $7.8 billion for the quarter compared to Q3 2016, with net sales of the equipment operations reaching $6.8 billion, an increase of 16.6 percent.

“John Deere reported another quarter of strong performance as the company continued to benefit from improving market conditions throughout the world,” says Chairman and CEO Samuel R. Allen. “We are seeing higher overall demand for our products with farm machinery sales in South America experiencing strong gains and construction equipment sales rising sharply. Deere’s performance also is being assisted by an advanced product portfolio and the continuing impact of a flexible cost structure and lean asset base.”

Operating profit for equipment operations rose $170 million compared to Q3 2016, an increase of 27.2 percent.

More >>

Source: John Deere

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Forestry professionals back in the market

An amendment to the Real Estate Agents (Exemptions) Regulations 2017 will permit registered members of the NZ Institute of Forestry (NZIF) to carry out real estate work in the forestry sector without being licensed real estate agents.

The change, announced by Associate Justice Minister Mark Mitchell, will take effect on 1 November 2017. It has been warmly welcomed by NZ’s professional body of foresters.

NZIF President, James Treadwell says “We are delighted to hear the announcement.”

“The NZIF is grateful the Government has seen fit to mitigate this imbalance. We have worked pretty hard with the Ministry of Justice to overcome the challenges created by the narrow application of The Real Estate Agents Act 2008. That legislation was designed to protect consumers, but ended up being way too draconian.”

“Our registered members have significant responsibilities to meet when they join the NZIF. We are positive that they will act in good faith. They will maintain the highest industry standards, and act professionally in any future real estate dealings. The change is set to benefit forest owners directly, as well as our own members.”

Source: NZIF

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Fatalities disturb union leaders

More forestry workers being killed at work – Woodhouse needs to take action - Last week forestry worker Te Oho Mauri Piripi ("Piri") Bartlet was killed at work. He is the second member of his family to have been killed at work in the forestry industry in a year. Te Oho Mauri Bartlet is also the fifth person to have been killed in forestry this year. 2017 is already the deadliest year in forestry since the horror of 10 deaths in 2013.

CTU President Richard Wagstaff is worried that the industry is not doing all it can to keep forestry workers safe. “I have some questions for the Government and for Minister Woodhouse that need answers.”

“Increasing production pressures mean that forestry contractors are harvesting more dangerous terrain and this makes it even more important to have safe equipment and work practices. The ‘Wall of Wood’ will start to be harvested from 2018 and will massively increase these pressures for the next few years. Employers and the industry as a whole needs to be ready to work safely.”

“The CTU, on behalf of working people, and the families of those killed in forestry, are concerned that the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for safety and health in forest operations has never been fit for purpose. The ACOP is confusing and fails to deal with significant issues like the role of worker fatigue. Michael Woodhouse Workplace Relations and Safety Minister needs to act and ensure the ACOP is reviewed urgently.”

“WorkSafe also needs to step up their inspections and ensure that they are out there on the forestry sites. They should also be considering the responsibilities of the Forest Managers and Forestry Owners when something goes wrong and prosecuting when appropriate.”

“Everyone should have confidence that they can return home to their loved ones at the end of their working day. The forestry industry and employers need to do more, much more, to keep those working for them safe at work,” Wagstaff said.

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Buy and Sell


... and finally ... which three wishes?

It was Christmas Eve. A poor old lady was sitting alone, except for her cat, in her tiny house, in front of a small fire. Suddenly, there was a flash of light, and the old woman's good fairy appeared in the room.

The old woman was astonished, but the fairy reassured her: "Don't be afraid! I am your good fairy. You are very poor, and all alone at Christmas, so I have come to grant you three wishes, to cheer you up."

The old woman was about to speak, but the fairy held up her hand. "Wait!" she said. "Before you make a wish, think carefully! You will get exactly what you wish for, and no wish can be undone!"

So the old woman sat silently, staring at the fire and thinking. Eventually, she spoke: "First", she said, "I want to be very, very wealthy." Poof! Immediately, the tiny house was packed with pots full of gold coins, and sacks of bank-notes. There was more money than anyone could spend in an entire lifetime.

The old woman looked around and smiled. She thought some more, and spoke again: "Next", she said, "I want to be young and beautiful again, like I was when I was 18." Poof!

The old woman disappeared. In her place sat a beautiful young woman, with smooth, white skin and long, golden hair.

The woman looked at her hands and arms, felt her hair, and smiled. "Third", she said to the fairy, "I want you to change my cat into a handsome young prince, who will love me and take care of me all my life!"

Poof! The fairy disappeared, and the cat leapt up from his place by the fire as a handsome young prince. He reached out to the woman, pulled her to her feet, embraced her, and kissed her passionately.

Then he gazed into her eyes and said: "Hah! Now you're really going to be sorry that you took me to the vet!"



That's all for this week's wood news.

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John Stulen
Editor
PO Box 1230
Building X91, Scion Campus, 99 Sala Street
Rotorua, New Zealand
Tel: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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