American Hardwoods: Specifying with confidence
25 June, 1.00pm – 2.00pm AEST

Session Synopsis:
The aim of this presentation is to give architects and designers an understanding of where American hardwoods come from, what they are, what their environmental credentials and impact are and how to use them and specify them realistically.

After a brief introduction to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and its non-commercial role in improving understanding of American hardwoods worldwide, the presentation is split in to three distinct parts, as follows:

Part one focuses on provenance, legality and sustainability, looking hardwood resource management in the United States and its practice today. It covers the size and spread of the resource and its ownership and how this determines harvesting and production. It provides an overview of the American Hardwood Environmental Profile (AHEP) and how this looks at proof of legality, sustainability and the low environmental impact of kiln-dried hardwood lumber and veneer through cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Part two provides a brief overview of production, looking at sawmilling and kiln-drying and then focuses on the key American hardwood species in terms of commercial availability, their physical attributes and their potential for applications, demonstrated through real life projects from around the world.

Part three covers two recent developments in timber technology, which can be applied to U.S. hardwoods – namely thermal modification (TMT) and cross-laminated timber (CLT). It looks at the species and processes involved in these technologies and how the material can be applied in construction, along with some of its benefits.

In essence, this presentation is designed to provide the listener with enough of a degree of knowledge and confidence in order to make an informed choice when specifying American hardwoods.

Key Learning Outcomes:
Assess and integrate construction systems and materials consistent with the project brief
Evaluate design options against values of physical, environmental and cultural contexts
Apply creative imagination and aesthetic judgement to produce coherent design
Investigate and integrate appropriate material selection for the project design
 

Competency Codes related to this session:
AACA Competency: Design; Conceptual Design 3.7
AACA Competency: Design; Schematic Design 4.2
AACA Competency: Design; Schematic Design 4.3
AACA Competency: Design; Schematic Design 4.6

Presented by:
Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director (Oceania)

Roderick Wiles has more than twenty years of experience in market research, marketing, marketing strategy & promotion with particular emphasis on the wood products sector. With a special interest in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Australasia and Europe, he has provided market intelligence, expert advice, market entry assistance and full service promotional campaign management to a range of clients, including both government-funded non-profits and private companies. He has worked with the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) since 1999, running a cross-regional campaign to raise awareness and knowledge levels of American hardwood products. In recent years, this work has involved high profile collaborations with leading architects, furniture and interior designers in Africa, the Middle East and Australasia. He is a regular contributor to a range of media associated with both the trade in wood products and the architectural and design community. He has also addressed a wide spectrum of audiences at conferences, seminars and workshops, including the UNECE/FAO Timber Committee, the Indian Institute of Architects and the International Federation of Interior Architects & Designers.