Materiality is an extremely important element of building projects. A great deal of thought goes into preparing the materials palette to ensure that it matches the brief, is suitable for the application and fits within the allocated budget. There’s also the expectation that the materials would meet the quality requirements of the project.
What type of quality checks do these materials go through before they reach the site to ensure the assured performance going forward? These checks are especially important with timber products. Tasmanian Timber’s Quality Assurance Program is a rigorous auditing system that ensures that their product performs consistently – so that specifiers can too.
Tasmanian Timber is backed by an independently audited Quality Assurance Program implemented by the Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood (CSAW) at the University of Tasmania. Michael Lee, Technical Officer at CSAW, has been in the forestry industry in Tasmania for over 35 years. Michael is the designer and Chief Auditor for the Quality Assurance Program. Having once been a former production manager at one of the largest timber companies in the state, worked as the technical manager for the Forest and Forestry Industry Council (FFIC), and been heavily involved with timber research at the University of Tasmania’s School of Architecture throughout his career, Michael is one of Australia’s leading timber experts.
Michael explains the depth behind the Quality Assurance Program and how the program ensures each Tasmanian timber purchase meets a high set of standards.
“CSAW operates the Quality Assurance Program, which looks quarterly at every one of the Tasmanian timber mills that are part of the Tasmanian Timber marketing campaign. We rigorously look at the nominated products against Australian standards. If we find any issues of a product being out of spec or out of shape, it is reported back to the Tasmanian Timber Promotion Board.
“The advantage for architects, builders and suppliers is the fact that we've gone in and randomly picked out material. We've looked at this material, we've assessed against the appropriate standard to make sure that what the company is selling actually complies.”
The Quality Assurance Program was modelled off a similar program that was successfully run for a number of years for timber framing products and Michael shares that it has continued to run favourably for all stakeholders since its inception.
“It really does mean that all buyers can trust the products that they're receiving because our testing is truly random. We will pick out any given pack of timber off a truck, pull it down and have a look at it. Every test is an independent evaluation of the product as it sits without having anything staged so it truly is a random audit.”
The Tasmanian Timber marketing website is home to species, application and supplier information, a number of case studies, and new to the website is the option to request a quote, guaranteeing that each actioned quote is fulfilled by timber that has been a part of the Quality Assurance Program.
“The option to ‘Get a Quote’ on the Tasmanian Timber website is great because it allows us to put out your request to all the applicable suppliers who offer a product that meets your needs. And, it ensures your timber is coming from a reputable supplier that is Quality Assured.
“Tasmanian Timber suppliers are also sustainable. It is a requirement of entry to the campaign that the supplier is certified sustainable by Responsible Wood (PEFC), and holds Chain of Custody certification. Buyers can truly know that they’re buying a totally sustainable and guaranteed product.”