Panels & Furniture Asia Mar/Apr 2018

The Malaysian Timber Council’s International Conference on Wood Architecture highlights why timber is the star buildingmaterial of the 21 st century. A magnificent building material like timber should not be reduced to secondary functions and Malaysian architects as well as structural engineers need to relook the use of timber in architecture. As the world moves towards changing building code regulations to accommodate timber high-rises, Malaysia should consider revisiting its building tradition with this material. This was the message conveyed by the distinguished panel of speakers at the Malaysian Timber Council’s (MTC) International Conference on Wood Architecture held Nov 9 in Kuala Lumpur. The panel included world-renowned Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur officiated the opening ceremony on behalf of Minister YB Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong. Also present was MTC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Nik. Players in the construction industry will find themselves in a transition period and will have to employ a different attitudewhichwouldbeamorenurturing one when they build with timber as the government institutes various initiatives such as the Industrialised Building System or IBS, said Nasrun, delivering a speech on behalf of Minister Mah. “Under the IBS, components such as timber frames will be prefabricated Conference participants (from left): Kevin Hill, PAM President Ezumi Harzani, Norihide Imagawa, Almaz Salma Abdul Rahim, MTC Deputy CEO Richard Yu, JKR Civil and Structural Engineering Branch Director Ir Muhammad Azman Jamrus, Azman Md Nor, Boris Iskra and Andrew Waugh. architects and engineers Andrew Waugh, Norihide Imagawa, KevinHill and Boris Iskra. Malaysian architects Almaz Salma Abdul Rahim and Azman Md Nor, first and second prize winners, respectively, of MTC’s inaugural MalaysianWood Awards 2017, spoke on their winning designs as well as on their other wood-based structures. The conference promotes the use of timber and highlights the need to change the mindsets of those in the construction industry. About 300 delegates attended. Deputy Minister of the Plantation Industries and Commodities YB Datuk or manufactured off-site to improve productivity and reduce on-site construction waste. The use of IBS components with a minimum score of 70 per cent in government projects will bemademandatory. IBS is also expected to improve productivity by 2.5 times,” he added. In the recent Budget 2018,Malaysia’s prime minister announced various initiatives to strengthen small-and- medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as enhance automation and Bumiputera entrepreneurship. “Sensational timber structures have been developed primarily in European countries and this is something which we can emulate. Building regulations are also being revised, reflecting the successes accomplished in countries which have constructed tall timber structures. Malaysia should embrace the advancements that timber architecture is offering,” Abdul Rahim said. A mini exhibition was also held in conjunction with the conference to showcase products such as doors, flooring, decking, panel products, mouldings and glulam. These enabled specifiers and users to know what is available in the market. ℗ March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA 62 SHOW REVIEW