Wood innovation showcased at the Institute of Timber Frame Building awards

One of the industry’s most prominent tributes to excellence in timber design and construction, the Institute of Timber Frame Building (ITFB) Annual Awards, once again showcased South Africa’s most inventive and progressive timber innovations at the end of May. As a major supplier of wood preservation chemicals in South Africa and co-sponsor of the ITFB Awards, Lonza Wood Protection was proud to be associated with the recognition and tribute to the industry’s pioneers. 

Gerard Busse, Marketing Manager, Lonza Wood Protection, said, “The growing number of spectacular timber structures in South Africa is an encouraging sign that architects and designers are considering timber as an alternative and environmentally friendly, truly renewable building construction material.

“With the concerns regarding climate change, timber sourced from sustainably managed plantations plays a very important role through the carbon cycle in lowering the carbon footprint of buildings. The reason being that as trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide (CO²) creating a carbon sink that produces O² and is released into the atmosphere, so sawn timber and treated poles are, at best, carbon neutral and, in some cases, even net carbon negative.

“Our support of the ITFB Awards, therefore falls in line with our strategy to not only promote the use of quality treated timber, but to also support the recognition and awarding of excellence in timber design and construction”.

President of the ITFB, Werner Slabbert, explains the conceptualization of the awards, “The awards were introduced in 1996 to recognize our builders’ craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each year builders win either a Gold, Silver or Bronze certificate in a variety of categories to commemorate their outstanding workmanship on a particular project. A parallel award is presented to the architect or designer of the award entry”.

The award categories cover structures larger than 120m2 and structures larger than 220m2 (category 1); structures smaller than 120m2 (category 2); alterations and additions (category 3); decks, boardwalks, gazebos, etc. (category 4) and commercial buildings (category 5).

While most people are aware of the aesthetic appeal of timber buildings, the use of quality preservative treated structural timber is only a legal requirement in some areas of South Africa, mostly along the coastline. Through awareness projects, such as the awards, the ITFB is actively engaged in communicating the importance of quality treated structural timber against insect and fungal attack, as well as biological decay throughout South Africa, in order to maintain the high value and beauty of each structure.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to Lonza Wood Protection for their continued support of our annual building awards project. Our longstanding relationship with Lonza in promoting the use of quality treated wood from established suppliers for all forms of timber building is an important aspect of our role as the ITFB,” added Slabbert.

“As a co-sponsor, with Buco and Timber iQ, we were most impressed with the quality of entries and winners in each of the categories judged this year. We would like to congratulate the ITFB organisers and judges on a professional event that did the timber frame and great wood products industry proud. Our congratulations also go to each winner and to all the entrants who supported the ITFB Awards through their commitment to uphold and promote timber innovaton,” concluded Busse.

Award Winners

Category: Decks and Boardwalk

Silver – Town & Country for the V&A Boardwalk
Bronze – Eaglewood

Category: Alterations and Additions

Silver – Southbroom Timber Homes for House El-Alemien
Bronze – Timbercraft for House Chambers

Category: Structures smaller than 120m2

Gold – Southbroom Timber Homes for House Wagner
Silver – Eco Log Homes for a development at Koppies Dam in the Free State

Category: Structures larger than 120m2 

Gold – Villager Timber Homes for House de Kock as well as the design of House de Kock
Bronze – Villager Timber Homes for House Power and Logo Homes
Silver – House May designed by Alan Paine Designs

Category: Structures larger than 220m2

Gold – Knysna Timber Homes for House Van Zyl
Silver – Knysna Timber Homes for House Duboin
Silver – Jacques Cronje Timber Designs for the design of House Duboin
Bronze – Country Timber Homes for House McNamara

An additional award was presented to Jacques Cronje of Jacques Cronje Timber Designs in recognition for his promotion of timber house construction in South Africa

ITFB Awards media partner, Timber IQ, presented the inaugural Timber IQ Design Award to Knysna Timber Homes

More about some of the gold winners

House de Kock

An interesting use of support/decorative columns for the decks and entrance roof, which were wet work constructed and then tiled to add another dimension to this timber frame house. There’s a big focus on natural lighting through large windows throughout the house. Water conservation was achieved by directing roof water into a water tank to provide cold water taps in the bathrooms and kitchen.

House van Zyl

The site environment for this house proved challenging. The front poles where up to 8.5 metres and the back end of the lower floor was at ground level. Additional challenges were that the soil was hard clay with large rocks, which meant digging even deeper foundation holes for the engineer’s approval.

House Wagner

This house is built in the serene seaside village of Palm Beach on the lower KZN South Coast.  The CCA treated cladding adds natural warmth to this beautiful home. One of the challenges was not to disturb the root systems of the large protected indigenous trees on the site and to consider the branches once reaching roof height in construction.

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