A major event for the Frame and Truss Manufacturers’ Association this year is a planned national two-day conference in September to discuss key issues and challenges for the industry.
While an annual meeting of the association is held each year, providing an opportunity for its membership to catch up and discuss their issues, FTMA president Alan Westwood says the conference will be broader in scope and include invited representatives from organisations in the wider construction industry, as well as ministers in the new Labour-NZ First coalition Government.
“There may also be members of FTMA Australia in attendance as we work toward some integration with our overseas friends,” Alan says.
FTMA represents the interests of merchants, suppliers and manufacturers of timber wall frames and roof trusses, the bones of a residential building.
It promotes the use of timber in wall framing and roof trusses and its corporate members include the likes of national building materials retailers Carters, ITM, Bunnings NZ, Mitre 10 Trade and PlaceMakers, and scores of manufacturing and supply businesses like Pryda and Mitek.
It will be the first national conference for a few years held by FTMA and is part of its efforts to bring greater profile and credibility to an industry which is a crucial part of any residential building, but also whose skills are not well understood or appreciated by the wider construction sector or the public.
Alan says it’s the FTMA’s job to get on the front foot and help others understand the skill and importance of what the industry does, especially as challenges to traditional methods of house construction are gaining traction.
“There’s a lot of misinformed talk about panelisation for instance, as a method for speeding up construction.
“Some people think construction of a panelised home takes a couple of days. But, in fact, it might take three months to build the home in a factory, but a couple of days to erect it on the building site. The last part is what the public sees.
“The aim is for our members to leave the conference more knowledgeable about their industry and impending changes than when they entered. The building industry is facing dramatic changes and we aim to help our members to prepare.”
Why use timber?
- Timber allows flexibility of design, and modifications during the construction process become very easy to achieve
- Builders are familiar with timber and like using it; they understand how to get the best out of it
- Timber is our most sustainable raw material. It results in far less carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere than competing building products
- Timber is a proven thermal insulator, it retains heat from the day and releases it at night
- Timber treated with the appropriate level of preservative and properly maintained can last in service for 100 years or more
- Timber is a sustainably produced and naturally renewable material, with low energy consumption during production and is known to have a low carbon footprint
- Timber absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere whilst other products emit CO2 into the atmosphere.
The FTMA has completed a total review of its Code of Practice, which requires its members to meet high standards of workmanship and to operate with integrity. It has been reviewed and updated to ensure