HWZ International, Switzerland, brought the 12th Wood Conference to South Africa again.
Although in hybrid form, both physical and virtual, after a 100% virtual offering in 2022 the Wood Conference was a great success this year thanks to the ever-hard-working Zaida Davids, the HWZ International representative in Cape Town.
Already the 2024 event has been announced and this will be taking place on 28 February 2024, so diarise now.
The founder of the event George Kuratle has kept his promise to “[N]ot only initiate a conference on the technology and aesthetics of wood, but to initialise and establish it as part of the wood conference in South Africa.” Now having handed over HWZ to 3rd generation Roger Kuratle, the conference has expanded to include architects, engineers, learners and all interested in timber construction.
The aim of the event is to enable all disciplines to promote wood as a sustainable construction material, an opportunity to exchange ideas, information and gain inspiration of the timber construction happening around the world.
George concludes, “An entire industry, with ALL its stakeholders need to understand that the goal we need to achieve is to create a sustainable market for timber construction and improve our contribution of CO2 sequestration.”
Roger Kuratle, CEO of the Kuratle Group AG who officially opened the conference and Hannu Garny whose role as Master of Ceremonies since inception continues with his usual enthusiasm.
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral committee member for Economic Growth, City of Cape Town delivered the welcoming address emphasising the many opportunities the city has to offer economically.
The speakers spoke and, in some cases, provided case studies of their work on design and construction using timber showing full well that timber/wood has a huge role to play in whatever context be it aesthetics, housing, specialised and mass, as well as the time factor to build and most importantly the contribution to sustainability, a critical and vital topic in the world today.
Speaker line-up was as follows:
- Oliver Bopp of Structural Engineering, and a carpenter by trade, for PIRMIN JUNG Schweiz AG.
- Sebastian Dietzold, CEO of CPS redefining spaces from Zanzibar.
- Christian Greyling, candidate architect at Earthworld Architects.
- Wolfgang Hebenstreit, head of International Sales Binderholz, Bausysteme.
- Reinhardt Kropf and Siv Helene Stangeland, directors of Helen Hard, Architects.
- Radek Oslizlo, technical manager off Agrop Nova A.S.
- Thomas Rohner, Professor at Bern University of Applied Science.
- Fabian Scheurer, managing partner, Design to Production.
- Lukas Schiebe, technical director, Levas Flor.
- Carlu Swart, managing director of Drawbox Design Studio Architects.
- Roy Trembath, chief instructor, SA Log Home Builder’s Association.
- Franz Tschumperlin, timber engineer, SJB Kempter Fitze, AG.
- Marcus van der Hoven, co-founder and managing director, Mass Timber Technologies.