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Timber Unlimited and CLT Toolbox Partner to Launch Free Advanced Timber Design Software for Engineers in New Zealand.

2 July 2024

“Timber Unlimited is thrilled to partner with CLT Toolbox to offer parts of this advanced software for free to New Zealand industry. With the release of the new Timber Structures Standard (NZS AS 1720.1:2022), it’s essential that we provide the industry with the resources to implement these new standards effectively” says Bjørn Stankowitz Technical Manager at Timber Unlimited.

“Our goal is to empower engineers with the tools they need to design sustainable, resilient timber structures. Our software does just that, making advanced timber design accessible to all,” adds Adam Jones, CEO at CLT Toolbox.

Timber Unlimited and CLT Toolbox are excited to announce a groundbreaking partnership aimed at transforming the timber construction industry in New Zealand. This collaboration brings advanced, world-class design software to engineers across the country at no cost, streamlining complex design processes and promoting sustainable building practices.

Timber Unlimited is at the forefront of promoting timber use in New Zealand construction, providing tools and resources that enhance the capabilities of engineers and the broader industry. CLT Toolbox, a leader in timber engineering software, has developed solutions that address the technical challenges of timber design, focusing on reducing embodied carbon in construction.

The technical challenges of timber design are addressed by providing streamlined automated design routines and comprehensive educational support which CLT Toolbox has developed. Unlike other tools, CLT Toolbox offers transparent calculation methods that are not a ‘black box,’ enabling engineers to understand and trust the design processes to build confidence when specifying timber.

This ongoing collaboration between Timber Unlimited and CLT Toolbox, initiated months ago, brings exciting new features to the New Zealand design community. Through this continued partnership, Timber Unlimited is pleased to announce the integration of 17 advanced dowel and bolt calculators as well as 4 further design modules into the free version of CLT Toolbox software available to the NZ users. These tools simplify what were previously complex and time-consuming tasks, enabling engineers to focus on innovation and efficiency. The software offers clear inputs and outputs, the ability to select New Zealand timber grades, dynamic images, and PDF design report generation.  This collaboration equips New Zealand engineers with advanced design methods, empowering them to create higher-performing and lower-risk timber structures with greater confidence. The CLT Toolbox software aligns with the newly released NZS AS 1720.1:2022 Timber Structures Standard. This standard introduces new design methodologies and requirements for structural elements and connections, including brittle failure modes, based on the latest research and international knowledge. The software includes educational features that guide users through these advancements, reducing the learning curve and promoting widespread adoption.

The Timber Design Society is particularly excited about the potential of this validated software package to empower smaller engineering firms in New Zealand. “New design methods can be a barrier to adopting a new material or construction typology, and this software will help engineers become confident timber designers. We look forward to seeing an increasing number of timber buildings in New Zealand and an increase in the quality of those designs”, says Lisa Oliver President of Timber Design Society.

“It’s been very satisfying to see this collaboration between Timber Unlimited, Timber Design Society and CLT Toolbox progress with Scion’s support as the contract holder for Timber Unlimited for the last 2 years. This collaborative effort delivers an easier pathway for increasing timber in New Zealand buildings, improving sustainability credentials”, says Elizabeth Dunningham interim Portfolio Leader of Trees to High Value Wood Products at Scion. A well-known whakataukī says” Mā whero, mā pango, ka oti ai te mahi”; roughly meaning “Together, we get the job done”.

The Partnership between TU and CLT Toolbox addresses the resistance faced by many designers due to the complexities of the new standard. By providing free access to advanced design tools, Timber Unlimited and CLT Toolbox lower the barriers to entry, encourage upskilling, and support the growth of timber construction in New Zealand. The software’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive resources make it an invaluable asset for the engineering community.

Engineers and designers are encouraged to take advantage of this free resource by visiting: 
https://timberunlimited.co.nz/clt-toolbox-software

This project was funded by MPI through Timber Unlimited as part of an initiative to enable more wood in mid- and high-rise construction.

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