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Wooden skyscrapers are wonderful, but...

From New Zealand Tree grower May 2012



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About Tenco
Tenco is one of New Zealand’s largest exporters of forest products. We have built to this position since 1991 when the company was set up to export lumber to growing Asian export markets.  Experience and reputation count; from small beginnings Tenco has become the largest independent exporter of New Zealand lumber and New Zealand’s 4th largest log exporter.  Tenco has a regular shipping program of their own log vessels and in combination with these and other ships currently calls  at 7 New Zealand ports (5 North Island and 2 South Island).
 
Tenco buys standing forests.  Tenco currently has a number of forests which they purchased at harvestable age to log over a number of years for export and domestic markets.  Tenco also regularly buys smaller tracts of forest to harvest immediately or immature forests to hold until harvest time.  Tenco is interested in broadening  the  base of owners from whom it purchases forests and stands of trees.  A deal with Tenco is a certain transaction.  The owner and Tenco will agree on a value of the tree crop and then Tenco will pay this amount to the owner either in a lump sum amount or on rate per volume unit out-turn from the forest depending on the nature of the tree crop.
 
Tenco knows there are a lot of farmers who have trees that are close or ready to harvest and will be asking themselves how they should proceed with the sale of their trees.  For some farmers the kind of certain transaction with money in the bank could well be appealing. Tenco is actively interested in buying harvestable forests or trees from areas including all the North Island (except the Gisborne and East Coast districts) and Nelson & Marlborough in the South Island .
 
If you own a forest in this area (16 years and older) and are ready to enter into this kind of agreement Tenco is interested to develop something with you.
Please contact: Josh.Bannan@tenco.co.nz 
Work: +64 7 357 5356  Mobile:  +64 21 921 595  www.tenco.co.nz
Logging

Google the ‘the world’s tallest building’ and responses include proposals for a 16 to 17 storey building in Norway and for the Creative Renewable Energy and Efficiency group’s plan for a 30 storey building in Austria. Google ‘Vancouver wooden skyscraper’ and the response includes architect Michael Green’s proposal for a 30 storey wooden skyscraper in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As wood suppliers we should welcome proposals that finally recognise the major environmental advantages of wood, such as its low energy requirements, sustainability, carbon sequestration and earthquake benefits. As many of us have advocated for years for the environmental advantages of using wood we must ask why have wood’s advantages taken so long to be accepted?

The promoters of wooden structures are architects and engineers, professions that have little or no understanding of forestry. If there is a move to build large wooden structures we are looking at a quantum increase in wood demand. We would almost certainly see a reversal of the long-term decline in per capita consumption of industrial wood.

The first record of global wood consumption was in 1920. Since 1920 the wood harvest has doubled, but over that same period the global population has increased almost four-fold, so the per capita consumption has almost halved in the last 90 years.

Several projections of the future global wood supply suggest that the global wood harvest could increase slightly over the next 20 years. However, the forest industry could not supply the quantum increase in wood demand that will almost certainly result if there is a trend towards large wooden buildings. Other than those just grown on short rotations for pulping or reconstituted wood products, trees require at least two decades before they are large enough for conversion.

Almost all the trees that will be harvested in the next 20 years are already growing which is why future wood harvests can be so confidently predicted. Even if there is a large increase in the establishment of plantations these will not be available for harvest for at least the next 20 years.

Adding to the world problems is that a significant increase in plantations will require a massive investment as tree growing is the most capital intensive industry there is. Governments have no interest in long-term investments such as plantation establishment. The private sector tends to buy plantations which already exist rather than invest in the creation of new plantations. In contrast, the increased production of steel and cement requires less capital and more importantly only one to four years before production can start.

Wooden skyscrapers are a wonderful development, but more consideration should be given to where the required wood might come from.


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