We are thrilled to announce that we have recently formed a collaboration with CLT Toolbox in Australia to develop new software modules that will make it easier to carry out structural designs in accordance with the new Standard NZS AS 1720.1:2022 and international best practice for mass timber, engineered wood products and connections. This announcement comes hot on the heels of CLT Toolbox announcing in October that the first tranche of their software offering relevant to designers within the Australian market was launched.
One of the long-standing obstacles to making it easier to choose and use more timber in the built environment has been the steep learning curve required to understand the required design methods and material-specific properties of timber to carry out robust member and connection design confidently and on time. The new, New Zealand-specific part of the software is presently under development through this collaboration will provide a new suite of design tools and local supplier grades and sizes, facilitating efficient design to the latest Standards.
A very important additional feature will be the inclusion of the CLT Toolbox core principle of “embedded learning” – the calculators are not presented in the all too familiar “black-box” format, meaning that you get outputs without knowing what formulas or Standards were used; rather, the calculators and routines identify the expressions, factors and Standards being applied so it’s easy to identify the basis and relevance of the calculated outputs.
We have also teamed up with the NZ Timber Design Society (TDS) and the Structural Engineering Society NZ (SESOC), who will assist with the review and validation parts of the programme. It’s the power of this 4-way collaboration that will help unlock the benefits of timber to the New Zealand design and specification community and make it easier to use more timber in the built environment.
The target is to have NZ-relevant part of the software available to NZ designers by the end of April 2024. Watch this space for further updates on our progress.
If you have comments or feedback, please get in touch with us here.