Nelson Airport 3 copy

NZ Wood design guides


Available for download below

The design guides were developed by NZ Wood (a consortium of the timber industry) and were hosted by the WPMA, who have now kindly passed them over to Timber Unlimited for development and improvement. Since the handover, we have started reviewing and updating selected guidelines.

Our intent and ongoing commitment is to keep progressing, refining and updating all of them over the next few years to ensure easily accessible best practice guidance is provided to the industry.

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This document provides an overview of all available NZ Wood Guides and chapter themes included in each.

Trees Timber Species Properties Tile

Trees, Timber, Species & Properties

This guide will provide all you need to know about tree species, forestry, timber products and more.

Timber Carbon Environment Tile

Timber, Carbon and the Environment

This guide explores the environmental sustainability dimension of wood, with a specific focus on the carbon benefits of using wood in construction.

Social Health Benfits Tile

Social and Health Benefits of Timber Construction

This guide will highlight the significant environmental benefits that building with wood can provide.

Costing Tile

Costing Timber Buildings

The aim of this guide is to provide a standardised approach that takes on board the factors that impact on costs in a pragmatic approach. Understanding what aspects drive the structural design decision will improve the assumption basis of estimates.

Design Prefab Tile

Designing for Prefabrication

This guide aims to explore for better understanding, prefabrication and the strengths of various timber systems on offer.

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Working safely with prefabricated timber

This guide raises awareness of the risks to anyone involved in erecting prefabricated timber framing designed in accordance with NZS 3604: 2011 Timber-framed buildings.

Consenting Timber Tile

Consenting Timber Buildings

This guide provides information on compliance, regulatory frameworks, building codes, consents and advice on how to resolve problems.

Construction Guidance Tile

Construction Guidance for Timber Buildings

The focus of this guide is to endorse productivity increase with prefabricated timber systems.

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Post and Beam Timber Construction

This guide focuses on multi-storey construction that utilises massive timber beam and column elements as the primary gravity load-carrying system.

Floor Roof Cassette Systems Tile

Floor and Roof Cassette Systems

This guide helps to explain the benefits of cassette systems.

Seismic Design Tile

Seismic Design

This design guide gives the background to specific engineering designs of timber buildings for earthquake loads and describes how seismic calculations for bracing can be made.

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Portal Knee Connections

This guide focuses on the detailing and layout of a range of common moment connections used between a column and rafter or beam for laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glue laminated timber (Glulam).

Reinforcement Tile

Reinforcement of Timber Members

This guide discusses common design situations where design strength may be compromised and provides reinforcement techniques and design methods to avoid premature failure.

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Errata - Reinforcement of Timber Members

A summary of recommended errata applicable to the NZ Wood Guide: Reinforcement of Timber Members.

Acoustics Tile


This design guide is an introductory design guide around the fundamentals of acoustics in multi-residential timber buildings.

Fire Safety Tile

Design for Fire Safety

This guide includes comprehensive information on how to design timber buildings with fire safety front of mind.