World Class Sustainability
Tasmanian timber is sourced from forests that are sustainably managed, independently audited and certified to an internationally acclaimed standard. The end product is revered by designer makers, architects, interior designers and furniture makers. Playing a significant role in the global fight against climate change, timber is The Ultimate Renewable resource. On the back of the Visiting Architects Program, Rod Pindar, partner at renowned architecture firm, Fitzpatrick + Partners and Anne Chuter Manager of the Biodiversity Program at the Forest Practices Authority (FPA), discuss Tasmania’s world class forest management system and how its sustainable management is ensuring Tasmania’s forests and forest species flourish for eternity.
With over 15 years’ experience on a range of local and international projects, Rod Pindar explains that having an education on the product’s origins when specifying materials is essential to responsible architecture.
“Hardwoods are always something that need to be selected carefully because we want to make sure that what we’re specifying is sustainable and that’s first and foremost how we specify and use timber and use it in our designs. We want to know what sort of certifications they have and how and where they are grown.”
“The quality of the product that’s coming out of Tasmania is very high but to then better understand the systems behind that and how it is being done in an environmentally responsive manner provides comfort to then go ahead and specify the product and use it in your design.”
“Walking around and seeing the timbers that Tasmania has on offer and the different species and how it’s being used, it’s sort of like being a kid in a candy shop. You know, you just want to play with it and design with it and work with it.”
“It’s incredibly exciting. I think a lot of architects have a love of timber because it is so workable, and because it is sustainable, and it’s just got that natural beauty and warmth to it.”
The Authority of the Forest
The program introduced Fitzpatrick + Partners to various stakeholders across the industry including Anne Chuter, Manager of the Biodiversity Program at the Forest Practices Authority (FPA). The FPA is the government watchdog for forestry practices in Tasmania, enforcing the laws of the forests across the sector. Anne Chuter was present at the Visiting Architects Program to shed insight on what’s happening behind the scenes to manage our environment that’s often missing from the forestry story.
“As an ecologist at the FPA it’s about making sure that forestry has due care for the environment. The Forest Practices System is a system where we can really achieve great things that can both balance wood production and environmental values.”
“We have a great team of people working at the FPA and we collaborate with people in the industry who are incredibly experienced and have amazing knowledge and are so good at what they do and it’s that collaboration that means that the system is really robust, it’s world-class.”
“Ecologists at the FPA have presented the system at various locations around the world and it’s always met with a positive response and comment at how well we’ve managed to develop our system.”
We have a really unique, co-regulatory or collaborative approach where It’s not just us as government people telling others what to do, but it’s also people on the ground feeding back into the system and helping with the monitoring and the reporting to achieve adaptive management. The independence of FPA keeps that co-regulatory system strong.”