WA timber urged for building South West schools

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Nicolette BarbasBunbury Herald
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Melissa Haslam Executive Director of Forest Industries Federation of WA
Camera IconMelissa Haslam Executive Director of Forest Industries Federation of WA Credit: Sharon Smith/WA News, Sharon Smith

With the State Government investing more than $490 million in schools Statewide, the timber industry is urging architects, designers and builders involved in the construction of new education projects to consider WA timber as their preferred building material.

Forest Industries Federation of WA executive director Melissa Haslam, pictured, said timber featured in many schools and universities around WA.

“The use of timber has benefits beyond structural, contributing to learning outcomes by providing a calm, stress-free learning environment,” she explained.

“Research done by Planet Ark shows that biophilic design, the connection of humans to nature via building design, has clear physiological and psychological benefits, simulating the effects of spending time in nature.

“This can reduce stress and have a calming effect, even increasing positive social interactions.

Timber is a renewable material that stores carbon for life so by building with timber, we’re building a better future by helping to combat climate change.

Last year, the State Government adopted a Wood Encouragement Policy which encourages the use of responsibly sourced wood in construction.

Mrs Haslam said using timber sourced from local businesses in these construction projects also helped further stimulate the economy.

“The forestry industry is already an important economic driver in WA,” she said.

“It is a key player in the State's economic recovery, contributing $1.4 billion to the local economy and creating about 6000 jobs.”

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