Safely treated timber and decking offer peace of mind

by | Feb 11, 2016

Safely treated timber and decking offer peace of mind

Australian builders are increasingly using treated framing as their preferred structural material and for many home owners, the low cost peace-of-mind from a 25 year termite warranty is one of the easiest building decisions to make. However, many builders remain unaware that despite its long-term protection against termite attack, Hyne Timber T2 Blue is also safe to handle and use.

Containing only non-hazardous ingredients, the termite protection in T2 Blue is also found in child and pet friendly products such as head lice shampoos, flea collars and even some lines of clothing, according to Hyne Timber.

The blue colouring is used only for identification purposes, as it is actually clothes dye, and it is designed to fade quickly when directly exposed to UV light. However, it is not uncommon for excess dye to rub off the timber surface, so it is important to follow basic hygiene guides and for builders to wash their hands on a regular basis. As with all timber products, the use of gloves and protective eyewear is recommended.

Quality, reputable builders, suchAusmar Homes T2 Blue Structure as Ausmar Homes on the Sunshine Coast, have a policy of only using T2 Blue treated timber for its frames and trusses. Josh Green, from Ausmar Homes, said they had spent the last 23 years building homes, which is why their brand represents quality and trust.

“We understand that building a new home is very exciting for most families and most likely, it is the largest and most significant financial commitment they will ever make. They choose the finishes such as paint colours, taps and white goods but they put their trust in us for quality structural products and functionality behind the scenes,” Mr Green said.

“When we build a family home, we hand over the keys with genuine pride. We always endeavour to build a great relationship with our clients. We are completely upfront with our quality inclusions which we know are above basic standard. Using T2 Blue for all frames and trusses is just one example of the quality products that we use.”

“We don’t offer cheaper alternatives that result in expensive annual termite treatment costs and no warranty. Our customers deserve a better upfront service and to understand why we only offer quality which in return, is guaranteed to last and minimises their ongoing maintenance costs,” he said.

Hyne Timber has manufactured timber framing in Australia for 133 years and Hyne Timber T2 Blue is a renewable resource, manufactured in Australia using Australian plantation pine.

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Recently Hyne Timber also reported how the promotion of timber and engineered timber as a primary construction material in Australia, is often made possible due to important partnerships, such as the  one between Hyne Timber and business owner Bruce Wallace, owner of ‘The Truss Joint P/L’ and the ‘Wallace ETP P/L (Engineered Timber Products)’ in Bendigo, Victoria.

Bruce and his team are passionate advocates for the use of timber beams in construction, supporting the builders and providing a personalised service to enable them to use timber as opposed to steel. They do this by using Hyne Design 7 software, according to Hyne Timber.

“We use Hyne Design 7 to calculate the appropriate glue laminated beams from our truss customers’ building plans and offer to replace any specified steel beams with timber at considerably lower cost than the steel would be,” Mr Wallace said.

“So basically, we sell builders the beams. Also, they pay less than they would if they were using steel and they get to work with timber, a hugely preferred construction material of choice. This obviously makes the Wallace ETP more profitable. It’s a win win for everyone, except perhaps the steel producers!”

“Some jobs are only beams, no trusses. This complimentary personal service for our customers is very well received as demonstrated by the rate of acceptance of our quotes. We use Hyne Design 7 for all our builder’s designs including the very complex designs,” he said.

Robert Mansell, Design Solutions Manager for Hyne Timber, said the way Bruce is using the software is an excellent example of customer service and value adding to a business.

“The level of customer service while at the same time, increasing their own sales is a fantastic use of Hyne Design 7. Bruce and his team are also promoting the use of timber for structural beams in construction as opposed to steel, a switch welcomed by the builders,” Mr Mansell said.

“Our Hyne Design software has been developed and has evolved over a number of years to ensure we provide our customers with a simple tool, adding value to their businesses and building customer loyalty. It delivers innovative design procedures with a comprehensive range of timber products, powerful graphical interface, commanding complex loads functions and superior reporting and certification for the user.”

“It also allows the design of all building elements such as bearers and joists, roof beams and rafters, frames and lintels, battens and ceiling joists, hanging beams, strutting beams, hip beams, bracing and tie down,” he said.

Hyne Timber’s design software, ‘Hyne Design 7’ is the most widely used design software in Australia – and it is also free.

Anyone can register to download and use it at varying levels including the ability to design timber structures and produce the appropriate certificates where accredited to do so.

It is the most comprehensive structural timber design software available and incorporates the latest changes to the Australian Building Code and Standards. The software is supported by Hyne Timber’s technical team who can also provide free training to registered users upon request.

In late 2010, a survey of 30 structural engineering firms across Australia was conducted for the Forest Wood Products Association and found that most structural engineering consulting firms used structural design software such as Hyne Design for domestic residential applications.

With an increasing focus on climate change and continued debate among the scientists, the production of steel and concrete before construction has also resulted in significant carbon dioxide emissions. The use of both timber and engineered timber are, without doubt, entering into an innovative construction phase.

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ASH launches new IRONASH range

Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) also recently released a new range of highly durable external hardwood products, under the new IRONASH brand, to add to its popular GoodWood range.

ASH chief executive officer, Vince Hurley, said the new product range offers builders, specifiers and customers the opportunity to achieve a unique combination of timber durability, strength and beauty.

The IRONASH range incorporates a safe, clear, deep penetration H3 treatment, without the use of solvents or heavy metals that discolour the wood. The new range is not only suitable for decking and flooring, but also window, door, cladding, pergola and any outdoor uses where both durability and appearance are important.

The new treatment is clear rather than green which allows the natural beauty of hardwood to shine through.

“The launch of IRONASH is the result of two years research and development in conjunction with our technical partners who built on extensive work undertaken in the United States for over 30 years. We can now offer a full range of externally durable hardwood products at a very competitive price, with all the benefits of Victorian Ash’s beautiful blonde colour, hardness, strength, stability and sustainability. What’s more, the new range also comes with a rock-solid 25 year performance guarantee,” said Vince Hurley, CEO of ASH (Australian Sustainable Hardwoods).

“This technology is new for Australia and represents a substantial increase in the range of products available for ASH customers, as a result of genuine product innovation. The GOODWOOD and IRONASH brands will be extensively marketed by ASH in the architect, specifier, builder and public domains creating value for our partners in the supply chain,” he said.

ASH currently operates the largest hardwood processing centre in Australia and manufactures PEFC certified products under the GoodWood brand.

Kop-Coat’s Global Technical Director, Dr Ron Clawson also said the company was keen to see these new innovations in outdoor timber applications reach the Australian market.

“IRONASH is a naturally beautiful outdoor timber and a great example of sustainable building materials leading the charge for safe and environmentally sustainable products. We think this development will really offer builders, designers and window manufacturers great choices in the Australian marketplace,” Dr Clawson said.

President of Kop-Coat Protection Products, Hans Ward, also elaborated on the efficacy and safety of the treatment process to the Australian market.

“The preservative used in the process was reviewed and registered for use in Australia by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The review included health, safety and environmental evaluations and independent experts reviewed the performance,” Dr Ward said.

“The process enables high-depth penetration of the preservative rather than just an envelope. This really is an improvement for the market when you consider the benefits of our system. We help protect wood when used as specified by the Australian Building Code in above ground applications against termites, rot and decay,” he said.

IRONASH carries a 25 year guarantee and is listed by CodeMark for Australian Building Code acceptance, which requires third party proof that the treatment exceeds Australian Standards by more than 20 percent.

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CHH supplies hyJOIST to the Australian market

Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) is now manufacturing and supplying hyJOIST to the Australian market, with either the traditional plywood web or with an I-joist specific Oriented Strand Board (OSB) web.

Like plywood, OSB is a structural wood based panel product that was designed into the hyJOIST range to deliver to the current performance claims. As a result, all specification and installation guidance and details contained in CHH product literature and software can be applied to either product and the products are suitable for use in mixed installation. With either web, hyJOIST will continue to be manufactured at the CHH hyJOIST manufacturing plant in Nangwarry SA. Other than using either OSB or plywood for the hyJOIST web, the manufacturing process and quality controls, as well as the current end product testing regime will remain the same for both versions of the product.

However, while the current hyJOIST with plywood web is product certified under the EWPaa product certification scheme and each beam is branded with the EWPaa product certification mark, the OSB web version of the product will not at this time be EWPaa product certified or be branded with the EWPaa certification mark.

Ekodeck’s innovation decking

It seems the decking industry is now primarily trending towards using composite materials, instead of traditional timber products, with the launch of innovative decking in the decking industry, including Ekodeck.


Ekodeck is designed to look and feel like natural timber, without requiring oiling or painting, as it is weather resistant, as well as rot and decay resistant.

Ekodeck is a new style of decking made from over 90 per cent reclaimed timber, bamboo and recycled plastic (high density polyethylene). Launched by Ekologix Australia, Ekodeck was designed specifically to eliminate all the drawbacks of early generation composite decking products.

Given the wide choice of decking products in the market, buyers need to carefully consider the available options and match them to their specific decking requirements, according to Ekologix Australia.

“Composite decking products are very popular in the home building segment with several advantages over traditional timber decking choices. One major benefit of composite decking materials is that they do not splinter and cause injury to the people using the deck. Homeowners also benefit from the composite decking’s resistance to rotting in exposed environments, eliminating the need to replace any of the boards. Early generation composite decking additionally eliminates the risk of the board breaking apart under their feet when they are walking on them, unlike timber decks,” the company reported.

“Though there is no rotting, early generation composite decking fades over time and loses its initial good looks. Another drawback is mould development on the boards, which will eventually require thorough cleaning or worse, replacement.”

“Ekodeck is slightly different in construction, using reclaimed timber and bamboo along with recycled plastics from used HDPE plastic bottles. Designed to be very durable with the assurance of a long lifespan, Ekodeck brings several advantages to a decking installation including its ability to retain its colour and lustre over time even without any type of oil, paint, or stain on it,” Ekologix Australia reported.

From a functional performance perspective, Ekodeck assures long-term service with its ability to resist rotting and splintering, eliminating any need to replace it ever while preventing injuries to people using the deck.

A cost effective alternative to timber

Futurewood is another composite decking, designed specifically to not only deliver a cost effective option to users, but is also easy to install.

CleverDeck composite decking from Futurewood, is also specifically designed to offer a durable, environmentally sustainable and virtually maintenance-free decking solution, while presenting a smarter alternative to conventional timber decking products.

Made from recycled HDPE, Futurewood’s CleverDeck composite decking is environmentally sustainable, while also delivering ongoing savings from its minimal maintenance requirement.

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Available in five standard colours; chocolate, mahogany, saltbush, slate grey and walnut, CleverDeck’s composite decking range features a subtle indented grain pattern. All CleverDeck composite decking boards measure 138mm x 5.4m and come with a domestic 10 year warranty against rotting and termite damage.

CleverDeck’s composite range also includes the composite decking Eco-board, available in a rough sanded 86mm Mahogany finish, without the indented grain.

CleverDeck’s composite decking boards are installed using the NewTech deck clip system, providing a fast, cost-effective and completely concealed fix to add to the already timber-like aesthetic of the decking alternative.