About National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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About National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life

Centre Mission

To be a global leader in timber durability and design life research.

The Centre has two over-arching goals:

  • Create coordinated research in timber durability
  • Educate a new cadre of research scientists to carry on the work across Australia


Australia was a hub of world class-research on timber durability from the 1970s to 1990s. The first-rate research efforts made Australia a major player in the field. However, retirements and major disinvestments by the states and the Federal Government led to a quick decline in research capacity. The goal of the Centre is to reverse that decline and revitalise durability research.

The Centre was established with support from the Federal Government, Forest and Wood Products Australia, USC, University of Queensland and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as collaborative partners. While the Centre partners are all Queensland-based, the Centre is national in scope. The initial support for the Centre is for five years, with the expectation of continued support as the Centre grows and matures.

The Centre will work to achieve 12 overall objectives, recognising that these objectives may shift in light of emerging research needs or funding opportunities.

National Centre objectives

The Centre was developed with 12 overall-objectives. These are as follows: 

Objective 1

Develop process-based predictive models for wood decay

Objective 2

Renewal of existing service life prediction model for the Australian built environment including assessment of climate forecast models on declared hazard zones

Objective 3

Leadership of moving timber preservation standards to a performance-based framework based upon publicly available field data and contemporary scientific knowledge

Objective 4

Renewal and resourcing of the Australian Wood Preservation Council

Objective 5

Development and management of an inclusive national/international database of field trial data used to refine and update service life predictions and limits, and establish new independent field trials to enhance those available from non-independent sources

Objective 6

Evaluate durability and durability enhancement of Australian commercial species (both those grown in country as well as those imported), new timber building products and proposed applications in the Australian environment

Objective 7

Provide management and coordinate services for field exposure sites within Australia

Objective 8

Develop and deliver undergraduate courses in wood durability and protection

Objective 9

Implement a program of short-term scientific visits

Objective 10

Host the International Research Group on Wood Protection meeting

Objective 11

Host a Session at the World Conference on Timber Engineering in Chile in 2020

Objective 12

Communicate best practice approaches to building design, specification, and maintenance via wood solutions design guides targeting consumer and building processionals

Want to stay updated with progress across the twelve objectives sign up to our mailing list via Online Form 


Stacked lumber and blueprints at a construction site
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