"The ambitious aims of the European timber constructors to be prepared for the future!"
ECU 3.6 bn
ECU 5.52 bn
ECU 0.62 bn
|South Tyrol (Italy)||
|Total||20.843||130.185||19.629||ECU 9.74 bn|
2. The requirement of accreditation
A multitude of tasks was soon made out, which was of equal importance to both trade and industry, namely:
targets, the coordination of technical matters and their efficient realisation resulting from employing specialist teams -
advantages for the national associations
3. The work programme of the EFTC
In several meetings the EFTC has decided on the following working programme:
(The following list is not sorted according to priorities!)
Such a diverse programme can certainly not be carried out by officials only - it requires either a highly efficient secretariate or, what would even be better, a specialist team, and this is what the EFTC has opted for.
4. Advantages for regional organisations of being an EFTC member
Working on the objectives identified by the EFTC will also be advantageous for the individual associations (regional organisations)!
|This means that through the representation of interest of the EFTC in European committees national concerns can be represented - unaffected by other institutions (as there are standardisation committees, etc.)|
5. Prerequisites for working on a European level
Each activity of the EFTC on a European level is based on a comparable national activity, so that the master carpenters are able to enjoy additional national advantages.
Soon we will have the opportunity to report on these activities in detail, especially on current programmes, number one of which is the timber construction dictionary for the languages German, English, French and Italian.
Beyond that we would like to mention another vital aspect:
we are often asked "What is the immediate profit for the carpentry company
arising from its contribution to the EFTC? and this can surely not be answered
in only one sentence, as the EFTC is a future-oriented organization with the
|pave the way for a secure future of European timber construction.|
6. Training and further education:
EC 5 requires from its users certain basic knowledge about timber and derived timber products, as well as about designing with timber. For this reason EC 5 should be supported with complementing essays, specialized books and dimensioning references. Facilitating the calculating and dimensioning of timber constructions is one of the main targets of STEP ("Structural Timber Education Program").
In addition, the framework of STEP gives the EC 5 user access to information
about the scientific background and safety issues for those guidelines, which
are specifically laid down in EC 5 in the rules for timber engineering. What
is more, they are represented in a condensed version designed for training and
further education for those planning and complying with the state of the art
of timber construction.
Into the next generation:
Young engineers are trained for modern timber construction in terms of business
management, production engineering, design and planning, for example in new
courses of studies at higher education institutions. Due to their versatitlity
they are then able to master a broad range of tasks. Engineers with such a wide
range of training meet the demands of the carpentry trade particularly well,
as most workshops cannot afford a building engineer, a production engineer or
a graduate in business management.
7. Advantages of timber construction compared to structural engineering using other building materials
Over the last few decades constant research and development have contributed to the fact that timber is now used where it seemed impossible in the past. Just think of the impressive modern timber engineering works which can defy other materials, with among other things, their span lengths without any additional supporting frameworks made from other materials. In addition, the importance of maintenance and preservation of buildings is increasing nowadays, which is benefitting timber construction more and more. The use of timber in chemically aggressive surroundings is spreading increasingly and creating a further challenge for the engineering innovations and creativity in the field of timber construction. Timber even offers tough resistance to highly concentrated chemical influences - as only appear in laboratories. They may penetrate from the wood's surface to the inside; however, the remaining cross section retains its full bearing capabilities, similar to the case of fire.
My more than 30 years experience in timber construction shows, however, that in practice these influences only occur within a range of millimeters from the surface. Thus, the high resistance of timber against chemical influences is proven both in research and in practice, and there is no need of using chemical wood preservatives or treatments.
Excellent examples such as silos for salt, warehouse buildings for potash and fertilizers, buildings in accumulator factories, roofing of sewage treatment plants, pales, trestles, etc. show the various possibilities of use for the material timber in this field, too.
Iinnovation in engineering will continue to develop for the benefit of future
8. Some aspects of European standardisation concerning timber
The CEN (= Comité Européen de Normalisation) consists of all
EFTA member states. They have committed themselves to integrating the set of
European standards - to be newly developed - into their national sets of standards.
This new set of European standards intends to preserve both the national interests of all EFTA member states and the various fields of interest: these are the experts from the authorities of federal and state business administration that are interested in the subject field concerned, science representatives and representatives of the producers and consumers. In the field of "timber", these producer and consumer representatives mainly come from forestry, the sawing industry, the timber processing industry and trade, particularly from the master carpenters' trade.
Looking at an overview of the Austrian Standardization Institute (Österreichisches Normungsinstitut: ÖN) concerning European construction standards and committees, you will find that 18 TCs (technical committees) exist for the field of timber alone. Each TC has several subgroups (often more than 20), with a vast variety of designations. These subgroups deal with several standards, thus creating an enormous amount of standards, pre-standards, projected standards and standards being drawn up that can no longer be easily managed, let alone the standards that affect timber indirectly in addition to that.
Given the existing situation of standards in the field of timber, it seems almost hopeless that their main user - i.e. the master carpenter - finds his way in the maze of standards. This is even more the case since in the transition phase from the traditional Austrian Standards to the European Standards both versions often exist side by side. Unfortunately, carpenters often do not attach great value to dealing with technical objectivity, which is therefore rather regarded as a matter of minor importance, especially as long as neither cases of damage and complaint occur, nor the number of jobs decreases, because other competitors have a better knowledge of the technical aspects in the fields of standards but in building law. This situation is therefore highly unsatisfactory.
In order to create a first link between European and national timber construction
standards (amounting to a total of about 1000 European, German, Austrian and
French standards), the European Federation of Timber Construction has created
"NORMDAT", a timber construction data base. This selection is the
result of the current member states of the European Federation of Timber Construction,
i.e. Germany, France, Luxembourg, Austria and South Tiro. Of course, the database
can be used by any master carpenter who has a normal PC equipment. By adding
authorizations, notifications of (product) test results, addresses and the European
standards to be expected, users may extend the newly created database to a reference
work that offers the carpenter master the basis (and also the guarantee) for
the use of the acknowledged rules of technology. This would constitute the logical
continuation and linking of the current objectives of the European Federation
of Timber Construction, i.e.to combine a
Dictionary of Timber Construction
complete "State of the Art" information
for those who require information concerning timber construction,
In other words: creating a mulitlingual data base system for the maintenance
and retrieval of the contents of standards, standard notes, test reports and
notifications of test results, authorizations, product notes and product information,
literature and addresses in order to provide comprehensive, current and reliable
information relevant for timber construction in Europe for all those who require
European Standardization - Fire Behaviour of Timber Construction
From the vast amount of European Standards which are being developed I would like to take the fire behaviour of timber work as an example here:
The legal situation concerning structural engineering will continue to fall within the jurisdiction of the individual countries. How the master carpenter carries out the construction in a technically correct way may be regulated by the application of the acknowledged rules of technology (i.e. the regulations of the Austrian Standards which are valid at the moment) or by individual authorizations.
The fire behaviour of a building component can thus be determined either by means of tests or by mathematical estimate, or the application of standards, respectively.
From the European point of view a similar method is used:
CEN/TC 127 "fire behaviour of building materials and building components"
is the basis for the assessment of the fire behaviour of a building component
by means of testing, ENV 1995 regulates the mathematical estimate.
TC 127 has now more than 30 (!) of what is called ad hoc groups which are, of course, also relevant for the field of timber (both building material and building component).
Regarding the results of the fire tests according to the new European guidelines that are to be expected, one should try to be able to compare them as easily as possible with the previous national results. Moreover, the results of the calculations according to ENV 1995-1-2 should correspond to the test results according to "CEN/TC 127".
In addition to that, the results of the calculations according to ENV 1995-1-2 are to be in correspondence with the test results of traditional testing methods.
Given the vast amount of examples in the standards, making the above-mentioned comparisons alone will result in a certain amount of work which is absolutely necessary when the master carpenters apply the standards in practice. But it is also a fact that the results of estimating the fire resistance of mechanical fasteners, the likes of which are used in modern timber construction, in compliance with ENV 1995-1-2, will in part be different from traditional test results.
For this reason it is of particular importance that the European timber construction
standard ENV 1995-1-2 (pre-standard) has been published in order to make comparative
considerations possible and to be able to make the most of the time until it
becomes a definite standard.
Even building parts and/ or materials made from timber cannot escape the constant
competition in the modern building industry taking place on various levels -
from competition between building materials to fire insurance premiums. Therefore,
it will be necessary that users, namely carpenters, will show increasing interest
in the matter of European timber standardisation. The indications above might
show that this is not possible for an individual, that is to say that in special
matters special solutions must be found. To prevent this and to develop a broader
range, the national as well as European associations' task is to create preconditions
for applicability. However, carpenters alone decide on the implementation by
contributing to the preliminary work on a national as well as a European level,
which is eventually supposed to bring the desired success.