By Roy Manion
I just returned after spending most of June in Europe, primarily in Croatia where my wife was born. One of many features of Europe that is immediately evident to most North Americans travelling to that continent is the architecture – and the age – of many of the buildings there. Along with the architecture of these buildings, one didn’t have to look hard to see a large amount of wood used in these buildings including timber frame, millwork (most had wood windows and doors), flooring, ceilings, and panelling.
For example, the hotel we stayed in Delnice, a small town in North Western Croatia, was several hundred years old – I was told 500 years old. This hotel was a timber frame structure imbedded into a combination of stone and concrete foundation and walls. As you may be able to see from the picture of the dining room, the interior walls, floor, and ceiling also were wood.
Surprisingly, this was not uncommon throughout Croatia. Everywhere we went, we saw wonderful uses of wood being used, whether the buildings were institutional, places of worship, commercial, or residential (including my wife’s 250 year old family home). For the most part, the wood was in excellent condition. When these buildings are eventually torn down, I am sure this wood can be salvaged and reused in new buildings which will most likely last for additional centuries. All in all, for me this was great reinforcement that our activities in promoting the use of wood as a viable and long lasting building material are on the money.
GLOBAL BUYERS MISSION
As I am sure you will be reading in other parts of the Wood Connections, preparation is in full swing for the GBM. We are looking for another strong representation from the architect and designer community. We are also expecting to see good support from the construction and engineering communities.
Once again, we will have a strong program set for our Wood First Forum on Thursday. We have some great speakers committed to the program including three amazing speakers from Europe, thanks to our friends at CAWP. Last year we introduced what turned out to be a very successful mini-seminar series for the architects and designers given by 20 exhibitors at their respective booths. Since this was such a success, we are continuing with it this year. Expect to hear more about this in the days to come.
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