With many buildings beginning to appear that feature the innovative EXPAN Structural Timber Solution, such as the NMIT building, EXPAN's own prototype building on the University of Canterbury campus, the BRANZ building and others, people can see for themselves how the system works and the elegant simplicity it can add to design and construction.
While many are interested in the potential of the EXPAN system, they're keen to see it in practice before making a commitment with a building and that's where the showcase examples come into play.
Leading architects Warren & Mahoney have been involved with the Structural Timber Innovation Company and EXPAN
- exploring some of the opportunities this type of construction could provide, especially in the aftermath of a large area of
Christchurch's CBD being demolished after its series of earthquakes.
Given so much of a theoretical 'clean slate' the question must be asked what can be achieved with a new way of applying proven construction methods with greatly advanced timber systems for a new generation of buildings.
The results of some of this initial 'exploration' of ideas are being readied to be released over the next few weeks and will doubtlessly provide room for debate and inspiration.
Potential that is built into the EXPAN Structural Timber Solutions is something that is incredibly exciting. The ways in which this major progression on already proven methods will be used will depend on the talents and creativity of those who decide to adopt EXPAN as a preferred way of constructing sustainable buildings for the future. What derives from the vision, practical demands and lateral thinking of the sector
will help to widen and strengthen the appeal of EXPAN.
Meanwhile there's a lot of excitement about the design potential that gets opened up with the concept of sustainable, attractive, long span, multi-storey wooden buildings.
Following the recent series of devastating earthquakes in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, many architects are wondering whether this system could form the basis for the development of whole city blocks, with multi-function spaces that work in terms of timely construction, flexibility and strength.
Looking at trends in modern architecture with large open spaces, the loft-like approach to living areas and the growing demand for easily adaptable interiors with movable walls - and the potential for multiple use within
a complex - all are a comfortable fit with this approach.