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Last Wednesday, 30 September and Thursday, 1 October, four talks were held online in the expectation of the WCTE 2021.

These talks were an enriching experience to get closer to timber construction through recognized experts.

Last Wednesday, 30 September and Thursday, 1 October, four talks were held online, pioneers of what the World Conference on Timber Engineering, WCTE 2020, will bring. Together with delivering an enriching experience about construction from the experts, the new date for the event was also announced, August 2021.

The first talk was “Contemporary Timber Buildings in Vienna, Austria: Focus on Social Housing and Private Flagship Projects”, given by Wolfgang Winter, architect, engineer, and professor emeritus at the Vienna University of Technology, and Richard Woschitz, civil engineer, founder of Woschitz Group, and responsible for the engineering of the HoHo building in Vienna.

This presentation focused on the experience of both experts on areas such as the construction of buildings for public and private entities in Austria, addressing the importance of forests in the construction cycle, as well as the history of timber construction. Also, they talked about the milestones that distanced the industry from this material, and the process of reencountering with it. “You have much more timber growing than it is used”, said Winter.

The use of it and its importance was one of the main points: the potential that timber has of decreasing CO2, could be wasted by not cutting down and renewing forests, in addition to the clear decline of CLT prices, which has reached the limit point of the ratio of the production-value cost.

The market role was also mentioned as a key issue, which was divided into housing for a family and multi-dwelling buildings. This division can be made for both public and private buildings. The latter were used by Woschitz to describe his experience when building the Hoho in Vienna, a 24-storey high construction, located in the 22nd district of the city.

Another point noted by both experts was how the development of timber buildings, since 2009, let to the creation of new regulation norms that would facilitate timber construction in the future. This was the issue approached by Alfred Kammerhofer, Head of Section of the Forest Division of the Federal Office for the Environment in Switzerland, in his talk “Implementation of an Integral Wood Policy Strategy using Switzerland as an Example”.

This country, of 8.6 million inhabitants and where timber construction has increased between a 7% and 10% per year, decided to focus its legislative work in, what he called, “megatrends”: climate change, urbanisation, among others. Also, it concentrated its efforts on “bio-economy”, looking for a more conscious growth.

For this, the Swiss government focused its work on issues such as how to add value to those who work with natural or recycled material, or the promotion of innovation through educational and marketing campaigns, as well as formulating public policies that certify that timber has been harvested, processed, and used sustainably. According to Kammerhofer, the key is to remember to “maintain the common interests and (…) make clear the long-term benefits”.

The second day of talks opened with the only national keynote speaker, the renowned architect Sebastian Irarrazaval, who used the diverse projects he has developed throughout the years as a roadmap of lessons, discoveries, and bets in his presentation “Drawing with wood”.

Inspired by agricultural armours and structures, the sunlight in different fields, and how each structure integrates to its environment, Irarrazaval explained his design process and how to bring it to reality with timber. He also emphasized the significance of not hiding wood, its durability, and the fact that the new professionals are choosing this material for their work.

The Online Talks finished with Peter Moonen, Municipal Affairs and National Sustainability Manager of WoodWorks! Canada. In his presentation, “Building the Future for Heavy and Mass Timber — 2020 and Beyond”, he talked about the difference between embodied carbon and the one caused by the use of the building (operational).

He also talked about the long life of constructions built in wood, and the benefits that industrialization has brought to construction, addressing the trade shortages that industry is facing nowadays, and the urgent need to improve productivity.

Moonen emphasized the fact that timber is the best material to face one and each of these situations, stating at the end of his presentation that “We have to make people think of the other things about wood (…) it has all of these attributes (…) If you are not going to go with wood, what are you going to go with?”.


Read the original article in Spanish here:








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The contribution of the Centro de Innovación en Madera (Wood Innovation Center) in six years of career.

Since its creation in 2002 until the conformation of the board of directors in 2014, CIM UC has gone through a long, arduous road in the wood construction’s sector. It’s been six years promoting its role as a crucial agent of changes towards a more sustainable country and region.

During its development one of its biggest interests has been delivering answers to the enormous challenge related to the worldwide housing deficiency and also, significantly, giving an alternative in the face of the climate change caused by global warming, in which the building market competes as one of the biggest pollutants. These factors have led to observe the potential of wood, the second most produced material at the national level since 2017.

To carry this work agenda and accomplish its main interests, the professionals who form CIM UC have been organized based on three pillars: applied research development, laboratory experimentation, and  technology transfer. This synergy has allowed to strengthen the bonds and joint agreements between the different collaborating organizations like the academy, industry and the government, being able to build solid pillars of growth towards the future.

 The investigation and development of the Center have a distinctive signature given by its interdisciplinary approach and its service vocation that have motivated the search of new solutions for the market, some of them oriented to the adaptation of public politics related to wood, for example, the implementation of seismic regulations, design regulations, fire and acoustic regulations, etc.


Tripartite Collaboration

 It’s known that, from the very beginning, UC Center of Wood Innovation has developed a tripartite relationship between industry, academy and the government, forming an alliance of constant dialogue, work and agreement. The objective of this alliance is to make ties that facilitate the exchange <<win-win<< between each other.

 The benefits of the collaboration are evident:

  1. Make all of the stakeholders participants of the decision making of the center.
  2. Exchange of knowledge.
  3. Promote collaborative work spaces and insert the new generations on highly competitive internships.
  4. Share equipment, laboratories and new technologies for a deeper and complete development.

Centro UC de Innovación (UC Center of innovation), which contains CIM, says in an article about pre competitive innovation that “the main businesses of the forestry sector have joined forces to develop new usages for a material with highly strategic importance for Chile, which is made through the collective funding of investigations, pilot projects, and work to update the regulations that limits the constructive potencial based on a material of the future, for its big economical, social, and environmental potencial”.

UC Innovation Center: «Innovación pre competitiva: Una asignatura pendiente». June 9, 2017.

In words of Dr. Pablo Guindos, Academic Director of CIM UC: “International experience proves that public-private collaboration is fundamental for the development of countries. Someone can see that in the nordic countries, England, Canada or Australia. In all of them, enterprises and the state sit together to resolve problems, generating bridges that can improve the trust and allows to resolve the disagreements that can exist. On the other side, Chile is one of the countries with lower investment on R+D of the OECD, reason why having a university developing worldwide level investigation is of great importance. In this sense, the commitment of faculties and schools with CIM UC has been fundamental to its growth and success”.


Continuing Education

Another objective of the UC Center of Wood Innovation is to transfer the obtained knowledge about wood building benefits. For this to happen, the center works in generating specialized training, workshops, webinars, courses that impacts the development of projects, certification courses, etc. Just like this, it counts with the support of different faculties which guarantee their multiple disciplines, that develops in a project of continuing education.

In addition to this, it seeks to congregate the work of prominent academics, whose investigation lines strengthen the tasks of the Center in terms of new knowledge’s generation, and contribute to the search for new investigation projects, promoting collaborative and interdisciplinary work.

Right now, CIM UC accounts with:

  • 10 associated professors from the architecture school
  • 7 associated professors from the engineering school
  • 2 associated professors from the agriculture school.

In november 2020, one of the most complete courses related to wood will be launched for the first time, a course that will congregate the best experts in the material: “introduction to the design, calculation and wood construction”.

This course will be led and imparted by the Academic Director Pablo Guindos, who is also the author of the trilogy “Foundation of the design and construction with wood”.

This is an introductory course that allows to initiate the students in the design, calculation and modern construction with wood. It prioritizes the use of the latest technologies and the international state of art for the design and construction of buildings and other complex constructions. Topics related to modern engineering products like CLT, LVL and LSL will also be taught, its building systems and normative aspects, both national and international. The course will add contents about CAD/CAM design with BIM principles (Building Information Modeling) for Mass Timber, just as structural calculation software with practical examples.

With this, it looks for delivering basic tools that allow it to consider wood design as a valid option to compete against traditional concrete and steel designs.


A new challenge for wood construction in 2025

Chile has recently started an incipient path towards new wood technologies, impulsing wood system innovations for its future applications. Wood construction, if compared to other forestry specialized countries, is substantially smaller in our country (15% of wood building, in comparison to countries like Canada, where almost 90% of its buildings are made of this material), there is a change of paradigm in the public-private world that searches for new technologies to be in the agenda in the upcoming years.

On one side, the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism (Ministerio de Vivienda y Urbanismo, MINVU) has put its focus on wood building, showing support and conducting governmental initiatives, also from the private sector to open ways, above everything, in sustainability terms.

About the tripartite, with the development of the WCTE 2020, World Conference of Timber Engineering, organized by the Center, the intention is to spread new knowledge, speak about the appropriate politics to carry thought a green agenda, both for the country and for the Latin American region, and impact young professionals so they get to know, see and improve their investigations and projects with wood, so they can reach a local impact in the sustainable wood building industry.

With all these actions, commitments and new improvements, the Center has made tremendous labor in contributing to sustainability, productivity and climate change, allowing Chile to be a referent in the construction sector, just as other countries are right now.

Facing 2025, the UC Center of Wood Innovation has proposed to make the first 15 storeys tall wood building, a tower that will have, in the upcoming years, teams of investigation and transference working on R+D. This tower will be considered as the biggest wood building in Latin America.

Nevertheless, making this project is a task that cannot be done just by a single organization, and because of it, is needed to think in a way to involve more actors, both national and international, to face the labor of designing the building of the future.

“As far as we collaborate with a diversity of actors, we will be able to lead these projects and generate a true change in our country”.

“ (…) This triangle requires strengthening our network to improve the bonds that exist between the different actors. Today the discussion that exists around innovation considers the insertion in an ecosystem, in a network of organizations that can collaborate between each other. Because of it, we must think with the same logic, about how to improve this ecosystem around wood construction. This net must incorporate the existing enterprises and the political world, but we also must open ourselves to other businesses that still are far from the topic. Additionally, we must increase our links with other countries. Chile has the potential to be a relevant actor worldwide”, says Cristian Vial, Executive Director of CIM UC.


Innovation is focused in the altitude

The densification of sustainable and efficient cities is a reality and an imminent challenge in which CIM UC looks to be part of its advances and innovation for the industry, integrating new technologies of digitalization as BIM with the project Diseña Madera (Design Timber), the development of eco sustainable neighbourhoods and market places along Chile, 168 structurally tested and validated constructive solutions built with MINVU; incorporating new seismic regulations to the system, proved and tested by the professionals. With this, the boost of industrialization, that will optimize processes both in construction and assembly, applying knowledge, technologies and innovation to a new and modern constructive system.

The attention must and will be in sustainability and efficiency. Therefore CIM UC proposes wood as the most sustainable alternative to build tall constructions because of its low carbon footprint, its constructive efficiency, low waste; and great structural, thermal, seismic, insulating and comfort giving behavior, through its multiple constructive solutions, focused in energetic efficiency that a young and multidisciplinary team search to develop, enhancing the social, economical and environmental ideas in our country.

See the original text and more news about Centro de Innovación en Madera UC in







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Santiago, October 2020.

The current health crisis has affected all of us around the world in one way or another. Yet, we are enormously
grateful for all the support we have received from our timber community, as well as the hard work everybody
has been doing so as to develop the conference successfully.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WCTE 2020 Secretariat, together with its Chairs, Coordinating
Council, and Latin American Board, have been discussing the situation, so as to respond appropriately to the
present and variable context worldwide.
Thus, having our community’s best interest at heart, and after having analysed multiple variables, during the
past WCTE 2020 Online Talks event, held between September 30 th and October 1 st , 2020, our Chair Juan José
Ugarte, and our Co-Chair Carlito Calil Jr, announced the new and definitive date for our conference. This
decision was made so as to ensure as much participation as possible, the highest standards for our conference,
and the welfare of our community.
Therefore, the WCTE 2020 has been postponed from January 2020, to August 9 th – 12 th , 2021, so we could
meet all the conditions to receive all of you in our conference next August 2021, and that we will be able to
delight you with the “Chilean experience”. Furthermore, we would like you assure you that this is the
unchangeable new date for the World Conference on Timber Engineering, and thus, if the conditions to hold
the conference physically are not met by 2021, then a hybrid or 100% online format will be chosen, which will
be communicated no later than April 2021.
We also understand that after this new information you may be having a lot of questions, and we would like to
assure you we have the answers. Thus, we have added a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section to our website
to guide you in any doubt or concern you might be having, and if you do not find the answer you are looking
for, do not hesitate to write to us.


See you in August 2021!


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As co-organizers of the World Conference on Timber Engineering 2020, Madera21 will be hosting the Wood Week 2020 completely online for its first time! 

The Wood Week is a meeting point for all the timber community, whether you are an architect, designer, engineer, entrepreneur or a company, this is the place where you will be able to learn about creation and innovation of wood in all its expressions. 

Furthermore, the UC Timber Center, also a co-organizer of the WCTE 2020, has hold a seminar on “The Challenges of a 15-Story Wood Construction, International and National Experiences”, with experts from all over the world presenting on diverse and important projects, such as the Mjøstårnet building in Norway, and the Brock Commons Tallwood House in Canada.

You are still on time to be part of this event! All the presentations will be available until the end of the Wood Week, this Saturday 5th of September, 2020. For more information, visit



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Dear WCTE Community


We are happy to announce that we have received over 750 extended abstracts coming from all the five continents, with a never seen before Latin-American participation. As the Conference Secretariat, we take this information as a clear signal of the great interest in timber construction, and trust that the conference will have an important impact on our country and region.

Along with this great news, we would like to communicate that we have decided to move to a new location. We have opted for Sheraton Santiago Hotel & Convention Center to develop the scientific and academic event, while the social events will take place in the Architectural Faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University, Campus Lo Contador UC, only two blocks away.

We can’t thank enough the privilege to host this event and receive such a high-level guests and professionals; we greatly hope that this gathering will have an important repercussion in our region towards the increase of timber construction, in both scientific and a professional field, as well as industry and public policies. We hope to see you next August, so we can show you the goodness of our beautiful country, its vast geography, culinary excellence and the warmth of our people. On behalf of the WCTE 2020 National Board and the large professional team that is working with passion to make this conference a memorable experience for all who may attend, we greet you with affection.

Best regards WCTE 2020 Secretariat

Chile wins two awards for “Best Destination in the World”

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The country won two awards in a new edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA), in the categories of “Best Green Destination in the World” and “Best Adventure Destination in the World.”


Both awards were announced in the 26th version of the World Travel Awards (WTA) and highlighted the scenic landscapes and extreme nature of our country.

Chile is for the first time the Best Green Destination in the World according to the World Travel Awards (WTA), awards that, by popular vote, highlight the main tourist spots on the globe and respect for extreme nature. This year, the award highlighted Chile for places such as the Atacama Desert (the driest in the world), the more than four thousand kilometers of coastline with enviable waves for surfing, the more than 100 parks and national reserves and the highest concentration of glaciers in South America.

The recognition was announced in the 26th version of the WTA, in a ceremony held on November 28 in Oman, where our country was also awarded for the fourth consecutive time as the Best Adventure Destination in the World, surpassing specialty icons, such as States United, New Zealand and Australia.

Along these lines, the Undersecretary of Tourism, Mónica Zalaquett, added that the new awards “fill us with pride for the country and also for the thousands of entrepreneurs and workers of the national tourism industry. They are tremendously important, because they are a recognition of the work that has been done in Chile to develop responsible, sustainable and inclusive tourism. In addition, they are an injection of energy to continue working with more enthusiasm, dedication and commitment, because our country is today a recognized destination worldwide ”.

For its part, the national director of Sernatur, Andrea Wolleter, said that “these awards are a reflection of the work we have promoted together with the industry to position Chile as an unmissable destination and highlight the differentiating characteristics that position us as a unique place . In addition, the award for Best Green Destination presents us with the challenge of continuing to promote and work to develop tourism products and experiences under sustainability criteria and increase the sustainable offer that today in the country amounts to 141 services between accommodation and tour operators ”.

The Oscars of Tourism Created in 1993, the World Travel Awards seek to promote and develop the global travel and tourism industry, rewarding the excellence and diversity of its offer. Today, the event has become a world-renowned brand as a hallmark of quality in all services and experiences associated with the sector.

Spanish version on El

Also read: HoyxHoy