By | WCTE2020 | No Comments

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:








By | WCTE2020 | No Comments

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!


By | WCTE2020 | No Comments

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