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The World Conference on Timber Engineering, which will be held for the first time in Latin America, will take place in Chile between the 9th and 12th, August in an online format. Together with this year’s Wood Week, the conference will position Chile as the global headquarters of wood this 2021.

“Chile País Forestal” (Chile Forestry Country) will be the framework for the celebration of the World Conference on Timber Engineering 2021, which will be held for the first time in Latin America. Chile is not only one of the major forest manufacturers in the world (with around 15 million hectares of forest), but is also a natural laboratory for the exploration of diverse technologies of timber engineering.

Due to the worldwide health crisis caused by Covid-19, the WCTE will be held in an online format during the 9th and 12th, August. “The organizing team of the conference has been constantly monitoring the world crisis caused by Covid-19, and has studied the diverse scenarios, not only for the development of the conference, but also for the welfare and safety of everyone involved, being the latter our first priority”, stated the organization in a press release.

The WCTE is the main event for the dissemination of the latest developments, technologies, and innovations in timber construction and design, globally.

From its beginning, the conference has attracted a broad international representation and participation, aiming to disseminate new findings, generate debate around the most appropriate public policies that will help to conduct a green agenda, both for the country, and for the region, as well as also to reach young people, in order to generate awareness on this issue, encourage and strengthen their investigations and projects on wood.

The conference is held thanks to important actors of various sectors: CIM UC Corma, together with national and international universities, such as the University of Bio-Bio, the University of Concepcion, and the Austral University of Chile; and companies such as Arauco, CMPC, LP, Pizarrreño, and Lonza Quimetal; finally, from the public sector, the Ministry of Housing and Town Planning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and CORFO.

Topics of Investigation

The conference topics are the heart of the event, and many investigations will contain case studies that show the experience in sustainable forests, and public policies, both in Chile, and in the participating countries, explains Sebastian Carcamo, the conference Executive Secretary.

The novelty of this year’s topics is that, for the first time, the topic of “Sustainable Forest for Lumber Production” will be included in the conference. This topic deals with stock management, predictive growth models, planning and product development, forestry products manufacturing, sustainable forest management towards timber production, innovative certified forestry products, and the particularity of native, tropical and fast growth forests.

The second topic is “Wood Products and Connections”, which deals with the grading and quality control of wood materials and products, engineered wood products, wood materials and composites, timber preservation and protection methods, mechanical and chemical connections, and long-term and fatigue performance.

The net topic of the conference is “Timber Engineering”, which addresses codes, practices and new standardizations, fire protection and performance, advances in seismic design and protection of timber structures, hybrid structures and tall wood buildings, bridges, long spans and special structures, and methods for performance-based design.

“Timber Architecture” is one of these seven topics as well. It deals with subtopics, such as intervention in building stock, building physics and building skins, integrated tools for design processes, retrofitting and non-destructive testing of historic buildings, cultural heritage of traditional wooden buildings, and design and construction methods for durability.

The next topic is “Policies, Implementation, and Management”, which will address subtopics such as public policies for fostering timber construction, IT Tools (BIM) for collaborative and integrated design processes, operation and management of timber buildings, and residual management on timber constructions.

Another topic is “Building Environment and Impact”, which deals with sustainable and residential environment in wooden buildings, indoor quality, comfort and energy efficiency, maintenance methodologies, carbon footprint and LCA on timber constructions, and passive and zero energy house solutions.

Finally, the last topic is “Education, Promotion, and Future Trends”, which addresses subtopics, such as new advances in wood science, industrialization of wood construction, environmentally responsible construction, education and promotion of timber construction, and the development of new professional and technical competencies.


The event will count with the participation of five international keynote speakers, who will give four different lectures throughout the conference.

One of the keynote speakers of this edition of the event is Helen Goodland (Canada), British architect with an MBA from the University of British Columbia in Canada, who advocates for the investment in research and development, so as to transform this industry, implementing innovation and sustainability. 

Another two keynote speakers in this version of the conference are Hermann Kaufmann and Stefan Winter. Kaufmann (Austria) is an architect from the Technical University of Innsbruck and the Technical University of Vienna. Winter (Germany) is a civil engineer with a PhD in composite steel and concrete structures, who has dedicated his career to teaching in prestigious universities and to investigate diverse issues related to timber construction.

Another lecture of the conference will be given by Alejandro Aravena (Chile), architect from the Universidad Católica de Chile, winner of the “Pritzker Architecture Prize” of 2016.

Finally, there is the keynote speaker John Moore, research and development manager of a New Zealand forest management company, and PhD in Forestry Resources of the State University of Oregon.

In order to attend the conference, you must register in the following link, where you will be asked for your contact information, and also to pay the selected fee.

Written by Raquel Lop

Check the original press release in Spanish in the following link