[Johannesburg, 10 August 2016]: The Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards, to be hosted by the Institute for Timber Construction (ITC-SA), aim to recognise excellence in the timber construction sector. With stringent submission requirements in various categories, an impressive panel of judges and a focus on energy efficiency, this year’s awards are set to highlight the very best in South African timber construction.

Hosted annually as a way to recognise and reward superior craftsmanship in the sector, the Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards form a part of the ITC-SA’s mandate to establish and maintain the highest standards in the timber construction industry in South Africa.

The Awards are open to all Timber Frame Builder, Deck Builder, Roof Erector and Fabricator Members of the ITC-SA, and submission categories include the following: Decks & Boardwalks; Alterations & Additions; Structures Smaller than 120m2; Structures Larger than 120m2; Structures Larger than 220m2; and Roofing: Residential, Commercial & Exposed Trusses, a new addition to the Awards’ categories.

Deck Fensham, built by Deckscapes and designed by Charles de Jongh.

Deck Fensham, built by Deckscapes and designed by Charles de Jongh.

Winning timber frame and deck builders, roof erectors and fabricators are awarded gold, silver, bronze, or merit certificates and the winning projects’ designers or architects and engineers receive parallel awards in recognition of their contribution to the projects. “The relationship between the builder, architect and engineer is an important one and their functions are not only complementary, but essential to one another. This is why we acknowledge all three involved in a winning project,” says Mike Allum, past president of the Timber Frame Builders Association (TFBA), retired timber frame builder and long-time head judge of the Awards.

Project submission requirements

All project submissions, which take the shape of a detailed written description supported visually with high quality images demonstrating both the aesthetic and technical qualities of the project from start to completion, should include information regarding the site location, accessibility, environment and soil conditions, the project’s time frame, complexity, unique challenges and adherence to budget.

Furthermore, site documentation including erection details and plans with all elevations as well as a regulation A19 roof completion certificate and a regulation A18 electrical and plumbing certificate (in the case of a timber frame structure) as well as the engineer’s details in the case of beams or rafters being erected, are among the technical details that must be provided.

Roof structure for House Viking Trust, by Pitch 45 and designed by Klaus Korber.

Roof structure for House Viking Trust, by Pitch 45 and designed by Klaus Korber.

Timber construction project submissions are to address the structure as a whole, with reference to: foundations, slabs, footings, post beams and bracing; tie downs to the frames and roof structure, bracing or sheathing; noggins (fire stops); placement of service wire and pipes, types of service pipes and conduits; and braced roof structures prior to cover.

Interior details to be included are: mouldings on skirting, hand rails and cornices; exposed beams, rafters and trusses; types of ceilings, flooring and linings; and architrave, window and doorframe details. Roofing, hip, valleys, chimneys, flashing, types of covering and cladding are important details to be included in the exterior description.

Roofing structure for Vergelegen Shopping Centre by Rooftek Trusses. Barry Slavin of Slavin & Associates was responsible for the design of the shopping centre.

Roofing structure for Vergelegen Shopping Centre by Rooftek Trusses. Barry Slavin of Slavin & Associates was responsible for the design of the shopping centre.

The project’s overall compliance with SANS10400: Energy Efficiency in Buildings must be demonstrated with reference to the following:

  • Building design, e.g., orientation and ventilation
  • Building elements, e.g., foundations, wall insulation, ceiling, roof, double glazing on windows
  • Building products, e.g., R-values of products and geographical sourcing
  • Electro/mechanical installations, e.g., air-conditioning, water heating, general appliances, solar panels and wind turbines.

Judging

The judging process is an intense one in which all entries are assessed for technically correct construction according to national building regulations as they apply to timber frame building and roofing. According to Allum, “We encourage entrants to supply as much information from the very start of the project to handover, so that we can consider in detail the structural components of the project that may not be visible once the project is completed.”

Judges look for aesthetic flair, good design, creativity and the project’s compatibility with – and consideration for – its environment. Structural correctness, workmanship and materials as well as the detail, skill, quality and level of craftsmanship that go into the finishes are essential considerations for the judges, as are value-added external structures and features, such as verandahs, decking, stairways, paths and driveways, to name a few.

Interior timber detailing in House Hirschon, built by Timbercraft and designed by Kotlowitz Marais Architects.

Interior timber detailing in House Hirschon, built by Timbercraft and designed by Kotlowitz Marais Architects.

“We look at how adaptable and innovative the entrant was in answering their client’s needs and how they overcame any challenges on site,” says Allum. “And as one of the many benefits of timber, the energy efficiency and overall sustainability of a project, and the entrant’s adherence to SANS10400: Energy Efficiency in Buildings, are paramount for the judging panel.”

The ITC-SA Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards judging panel includes: Jacques Cronje, timber home and furniture designer, and ITC-SA Professional Member; Mike Allum, past president of the Timber Frame Builders Association (TFBA), retired timber frame builder and ITC-SA Honorary Member; Graham Retief, Honorary Member of the ITC-SA, independent project consultant and SANS10082 working group contributor; Eljo Balaam, Saint Gobain Specification Consultant; Roly Adams, Vice Chairman of the ITC-SA and Corporate Executive at MiTek Industries SA; and Errol Hobden, Systems Engineer at International Truss Systems.

The ITC-SA Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards are a prominent highlight on the timber construction calendar each year, providing a platform not only to recognise and reward excellence in the local timber construction sector, but to bring industry peers together to connect and celebrate the best the industry has to offer. “Stringent submission requirements and judging criteria are pivotal in the ITC-SA’s quest to reward only the best workmanship in our industry. While these go a long way in our search for the best, they also help to elevate standards for future submissions,” remarks Allum, concluding, “We’ve enjoyed an abundance of 2016 Awards entries, which all bear the mark of quality for which the ITC-SA strives and look forward to our Awards event on the 19th of August, where we will proudly showcase and honour the best of the best in South African timber construction.”

The ITC-SA Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards will be hosted at Expo Centre Nasrec on the 19th of August 2016. Sponsors: MiTek Industries SA (Platinum); Sawmilling South Africa (Bronze); South African Wood Preservers Association (SAWPA) (Bronze); BUCO (Bronze); Specialised Exhibitions; LCP Roofing; International Truss Systems (ITS); Multinail; Timber iQ; and SA Roofing.  

Header image: House Oosthuizen, built by Logo Homes and designed by Alan Paine Designs.

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