School of Civil Engineering

The Centre for Future Timber Structures has identified both barriers and benefits associated with the use of timber as a construction material in complex structures.

We are committed to increasing the competitiveness of timber-based construction and supporting industry in overcoming perceived and potential limitations in the use of timber for medium and high rise construction.

Fibre-Reinforced Timber Composites

Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites have gained wide acceptance within the civil engineering community.  Hybrid systems combine FRP with traditional materials for optimum structural performance and so are often more economical than all-FRP systems. UQ has numerous projects related to the analysis, manufacture, and design of fibre-reinforced timber hybrid materials, including as thin-walled structural members and modular building components.

Fire and Timber
Fire and Timber

Timber and Fire projects

Fire and Timber

There is a growing demand from architects, developers and clients to create buildings from engineered timber products. Timber is both aesthetically appealing and environmentally advantageous; however fire safety considerations are frequently cited as a major constraint on the use of timber within buildings. UQ is a leading researcher in this area and is actively working to provide engineers with the knowledge and understanding required to build safely with timber – at a large scale.

UQ’s research effort includes developing concepts for timber skyscrapers; characterising the fire dynamics associated with timber structures; assessing the fire performance of novel timber composite products and characterising the structural response of timber in fire conditions.

UQ's CNC machinery
UQ's CNC machinery

UQ's CNC machinery

Timber and Advanced Manufacturing

Digital Fabrication refers to the consideration and inclusion of CNC machinery within an integrated digital design process. Novel and innovative designs can therefore be realised which are not otherwise possible with traditional manufacturing methods. Collaborations between UQ Civil Engineering and UQ Architecture are developing new types of digitally-fabricated timber systems, including plate and shell structures, form-active structures, prefabricated and modular systems, and climate responsive systems.