Participants with Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (seated centre) and other dignitaries at the international conference on engineered wood at the BCCK, Kuching. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (May 17): The Sarawak government is committed to putting its transformation strategy into action and promoting high value-added products including engineered wood using raw materials from planted forests.

The Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) in a statement said this is in line with the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS2030) to ensure economic prosperity, social inclusivity and environmental sustainability.

“STIDC is encouraging the use of engineered wood in housing and building construction in Sarawak in support of the state government’s initiative to promote green development, environmental sustainability and carbon storage,” it said in the statement at the side of the closing of the International Conference of Engineered Wood 2023 here today.

The International Conference on Engineered Wood Sarawak 2023 manifested a continuous stride in promoting engineered wood among stakeholders and industry players in Sarawak, it pointed out.

The conference highlighted the benefits and potential value of engineered wood products that are yet to be fully tapped to boost the economy of Sarawak besides sharing on policies, legislation, standards and achievements by distinguished speakers from within and outside the country.

Speakers of the conference comprised professionals in engineered wood construction, architecture, structure engineers, researchers and academicians who came all the way to Kuching to share their knowledge and expertise in producing and using engineered wood in the environment to help promote the industry in Sarawak.

The two-day conference, which started yesterday (May 16), featured topics such as STIDC Driving Sustainability for Timber Industry; New Age Timber Construction; Mass Engineered Timber and Fire Engineering; Experience, Recent Developments and Future in Mass Timber Structures in Malaysia; A Regulatory Perspective on Performance-based Design; Reliability of Engineered Wood; The Opportunities for Timber in Different Sectors and How to Think Timber for a Building Structure; Mass Engineered Timber in Singapore including NTU Academic Building South Case Study; Challenges faced by Industrial Timber Plantation and Perspective of Sustainability of the Planted Forest Industry in Sarawak.

“According to Allied Market Research, the engineered wood market was valued at US$248,761.1 million in 2019 and poised to increase to US$400,450.9 million by 2027, registering a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.2 per cent from 2020 to 2027,” STIDC said.

Engineered wood products are made by joining veneers, particles, fibers and strands of wood with adhesives to form a man-made composite material, with products ranging from plywood to roof trusses.

Engineered wood, also called composite wood, is cost effective and eco-friendly. It is an alternative to other wood and cement products.

The use of engineered wood over emission-intensive materials such as concrete, steel or aluminium is expected to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, adhesive or resin used in engineered wood is environmentally stable and does not produce greenhouse gases.

This has led to the increase in use of engineered wood among builders and architects for construction, furniture, flooring, packaging and others in residential, commercial and industrial areas, said STIDC

“Apparently, there is immense potential in engineered wood waiting to be fully tapped by the industry. This conference is timely in charting the way forward and in driving sustainability of the wood-based industry including the engineered wood sector.”