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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2018) 62(4): 30–37
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Refereed article
Consumption of plywood and sawn timber for concrete formwork in the Chinese construction industry

Wei-yi Li *,1 and David Evison 2

1 Forest Consultant, Woodlands Pacific Consulting Ltd, Rotorua. Corresponding author:
2 Associate Professor, New Zealand School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: China is currently New Zealandís largest market for logs, and the major end use of sawn timber and plywood made from New Zealand logs is for concrete formwork by the Chinese construction industry. A recent study estimated that, in 2015, 47% of the volume of New Zealand logs was used for construction formwork. This end use merits further study because of its importance to the New Zealand forestry sector. This research was carried out to derive estimates of the amount of plywood and sawn timber used in this industry in China, and relate these to published data on construction activity. Fifteen construction sites in China were visited and interviews were conducted with engineers, project managers, carpenters and quantity surveyors. Results were used to generate a formwork material consumption rate model. The average estimated consumption rates of plywood and sawn timber were 11.3 m3 per 1,000 m2 of floor area and 1.7 m3 per 1,000 m2 of floor area, respectively. Comparison of total historical plywood and sawn timber consumption in China with historical formwork consumption estimated from this research suggests that formwork uses most of the plywood, but only a small proportion of the sawn timber consumed in China.
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