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Stylish new timber buildings in Christchurch have been recognised in national design awards.

A factory-built modular home design and two office buildings took honours in the New Zealand Wood Resene Timber Design Awards on Tuesday night.

The rebuilt Trimble Navigation office headquarters in Middleton, designed by Andrew Brown, of Opus International, was  joint  winner of the Engineering Innovation Award and highly commended in the overall category.

Sharing the engineering innovation award was  Wynn Williams  House – a Hereford St office building designed on the old St Elmo Courts site by Grant Wilkinson, of Ruamoko Solutions.

Both buildings have glass exteriors and use a new technology called post-tensioned timber for their framing. Both also had seismic safety features, the judges noted.

Innovative use of timber has been a notable feature of the Christchurch rebuild, appearing in commercial and residential buildings. Engineered timber, created by laminating or otherwise bonding timber pieces to create strong structural components, has been a particular standout.

A home in North New Brighton known as the Beach Barn won the Novel Application of Timber Award. The home was the factory-built to a modular design by Dan Tremewan of  Welhaus  Ltd, and can be transported around the country or exported overseas.

Tremewan designed the home as part of a range intended to add value to New Zealand timber after seeing logs waiting for export at Lyttelton Port.

The judges said the home used a range of wood products to deliver "a sustainable, energy efficient building for a realistic price".

Other buildings in Nelson, Wellington, Wellington and Bay of Plenty won awards in categories, including residential and commercial architectural excellence, interior innovation, excellence in engineered wood products, exterior innovation and infrastructure, novel use of timber, and use of native and specialty timbers.

The overall winner was a community library on Waiheke Island, Auckland.

Daniel Scheibmair, competition judge and president of the Timber Design Society, said wood's rapid uptake globally could be partly attributed to New Zealand's " world leading " research and innovation.
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