Rugby fans will know exactly why All Black legend Colin Meads was nicknamed ‘Pinetree’ – he was tall, strong, tough and had presence! And how appropriate is that? Radiata pine grown in Northland is scientifically proven to produce the strongest, stiffest and densest pine timber in New Zealand – characteristics being harnessed by award-winning Waipu sawmill, Northpine Ltd.
A study conducted by the Forest Research Institute in 1991 demonstrated, in essence, that the further north in New Zealand the timber comes from, the denser and stronger it is. (See map)
A further study by FRI in 1997 then showed conclusively that visual grading (ie using the NZ grading rules No1 Framing), gave different performance characteristics depending on which region the timber came from.
The result showed that out of the six regions tested, only two met the actual requirements that the visual grading was designed to achieve. One of these regions is Northland.
From its distribution yard in Silverdale, Northpine produces its specialist ‘Northbeam’ range of structural beams, posts and joists, including large-dimension beams and long-length and H5 treated timber.
These aesthetically pleasing, high-value products are generally preferred for use in exposed areas where the natural warmth and beauty of solid wood provides visual impact and unique character to a structure.
With Northbeam products, framing can be turned into a truly distinctive feature with exposed timber beams and joists. The range also provides flexibility and the opportunity to create eye-catching designs for outdoor features such as decks, gazebos or pergolas.
Strength is another key characteristic of the Northbeam range, which is processed from kiln-dried timber carefully selected to ensure it is structurally strong and dimensionally stable.
The result is high quality timber with structural performance that is competitive with steel or engineered wood products.
In addition to the large dimension or unusual sized products regularly processed under its Northbeam range, Northpine will also consider making one-off production runs for clients at its Waipu sawmill.
The complete range of standard structural components for house framing is also manufactured at the Waipu sawmill.
These components, all made from Northland pine, provide the basis of what has become a growing, value-added industry.
The quality of all Northpine products is rigorously tested, with structural timber graded in process and samples placed under stress to ensure each batch of timber meets New Zealand Standard requirements.
This testing regime is also independently verified by a third party accreditor – Graderight. Northpine products are sold throughout Auckland and Northland via independent building merchants, with a limited product range sold in Australia via wholesalers.
Northpine Ltd takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and works hard to minimise any adverse impact of its operations on the environment.
The firm is constantly looking to identify new products and systems that meet the needs of its customers and provide them with high-value solutions.
With a steady stream of maturing, structurally superior pine logs available in Northland for the foreseeable future, Northpine’s vision of being a sustainable, specialist sawmill is coming to fruition.