Specialty wood species cabin now open

30 January 2024

Have you been wondering what the wooden cabin is near Te Whare Nui o Tuteata when you visit our Rotorua campus? Now’s your chance to find out.

Installed in September, the Specialty Wood Species Cabin showcases some of the products that emerged from the seven-year Specialty Wood Products Research Partnership where wood scientists developed and tested new wood products made from some of New Zealand's most widely-grown exotic alternatives to radiata pine.

As a key research provider for the Specialty Wood Products partnership (SWP), Scion led the research into many of the products featured in the cabin.

The two-room, 4.8mx3.2m cabin can be seen to the left of Te Whare Nui o Tuteata when facing it (opposite the public carpark).

It was made using wood and wood products from New Zealand-grown alternative species and demonstrates the diversity of locally grown timbers available and suitable for small-scale construction projects.

From now until at least the end of March, the cabin will be open twice a week for the public to tour. Contact Scion for specific days and times.

During the opening hours, staff will be at the cabin and available to take the public through and explain the concept, the wood used and why, and about the SWP.

The cabin includes roof frames made from grand fir, Douglas fir and cypress, roof sarking made from Western red cedar, wall frames made from cypress and Eucalyptus fastigata LVL, barge boards and support beams made from cypress, Eucalyptus obliqua flooring, cladding from thermally modified poplar and cypress, ceiling linings from poplar plywood, a feature wall of thermally modified cypress and wall linings made from tongue and grooved cypress. A range of cypress timbers were used, some from a cypress hybrid trial established by Scion in 1997, meaning we have been able to track the trees from cuttings, right through to finished products.

The cabin was built by Vaughan Kearns at Ruapehu Sawmill. The Specialty Wood Products Partnership included representatives from Forest Growers Research, Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service, Ministry for Primary Industries, Scion, New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, NZDFI and University of Canterbury.

Cabin open until the end of March 2024, contact Scion for specific days and times: 07 343 5899.