The RIC Good Wood Guide

Recommended Construction Timbers

- from The Good Wood Advisory Centre


Framing & General Construction



Floor Bearers & Joists

Concrete Formwork


Wall Framing

Structural Beams & Lintels


Roof Framing





Exposed Decking & Chairs

Trafficable Sills

Window & Door Frames

Window Sills

External Doors





Window & Door Frames

Internal Doors

Joinery, Shelving, Benchtops

Panelling & Lining

Internal Stairs

Panelling & Lining


Picture Frames

Decorative Veneers

Out of Sight Areas

Standard Specification Clause to be Included in 'Concrete' Section of Building Works Specification, under "FORMWORK"

Framing & General Construction

  • Seasoned Radiata Pine and other pines. (Should be fully protected from the weather and well ventilated. Radiata Pine is appropriate for wall-framing and can be used in roof-framing. It is not suited for use in the strength-bearing parts of the frame, such as beams, lintels, joists and bearers).
  • Plantation-grown Oregon (New Zealand).
  • In situations where large beams are desired, or where large roof-spans need to be covered, joined timbers such as glue-laminated beams, plated hardwood beams, gangnailed timbers and LVL, are preferable to the use of large, cross-section beams obtained from old, very large trees.
  • Inground

  • Durable Plantation Hardwood
  • Stumps

  • Less durable Recycled Timber - combined with steel brackets and concrete pads to keep the stump above-ground.
  • Concrete 4 - very durable, but use only where timber may not be viable.
  • Floor Bearers & Joists

  • Engineered floor truss systems
  • Composite Joists or Plywood Webbed Joists (long span)
  • Concrete Formwork

  • Re-use formwork whenever possible.
  • Bracing

  • HoopPine Plywood (make sure it is not imported plywood, which often has a clear grain)
  • Steel Angle Bracing8
  • Wall Framing

  • Recycled Hardwood
  • Structural Beams & Lintels

  • Glulam Wood-based Composite Building Material - made of plantation Radiata Pine or Oregon
  • Rafters

  • LVL (superior in quality to hardwoods)
  • Roof Framing

  • Plantation Hardwood or Plantation Oregon Trusses (exposed framing)


  • Plantation Hardwood
  • Recycled Bricks
  • Fencing

  • Durable Plantation Hardwood
  • Radially Sawn Hardwood
  • Exposed Decking & Chairs

  • Durable Plantation Hardwood
  • Trafficable Sills

  • Durable Plantation Hardwood
  • Window & Door Frames

  • Borax-treated and painted plantation Hoop Pine
  • Window Sills

  • Recycled Doors
  • External Doors

  • Solid Core, with Non-Rainforest Ply Veneer
  • Cladding

  • Plantation Hardwood (/thinnings)
  • Borax-treated and painted exterior-grade plywood 12


  • Seasoned Plantation Hoop, Radiata, Slash Pine, etc ( can be stained to any colour).
  • Pine Particle Board
  • Rammed Earth 13 (good for heat storing capacity).
  • Mouldings

  • Clear Hoop or Radiata Pine
  • Window & Door Frames

  • Plantation Hoop, Radiata, Slash Pine (- no treatment required if constructed according to minimum termite-risk standards).
  • Internal Doors

  • Hollow-core, with non-rainforest Plywood or high density MDF
  • Hoop, Slash, Radiata Pine
  • Joinery, Shelving, Benchtops

  • Radiata or Clear Radiata Pine
  • Camphor Laurel (benchtops)
  • Panelling & Lining

  • Hoop Pine, Radiata Pine, Poplar
  • Plasterboard
  • Internal Stairs

  • Glue-Laminated Timber (Glulam)
  • Particle Board
  • Salvaged Timbers
  • Furniture

  • Recycled Timber or a Non Timber Material (Bamboo)
  • Hoop, Radiata Pine
  • Particle Board, Laminated Veneer Lumber, Plywood (made from plantation-timber), MDF.
  • Picture Frames

  • Clear Radiata Pine
  • Decorative Veneers

    Out of Sight, but . . .

    For all kinds of construction and landscaping, and where you have decided that timber is the ONLY viable option, please ensure that recycled or plantation timber is used. Pay special attention to hidden areas, such as:

  • Plywood Bracing
  • Ceilings

  • Standard Specification Clause to be Included in 'Concrete' 18 Section of Building Works Specification, under "FORMWORK"

    Formwork: Plywood face-veneer to surfaces of all class 3, class 4 and class 5 formwork shall be of the approved Australian Plantation species and have no imported rainforest timber content.

    Class 3 Formwork: For all concrete surfaces of good visual quality, when viewed as a whole, eg. carports, basements, bridge-piers or surfaces to be painted.

    Class 4 Formwork: For all concrete surfaces to be concealed from general view, eg. surfaces to be rendered, tiled or concealed by other finishes, and all concrete surfaces permanently concealed in ducts, shafts and above false-ceilings.

    Class 5 Formwork: For all concrete surfaces totally concealed in all areas, eg. for all footings, concrete surfaces in the ground, and rear surfaces of retaining walls.

    1. See Recycled Timber - the Number One Choice.

    2. See Australian Grown Plantation Species.

    3. See Wood-based Composite Building Materials, and Composite Beams and Trusses in the Directory.

    4. See also Biocement, Cement, and Concrete in Non Timber Building Materials.

    5. See under Brick in Non Timber Building Materials

    6. Refer to the article Environmental Impacts of Building Materials, and see under Steel in Non Timber Building Materials

    7. See Radial Timber Milling

    8. See under Steel in Non Timber Building Materials

    9. See under Plastic in Non Timber Building Materials in the Guide, and Non Timber Building Materials, Misc, in the Directory.

    10. Consumers must make an informed decision about local suppliers and sources, if documented certification is not available. See Timber Recommendations for Australian Users.

    11. See Salvaged Timber/Camphor Laurel in the Directory.

    12. See under Wood Based Composite Materials in the Guide, and Plantation Pine Plywood Producers in the Directory.

    13. See Builders - Earth, Adobe, Mudbrick, Cob, in the Directory.

    14. See Builders - Sawment, in the Directory.

    15. See Plantation Pine Fibreboard, Particleboard in the Directory.

    16. See Tropical Plantation Timbers.

    17. See Timber Veneer Suppliers, in the Directory.

    18. As for (4), above.

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