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CLT Toolbox Fuels Global Expansion with New Office in Ethiopia

New office in Semarang, Indonesia to follow with capital raise planned for late 2023.


Thu 29 Jun 23

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CLT Toolbox has opened a new office in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

The new office, with plans to scale up to 15 members by the end of the year, will be managed by Lelissie Bedada – Head of Engineering for CLT Toolbox Ethiopia – and Wendirad Bedane – Technical Lead for CLT Toolbox Ethiopia.

In March 2023, Wood Central reported that CLT Toolbox launched a new structural design software for mass timber buildings.

Founded by CEO Adam Jones, a former Future Green Leader of the Year award recipient from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), CLT Toolbox is focused on making timber design simpler than concrete and steel, ultimately aiming to eliminate embodied carbon emissions in construction.

Footage courtesy of @CLT Toolbox

After a limited ‘beta release’ in April, Wood Central reports that a public release is imminent.

Jones also hosts the WoodSolutions podcast ‘Timber Talks’ and co-hosts the ‘What You Will Learn’ podcast told Wood Central that CLT Toolbox is currently working towards partnering with the mass timber supply chain and the university sector to provide fourth-year engineering students with pathways to join the industry.

On Monday, Wood Central reported that the global market for Cross Laminated Timber is expected to triple by 2030 – from USD 1.66 billion in 2022 to USD 4.24 billion in 2030.

And according to Jones, the push into Ethiopia is about providing equal opportunity.

“While Addis Ababa, Ethiopia boasts 11 prestigious technical universities, unemployment rates among graduates outside of academia remain high.”

“By establishing our presence in Ethiopia, CLT Toolbox aims to become a catalyst for positive change.”

“We strive to make environmental contributions through making mass timber design accessible to all engineers while simultaneously creating economic opportunities within the Addis Ababa community.”

“Our vision transcends borders as we believe in sustainability and equitable opportunities on a global scale,” Jones said.

The market for cross-laminated timber in Africa and the Middle East is still in its infancy; however, research published in April 2021 points to the growing potential for mass timber in the Ethiopian construction sector.

Reflecting on the appointments, Jones points out that Ms Bedada was CLT Toolbox’s first structural engineer hire.

“I was personally blown away by her technical expertise,” Jones said. 

“Then came Mr Bedane, who immediately grasped CLT design and solved analytical problems.”

“It was their ability and hard work that reflects an immensely talented work culture residing in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, and made the progression to a local office obvious.”

CLT Toolbox has provided stock options and equity in CLT Toolbox through Cake Equity to Ms Bedada and Mr Bedane, with CLT Toolbox preparing for capital raise later this year.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Adam Jones for his unwavering trust, dedication, and consistent support in opening our new office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” Ms Bedada said.

“Adam, your decision to establish a presence in Addis Ababa showcases your unwavering belief in the city’s immense talent and potential.”

“You have also created a culture of innovation and collaboration at CLT Toolbox, which has allowed us to develop innovative software solutions that are making a real difference in the world,” Mr Bedane said.

Wood Central understands that CLT Toolbox will open a two-storey Indonesian office in Semarang in the coming months.

Author

  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.

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