Tall timber buildings on our horizon
The Australian Construction Code (NCC) could allow timber buildings up to 25 metres tall by 2016. While current codes do not specifically restrict the use of wood in tall buildings, they do make it logistically and economically unviable.
A proposal developed by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) in consultation with fire engineers and various industry groups has been put forward for approval by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). The tender will include a deemed-to-satisfy requirement in the NCC for the use of wood up to 25 metres.
Ric Sinclair, FWPA MD, says "What we want to do is take lightweight timber construction, which can be used up to three storeys for both Class 2 and Class 3 buildings, much higher, but also introduce [into the building code] mass timber construction like Cross Laminated Timber [CLT]." The FWPA tout deregulation as another advantage of the proposal, making this type of construction accessible to second and third tier developers.
A decision on the proposal is expected to be announced in May 2015, and if approved implemented in 2016.
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