Is there a timber revolution in Australia?
Apparently so, according to industry commentator Architecture & Design. Projects like Lend Lease's Library at the Dock and Sydney's Netball Central – “Massive Timber Construction” (MTC) projects that employ cross laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber construction respectively - are prime examples of the Australian construction industry using these new structural timber methods to "build timber buildings bigger and better".
Rod Bligh of Bligh Tanner Consulting Engineers, has said that he believes MTC, a fledgling industry in Australia and New Zealand but one that has already gained traction and popularity in Europe, has the potential to be one of the biggest sustainability breakthroughs in building construction history. MTC involves very large built up sections and panels of timber replacing concrete slabs and steel framing in large-scale building developments. The ideology represents a shift towards demand for greener, and more cost-effective alternatives to more traditional construction materials. While the supply chain is yet to be established down under, Bligh Tanner are currently undertaking research that will make the relevant technologies - like CLT - more readily available, closer to home.
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is one wood engineering technology that is particularly well suited to high storey building applications - or MTC. Stud framed walls, LVL or Glulam frames and EXPAN - a pre-stressed frame technology developed in New Zealand - are further examples of highly resilient, economical systems with high load capacities that lend themselves to the construction of larger, sustainable timber structures.
For more detailed insight about these Massive Timber Construction technologies and the supply and prefabrication challenges in bringing them to Australia, read this article from Sourceable (https://sourceable.net/massive-timber-construction-the-next-big-green-thing/) and this article from Architecture & Design (https://sourceable.net/massive-timber-construction-the-next-big-green-thing/).
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