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February 4, 2016

Australia allows eight storyes timber buildings

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) will help the local industry allow timber construction in taller structures. This comes after a two-year consultation and research process made by FWPA. The project shows that construction costs will decrease by 15% and new material options will create great opportunities for developers, architects, engineers and designers, according to a FWPA press release.
The newest change will be to introduce engineered timber, which had been previously excluded from the traditional palette of materials used in the construction of for mid-rise urban developments. Starting the 1st of May 2016, the National Construction Code (NCC) will allow timber buildings of up to 8 storyes.
Ric Sinclair, the managing director of FWPA, said that the local residents will benefit from the changes brought to the code. Also, the property buyers and the domestic building industry will be provided new opportunities. Representatives of the timber, insurance industries, regulatory bodies, domestic building and fire and emergency authorities have helped develop the project.

 “This initiative will bring Australia up to pace with much of the rest of the world – so that the building property industry can take advantage of the environmental and cost benefits of domestic timber construction. Wood can offer quicker build times, with less noise and disruption for neighbours. It can also offer innovative design approaches. A look at international trends shows the global sector is embracing both traditional wood and modern engineered wood products in an increasingly broad range of structural and decorative applications,” Sinclair added.

The Green, an apartment complex built by Frasers Property Australia (formerly Australand), in Parkville, was constructed using traditional timber frame and the developers said that average build costs per apartment were 25 per cent less than in a conventional apartment construction. Thus, 15% savings are forecasted for the new timber buildings.
The Australian economy will also benefit from this project, as net benefits of around $103 million are forecasted. The new solution covers both traditional timber framing and innovative massive timber systems – such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and Glulam – and comprises the use of appropriate layers of fire resistant materials and sprinkler systems.
 
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