With the holiday season almost upon us, it’s time to reflect on the stories that shaped our year. Below are our top 5 from 2017.
Timber in Mid-Rise
Following the 2016 National Construction Code changes that include Deemed-to-Satisfy timber solutions for buildings in Classes 2 (apartments), 3 (hotels), and 5 (offices) up to a height of 25 metres, we’ve seen huge growth in both interest and demand for lightweight and mass timber products in these projects.
The drive towards prefabrication will mean an even greater demand for timber primary structural elements, especially for those who invest in the ability to simplify their customer experience with design, supply and installation services.
According to HIA data, 2016 was the strongest year since the end of WWII for new home building commencements. Despite pessimistic forecasts for the 2017 calendar year, detached and mid-rise activity has remained at high levels, while home renovation spending is continuing to grow.
The non-residential sector is receiving significant government funding, with the QLD State Government spending $42.75b on capital works over four years and the NSW State Infrastructure Plan set to fund a number of education, health and sporting facility investments.
Federal Government spending on non-mining infrastructure work such as transport and telecommunications will also continue to grow in 2018.
Eleven local governments have now followed in the footsteps of Latrobe City Council, which became the first local government to adopt a Wood Encouragement Policy. June saw Tasmania become the first state to adopt such a policy and last month, the Federal Government launched the National Carbon Offset Standard for buildings and for precincts.
Meanwhile, certification schemes such as Green Star and NABERS tap into the purchasing power of the construction sector, by encouraging reduced emissions from specified and supplied materials.
Increasing awareness of the benefits of using timber among designers and home owners / occupants, including how it can improve health outcomes, is also driving a broader community interest. As a result, sustainable timber products will become even more topical, especially in the emerging markets of industrial and commercial projects.
In wake of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London, the media showed renewed interest in non-conforming and non-complying building products.
The Queensland Government recently enacted new legislation to increase accountability throughout the supply chain. The legislation applies to both individuals and corporations and may include the installer, contractors, subcontractors and any person or company who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies a building product. Read more in the QBCC Fact Sheet.
There is no question that non-conforming and non-compliant building products are a safety, economic, legal and social concern. The plan to eliminate them needs to encompass the whole supply chain and we applaud this approach.
Our proprietary T2 Blue, T2 Red and T3 Green Plus treatments, and Glue Laminated Timber products, are all third-party certified for their quality, consistency and conformance with the Building Code of Australia.
The local softwood processing industry has increased volumes over recent years, but is now not keeping pace with the growth in demand. Import volumes are also not keeping pace. This is partly due to the low margin environment.
As a supply chain, we need to find new and more efficient solutions for the available fibre resource, so we’re reinvesting with a major saw line upgrade at our Tuan Mill in April 2018. This new technology will allow us to improve efficiencies and volumes – made possible by Queensland’s fibre resource.
At Hyne Timber, sustainable development is about ensuring that our company contributes lasting benefits to society through social, environmental, ethical and economic aspects in all that we do. We’re committed to the production and supply of Australian plantation resources and that’s why all of our products are Responsible Wood / PEFC Chain-of-Custody Certified.