April 26, 2016
By Jack Haber, Haber Associates.
In countries where timber multi-storey procurement is well established, numerous studies reinforce the need for project development and design managers to plan procurement around their local supply chain.
Important keys to successful project development include enlisting fabricator input early. Fabricator involvement will aid efficient overall sequencing and programming and ensure that when the time comes for materials selection, detailed design and shop drawings, that unnecessary delay due to redesign are minimised.
The timber supply industry in Australia has historically developed to service the domestic housing construction industry. Over the past 20 years, the commercialisation and increased market penetration of new products such as floor trusses, LVL and I-Joists, has also driven the development of engineering software tools designed for use by the estimators and detailers at truss and frame suppliers.
These tools enable fabricators to undertake simple load path and member size analysis, however for the complex engineering required in a multi storey project, engineering provided by appropriately qualified consultants is a must.
Advances in timber technology and the increased focus on timber as a sustainable alternative to concrete has given impetus to increasing numbers of capital city engineers, building surveyors and fire engineers, to expand their practice and embrace timber.
It is now possible to source quality consultants that have the experience and knowledge to deliver great timber design outcomes. Working together with the selected fabricator and the right design team, developers and builders can ensure clarity and predictability into their development programmes.