The growing nexus between construction and manufacturing will be highlighted at this year’s Frame Australia conference through the work of Sydney firm Strongbuild.
Company chief Adam Strong will explain how his firm’s research and development over more than 10 years has ushered in construction’s ‘brave new world’: the manufacture of key building elements in a controlled, factory environment.
Strongbuild, which has built a fully automated, advanced panelisation plant in Sydney, exemplifies the ‘new look’ Frame Australia conference, now known as “Timber Offsite Construction’.
Mr Strong will set out how the concept of ‘panelisation’ works. It is the automatic manufacturing of key building elements – floors, walls, roofs and joinery components – which are pre-finished to millimetre accuracy in the factory, then transported and assembled on the building site.
It gives Strongbuild control over the construction process and dramatically reduces the risk from building’s usual negatives: skilled labour shortages and costs, skilled sub-contractor shortages, bad weather and excessive waste.
The plant has an automated production line for timber framing and CLT prefabrication. Mr Strong will speak on the options available for lightweight timber and construction systems for housing, mid-rise and high-rise residential projects.
Conference director Kevin Ezard said around Australia, designers and builders were increasingly using offsite panelised construction systems in timber framing and mass timber to building heights not previously contemplated.
“In addition, low-rise housing construction is moving to fully panelised timber floors and walls for site erection in only a few days,” he said.
Similarly, there was a move to mid-rise multi-residential buildings in timber framing of three to five storeys that could be built in just weeks, “providing huge savings to builders”.
Mr Ezard said the rising demand had led to a big increase in the capacity of automated manufacturing plants to supply prefabricated building systems.
“Production output in Australia is currently growing at its fastest rate ever to meet the projected supply levels in the next decade,” he said.
Delegate registration for the conference is now available on-line at the Frame Australia website. Early bird registration fees receive a $150 discount.
Registration gives delegates access to all activities: Monday speaker sessions including discussion forums; Monday delegate hospitality and networking event; Tuesday morning workshop sessions; and Tuesday afternoon delegate tour.
The conference also includes the exhibition display, which makes available the most up-to-date information on international trends and emerging technologies.