Construction markets embrace off-site
April 13, 2017
Australia’s steadily growing urban population is exerting greater influence on residential planning and property developments, with increasing density of living in inner and middle suburbs within our cities.
This is reflected in the current high levels of construction for mid-rise multi-residential developments, and with rising site costs has opened new opportunities for increased use of timber offsite systems in both residential and commercial building.
Global trends are quickly moving to prefabricated panel and modular systems, to achieve faster construction times and lower costs, with countries in Europe ranging from 25% to over 50% of all housing now built using offsite systems.
Changes last year to the National Construction Code have increased limits for timber building height, previously only 3 storeys but now allowing timber and wood construction up to 8 storeys under deemed to satisfy provisions.
This has encouraged designers and builders around Australia to embark on building projects utilising offsite prefabricated construction systems in timber framing and mass timber (CLT) to heights not previously contemplated.
The most prominent sector being influenced is mid-rise multi-residential buildings of 3 to 5 storeys, utilising timber framing or mass timber panel systems to reduce construction time by weeks, providing huge savings to builders.
This rising demand has also led to a significant increase in automation and robotics in manufacturing plants supplying prefabricated timber building systems, with production capacity in Australia currently growing at its fastest rate ever, to meet the projected supply levels required.
The Frame Australia 2017 national conference and exhibition ‘Timber Offsite Construction’ in June will focus on offsite building systems with presentations by prominent architects, engineers and developers outlining the design and construction benefits available from utilising timber offsite building concepts.