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ASH assures supply despite Vic ban A Sustainable Hardwoods has assured its customers that the Victorian Government’s ban on the harvesting of native timber by 2030 will not affect supply in the immediate future. And the company says it will be working hard to ensure that sustainably certified, regrowth sawlogs are made available after 2030. Under the State Government’s plan the current level of native timber available for logging will be reduced from 2024-25 and will be totally phased out by 2030. In a statement to customers the company’s managing director Vince Hurley said it USTRALIAN
would be business as usual for the next the next six years as ASH did not process old growth. Australian Sustainable Hardwoods is the largest sustainable hardwood operation in Australia with the largest hardwood manufacturing facility creating a range of timber products used for internal and external joinery, furniture, windows, staircases and high strength structural timbers. Only certified regrowth Victorian Ash sawlogs are used in manufacturing timber products at ASH. “This contract extension enables ASH to consolidate its recent investments and to continue to invest in the business
to prepare for the future,’’ Mr Hurley said. “For the period 2025 to 2030 the regrowth sawlog volume will be made available on a competitive tender basis. “ASH intends to maintain the current volume. In addition, the recent investments ASH has made in high-tech machinery enables ASH to significantly broaden the type of sawlogs (grade and species) and purchased timber feedstock for manufacturing that can be processed by the business. “The current and future investments in manufacturing will also ensure the business can continue operations without any decrease in scale to 2030.’’
Mr Hurley said that ten years was a long time in the political world and decisions can be changed. “ASH will be working hard to ensure that sustainably certified, regrowth sawlogs are made available after 2030,’’ said. ASH already purchased plantation sawlog from HVP and farm forestry operations and this would continue beyond 2030. Similarly, ASH would continue to produce Australian Oak and manufacture with American Oak and other species beyond 2030. “It is hard to think that a city such as Melbourne, with population growth, housing shortages, great architecture and a
huge appetite for sustainable hardwood will make a political decision to end its only native timber production in favour of introduced species,’’ Mr Hurley said. “We have quality, unique and beautiful timbers that are cherished around the world – backed up by some of the most sustainable practices in the world. “For every 10,000 trees in the forest, four are taken and replaced. Without political decisions, the volume is available in perpetuity,’’ he said. “ASH believe this decision will be over-turned in time – whether by change of Government or change of policy. ASH will continue to invest in the future.’’
Tassie timber available now and into the future
■■ Michael Lee from the Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood at the University of Tasmania.
FOLLOWING the Tasmanian fires, there has been some concern around the availability of Tasmanian timber, but availability has not changed. The processors of Tasmanian Timber assure the marketplace that when it comes to supplying timber, it’s business as usual. While the fires earlier this year had a short-term impact on production in one of Tasmanian Timber’s major green mills, the damage was relatively minor, and the states’ dry processing facilities were not affected. Tasmanian Oak, Blackwood, Myrtle and Celery Top Pine continue to be available in normal volumes across Australia. Shawn Britton, Director of Britton Timbers and Chairman of the Tasmanian Timber Campaign said that typically Tasmanian mills would hold 18 months of stock in their dying yards at any given time. “We are always prepared to cope with fluctuations in both the supply of the resource and the demand from the marketplace of quality Tasmanian timbers,’’ he said. “One of the industries greatest strengths is its capacity to hold large amounts of stock.” Britton Timbers has been operating for 111 years, and Mr Britton says that longevity in this sector requires businesses to have strategies in place to cope with impacts on the natural resource. “None of the Tasmanian processors are expecting to have their production volume adversely affected, it’s business as usual,” he said. Buying certified locally grown timber is the best choice for sustainability, to create a small-
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
er carbon footprint. When you buy local, the timber is from a nearby forest and not being transported across the world. Australian Designer-Maker Jon Goulder exclusively utilises Tasmanian Timber. “I think as architects, designers and furniture makers become more responsible; the trend will be to use local product,” he said. “Tasmanian timbers are most definitely at the top of what Australia has to offer. We’ve got access to the most beautiful timbers in the world. They provide me with the palette I need, from dark chocolate to blond and everything in between.” “To exclusively use Tasmanian timber is a no brainer for me.” Anyone interested in specifying Tasmanian Timber can utilise the free expert timber helpline operated by the Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood (CSAW) at the University of Tasmania. The free-call service is operated by Michael Lee and is available to anyone specifying timber and provides support on choosing the right timber for the right application, obtaining quotes from suppliers, and troubleshooting problems throughout a project. Requests for quotes will be sent to all relevant suppliers of the requested product. Suppliers to the Tasmanian Timber campaign are all certified sustainable, hold Chain of Custody certification and are independently audited under a strict Quality Assurance Program. Call the Expert Helpline on 1300 041 766 or visit www.tasmaniantimber.com.au. 3
December 2019 Issue 8 Vol. 27 Incorporating Australian and New Zealand Timberman – Established 1977.
3-7 10-11 8-21 22 22
News CLT Associations Woodchat What’s On
Front Cover: A house being built with treated timber in South Australia’s South East.
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The opinions expressed in Australasian Timber Magazine are not necessarily the opinions of or endorsed by the editor or publisher unless otherwise stated. All articles submitted for publication become the property of the publisher. All material in Australasian Timber Magazine copyright 2019 © Ryan Media. All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means (graphic, electronic, or mechanical including information and retrieval systems) without written permission of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, the publisher will not accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any consequences arising from reliance on information published.
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Surveyors finding it harder to obtain PI insurance Bruce Mitchell
NY building surveying firm that has, or has had, projects over three storeys or other large projects, are now going to find it increasingly difficult or may even not be able to obtain PI insurance, according to the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors. And the AIBS has told its members that number of firms have already advised they have been unable to obtain insurance. “Almost every day now, we are hearing reports from members faced with very difficult scenarios with PI renewals,’’ the AIBS says. “Costs and excesses are increasing dramatically and new, previously unheard of, exclusions are coming into play.’’ The AIBS said that it has received reports of new policies excluding wind farms, solar farms, wheat silos, many types of commercial buildings and more recently domestic swimming pools and swimming pool fencing. Not only were building surveyors being affected. These problems were also spreading to insurance policies for fire engineers and architects. This has resulted in drastic measures including searching off-shore for insurance. In one example says the AIBS, a policy ultimately cost around $550K where previously the same policy was $80K. This, the organisation says, is not sustainable. “We have been advised by Bovill Risk & Insurance Consultants (BRIC), the main PI
insurance broker to building surveyors and other building professionals, that insurers who remain prepared to underwrite building surveying risks have indicated they want to reduce their exposure and, in some cases, withdraw completely from this particular area,’’ the AIBS has told its members. In contrast, some firms had reported small increases in premiums and conditions, but these were in the minority and their work was mostly on low rise, smaller residential projects with little or no historical exposure going forward because of previous notifications. “What this means is that we are likely to see experienced and senior building surveying firms go out of business simply due to the type of work they undertake, to be replaced by smaller, under-resourced and less experienced building surveying firms on major projects because they still have insurance,’’ the AIBS said.
“This will only be in the short term before those firms or practitioners too will eventually experience the same insurance problems. “Unfortunately, this severe pressure on insurance will not ease in the short term.’’ The AIBS has been advising State and Federal ministers and their advisers that both short and long term measures were required to fix the PI insurance crisis. Long term, reform of building regulations would restore confidence of the insurance industry in Australia’s building and construction sector. This had long been required but had been put in the “too hard basket’’ by governments. The AIBS has advocated for governments to support a Professional Standards Scheme for Building Surveyors. Such a scheme would raise the bar on standards for the profession and, in turn, provide greater confidence for consumers and some stability in
the insurance market which it has done for other professions faced with similar issues. AIBS is working with the Professional Standards Council to develop a Professional Standards Scheme for Building Surveyors through which it aims to increase the professionalism and integrity of building surveyors who act in a statutory role on behalf of government. “AIBS is pushing governments to take action right now to stabilise the situation,’’ the institute has told members. “A good start would be a nationally consistent Government funded combustible cladding rectification program, similar to that introduced by the Victorian Government. “As we all know, the issue is now far greater than just cladding and extends to a lack of confidence in the industry in Australia generally. This includes non-conforming products and the range of recent building failures in Australia for one reason or another or even for reasons as yet unknown. The only solution over the longer term is reform of Australia’s building regulations. “We are also advocating governments engage directly with the insurance industry to agree on mutually acceptable ways of immediately restoring confidence and stabilising the building and construction sector. “In the short term, governments may have to consider underwriting the industry themselves until confidence is restored to ensure consumers and building professionals are protected.’’
CLT has the potential to be “the concrete of the future” CONCRETE, an essential building material, has for decades offered us the possibility of shaping cities quickly and effectively, allowing them to rapidly expand into urban peripheries and reach heights previously unimagined by mankind. Today, new timber technologies are beginning to deliver similar opportunities – and even superior ones – through materials such as Cross-Laminated Timber. CLT was first manufactured in Austria with the aim of reusing lower value timber. Today, the use of wood is again becoming a relevant factor in the construction industry because of environmental factors. We usually design and build with concrete, but concrete’s environmental footprint is enormous compared with that of wood. One ton of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere for every cubic meter of concrete created. In contrast, CLT contains “sequestered carbon,” or carbon naturally stored in wood during tree growth.
Thus, despite all the energy used in the extraction and manufacturing processes, emissions from wood construction will never match the amount of carbon that is kept “sequestered” in the CLT. CLT has been called “the concrete of the future,” and in a sense – it’s true. It delivers at minimum the same structural strength as reinforced concrete, but it’s a material with a high degree of flexibility that has to undergo great deformations to break and collapse – unlike concrete. Physically, to achieve the same degree of insulation that a 100 mm thick CLT wall would afford, we would need to build a concrete wall 1.80 m thick. Fire in timber advances at a rate of 0.7 to 0.8 millimeters per minute.
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
If a CLT wall is 100 mm, it would end up being consumed after more than 2 hours, even if it were untreated wood. This carbonization process is a natural phenomenon that allows trees to protect themselves. CLT panels are currently allowing the construction of buildings with up to 30 floors, in Canada, and up to 40 floors in Finland. With major projects underway or in the planning here Australian sits second only to Canada in relation to the number of midrise wooden buildings already constructed or on the drawing board. The future is promising. And it all makes total sense. Perhaps in some years, our cities will be transformed based on the warmth and texture of the wood, also changing the way in which the design and construction of our works are conceived. www.timberbiz.com.au
HIA welcomes commitment to cut red tape in planning process T HE Housing Industry As-
sociation has welcomed the Government’s announcement that as part of its move to bring forward billions of dollars in infrastructure, it will also be cutting red tape that hinders the progress of projects that are vital to Australian housing. Infrastructure such as roads and bridges are vital to growing and maintaining housing supply in Australia. Combined with the proposed initiatives to streamline project approvals through improved digital systems these reforms can assist the supply of new housing and mean more people can get into a home.
“HIA has long argued for the removal of red tape in planning approval processes. It is important that this has been recognised as a priority by the Government,’’ HIA Chief Executive Industry Policy Kristin Brookfield said. “The overlap between commonwealth, state and local government in this space continues to frustrate many projects, adding time, confusion and cost,” she said. Demand for housing remained strong due to ongoing population growth and any productivity reforms the Government could implement to increase supply were welcome. “Supporting the housing in-
dustry to deliver homes in a timely and affordable way is essential to address the home ownership aspirations of first home buyers, to create jobs and to support a healthy Australian economy,’’ Ms Brookfield said. “The inclusion of award reforms is also encouraging. Simplifying and streamlining these still complex arrangements for businesses with employees is critical.’’ She said the HIA was confident that simplification could be made and this would lead to better employment outcomes. “HIA looks forward to working with the Government to
examine other ways to increase productivity to support housing supply and to taking a leadership role in monitoring the pipeline of residential land and housing across the nation,’’ she said. “There is certainly more that
Happy Holidays and wishing you a safe prosperous 2020 from all of us at ForestWorks Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to working with you in the year to come. ForestWorks will be closed over the Christmas/New Year period from 23 December 2019 and reopening 6 January 2020. FOLS renewal applications received after 13 December may not be processed until January.
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
can be done through a national approach to productivity reforms. It’s important for all levels of Governments to look at ways they can support business, improve housing supply and recognise that home ownership matters.’’
Credit access major impediment to new home sales NEW home sales, approvals and housing financing data all suggest that the demand for detached homes has stabilised, albeit, well below levels of the past five years, according the Housing Industry Association’s chief economist, Tim Reardon. “Total lending is up from a low point in April 2019. This result is mirrored in new home sales data which also shows April as the bottom of this cycle. The upturn since then has been very modest and best described as a stabilisation in conditions,” Mr Reardon said. “We do not anticipate that the market will recover the ground lost over the past year, rather the market is calibrating to a new equilibrium consistent with demographic growth.’’ Mr Reardon said that three cuts to interest rates, income tax cuts and the easing of APRA restrictions were having a positive impact on confidence. But even with the easing of lending restrictions, access to credit remained the biggest impediment to further improvements in home building activity. “The new detached home market is forecast to fall from 111,701 in 2018/19 to 102,126 in 2019/2020, before a smaller contraction in 2020/21 to 101,087 to levels experienced in 2013/14,’’ Mr Reardon said. “Apartment commencements are likely to pause until those apartments that are currently under construction are completed and occupied. This will see multi-unit commencements fall from 85,108 starts in 2018/19 to 72,549 in 2019/20.
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NZ award finalists whittled down to 48 J UD G E S have narrowed
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down the entries to next year’s NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards to 48 finalists. Following the finalists’ more detailed submissions, the second round of judging will take place this month and winners will be announced at a gala function on March 26, at the Grand Millennium Hotel in Auckland. The jury for this year’s programme includes New Zealand Institute of Architects president Tim Melville, New Zealand Timber Design Society president David Carradine, sustainable architect at Scion Andrea Stocchero, and NZ Wood Design Guides’ manager Andy van Houtte. This year’s crop of entries has shown more prefabricated and panelised designs, both in mass timber and cassette form, as well as some post and beam formats with strong consideration of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) processes. New wood products have been developed and commercialised, along with the uptake of environmentally friendly, exterior-use products.
“The quality of entries is once again exceptional,” the judges said. “More and more novel, innovative applications of timber are submitted every year. The quality, design, materials and build philosophies employed demonstrate the evolving and imaginative use of timber in New Zealand and indeed, around the world.” NZ Wood Promotions Manager Debbie Fergie said new technologies were opening up new opportunities for designers. “More and more new and interesting applications of timber are being showcased, which shows that timber buildings are once again coming into their own. We look forward to even more architects and engineers confidently specifying timber for a wide range of applications within the built environment,’’ she said. Finalists in the Innovation of Student Design Award sponsored by Juken NZ Ltd, will be chosen by Universities from students’ submitted work presented in their courses. These have different deadlines and finalists will not be announced until nearer the time of the gala dinner.
The mark of safety, reliability and trust. +61 7 3250 3700 | email@example.com www.ewp.asn.au |
Join us on Facebook & LinkedIn ■■ One of the entries in the Engineered Wood Products Innovation
section designed by Jigsaw Architects under construction at Papamoa, Tauranga, and inside the finished house.
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
timber design awards
■■ The Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre under construction and, below, the completed verandah which protects 75 per cent of the external cladding.
Winning mix of imported and Australian timber for WA T
HE Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre is the social and sporting hub of the Shire of Pingelly and the surrounding communities. Located 200 kilometres south-east of Perth in the West Australian wheat belt, the building was designed for longterm sustainability for a community with scarce resources. The building is the winner of the Imported Timber category from the Australian Timber Design Awards. Sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council, the new award recognises projects that predominately feature imported timber. The structure comprises of prefabricated LVL box frame and LVL frame assemblies. Cladding, decking, flooring and panelling is made from
West Australian plantationgrown yellow stringybark. Recycled jarrah from the original sports facilities on the site is featured in the Cultural Hall and the main bar panelling in the function centre. The extensive use of verandas protects 75 per cent of the external cladding and over 90 per cent of the decking from sun and rain. They also provide the external ‘corridor’ as the circulation space of the building as well as social space and grandstand space for field sports. The architectural and engineering design process revolved around the efficiency of use of the timber resource and the minimisation of waste in processing. Engineered innovation was used in the portal frame mo-
ment connection, cassettes construction, timber bracing, box beams and LVL used as the appearance element. Not since the Merredin aircraft hangars of World War II has any public organisation built with timber on such a large scale. Shire of Pingelly President Bill Mulroney said cost estimates for the timber design of the new building came in around the same as brickwork. “We decided we would have something really good, and we went for timber … the timber will make it a longer life and make it better looking than bricks and mortar, which can age over years,” he said. “We’ve organised tours for local groups to get them excited and spread the word throughout the community. Everybody
is itching to get up here and enjoy the facility.” The shire built its new recreation and cultural centre in just over a year, at a total cost of $9.1 million. One thousand tonnes of yellow stringy bark, sourced from a plantation near Manjimup, created the walls, floor and decking, with the structural timber imported from New Zealand and constructed by Sime Building and Construction. “When you see so much timber in this building, it provides a very calming sort of feel, a very warm and homely atmosphere,” Sime director Stephen Sime said. The new facility will be used primarily to host a range of local sporting and social activities.
“People in the country don’t have to put up with secondrate facilities when their counterparts in the cities have all the good facilities,” Mr Mulroney said. “That’s what the concept of this building turned out to be...We hope that we can attract our surrounding neighbours to come and use this facility.” Before the Pingelly facility was built, a shire delegation travelled to Melbourne to inspect firsthand some of the high profile timber constructions on the east coast. The shire says its new social hub will be used by the WA Forest Communities Network, a timber industry group, as an example to encourage other local governments in WA to build with wood.
EXCELLENCE IN THE USE OF TIMBER PRODUCTS Imported Timber Engineer: Timberbuilt Solutions & Scott Smalley Partnership Builder: SIME Building and Constructions Fabricator: Timberbuilt Solutions Photographer: Peter Bennetts Location: Pingelly, Western Australia
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
TURN TO THE TURBO-DRIVE
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HUNDEGGER TURBO-DRIVE “CUT” 07.05.18 13:32 The Hundegger TURBO-Drive has enjoyed tremendous success in the region since its local launch a little over 18 months
ago. Its super-fast operation, ﬂexibility, small footprint and user-friendly interface has made it the machine of choice for serious frame and truss operations. Many of the Hundegger TURBO-Drive machines are running multiple shifts and cutting stacked components, situated in operations where it is the second, third or fourth machine in operation. However, we now have a revised speciﬁcation that allows smaller or newer operations to enjoy all the beneﬁts of a Hundegger CNC saw – without compromise. The Hundegger TURBO-Drive CUT!
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The TURBO Drive Cut is supplied with an automated infeed and outfeed, 5-axis servo-controlled saw unit, waste conveyors, printing, security fence, powerful motors, centralised lubrication, production monitor, short piece handling, full software and Truss UI touch-screen, and includes delivery, installation, training and even a spare saw-blade! Other packages available stand-alone or combined include: Hundegger TURBO-Drive “STACK” All the above features, plus increased stacking capability and material handling for even greater productivity gains Hundegger TURBO-Drive “PRINT” All the above features, plus extended printing capability Text, part numbers, job ID, etc Hundegger TURBO-Drive “MILL” All the above features, plus tool carrier, soft starter for infeed system, and powerful 7.5kW vertical milling head and dedicated double mitre tool Hundegger TURBO-Drive “PLUS” All the above features, plus driven outfeed chains for faster and more automated operation Whatever your requirements, the Hundegger TURBO-Drive has a package to suit, all with localised Technical Support. All machines can be upgraded at a later date to ensure your investment returns full value. For detailed speciﬁcations, contact Sam Rowe on +61 418 561 023 firstname.lastname@example.org
cross-laminated timber Timber solution to reduce emissions A REPORT by the World Green Building Council (WGBC) has highlighted the huge potential of timber product building solutions to reduce emissions in Australia’s built environment. The report, Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront, says renewable timber products will play a key role in meeting ambitious goals of reducing carbon emissions in the built environment by 40 per cent in 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, as buildings currently account for 39 per cent of global carbon emissions. Australian Forest Products Association CEO Mr Ross Hampton said Australia’s forestry industry produces a unique building material because it absorbs enormous amounts of carbon from the atmosphere in working forests and then stores the carbon in timber products. “Timber has always been a great building material, but advances in technology, including the development of Cross Laminated Timber, light weight timber framing and other timber building solutions, accompanied by recent building code updates, have opened many more doors for timber to be used more widely in construction,” Mr Hampton said. “We commend WGBC for recognising the importance of ‘embodied energy’ – the carbon emissions associated with manufacturing and construction processes in the lifecycle of a building material. “Timber has very little embodied energy in comparison to other building materials making it more sustainable in a carbon-constrained future.” Mr Hampton said while innovations in timber construction were increasing the uptake of modern timber building solutions there was more governments can do to harness the benefits of using timber in the built environment. “For example, there is currently no specific methodology to allow timber construction to bid for carbon credits through the Federal Government’s Climate Solutions Fund. Substituting one cubic metre of concrete or brick for a cubic metre of timber eliminates approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.” 10
‘Green’ movement is reassessing benefits of wood The benefits and popularity of CLT and mass timber products are helping to change the conversation about the importance of working forests, as US data company Forest2Market reports.
hose close to the forest
products supply chain have watched with great interest as the cross-laminated timber (CLT) and “mass timber” building products industry has exploded over the last decade. The free market has ultimately driven the remarkable growth of the industry, which is helping the “green” movement to reassess the benefits of wood as well. There are myriad structural, cost and environmental benefits to using CLT and other mass timber products in suitable construction projects: CLT-based buildings take less time to construct; because mass timber panels are prefabricated, smaller crews can assemble structures more safely and in less time. The speed advantage is amplified because manufacturing can occur simultaneously with site and foundation work, reducing down time between construction phases and shortening construction time. CLT-based buildings are more energy efficient. Unlike other building materials, they are comprised completely from renewable materials that sequester carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere indefinitely Using wood in place of fossil fuel-intensive materials avoids most of the greenhouse gases that would have been emitted during the manufacturing of such products. While a ton of cement emits nearly a ton of carbon in its production process, a ton of timber has the potential to remove (and store) up to two tons of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere. New construction projects with CLT are becoming more commonplace across the globe, and the demand for these materials is driving manufacturers to scale their businesses to meet the increased interest While an anti-forestry narrative fuelled by half-truths and emotion is certainly alive and well among critics of wood products industries, there are signs that the conversation is quickly shifting. Addressing “climate change” and its many peripheral debates is becoming a central
■■ CLT-based buildings take less time to construct because mass timber panels are prefabricated.
topic in global politics and on the international stage, which presents an opportunity for the forest products value chain to educate the public with actual science, data and reason. Case in point: Rather than relying on the same old antiforestry trope to induce fear of climate change, a recent article published by the BBC takes a decidedly independent tone and explores the many benefits of wood-based building products derived from working forests. In his article, journalist Tim Smedley highlights the importance of keeping forested lands forested. Working forests play an important role in keeping forested land forested as previous analyses have demonstrated. Working forests store carbon, provide recreational opportunities and support the economic
vitality of many rural communities. However, working forests face competing land use pressures that place them at risk of conversion to other uses. As Smedley notes: “Canada’s great forests for example have actually emitted more carbon than they absorb since 2001, thanks to mature trees no longer being actively felled. “Arguably, the best form of carbon sequestration is to chop down trees: to restore our sustainable, managed forests, and use the resulting wood as a building material.” Modern forest management regimes are designed to maximize timber growth and, as Smedley adds: “… typically plant two to three trees for every tree felled – meaning the more demand there is for wood, the greater the growth in both forest cover and CO2-hungry young trees”.
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
In decades past, members of the forest value chain rarely received honest treatment in the larger conversation about the importance of working forests, demand for wood products, forest fire management, etc. The benefits and popularity of CLT and mass timber products are helping to change the conversation, which is a welcomed change. Forest2market Inc. provides forest and wood products data. The Company offers market pricing for timber, logs, wood fibers, and feed stock, along with timber prices forecasts, supply chain consulting services, industry news, and analysis. Forest2market offers its services to the forest, wood products, and bioenergy industries. www.timberbiz.com.au
cross-laminated timber Tall timber buildings on the rise
■■ The Verde apartments in Adelaide.
CLT the future direction for mid-rise construction A builder Andrew Morgan firmly believes CLT is the way of the future for mid-rise commercial construction. And as the builder of South Australia’s first CLT commercial build finished in 2017 he should know. Morgan & Hansen were the builders on the $27.3m apartment Verde project at Kent Town comprising 54 apartments, seven home offices, ground floor retail and commercial offices. The top three floors of the five-storey building, where the apartments are located, were fabricated from cross-laminated timber produced by KLH. In all, 65 tonnes of the CLT were shipped from Austria. DELAIDE
“Each panel was individually drawn to the millimetre. It was basically millimetre perfect,’’ Morgan and Hansen managing director Andrew Morgan said. And the reason he specified CLT for the project? “I like it,’’ he said. “It’s a product that can replace a lot of pre-cast concrete and can replace a lot of “wet” trades on site. “It’s 100 per cent accurate. “I don’t have to put up with someone who says ‘sorry mate, it’s 10 mil out of level but that’s acceptable’.’’ Mr Morgan said CLT totally replaced concrete. “CLT is the way of the future for mid-rise construction. CLT would not be used on
60-storey buildings but in the next five years he could see it going up to 20 stories. The Mjösa Tower completed earlier this year is currently the world’s tallest timber building at 85.4m. The building has 18 storeys that include apartments, a hotel, offices, a restaurant, a rooftop terrace and common areas. Plans for an 80-storey, 300m-high timber skyscraper in London, dubbed The Toothpick, were released in 2016 but never proceeded. Wesbeam’s product development engineer Stephen Dayus believes the construction of the Forte Living building in Melbourne in 2014 was the game-changer for CLT. Forte Living is a 10 storey
apartment building made from CLT in the Docklands area. Standing at 32.2m, when built by Lendlease it was the world’s tallest modern timber apartment building and highest made from CLT. “Forte Living is the building that changed it all because Lendlease is not an architectural company, they are not timber enthusiasts, they’ve got to make a buck,’’ Mr Dayus said. “So I call this the beginning of the timber revolution because this was proof of concept for Lendlease. Proof that CLT would work. “It had to work financially. They had to make money out of it.’’
‘Old World’ offering up ways of building the ‘New World’ A MAINSTREAM product in Europe, CLT continues its advance outside the Old Continent with either new or up-scaled capacities recently announced globally (EU, Americas, Russia, Asia and Oceania). Over the years, the European CLT manufacturing sector went through a “standard” technological evolution until they reached the current second-generation phase with efficient speedy hydrau-
lic presses complemented by smart design and CNC manufacturing. Some of the other global capacities being developed are already benefiting from the newest available technologies. This is resulting in more flexible solutions, lower equipment costs and smaller barriers to entry. The shift from the first-generation hydraulic presses to the newer vacuum presses are providing benefits for smaller manufac-
turers, the ones that are new entrants in the markets. The new manufacturing solutions are delivering simpler, lighter equipment (with smaller required foundation/base) able to produce a multitude of different CLT panel types. These manufacturers are targeting a different market section than the timber high rise building sector. CLT manufacturing equipment evolution or revolution? Opinions differ, however, the
fact that this is an emerging market with dynamic changes in building codes, consumer preferences and technological solutions is not disputed. Looking ahead, the way producers decide to enter this segment will likely differ. Focus can range from large production capacities and speed of production, to customisation, low-cost equipment and a larger variety of CLT specs – there’s no single formula for success.
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
FOLLOWING up successes with CLT and lightweight frame construction in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, another tall timber building proposal has been unveiled. This time it is going to be the largest yet seen in the country; a 19,400 square metre building in downtown Melbourne. Construction of the building, aptly named Frame, is expected to start by the end of this year with completion set down for late 2021. Working behind the scenes to get this particular building to the planning and approvals stage have been Forest and Wood Product’s Wood Solutions mid-rise specialist team, working alongside the building’s architects and designers to provide advice on the technical aspects of sourcing and using engineered timber products. Meanwhile an office tower in Fremantle to be constructed out of CLT - a first for Western Australia – has been given the green light by the local council. The six-storey building, designed by Harris Jenkins Architects, will comprise five office floors above a ground floor hosting a bar and restaurant. The building will also feature a suite of sustainability features, including an operable glass facade that will circulate fresh air and deliver maximum sunlight to all levels, while revealing the timber structure to the outside. Brad Pettitt, mayor of Fremantle, said the council was pleased with the sustainable credentials of the building. “In recent years in Fremantle we’ve seen the construction of some really exciting sustainable buildings that are better places to live and work in, better for the environment and cheaper to operate,” he said. “To be home to WA’s first timber-framed office building will only enhance Fremantle’s reputation as a leader in sustainable development.” And in Adelaide CLT from Xlam will be used to fast-track the controversial Adelaide Oval Hotel. Construction work on the 128-room hotel, supported by a $42 million state government grant, started last month, and bookings will be open from March before an expected trading start in September 2020. 11
■■ The balcony (above and below) of one of the Affina townhouses featuring hardwood timber suited for outside use.
Bright coastal living is a dream come to life with Affina Big River Group’s timber products blend harmoniously with architect’s vision.
TRUE coastal lifestyle
is one lived outdoors. That is the theme of Brightwater’s latest development Affina, a stunning build of townhouses exclusively designed for the particularities of the Sunshine Coast’s subtropical climate. Designed by Hollindale Mainwaring Architects, the three and four-bedroom townhouses incorporate cleverly integrated features, highquality fixtures and fittings, and intelligent open-plan interiors. Visionary designer, John Mainwaring of Hollindale Mainwaring Architecture says that he sometimes undertakes a ‘beach shack’ simplicity in his work, “the designs reference the history of their communities while using contemporary processes, materials and technology for an aesthetic that is undeniably place-specific,” John says. The Sunshine Coast aesthetic, featuring lightweight construction and understated materials that respond to climate and place, is complemented by carefully considered design details. All aspects of the built environment have been considered and co-ordinated to deliver holistic and integrated design solutions that add to the quality of living. Thoughtful landscaping adds unmistakeable character and one of the most satisfying aspects of the design is the 12
able to successfully hit this brief with resounding success and the client was delighted with the finished product as a result,” continued Chris. “We chose the Merbau as it is one of the world’s most durable timbers. It’s highly resistant to decay when fully exposed to the weather, it’s also a laminated product which means it is less likely to cup and twist and is also cost effective,” said Brett Etchells, Project Manager at RCQ Projects Pty. In its first time using Big River Group as a supplier for RCQ Projects, the company was chosen for their competitive pricing and capacity to service the project due to their convenient location, allowing deliveries to be easily coordinated by the site team. “Big River Group’s knowledge and service was great, and it was beneficial that they were generally able to provide extra products Big River Group, were chosen ject, was that the timber has on short notice and deliver to for the breakfast bar and seat- to be suitable for external ap- the site the same day, making, blending harmoniously plications and available in the ing our jobs a lot quicker and with John Mainwaring’s vision large sizing specified for the easier. The staff were always of living in an area that cham- bar top. Fortunately, Big River on hand to provide options Group, was able to use Mer- for different products and conpions light, air and space. “We were engaged by Com- bau, an Asian rainforest hard- struction methods when remercial Builders, RCQ Pro- wood timber ideally suited to quired,” continued Brett. With a balmy year-round clijects, for this project to source the manufacture of outdoor a specialised timber product furniture and decking. With mate, Affina at Brightwater that could be used in an out- the abundance of natural oil in offers the right balance of all door bar area in the common the wood, it produces a beau- design elements in a stunning space of the 36-townhouse tiful grain and appearance and lakeside location with beautiful development. Building in any we were able to make to order communal spaces to share with development, and particularly 400x42 pieces. Here, we were friends and family. common BBQ area which was built on the prime waterfront area in the Brightwater community. Complete with water views over the recreational centrepiece, Brightwater Lake, Merbau timber products from
Brightwater, meant that all products used needed to meet high levels of scrutiny in terms of origin and manufacture,” said Chris Brush, Sales Manager, Big River Group. “A key criterion for the pro-
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
Campaign on target AROUND 25 per cent of Australians have seen The Ultimate Renewable campaign run by Forest and Wood Products Australia, which research shows is positively changing public opinions on forestry and wood. A stand-out result from the campaign was that two in three people who had seen the ads agreed with the statement “I think it is okay to harvest and replant Australian native forests”, which is more than 10 per cent higher than those who had not seen the ads. The initial $1.8-million campaign has recently wrapped up after commencing in July. It covered all major and regional Australian cities across multiple channels through television, catch-up TV, social media, online articles, billboards, outdoor displays and several print magazines. Scholarship on offer for ewpa The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is offering a three year scholarship opportunity for graduate students undertaking their research with the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life. The scholarship will provide graduate students interested in wood product durability research with $10,000 funding per year, to a total value of $30,000. The Timber Durability Centre is on the hunt for graduate students, looking to study either an MSc or PhD, to join their research team and focus on timber durability and service life prediction. Queensland awards THE BEST of Queensland building and construction dominated at the 2019 Master Builders National Excellence in Building & Construction Awards in Kata Tjuta National Park, Uluru. A total of 10 gongs were nabbed by builders from the Wide Bay Burnett, Downs & Western, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts and Brisbane regions. Lendlease took out the National Fit-out Award for their Sunshine Plaza Redevelopment. www.timberbiz.com.au
Timber flooring Do you know your type? T I MB E R flooring has many different names and styles and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish the faux from the real making us question if our floorboard choices are faux real? There is misleading terminology when referring to timber flooring such as ‘hybrid’ or ‘hard flooring’, which is typically made up of plastic and is not as sustainable as other timber flooring options on the market. Solid timber flooring is exactly as it sounds, “solid”, and can normally be identified by the end grain running throughout the entire depth of the board. Solid timber flooring is currently trending in the market and is 19mm thick and is traditionally installed direct to floor joists, which differs from overlay solid timber flooring which is typically 10mm to 14mm and installed on plywood or particleboard. If you’re short on time and still looking for solid timber flooring then a pre-finished overlay product is what you are looking for as you will save time on sanding and finishing. Finally, the most decorative form in the solid timber-flooring category is parquetry and allows for a myriad of patterns meaning you can change the
composition and atmosphere of any room without much effort elsewhere. This form of solid timber flooring is available in both block parquetry and mosaic parquetry and is available in different thicknesses. Similar to the other types of solid timber flooring listed, you will be able to distinguish the composition of the board by the end grain running the entire way through. Contrary to speculation, solid timber can be used in apartments with the right system of compliant acoustic underlay. While solid timber floor products will cost a little more than other options, they are low maintenance and when cared for correctly will last a lifetime. As the name implies, engineered timber flooring is a product that has been specifically engineered to retain an element of solid timber flooring, on a base of plywood,
■■ A section of 14mm solid timber overlay flooring.
block core layer or other material. When looking at the board you can see a veneer of solid timber flooring which can vary in thickness between 0.6mm up to 6mm thick. Naturally, the thicker the veneer of the engineered timber floor the greater the longevity of the product and a thicker veneer (the lamella) can be sanded, potentially a number of times, just like solid timber flooring. Engineered timber flooring most often comes as a prefinished product, however, it can also be obtained in the raw and finished in-situ. As with solid timber, engi-
neered timber flooring with the thicker lamella will have longevity and simple maintenance, and will have a similar price point. Parquetry flooring can also be obtained as an engineered product. Thinner veneer products are cheaper, can be lightly sanded and resealed but will not sustain a heavy sand. When it comes to installing engineered flooring, it can be installed on a plywood or particleboard subfloor, or in apartments ideally will need to be installed on an underlay as a floating floor, however the underlay must be an acoustic underlay compliant with the
body corporate regulations or the National Construction Code (whichever is applicable to the building). If you are wanting a floor that will last, has real warmth and the feel of timber then solid timber flooring, parquetry or engineered timber flooring are for you in comparison to cork, which has a decorative and practical function for the right space. It is recommended to check the EPA credentials of products you are looking to purchase. For more information, to become a member or if you require any advice please call ATFA on 1300 361693.
Saw shop upgrade improves TTC apprentice training
■■ The Vollmer levelling and tensioning machine with the with the saw topper and facer.
THROUGH 2019 Timber Training Creswick (RTOid 4168) has improved it’s saw shop facility ready for saw doctor/ technician training in 2020. The upgrade consists of modern reconditioned circular saw sharpening equipment and a Vollmer CNC machining centre as well as a range of other equipment. Trainer Steve Archer says that the CNC equipment will display a picture that enables apprentices to rapidly see where their band levelling and tensioning needs improvement and so help them achieve this skill in a shorter timeframe. Big thanks go to the terrific team at Camco for their help and support in sourcing and installing necessary components to get the machines operational. It is anticipated that the Australian Industry Skills Commission will soon sign off on Release 5.0 of the Forest and Wood Products training package which contains industry requested upgraded programs for the job role that will be-
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
come Saw Technicians. Timber Training Creswick has been working on learning and assessment materials for the new units and will be ready to implement upgrades when they are approved. The wood machining apprenticeship and Certificate IV in Timber Processing qualifications have also been improved with many new and upgraded units right through the range of timber processing qualifications. The first block of saw doctor training in 2020 commences at Creswick in mid January so now is the time to think about your apprentice and trainee training requirements and contact a training provider about your training needs. The Timber Training Creswick 2020 short course program will soon be on our website. For the first time in 2020 Timber Training Creswick will be offering another set of short course program dates to be based at the Arbre Forest Industry Training and Career Hub in Mowbray. 13
Taking the tangle out of timber treatment JACK NORTON
OMETIMES it can be con-
fusing for builders when it comes to doing the right thing. Opinions and rules may vary across this wide brown land and it is really hard to make one set of rules to cover all situations or even the same situation in different parts of the country. Should timber joints be primed with paint? Should freshly cut ends of treated wood be brush coated with a preservative? Just over nine years ago there were three sets of specifications concerned with the preservative treatment of timber and timber products. The Timber Utilization and Marketing Act (TUMA) of Queensland, the Timber Marketing Act (TMA) of New South Wales and Australian Standard AS1604. TUMA was repealed in October 2010, the TMA in January 2013 and AS1604, now in five parts is currently the only reference specifying preservative treatment for the protection of timber and timber products against attack by borers, termites, decay and marine organisms. Whenever a new preservative system was proposed for inclusion in any of these specifications, there was a requirement for data that showed the system would work as claimed. In Queensland, I was the person assessing the supplied data and if I was not convinced, the proposed system would not be recommended for approval and subsequent inclusion into TUMA. There was a similar system in place for NSW for the TMA and for AS1604, proposals for new systems were considered by Standards Australia Committee TM6. Thus the applicant had to prove that the proposed system worked as claimed and proof was obtained from laboratory and field test data that was produced by a set of agreed protocols. A positive outcome from such testing was 14
building surveyors and approval bodies are understandably concerned about products being fit-for-purpose. It is important to note that if a piece of preservative treated timber is branded in accordance with the specifications as set out in the current (and proposed) Standard then it is considered to be fit for purpose. The producer of treated timber needs to have quality assurance processes in place to have confidence that his/ her product complies with the Standard’s specification. Each State has its own building regulation that refers to the National Construction Code/ Building Code of Australia (NCC/BCA) and through that to Australian and other standards. On top of that, each local government Council may have its own rules and regulations. Generally speaking, certifiers need to ensure that building products meet the appropriate standards. Now to confirm compliance with the appropriate standard, the certifier looks for Grade stamps and brands for treatment compliance or accepts a Frame and Truss manufacturer certificate. This works pretty well since frame and truss or builders may have used product from a number of different timber suppliers including engineered timber products. For engineered design or design using the National Timber Framing Code (AS1684 series) , the suitably qualified and ■■ A house featuring treated timber under construction outside Penola in South Australia’s registered engineer/designer will need to provide the approSouth East. priate certification. This situation has been slight(part 5 is dated 2010) and a dard. When the treatments and mended it use, particularly in new treatment standard is ap- specifications were developed the case of Light Organic Sol- ly complicated by timber prodproaching the final stages be- for the 2012 series, the appli- vent Preservative (LOSP) treat- ucts which are Codemarked and do not necessarily refer to cant was required to redevelop ments. fore publication. Despite this however, the an Australian Standard. These It should be noted that the the test data for solid wood current version of the Standard by exposing freshly cut ends current draft of the Standard products should be marked does not require the applica- to termite attack. The original requires supplementary (brush with the CodeMark certificate tion of a brush coat of preserva- application presented data on on) treatment in all cases where number so that the certifier can tive on freshly cut ends on solid solid timber pieces that did a protective envelope is bro- check the Certificate is current. sawn and round timber. How- have a supplementary treat- ken. This may be appropriate Having a valid CodeMark claimfor treatments against decay ing compliance with NCC/BCA ever the Foreword in part one ment on cut ends. At the time, I believed that the plus termite protection of solid means the certifier must accept of the Standard does advise “Where subsequent machining first thing a builder might do is wood, but the requirement ap- the product as “fit for purpose”. Jack Norton is the Nationis unavoidable, supplementary cut the end square thus remov- plies to all hazard classes. With the recent focus on al Secretary of the Timber protection should be applied to ing or breaking the envelope of treatment. I asked that the ap- combustible cladding and non- Preservers’ Association of the cut surface. . . .”. So the Standard basically plicant redo the tests without conforming building products, Australia then written as a set of specifications which were included in the three documents. If a piece of treated wood was produced to the levels in the documented specifications, then it was deemed by the experts to be fit-for-purpose. So for example, material exposed in a H3 situation would perform in a H3 situation. As indicated earlier, the State Acts have been repealed and so the AS/(NZS) 1604 series of Australian Standards is the only document specifying preservative treatment in this country. The current version of the AS1604 series is dated 2012
says that for sawn and round timber you don’t have to put on a brush coat of preservative, but it is not a bad idea. This advice applies to all preservative treated solid wood regardless of the preservative system used. For other envelope treated products such as chipboard, plywood, laminated veneer lumber and glue laminated timber, the standard requires that if there is any break in the envelope, then a suitable remedial treatment must be applied. Envelope treatments are specified in both the 2012 series and the draft new stan-
supplementary treatment. The original envelope treatments (H2F) involved synthetic pyrethroids which are repellent as well as toxic to termites. Data from the pieces using untreated ends, showed that the timber was protected from termite attack. Further published research from government scientists has confirmed this result. So for H2F treatments of solid timber, there was no need for any supplementary treatment. In the case of H3 treatments however there is no repellent effect by the preservative and some industry advisory notes recom-
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
PEFC gaining ground
■■ Jason Ross
RESPONSIBLE Wood and PEFC continues to grow from strength to strength with a growing number of construction projects using responsibly sourced timber on projects. And according to Jason Ross, Responsible Wood’s Marketing and Communication Officer, forest certification is becoming a must for a rising number of informed purchasers of timber and paper based products. “We have reported a growing number of requests for Responsible Wood and PEFC certification, and have also noted a growing interest in forest certification as part of our outreach activities,’’ he said. “Through projects such as the Victorian Parliament House and the critically acclaimed Emblem Apartments project in Waterloo, Sydney, certified timber has been featured extensively throughout the building and construction sector,’ Mr Ross said. For many buyers, supporting responsible forestry that use sustainable forest management practices is a key consideration. “In Responsible Wood and PEFC, buyers have a ‘trust mark’ that ensures that forests are preserved for today and future generations,’’ Mr Ross said. “The forests are the ultimate renewable, and this important message has been reaffirmed with the recent World Environment Day shifting the focus to air pollution and the importance of trees and forest in regulating air quality. “The Wedding Bells State Forest is a marvellous case study, located within the Gumbaynggir nation, it provides an excellent example of how a forest can be used for multiple uses. ‘Providing a place for people to connect with nature, the forest is a great example where responsible forest managers can balance people, planet and profit for future generations,’ Mr Ross said. www.timberbiz.com.au
■■ A staff member at TrussCorp’s Wacol plant operating their new ‘PieceMaker’ saw.’
Industry needs to push benefits of timber BRUCE MITCHELL
HE entire timber indus-
try needs to collaborate and push a common message about the benefits of using timber, particularly environmental, according to the director of one of Queensland’s leading suppliers of prefabricated timber roof trusses, wall framing and floor systems. And TrussCorp’s Ross Glennie believes this message needs to be directed via the timber industry “to the home owner/ investor, i.e. our customers’ customers’’. TrussCorp, based at Wacol in Brisbane’s western suburbs, was established in 2007 and has delivered products as far north as Mackay, as far south as Lismore and as far west as Cloncurry. The company builds prefabricated wall frames, floor and roof trusses using Multinail software and machinery to manufacture all its products. Mulitnail’s latest automated linear saw – the PieceMaker – has been added to TrussCorp’s extensive cutting division and is used to feed, cut, print and eject multiple timber components from stock timber lengths. Multinail’s Cornerstone soft-
ware is used to accurately design any size project with detailed layouts and instruction guides provided to site. “There is no doubt that there is more innovation happening within the frame and truss industry than ever before,’’ Mr Glennie said. “Plants are spoiled for choice on where they feel their businesses can benefit most from these opportunities; from automation, robotics, digitisation, CLT, or innovation simply playing a larger part in the design process with the use of cassette floors or the inclusion of structural steel.’’ Mr Glennie said that with a competitive fabrication market in Australia, it was the plants searching for market advantage that were driving innovation. “The huge divergence in construction techniques and market constraints across the states in this country means the key focus for each plant and how they get market advantage is different.’’ TrussCorp uses only responsibly sourced untreated or treated pine. “Most of our customers are from a generation where timber was the most common construction material, and the
market accepts that structural timber framing is a natural product with environmental benefits,’’ Mr Glennie said. “Timber is user friendly as it’s safe, easy to cut, nail and screw, attach bracing/fixings and so on. “Carpenters and follow-on trades have a preference for timber frames and trusses due to its ease of site installation.” Mr Glennie said that the entire timber industry needed to collaborate and push a common message about the benefits of using timber, particularly the environmental message. TrussCorp has a base within the detached housing and attached dwellings market, however it has recently seen increased activity and enquiries for multi-rise work. “Every fabricator – including TrussCorp - needs to look at current and forecasted markets to consider what type of construction supports the production and technical capabilities of their business,’’ Mr Glennie said. “Expectations on fabricators have continued to increase over the last decade and while there is some anticipation about what the next chapter of timber fabrication looks like, including CLT and high rise,
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
there is an ongoing requirement for the humble detached house. “Incremental improvements in design, prefabrication details, and even how carpenters interact with the product and related installation guides will continue to reveal opportunities for our sector to innovate.” He said the timber framing market would continue to evolve with increased automation and panelisation. “As new construction methods become accepted and available - and the market wants more sustainable, environmentally friendly construction - strong customer demand for quality structural timber products will continue into the future. “Industry collaboration across the supply chain will be critical to ensure we are all successful,’’ he said. Mr Glennie said that TrussCorp prided itself on being awake to these opportunities and was very lucky to have an amazing team behind it that embraced the opportunity to improve. “We will continue to look forward to understand what our customers’ expectations may be, and look back to reflect on what we can do better,’’ he said. 15
Sydney Metro wins with Chain of Custody certification A CKNOWLEDGING and rewarding environmentally sustainable choices made in the construction industry is becoming increasingly important as the demand for greater sustainability grows among end consumers, government, developers and specifiers. The most effective way for timber growers and manufacturers to provide proof of the sustainability of any timber product is through certification by an independent, recognised accreditation body such as the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) internationally and in Australia through the Responsible Wood certification scheme. Traditional “Chain of custody” certification poses problems for the construction industry however, when short-term projects involve numerous, uncertified contractors. This has recently been resolved by Responsible Wood through the creation of “project certification”. This provides a mechanism for attaining Chain of Custody certification against the Australian Standard (AS4707) for a specified project with a limited duration. The first project to ever be awarded Chain of Custody certification not only in Australia, but in the Southern hemisphere, is no small undertaking. Indeed, it represents the biggest public transport project completed in Australia in recent years. The Sydney Metro project will be the first fully automated metropolitan rail system in Australia and, alongside an entirely new 66 km rail system, will provide 31 new railway stations. Stage 1 of the project, Sydney Metro Northwest, recently opened to the public and services the region with the highest car ownership levels per household in Australia. It constitutes 8 brand new stations and commuter car parks accommodating 4,000 cars. Seven of the eight stations have satisfied the criteria for Responsible Wood certification. In fact, from the outset there was a contractual requirement for Sydney Metro Northwest’s contractors to source 100 per cent of all timber products used from either re-used, post-consumer recycled or ethically certified timber. As a response to this, Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) developed a procure-
■■ Rouse Hill, the project showcases Australian timbers using suppliers that embrace
Responsible Wood ‘chain of custody’ forest certification. ment strategy to secure the supply of only certified timber products. Described by Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries as “the high watermark for forest certification” the Sydney Metro Northwest project is the first in what could be a number of construction and infrastructure projects seeking Responsible Wood project certification. “It represents a pioneer project, not only the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere but also the first to successfully achieve Responsible Wood and PEFC project certification and we are field-
ing more and more enquires from construction teams and certification bodies looking to achieve certification for future projects,’’ he said. “The construction industry should look out for many more Responsible Wood and PEFC project certification applications over the coming years.” Seven of the eight brand new stations have been certified by SCS Global Services under PEFC and Responsible Wood Chain of Custody standards with the eighth station achieving partial project certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
A key component of the stations’ design was elements of the Cumberland Plain and the impressive station roof canopies are representative of a leaf, while the underside is lined in timber species commonly found in the in the Cumberland Plain forests (Spotted Gum or Black Butt). The timber used in the façades of the new multi-storey car parks was also certified as sustainably sourced bringing the total timber used in the project to 200,000 linear metres. The construction was undertaken by John Holland and CPB Contractors.
■■ Castle Hill, one of seven stations included in the Responsible Wood project certification scope.
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
Dual awards for Victorian builder LARKIN and Drought Builders Pty Ltd have received dual awards for Master Builder of the Year and Regional Residential Builder of the Year. Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson and President Richard Hansen presented the awards, naming Larkin and Drought both Master Builder of the Year and Regional Residential Builder of the Year for a Barwon Heads home that features concrete walls contrasted with American oak as the primary architectural feature. Cupboards, doors and panels were chosen to match the ceiling lining, which reaches seven metres high. A custom brass pendant was designed and constructed to be the central piece above the dining area. The builders laid spotted-gum decking around the pool and alfresco area. Kitchen benchtops were poured in place and then polished. Calcutta marble splashbacks were used as a contrast and the theme was continued into the wet areas for benchtops. “One of the most compelling aspects of this home is the visual impact of the way the builders fit the concrete and wood volumes together,” Ms Casson said. “The rough and smooth forms rest against each other in a very satisfying way.” Peter Lo Bartolo, of APC Build Pty Ltd, was named Young Builder of the Year. Ms Casson said it was an honour to acknowledge the quality of work, dedication and craftsmanship of all the winners. “The builders and projects we honour this year are central to telling the story of Victoria, as our population growth is the quickest in the nation,” she said. “Our members consistently meet the enormous demand for housing, with craftsmanship and professionalism that distinguishes them as the best in our state.” Larkin and Drought Builders will now compete in the National Excellence in Building Awards to be held on 23 November at the Field of Light, Uluru. www.timberbiz.com.au
01â€“04 April 2020
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Christopher honoured BRENTON Christopher, CEO of John Cook & Sons, has been recognised for his contributions to the industry at the TABMA Awards. Mr Christopher was acknowledged not only for his years in the industry but also his dedication to helping and giving back to an industry he dearly loves. The annual TABMA awards ■■ Host Employer of the Year – Williams ■■ Most Innovative Operation – Langs ■■ Best Timber Wholesale Representative evening was held at Doltone Group Australia NSW - Lyndon Poirrier Building Supplies QLD - David Wuiske – Michael Branton, ITI QLD, with David House in Sydney with attendWITH TABMA CEO David Little. with David Little. Little. ance by about 280 guests including industry personnel representing the supply chain, wholesalers, resellers, manufacturers and suppliers. TABMA CEO David Little commented on the challenges for the industry over the past year but said that “early signs are pointing to an improvement in housing and commercial construction for the timber supply industry in 2020”. During his welcome address he also spoke of the importance of training and how it is a key factor in ensuring the success of the timber industry’s future. Winners: Student of the Year – Raymond Seres, HQPlantations QLD Trainee/Apprentice of the Year – Kim-Louise Hodge, Petries Mitre 10 NSW Host Employer of the Year – Williams Group Australia NSW, ■■ Best Timber Manufacturing Operation – Parkside Timber ■■ Best Timber Merchant – North Shore Timber & Hardware Lyndon Poirrier QLD - Ross Laiken with David Little. Joe Zito with David Little. Most Innovative Operation – Langs Building Supplies QLD, David Wuiske Best Timber Wholesale Representative – Michael Branton, ITI QLD Best Timber Manufacturing Operation – Parkside Timber QLD, Ross Laiken Best Timber Frame and Truss Operation – Footers Structural Timber SA, Nicole Footer Best Building Materials Centre – NHS NSW, Matt Crockett and Evelyn Thomas Best Timber Merchant – North Shore Timber & Hardware NSW, Joe Zito Best Timber Wholesale Operation – Meyer Timber NSW, Kent Powell Andrew Bone TABMA Member of the Year – Heyden Frame & Truss NSW, Roy Edwards presented by Georgia Bone Brenton Christopher John Cook & Sons – In Appreciation ■■ Andrew Bone TABMA Member of the Year – Heyden Frame & ■■ Best Timber Wholesale Operation – Meyer Timber NSW of Your Service Truss NSW - Roy Edwards with Georgia Bone. Kent Powell with David Little. 18
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
Australia’s Frame and Truss Industryanalysis of the broader industry T ELEVISION, newspapers,
news apps, radio, even social media - you can’t escape the dire economic forecast that the media are bombarding us with. Recent reports include Australia’s expected economic growth to be slashed for this year and next year. And, it isn’t just Australia, but the whole world. Recently, the World Economic Outlook predicted that Australia would grow at 1.7 percent down from a predicted 2.1 percent. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg commented “...We do face headwinds with the IMF World Economic Outlook confirming that global economic growth has slowed with ‘rising trade and geopolitical tensions taking a toll on business confidence, investment decisions, and global trade.” Every week or so there is news about the federal and state governments taking measures to try and boost the housing industry. Stamp duty cuts, easing foreign ownership regulations, reviewing building codes. I’m sure that tomorrow, the week after and the month after that the reports will continue to be the same. Shelena Serrano, FTMA Sponsor and ex-board Member was interested in finding out the reality of the situation. What was really going on in the industry? Instead of listening to the media she stumbled across a report from IBISWorld on C1492- Wooden Structural Component Manufacturing in Australia (WSCM). If you’ve never heard of it before, IBISWorld provides researched, reliable and current business information on over 700 industries and top companies in Australia and New Zealand. Their analysis on the current and future outlooks for an industry can provide vital information that can help a business strategically plan for the current and future market. So with a highlighter and pen Shelena started ploughing through the 32 pages of information. She encourages you to source a copy and read www.timberbiz.com.au
“We support you!”
By Kersten Gentle Executive Officer FTMA Australia
it for yourself, alternatively, she’s noted her highlights as they relate to the timber frame and truss industry below:
invest $0.19 in capital plant and equipment.
Competition Manufacturers of industry products that compete heavily with substitute materiRevenue Despite high revenue vola- als (steel) are likely to report tility, the WSCM industry has weaker margins over the next grown over the past five years, five years, as price competition boosted by increased demand remains fierce. from housing and certain nonresidential construction sec- Products and Markets WSCM has a total revenue of tors. Industry revenue increased $5.7bn Roof Trussesaccount at an annualised 3.3% over the five years through to 2018- for 13.2% of the industry = $752,400,000 2019. Wooden wall and window Industry is forecast to return to strong growth in 2020-21 as frames- 6.1% of the industry = housing construction volumes $347,700,000 Combination of roof trusses recover. Revenue is projected to in- and wall/window frames = crease at an annualised 2.4% 19.3% = 1,100,100,000 $1.1 bn over the five years through 2023-24 to $6.5 billion. Key Success Factors Access to highly skilled workEmployment In 2019, 95% of industry firms force- create product in a given time frame employ fewer than 20 people. Supply contracts in place for Industry wages have fallen with revenue, however due to key inputs Established contacts in key competition, savings have generally been passed on to the building and construction markets- better ability to gain customer. Employment numbers are repeat business and attract expected to increase at an an- new clients Investment in capital manualised rate of 0.9% over the chinery to improve operationnext five years. al processes Higher product variation proRaw Material- timber Accounts for 46.4% of reve- vides an advantage It’s so important to collect nue in 2018/19 FY; decline from data on our industry which the past five years. A possible reduction in timber FTMA Australia is doing with volumes due to availability of the current Census we have plantation trees could increase been running for fabricators. timber purchase costs over the With information like this above added with an employnext five years. ment and training profile of our industry we will be able Investment Capital investment has to paint a good picture of our grown. Firms that failed to in- industry and use it to lobby vest or differentiate their prod- all levels of State and Federal ucts have likely closed over the politics. I’d like to take this chance to past five years. Capital intensity in the indus- wish all Australasian Timber readers a Merry Christmas and try is considered medium. In 2018/19 FY for every dollar a safe and prosperous New spent on labour the industry Year. Enjoy the break. AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
associations FRAME & TRUSS MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA
FTMA Australia is an independent, national organisation representing fabricators of and suppliers to the timber prefabricated truss and wall frame industry in all Australian states & territories providing a uniﬁed voice, to protect and advance our mult-billion dollar industry.
FTMA Australia thanks our dedicated supporters and encourages you to support those who support your industry GOLD SPONSORS
L I F T I N G I N N O VAT I O N
For a full list of the conditions of membership and a downloadable application form visit: www.ftmaaustralia.com.au 19
Year of challenges for veneer industry By Peter Llewellyn Technical Representative, Timber Veneer Association of Australia
CALENDAR year 2019 is about to end with the usual festivities and we wish all our members, suppliers and veneer users a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to come. The year threw up a challenge for the veneer industry. When the 2019 edition of the National Construction Code (NCC) came into force on May 1 it brought with it the need for a different approach to fire testing to establish a product’s Group Number. TVAA members then needed to arrange testing of their veneered fire-retardant treated MDF to satisfy NCC requirements. While fire safety is of paramount importance there is a cost penalty on industry every time a regulation changes. However, the necessary data was produced. Later in the year TVAA sponsored a special category in the Australian Timber Design Awards for Best Use of Timber Veneer. TVAA has been involved in the Timber Design Awards for
some years, since the Awards help to highlight excellence in the use of veneers and show by example the stunning effects that can be created. The 2019 winner in the Timber Veneer category, announced in ■■ TVAA Award Winner 2019 - Luther College Imagination Area - Cox Architecture/Ireland Brown October, was Luther College’s Construction. Picture: Ireland Brown Imagination Hub. Luther College is a co-educational independent secondary school located in the outer-eastern suburb of Croydon Hills in Melbourne. Designed by Cox Architecture and built by Ireland Brown Construction, the Imagination Hub features panels of crown cut and quarter cut blackbutt Skills, Knowledge, Performance veneer, curved in places to soften the visual effect of the building’s straight lines (see images). This extraordinary structure is not only a testament to the striking use of timber veneers, but shows the warmth of timber products in general, including a wide expanse of flooring and a feature staircase. Aptly Certificates II, III and IV named the Imagination Hub!
SPECIALIST TRAINING FOR THE FOREST AND TIMBER PROCESSING INDUSTRIES Wood Machinists Sawdoctors Sawmilling, including portable sawmilling Grading Timber Drying Truss Fabrication, Estimating and Detailing Forest Growing and Management Forest Products Diploma Workplace Assessments OH&S and Environmental Care Chainsaw Courses Pole saw SES and Fire Services - Chainsaws, Rescue Saw, Pole Saw
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AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
Looking Back 2018: The recentlylaunched showcase midrise timber building, a brilliant innovative educational tool, will benefit Australia’s construction and forestry industries by demonstrating the extraordinary capacity of timber as a sustainable, renewable and versatile building resource. Housed within the Carpentry School at the Holmesglen Institute, the WoodSolutions midrise demo superbly shows the structural, fire, and acoustic systems typically seen in midrise multi-residential timber buildings around the world. The structure is representative of a section taken out of a seven-storey timber tower, with the ground floor representing the first two floors of a real building, the middle representing the middle three floors, and the top showing the systems typically seen in the top two-storeys. 2015: Australian Paper and Planet Ark are calling on Australian businesses and Government to close the recycling loop by making the switch to Australian made recycled paper. While 76% of Australian businesses recycle paper, only one in six reams of new paper purchased contains recycled content. Australian Paper is partnering with Planet Ark to encourage businesses to make the switch to locally made, recycled office and printing papers. The Make it Australian Recycled partnership aims to increase recycling of office paper, reduce Australian waste paper going to landfill and increase demand for locally made, high-recycled content paper in business and government. 2010: AUSTRALIA’S peak engineered wood body has alerted Victorian timber traders, specifiers and end-users that an imported structural plywood product on the market has failed Australian standards and has exhibited gross delamination. The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia sounded the warning on the non-compliant bracing plywood to prevent its use in structural applications. An inspection of the imported plywood material has shown firstly that the plywood is unbranded with any reference to the Australian standard and secondly, it exhibits gross glueline failure and delamination. www.timberbiz.com.au
Not the time for navel-gazing quite yet I had intended to talk about
the highs and lows in 2019 particularly from an employment relations and safety perspective, but sometimes an issue unexpectedly comes along that takes precedence, so the retrospective navel-gazing can wait for another time. I have no doubt readers are aware of the fires that are burning across New South Wales and Queensland posing a significant threat to communities and property. At the time of writing this article, the NSWRFS stated there were 48 bush and grass fires burning across NSW with 21 not yet contained. A total of 70 fires were also threatening bush and property in Queensland and would likely burn for weeks according to the Queensland Acting Fire Commissioner. This makes the situation extremely unpredictable for the population of those regions affected and the businesses that are based in these areas. What is most concerning is that we are at the beginning of the summer season, which is shaping up as potentially delivering more dangerous conditions to a wide swathe of NSW, Queensland and potentially, other States. I’ve already become aware of TTIA business members being contacted by staff who have indicated they will be unable to get to work because of road closures. The RFS at the time writing this article warned that fires around the northern rivers district were even threatening the closure of the Pacific Highway. Some business owners have also been advised not to operate their workplace due to the extreme conditions in some areas. In addition, TTIA members have employees that have been fighting the fires in their capacity as members of volunteer fire crews. It is therefore an opportune time to answer some of the questions we are fielding at present in relation to this bushfire threat to provide some clarity. Stand Down Provisions (sec 524 FWA) An employer can send employees home if there is no useful work for them to do, due to a natural disaster and severe weather including bushfires. This may include where a local or State authority has prevented them from operating their business in a location due to the threat. It also applies where an em-
■■ AFTERMATH: Farmland near Glen Innes in NSW has been exposed to the full harshness of
drought, and now bushfires that have ravaged the area over recent weeks.
Brian Beecroft Chief Executive Officer TTIA
ployee is unable to get to work, for example, due to road closures or the danger of travel where warnings are issued by the relevant authority. This is known as a stand down. It essentially applies where the reason for the stand down is out of the control of the employer. Clearly the current bushfire emergency falls well and truly under this category. Is an employee paid? An employee is not paid during a stand down or non-attendance period due to bushfires, but they do continue to accrue leave. If an employee is already on approved leave, they can’t be stood down. Flexible options Businesses, if possible, could be flexible by letting employees take a period of paid leave such as annual leave. For office staff, the employee could be granted the opportunity to work from home in the interim, but this is clearly not possible for employees employed in a manufacturing, harvesting, milling and processing or retail capacity. Businesses should keep em-
ployees up to date on the situation if the workplace is not able to operate due to the severe weather. Volunteer Fire Fighting Obligations The Fair Work Act (sec108) provides that employees, including casual employees, are entitled to community service leave which includes voluntary emergency management activities. This may be on a voluntary basis dealing with an emergency or natural disaster such as the current bushfire situation. A recognised emergency body which the employee may be a member of includes: • The State Emergency Service (SES) • Country Fire Authority (CFA) • The RSPCA in respect of animal rescue during emergencies or natural disasters How much leave is the employee entitled to? An employee is entitled to take community service leave while they are engaged in activity and for reasonable travel and rest time. It should be noted
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER December 2019
there is no limit to the amount of community service leave they can take. However, this leave is unpaid. An employee who takes community service leave must give their employer: • notice of the absence as soon as possible • the period or expected period of the absence A business is within their rights to request evidence from an employee that they are entitled to community service leave. At this stage, all we can hope for is improved weather conditions over the summer season. Our best wishes are with all the business owners, their staff and those brave persons fighting the fires particularly in the regions affected in NSW and QLD. If any employer has any queries regarding their business or staff in this situation, you are welcome to contact the TTIA Timber Employers Hotline on (02) 9264 0011. Finally, to all the readers of Australian Timberman, I would like to wish you the best for some well-earned down time with friends and family during the Christmas festive period. TTIA is a non-profit, timber specific, association for the benefit of the industry and, more specifically, our loyal members across all States. We always appreciate your support and will endeavour to give you the best we have in service and assistance during 2020. Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for a successful 2020.
■■ A large section of English forest devastated by an outbreak of Phytophthora Ramorum, a fungus-like pathogen called a water
mould. It causes extensive damage and death to a wide range of trees and other plants.
Joint approach to diagnostic technology and crop protection WoodChat Episode 12
n a unique collaboration,
Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) has joined forces with other Australian agriculture and horticulture industries to develop exciting new diagnostic technology for crop protection. The move has the potential to change and speed up the detection of airborne pests and diseases, ultimately boosting productivity and profitability for the forestry industry. In the latest episode of FWPA’s WoodChat podcast series, listeners will hear about the revolutionary iMapPESTS: Sentinel Surveillance program. The knowledge generated will allow industry decision makers to take the necessary action to mitigate the negative impacts of these threats on forestry and other sectors. The five-year research program is being led by Horticulture Innovation Australia, with funding from the Australian government and 16 partner organisations, including FWPA. A key feature of the initiative is the ‘sentinel’, a mobile sur22
veillance unit offering optimal sampling of fungal spores and insects, using various high-tech sampling equipment. A prototype sentinel was recently launched in South Australia, with seven similar devices to follow. Samples collected by the sentinels will be sent to various partner laboratories for the identification of target pests and diseases. Presence and abundance of organisms detected will be overlaid with weather data captured by the sentinel at the time of sampling, to provide a detailed picture of the conditions and potential threat. Jodie Mason, Forest Research Manager at FWPA said iMapPESTS brings together re-
search scientists, government representatives and all plantbased Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs). “The overall long-term goal is to aid improved decision making amongst forest managers, through the provision of accurate and rapid pest and disease dynamic information,” Ms. Mason said. “It’s the first time all plant-based RDCs have come together in this formal way, to develop smarter airsampling techniques and diagnostics that will benefit many agricultural industries, including forestry. “Once collected and analysed, the data can be used by industry to guide more targeted surveillance efforts and pest control activities. It could also facilitate a coordinated cross-sectoral response to biosecurity efforts during future exotic pest and disease incursions,” Ms. Mason said. WoodChat hosts also speak to Jessica Holliday, R&D Manager at Horticulture Innovation Australia, Rohan Kimber, Research Scientist at the South Australian Research and Development
Institute, and Conrad Trollip, Agriculture Victoria PhD candidate. The project was made possible thanks to a grant under the Australian Government’s Rural R&D for Profit program, which enables nationally coordinated, strategic research that delivers real outcomes for Australian producers. This episode is part of the second series of the WoodChat podcast, following topics including how virtual reality is being used to drive forestry into the future, initiatives to engage the future leaders of the industry, and how Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking is being used to improve the onsite processes associated with prefabricated timber. WoodChat represents FWPA’s ongoing commitment to engaging ways of communicating news and innovations to the industry and beyond. Each episode includes in-depth conversations with experts on recent discoveries and current initiatives. You can listen to WoodChat on SoundCloud and iTunes.
AUSTRALASIAN TIMBER DECEMBER 2019
16-17 DECEMBER: Forest Landscape Restoration and the Bonn Challenge in Eastern and South-East Europe – Belgrade, Serbia. For further information see: www.unece. org/ 30 MARCH – 4 APRIL: AusTimber 2020 – Traralgon, Vic, Australia. Largest timber industry show in Australasia with in-forest show demonstrates the latest developments in log harvesting, processing and hauling equipment in action and up close. Also field trips to industry sites, a wood chop competition and forwarder competition. For more information see: www.afca. asn.au/wwwaustimber-org-au 16-17 MARCH: Asia Pacific Woodchip and Biomass Trade – Radisson Blu Shanghai New World Hotel, China. Optional field trips: March 18-19 to Yangtze Basin region; March 19-22 (including travel) to Suifenhe on the RussiaChina border in Heilongjiang province. Visit www. danaevents. co.nz/2020china or contact Julie Bell admin@ dana.co.nz 19-20 MARCH: Sydney Build Expo 2020. 9:00 am - 5:30 pm Halls 5-7, Level 4, International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), 14 Darling Dr, Sydney. For more information and to register a complimentary ticket:https://tickets.lup. com.au/sydney-build-2020 3-5 APRIL: FORESTlive, Forestry trade fair – Offenburg, Germany. Leading fair covering forestry technology, wood energy and biomass for decision makers in the forestry and agriculture, construction and municipal economy, timber crafts and energy industry. For further information contact: +49 (0)781 922604 or www.messeoffenburg.de 11-13 MAY: The 10th China Prefab House, Modular Building, Mobile House & Space Fair (PMMHF 2020). Venue:Guangzhou Poly World Trade Center Expo. Address: No. 1000, Xingang Dong Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou China. Website: http://www. pmmhf.com/ 19-20 MAY: FastMarkets – RISIDANA 7th annual Forest Investment Conference – Convene Conference Centre, New York City. Register at www. events.risiinfo.com/ investment-conference/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org 2 20-21 MAY: Forest Industry Safety & Technology Conference - Rotorua, NZ. https:// forestsafety.events To be included in What’s On please send events listings to email@example.com www.timberbiz.com.au
Multinail is 40 years young! Look how weâ€™ve grown. Multinail has 125 staff at its manufacturing and technology hub in Staplyton, 250 staff worldwide.
At Multinailâ€™s manufacturing and technology hub, Stapylton Queensland. 125 staff at Staplyton, 250 company wide.
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Australasian Timber Magazine covers the timber industry from timber coming in from green mills through to the finished product going into co...
Published on Dec 4, 2019
Australasian Timber Magazine covers the timber industry from timber coming in from green mills through to the finished product going into co...