Australia Working To Make Engineered Timber

With Australia looking for new ways to be sustainable, timber floors on Hills District and across the country have become more popular in the construction industry. There is, however, the matter of sourcing the timber, which is where engineering timber comes in.

Fitzpatrick + Partners is a construction company, founded by James Fitzpatrick, is one of the major advocates for engineered timber, utilizing Cross Laminated Timber in the constructed of several buildings, including James’ own house. The company has been investing in researching regarding engineered timber products, looking to understand the scope of their use. However, these building materials have, until recently, been sourced from Europe.

That’ll be changed by two new Australia-based plants that are set to manufacture timber, with one in Maryborough, Queensland,  which began construction earlier in January 17. The other facility will be built by the Queensland-based Hyne Timber, following an investment of $20 million, set to open sometime in the middle of 2019. These two plants are aimed at making the country self-sufficient with regards to engineered timber.

Hyne Strategic Relations Manager, Katherine Fowden, note that these plants are being built thanks to on-shore demand in Australia, with a lot of pull from the country’s demand for products. She reports that, thanks to this demand, the company already has additional expansion plans in the works, with the plants being the talk of the construction industry, which is impressive given that there are only a few engineered timber buildings in the country.

Five of these buildings were developed by Lendlease, including the internationally renowned “International House”, located at Bangaroo. Currently, the company is working on its sixth CLT structure, a six-storey project dubbed ‘Danmaru’, named after the Eoran Aboriginal word for treehouse, to also be located at Barangaroo.

James Fitzpatrick says that these structures are just the work of early adopters, but stated his belief that every new structure had its own complexity, they did much to expand the library, as each of them pushed the boundaries in their own.

He says that engineered timber, prefabricated in factories with the help of computer technology is now being made cleaner and neater, allowing for safe construction using sustainable, recyclable products that not only provide more energy efficiency compared to steel, but are also aesthetically pleasing. He extols his belief that timber floors on Hills District and timber buildings are the future.