Tall Tim­ber Con­struc­tion – a paradigm shift in build­ing de­vel­op­ment

Mid-Rise ad­vi­sory team help­ing to pave way to suc­cess

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

One hun­dred and twenty-five Vic­to­rian Build­ing pro­fes­sion­als met in Mel­bourne for a half-day WoodSo­lu­tions Sym­po­sium fo­cus­ing on Tall Tim­ber Con­struc­tion. Held at the at the beau­ti­ful Li­brary at the Dock, the au­di­ence was made up of per­son­ally in­vited de­vel­op­ers, builders, ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers and tim­ber sup­ply chain rep­re­sen­ta­tives who are ac­tively in­volved in in­ves­ti­gat­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, or cur­rently de­liv­er­ing mid-rise and tall tim­ber projects

The in­ter­na­tional key­note speaker at the Sym­po­sium was Karla Fraser, from Ur­ban One Builders, based out of Van­cou­ver, in Canada, who was the Se­nior Project Man­ager, on the Brock Com­mons Tall-wood project which was re­cently com­pleted at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Co­lum­bia in Van­cou­ver. At 18- sto­ries in height, Brock Com­mons is cur­rently the tallest tim­ber apart­ment build­ing in the world.

Fol­low­ing a brief wel­come by Dr Alas­tair Woodard, the Vic­to­rian WoodSo­lu­tions Pro­gram Man­ager, Gerry Ney­lan, WoodSo­lu­tions Mid-rise Lead Pro­gram De­vel­op­ment Man­ager, overviewed the new the in­dus­try WoodSo­lu­tions Mid-rise Ad­vi­sory Pro­gram and in­tro­duced the Vic­to­rian team mem­bers. He pre­sented the pro­gram ac­tiv­i­ties and suc­cesses over the past 12 months, and dis­cussed the process for de­vel­op­ers, builders and other de­sign team mem­bers to in­ter­act with, and utilise, the WS mid-rise team for as­sis­tance with any new mid-rise projects.

Ge­orge Kon­stan­dakos, the new head of Lendlease’s De­signMake pre­fab­ri­ca­tion op­er­a­tion, pro­vided a very in­for­ma­tive dis­cus­sion on tim­ber con­struc­tion as a new busi­ness op­por­tu­nity specif­i­cally from a de­vel­oper/builder per­spec­tive. He dis­cussed the value propo­si­tion and key driv­ers, the ben­e­fits, chal­lenges, and best mar­ket sec­tor op­por­tu­ni­ties, and his thoughts on the in­creas­ing shift to off­site pre­fab­ri­ca­tion. He il­lus­trated these con­cepts us­ing a num­ber of Lendlease’s ex­cel­lent tim­ber projects as ex­am­ples.

Dr David By­lund dis­cussed the im­por­tance of de­sign and plan­ning in de­liv­er­ing a suc­cess­ful tim­ber project, par­tic­u­larly the need for a ‘team ap­proach’ and hav­ing all par­ties in the process fully in­formed and on-board: from the client, through the de­vel­oper/ builder, the key de­sign team mem­bers: ar­chi­tect, en­gi­neer, acous­tic and fire con­sul­tants, build­ing au­thor­ity, project man­ager, builder, to the tim­ber sys­tem sup­plier.

Paul Gar­diner, from Gar­diner Ar­chi­tects, pro­vided a very prac­ti­cal and cur­rent dis­cus­sion on the cost ef­fi­cien­cies of the con­struc­tion of tim­ber build­ings com­pared to con­crete il­lus­trat­ing his points us­ing a 5-storey mixed use project in Thorn­bury in Mel­bourne that he is cur­rently work­ing on as a real-life case study ex­am­ple.

Fol­low­ing a brief net­work­ing af­ter­noon tea break, Dr Woodard pro­vided a pre­sen­ta­tion on the cur­rent light­weight tim­ber framed, heavy tim­ber post and beam and mass tim­ber sys­tems sup­ply chan­nels and how builders de­vel­op­ers, ar­chi­tects and en­gi­neers, can ac­cess the tim­ber prod­ucts, pre­fab­ri­cated tim­ber sys­tems and the sup­pli­ers for each of the dif­fer­ent tim­ber sys­tem ap­proaches avail­able; a ques­tion that is reg­u­larly asked by build­ing pro­fes­sion­als.

Ms Fraser pro­vided a very in­ter­est­ing and in­for­ma­tive pre­sen­ta­tion on con­struct­ing and project man­ag­ing the 18-stor­ery Brock Com­mons Tall Tim­ber project, cover­ing the full gamut of the project from: lo­gis­tic plan­ning, the ben­e­fits of vir­tual mod­el­ling and pre-man­u­fac­tur­ing build­ing com­po­nents to speed up the rate of the build, water man­age­ment, fire pro­tec­tion dur­ing con­struc­tion, re­duc­tion of waste, and the lessons learned while con­struct­ing this flag­ship tim­ber build­ing.

The fi­nal ses­sion of the Sym­po­sium was a very in­ter­ac­tive panel dis­cus­sion and au­di­ence ques­tions ses­sion, mod­er­ated by Ms Sally Capp, the Vic­to­rian Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Prop­erty Coun­cil of Aus­tralia and in­volv­ing all the pre­vi­ous speak­ers. Ms Fraser dis­cussed the work hap­pen­ing in this area in North Amer­ica and pro­vided some feed­back and thoughts on the process and ac­tiv­i­ties to see a suc­cess­ful take up of mid-rise tim­ber build­ings in Aus­tralia.

A wide range of ex­cel­lent ques­tions were re­ceived from the au­di­ence clearly il­lus­trat­ing the in­ter­est of these new tim­ber sys­tems by the broader build­ing de­sign com­mu­nity and their en­thu­si­asm to un­der­take these types of con­struc­tions in the fu­ture.

Feed­back from the at­ten­dees was ex­cel­lent, and some solid new con­struc­tion project leads were also es­tab­lished with at­tendee build­ing de­sign team mem­bers and the new Mid-rise WoodSo­lu­tions Ad­vi­sory Team, which will now be fol­lowed up and which hope­fully will lead to fur­ther new midrise tim­ber build­ings un­der con­struc­tion in the very near fu­ture.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be ob­tained from Dr Alas­tair Woodard, woodard@ woodso­lu­tions.com.au

John Armsby (Armsby Ar­chi­tects), Ge­orge Kon­stan­dakos: (Lend Lease), Gerry Ney­lan (WoodSo­lu­tions), Sally Capp (Prop­erty Coun­cil of Aus­tralia), Karla Fraser (Ur­ban One), Paul Gar­diner (Gar­diner Ar­chi­tects), David By­lund (WoodSo­lu­tions), Alas­tair Woodard...

Nathan Ben­bow (Vis­tek), Mark Stranan (Austen May­nard Ar­chi­tects), Rob­bie Svars (Vis­tek), Michael Jansen (Ate­lier Projects).

John Armsby (Armsby Ar­chi­tects), Paolo Lavisci (WoodSo­lu­tions), Paul Gar­diner (Gar­diner Ar­chi­tects).

Dr Phil Al­viano (Mas­ter Builders As­so­ci­a­tion of Vic­to­ria), Sean Mor­ley (Im­presa House).

Daniel Wright (ASH), John Fitzgib­bon (Clos), David By­lund (WoodSo­lu­tions).

Karla Fraser (Ur­ban One).

Craig Kay and Rachel Prest (Tilling Tim­ber).

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