The future is ours
FRAME AUSTRALIA Conference director Kevin Ezard was justifiably proud of this year’s event for a number of reasons but, in an after-the-event talk he issued an industry call-to-arms to maintain the interest in wood products and its use in buildings.
“In the 16th year of Frame Australia it was very encouraging to see that timber prefabrication and wood products in building has continued its newfound momentum for both residential and commercial construction, and the conference topics followed a path through the complete supply chain of the conference theme,” Kevin said.
“This increased demand in Australia for more effective building methods seems to be following the established trends in Europe and other countries, and we can learn from their experience to secure benefits and efficiencies in using timber as a building material that can lower costs and improve financial returns. “This was reflected positively in the 400 delegates and presenters, with 20% from the building design and construction sector, 30% from timber prefabrication, and 40% from the supply of timber and building materials sectors.”
Kevin said the line-up of speakers on supply and manufacturing topics was a remarkable group of the world’s leading companies and their most senior executives, providing a unique gathering of international expertise.
“They covered developments in timber and engineered wood products and the latest technologies in automated production of prefabricated components and panelised timber systems.”
He added that the participation by major builders such as Australand Property Group, Grocon Group, Metricon and others highlighted the keen interest for developers and builders to gain a competitive advantage by using more timber products.
“To me this is the key issue. Will the timber products supply chain respond to this high level of interest and actively seek opportunities for value adding the process of timber and engineered wood supply to the construction markets?
“As said by Australand and Grocon, they see the future for both medium and high density residential building to be timber construction, and that the potential volume of wood required exceeds the current volume supplied to all detached housing construction in Australia!
“My hope is the supply chain does respond to this call and begins the process of meeting these future needs over the next decade. It will not happen overnight, but the expression of interest in making it happen is needed now, while the opportunity definitely exists,” he said.