FIRST CLT PLANT OP­ER­A­TIONAL

Australasian Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

The land­mark XLam man­u­fac­tur­ing plant for Cross Lam­i­nated Tim­ber (CLT) at Wodonga is now un­der way and has started sup­ply of pre­fab­ri­cated CLT pan­els to build­ing con­struc­tion projects around the coun­try. XLam’s Head of De­sign, Nick Hew­son, who will be par­tic­i­pat­ing at Frame 2018, said projects were at var­i­ous stages. “There are a lot of smaller projects ini­tially as the fac­tory cuts its teeth, then we will move into larger mul­tires­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial jobs in the next three to four months. A cou­ple of big con­struc­tion projects are look­ing very favourable at the mo­ment,” he said. “We are care­fully plan­ning our first few projects as the plant finds its feet and will pro­gres­sively in­crease our ca­pac­ity through ad­di­tional shifts over time. There is plenty of op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple with projects to come to us be­tween now and the end of the year.” Mr Hew­son said CLT was a whole new way for the con­struc­tion in­dus­try to work. “CLT is not only a new ma­te­rial, but also a new con­struc­tion phi­los­o­phy. Work­ing with CLT clients need to make de­ci­sions ear­lier in the pro­ject life­cy­cle when com­pared to more tra­di­tional forms of con­struc­tion,” he said. “In gen­eral, con­struc­tion in Aus­tralia some­times re­sults in big de­ci­sions hap­pen­ing later in the life­cy­cle. With CLT, man­u­fac­tur­ers need de­ci­sions rel­a­tively early, or up front. CLT re­quires a shift in clients un­der­stand­ing of the tech­nol­ogy and an ad­justed mind­set to get on board with a dif­fer­ent con­struc­tion phi­los­o­phy to achieve the ben­e­fits.” Mr Hew­son said that by the end of the year XLam hoped to op­er­ate with ca­pac­ity of ap­prox­i­mately 20,000m3 per an­num. “We ex­pect to achieve this level by Au­gust, mov­ing to to­ward in­creased ca­pac­ity in 2019. “The fac­tory will con­tinue to grow and add ex­tra shifts which will trig­ger the pur­chase of ad­di­tional pro­cess­ing equip­ment.” XLam is part of the Mayflower En­ter­prise group, which in­cludes a num­ber of soft­wood milling op­er­a­tions within close prox­im­ity to the Wodonga plant. “We are cur­rently only pro­duc­ing pan­els us­ing ra­di­ata pine as all of our test­ing, in­clud­ing struc­tural, fire and acous­tic has been con­ducted with ra­di­ata pine. The eco­nomics of our CLT is based on ra­di­ata pine and that’s what we will con­cen­trate on 100 per cent,” he said. It is also a species which is very easy to treat and XLam is fully com­mit­ted to of­fer­ing a range of treat­ment op­tions for pan­els, from ter­mites to fun­gal at­tack. With ever larger struc­tures be­ing built from CLT it is vi­tal to en­sure the pan­els are able to achieve the de­sign life of the build­ing. Mr Hew­son said in the long-term, XLam wanted to work on a va­ri­ety of projects. “While we will do large ones, we still want to do smaller com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial. We need smaller jobs to run the plant ef­fec­tively,” he said. It would be dif­fi­cult to ef­fec­tively man­age a plant if all projects were 5000m3 at a time. “We need a bal­ance of projects. We are happy to talk to po­ten­tial clients about all sorts of projects and vary­ing scales. We can guide peo­ple down the cor­rect path for their par­tic­u­lar pro­ject.” The Wodonga plant will have about 20 em­ploy­ees at the start, which will likely grow to about 30-40 in the fu­ture. Frame 2018 ti­tled ‘Tim­ber Off­site Con­struc­tion’ will be held on Mon­day and Tues­day 18-19 June at Park Hy­att Mel­bourne, and for de­tails visit the web­site www.frameaus­tralia.com

The first ship­ment of CLT leaves the fac­tory site

CLT Floor­ing, fram­ing, roof pan­els, etc - the list is al­most end­less.

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