The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed XLam’s announcement today of an exciting and innovative new investment in timber product manufacturing in Australia.
XLam, a New Zealand company, will invest $25 million in Australia’s first Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) production plant to be located in the Albury-Wodonga area, creating 54 local jobs. CLT is a structural building product that is flexible, well-matched to prefabrication processes, and resembles massive plywood. The proposed CLT plant will have a capacity of 60,000 cubic metres per annum and will use renewable timber as the raw feedstock.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said, “This new investment is very timely. It follows the recent sensible change to Australia’s National Construction Code (NCC) that allows builders to use timber construction solutions in buildings up to 25 metres in height – or around 8 storeys. Such timber construction systems are widely used in multistorey buildings in Canada, Europe and New Zealand.”
“With these recent changes to the Code, AFPA is predicting a surge in timber construction, including the use of CLT and timber framing solutions. Timber building products are light, easy to use, versatile and a great environmental choice. These building solutions offer immense opportunity for builders, specifiers and developers especially in our capital cities, where small development footprints, light-weight sustainable building products and speed of construction are high priorities.”
Innovative developments that are looking to use timber products in new ways are appearing in capital cities across Australia, including in Melbourne (Lendlease’s Forte building at Docklands) and in Sydney (Strongbuild’s proposed Macarthur Gardens residential apartment project).