Jackson Teece, Sydney
Significant advances in the understanding of timber construction and material engineering over the past two decades have led to a worldwide renaissance in timber construction. Timber construction has a long history in Central Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and North America and is readily applied to small- and medium-scale construction as a proven, safe and cost effective construction method – but now the sky is the limit. Timber buildings up to 18 stories are currently under construction and towers have been proposed up to 80 stories.
While Australia is relatively new to large-scale timber construction, it is quickly embracing this technology. But it’s not only size that matters, although the race to the top certainly has helped boost the industry and helped change perception about timber construction over traditional concrete or steel framed buildings. As we move towards a future of more efficient and sustainable developments, timber construction will become a more common choice for all building types. The learning curve has been steep and the acceptance is steadily growing in many development sectors. We are seeing increased application of timber construction in small- to medium-density residential developments. With increased market competition, product availability and the constantly improving skills of designers, engineers and builders, timber buildings will become more efficient and cost competitive to construct. We are witnessing a technological revolution made possible largely by prefabrication technologies encouraging faster construction with the potential to realize more sustainable and efficient projects on an ever-increasing scale.