A Guide to Cross Laminated Timber
Bligh Tanner is continuing to play an active role in promoting the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) in Queensland and helping our clients and collaborators develop an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities it presents.
CLT is a structural material that can yield significant improvements in speed of construction, safety and quality by enabling prefabrication, modularisation and design for manufacture.
Encouraged by recent changes to the NCC, activity by State Government and timber industry groups, the Brisbane construction market is seeing a significant and growing interest in cross laminated timber promising cost savings and construction benefits. Examples are:
- Lend Lease report zero ‘lost time injuries’
- Hutchinson Builders estimate 2-3% cost savings possible on suburban housing projects
- Strongbuild reduced program from 24 to 14 weeks for three towers of 6,7 and 8 stories
These advantages are achieved through adoption of prefabrication techniques and by designing with construction and manufacture in mind.
The lightweight material also promises improvements in quality, reduces costs of foundations and supporting structure, and offers environmental benefits and aesthetic opportunities not possible in any other material.
If you are thinking of CLT for your project, we recommend you pose the following questions:
- Do client aims align with the benefits and opportunities of timber?
- Will improvements in construction speed translate to savings in site preliminaries or finance costs?
- Is the client and builder willing to see the project as a first of many – the financial benefits may take 2-3 projects to be fully realised.
- Is the client prepared to have early involvement by contractor and suppliers, and have a non-traditional form of procurement?
- Does the building design suit timber construction?
- Is there a feature of the site, ground conditions, or other constraints that lend themselves to lightweight prefabricated construction?
- Is there benefit to minimising disruption to people living, working or studying in the area?
Bligh Tanner has prepared a guide for clients and architects on the topic with examples of our work and other Australian projects.