This project identifies drivers for, and barriers to, the increased use of prefabricated timber building (PTB) systems in Class 2 to 9 commercial buildings, such as apartments, hotels, office buildings and schools.
PTB systems in Australia are in a formative stage and yet to achieve broad acceptance in the marketplace as a conventional method of building.
Opportunities for PTB systems can use timber’s well-established benefits such as high strength-to-weight ratio; design and construction flexibility; general environmental credentials including carbon sequestration; and prefabrication’s suitability for use on brown-field, restricted access and difficult sites and developments. In addition legislative constraints have now been largely removed (e.g. through changes to the 2016 National Construction Code).
An increase in large scale mid-rise prefabricated buildings, and with the increasing nationalisation and internationalisation of the top tier building companies, suggests market acceptance will grow as PTB buildings are seen as ‘normal’.
Following on from the author’s recently completed doctorial research investigating Scandinavian industrially produced engineered construction methodologies and their potential application in Australia, this paper reports on the research and development of a hybridised nail laminated 3 ply CLT and OSB wall panel with a cavity through the design and construction of a prototype commercial building for Western Australia’s largest soft wood timber processor, Wespine.
Findings resulting from the author’s doctorial research and research undertaken for New Zealand research consortium, Solid Wood Innovation, demonstrated the potential for rough sawn multi-grade Radiata pine to be used as a structural material with the capacity to be used in developments of five and six storeys when laminated via a simple gun nailing lamination process. This paper introduces new developments on this concept through the hybridisation of a two ply cross laminated panel with OSB bracing to create a rigid modular wall element suitable for a range of building types.