The present paper is the first to conceptually assess the viability of mass timber construction (MTC) as an alternative construction material/method in Australia. It fulfills an identified need to examine an innovative construction process providing much needed information concerning the technologies current position and future disruption to traditional construction methods. A common tool used in business management studies, the PESTEL model, Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal is employed to provide structure for a strategic analysis of the technology. Mass timber construction clearly demonstrates some advantages including cost savings, primarily in the reduction in on-site labour costs; a lower environmental impact and use of a renewable resource; and possibility of improved amenity and reduced running costs for owners and occupiers. The estimated market potential for MTC in Australia indicates that a local plant might be viable as the market grows, and warrants funding to underpin a full feasibility assessment.
This project investigated the barriers and hurdles to a widespread adoption of Mass Timber Construction (MTC) in Australia and explored the acceptance of methods specifically designed to overcome them. The project comprised of a mixed methods approach with two study components. Study One was a survey of the general public and Study Two interviewed various stakeholders in the building industry.
Study One was designed to ascertain if the attitudes of Australian consumers toward environmental issues and the use of timber in construction are related to factors involved in property purchasing behaviours. The survey comprised a 20 minute online survey of Australian consumers.
Study Two comprised the industry survey to explore the barriers to more widespread adoption of MTC in Australia. Each participant provided a unique insight into how identified barriers might be overcome.
Based on the findings of the surveys, recommendations are provided addressing the identified barriers.