Topics under discussion included best practice timber construction including risk and value management approaches. The forum also looked at methods to maximise productivity and efficiencies during assembly and construction, while newsworthy projects were also showcased, including the recently completed Monash University student accommodation scheme and a planned vertical extension at Melbourne Central retail complex.
Following a walkthrough of the WoodSolutions Mid-rise Building Demonstration Model, located on site at Holmesglen, the seminar program was inaugurated by Alastair Woodard of WoodSolutions. Among the highlights of his presentation was a spotlight on new training initiatives including:
- Diploma of Project Management for Prefabricated Building Systems (Timber), aimed at on-site project managers, supervisors, and others responsible for ensuring that prefabricated timber buildings are assembled correctly.
- Course in Onsite Installation of Prefabricated Building Systems (Timber) aimed at on-site workers tasked with assembling buildings to ensure they have the skills to execute projects in line with optimal quality outcomes.
Paolo Lavisci, WoodSolutions Program Development Manager, Mid-rise Construction, provided a market overview of the timber mid-rise sector and outlined how changes to the NCC code would affect the market, with the 2019 National Construction Code (NCC) increasing the range of buildings, up to an effective height of 25 metres, in which fire-protected timber construction systems can be used. Lavisci’s presentation highlights included a look at the use of stiffer cores for slender structures, as well as methodologies to control the depth of timber floors to limit building heights.
With a presentation focusing on enabling productivity with timber construction, Dr Paul Kremer (Deakin University) looked at ECI and ESI processes, optimal panel sizing for manufacture and construction and tips for reducing critical path, as well as a number of notable timber projects, including high spec residential project, The Seed House, in Sydney. Xlam’s Tyson Infanti’s presentation, titled ‘Delivering a Successful Mass Timber Project: What you Need to Know’, outlined a number of critical issues. Understanding fabrication processes was critical to optimise production time and control costs, and panel design should be optimised for the best cost savings outcomes, he said.
Jim McAdam, Multi Residential & Medium Density Sales Manager at Timbertruss, shared learnings in lightweight construction in light of the company’s relatively recent entry into the mid-rise sector.
The Seed House.
“Key considerations to delivering a lightweight project include: designing the project in timber from the outset, early engagement with fabricators; effective and transparent communication and well considered logistics and product delivery,” he said.
“Key considerations to delivering a lightweight project include: designing the project in timber from the outset, early engagement with fabricators; effective and transparent communication and well considered logistics and product delivery.” Jim McAdam, Multi Residential & Medium Density Sales Manager, Timbertruss.
A presentation by Laurence Ritchie, Cost and Program Estimator – Mid-rise Construction at WoodSolutions, discussed how to optimise for the most cost-efficient timber project. He also noted updates to a number of WoodSolutions publications, including the upcoming Cost Engineered Guide, to include a database of 25 significant timber projects and a wide range of critical topics.
The seminar concluded with a look ahead at the Melbourne Central Extension (currently in design phase) presented by Lachlan Cameron, of property specialist GPT. It comprises a new lightweight three storey office building extension over Melbourne Central that will include an elevated sky lobby, “rooftop village”, retail, restaurant wellness and garden areas.■