This topic and others relating to building with engineered wood construction systems was recently discussed by the nation’s leading experts in timber and construction at the FRAME Australia 2015 conference and exhibition, held in Melbourne on Monday 1 June.

The Master Builders Association of Victoria’s (MBAV) Sustainable Building Advisor, Dr Phillip Alviano, featured as one of the invited speakers at the conference and presented on the subject of labour skills and training for prefabrication.

Dr Alviano presented recent research conducted in Europe on the subject of labour in prefabricated construction.

He discussed the important issue of job skills required and the current gaps in the Australian workforce that require immediate action if the increased labour demands of a boom in mid to high rise timber construction are to be met.

Other countries around the world permit timber apartment buildings as deemed-to-satisfy solutions up to ten storeys, well beyond the current three-storey limit in Australia.

The proposed NCC amendment, submitted by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) aims to permit timber construction in apartment buildings up to 25 metres, or eight storeys, to keep up with other countries that are already ahead in this sector.

The Property Council of Australia, which represents major developers and builders, agrees – and has issued a joint statement in support for change. This has been issued in conjunction with all major building design professional member organisations.

FRAME 2015 conference speaker Tony Arnel, Global Director of Sustainability for international consultancy Norman Disney & Young, and the former Chair of the Green Building Council, explained in his talk why timber and engineered wood products (EWP) are emerging as a sustainable solutions for the building industry.

“Project teams are embracing timber and EWP as an environmentally sustainable and renewable material, and using it to build faster, cheaper and more sustainably than ever before,” Arnel said.

In a global trend, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is rapidly becoming the building material of the future. It has similar characteristics to pre-cast concrete panels, but is lighter, easier to work with and easier to erect.

The world’s producers of CLT attended the FRAME Australia 2015 conference and exhibition, which included displays on the latest technologies and construction materials in the market.TimberTrader News will have all the news and coverage from FRAME 2015 in our July edition, featuring the issues that matter most to our frame and truss industry readers.