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Frame Australia: Numbers justify confidence in the future

David Zhang and Travis Taylor (Multinail).

The future of the timber construction industry presents some unique challenges but overall everything points to plenty of opportunity for those willing to learn, adapt and take some risks. Source: Timberbiz

That was the over-arching message from this week’s Frame Australia 2017 (Timber Offsite Construction) Conference in Melbourne which attracted 270 delegates.

The two-day event covered architecture, specification, construction and manufacturing with specialist presenters outlining advances made in recent times.

The process of offsite manufacturing (prefab) continues to gain ground. Speakers stressed that through this process quality, quantity, safety were readily achievable and there was a resultant lessening of onsite wastage.

Advancements in machining (offsite production) are paving the way for even quicker build times and, again, more control over the finished product.

With the change in building systems come different skills sets for workers, too.

On the flip side, during a workshop session one delegate suggested that while it was well and good to promote the use of timber and the innovative changes in building, he queried the continued availability of resources in Australia.

Currently, several major organisations are leading the way in promoting and pursuing increased plantation investment in Australia (one example is the AFPA’s continued push for a hub system throughout Australia) and the recently-announced $110 million investment in plantation forests in Victoria is also a plus.

However, delegates are showing a measured confidence in the future and maintain “the potential is huge and we need to look at and take the opportunities”.

“Collaboration, learning from experience and taking some risks. The numbers justify confidence in the future”.

Douglas Calvert (APA Engineered Wood Association) and Craig Sichling (LP Building Products)

Ian Ashby (Pryda) and Ola Svensson (Randek, Sweden)

Dinah Zhang (Lendlease) and David Rowlinson (Planet Ark)

John Simon (FWPA) and Henri Bailleres (Qld DAF)

Martin Smith (Modular Building Automation UK)