Is Wood the Next Disruptor?
When we hear the word “disruption,” we tend to think about Apple’s iPhone damaging Kodak’s company design, Uber taking on the taxi market or AirBnB transforming the hotel game. But disruption is not practically technological modification.
In fact, as the twin chauffeurs of climate modification and economic imperatives encourage our market to look for resource performances, wood– among our most ancient materials– is a new disruptive force that is poised to reshape the method we build. No other product can help us meet the difficulties of modern, sustainable building and construction almost too. Timber has constantly been around as a building product, however this has actually been mostly restricted to the property sector. Large-scale industrial development in wood is brand-new.
Lendlease has been an early adopter of timber high-rise building and construction. When complete, the six-storey International Home at Barangaroo South in Sydney will be the tallest timber office complex in the world. Made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and Glulam (glue laminated lumber), the building has been developed to meet Barangaroo South’s carbon neutral aspirations. Lendlease’s handling director of Barangaroo South, Andrew Wilson, has stated the “source of products is necessary. To compare at some kind of scale, the only renewable resource would be timber.”
The National Building Code presented a new ‘deemed-to-satisfy’ provision for wood buildings approximately 25 metres, or eight floors high, supplied they include a raft of requirements on May 1, 2016, such as fire sprinklers and fireproof cladding.
This may stimulate ingenious and entrepreneurial builders, a number of them in smaller sized business, to look at medium-rise timber homes in our middle-ring residential areas– and at costs that the typical Australian can pay for.
Changes to the code will accelerate using prefabrication and modular building– a technique that provides a range of benefits. Timber can be grown, made and cut to size close to site, producing quicker and more cost-effective building and construction. Economic modelling carried out by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) has found the shorter building times needed for wooden buildings can conserve as much as 15 percent on a task’s overall expenses. FWPA also estimates that the brand-new code will supply a $103 million increase to the Australian economy over 10 years through ecological benefits, and reduced the expenses related to construction and compliance.
Approximately 30 per cent lighter than concrete or steel, wood is possibly cutting crane, scaffolding and structure costs. Lumber and engineered wood also offer benefits in regards to thermal and energy effectiveness performance. When integrated with the accuracy provided offsite on the factory floor, wood building can improve the quality of a construct. Research from Planet Ark has discovered that wood interiors can also improve residents’ emotional state, minimizing high blood pressure, heart rate and tension levels.
And of course, lumber’s carbon storage potential is impressive. Australia’s native forests, wood plantations and wood items are net absorbers of greenhouse gases, sequestering an estimated 56.6 million tonnes of co2 a year, and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions profile by practically 10 percent. Our obstacle is now to rethink traditional structure. The existing climate demands a move far from business-as-usual thinking. Wood and timber products might assist us kick-start a whole new structure motion.
FWPA has actually invested substantial time into demonstrating that lumber pleases all safety requirements while delivering environmental effectiveness. This work is starting to settle, however the next action is to ensure we utilize locally-sourced materials and have the prefabrication plants to provide product to market. The Green Structure Council of Australia’s proposed updates to Green Star, which will recognise and reward crafted wood in the Products category, is an excellent start and will assist incentivise using regionally-sourced and manufactured engineered wood.
Will it be a disruptor to rival Uber and the iPhone? Only time will tell.