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Enabling Prefabricated Timber Building Systems in Commercial Construction

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Published Date

April 2017

This project identifies drivers for, and barriers to, the increased use of prefabricated timber building (PTB) systems in Class 2 to 9 commercial buildings, such as apartments, hotels, office buildings and schools (project PNA324-1314).

PTB systems in Australia are in a formative stage and yet to achieve broad acceptance in the marketplace as a conventional method of building.

Opportunities for PTB systems can use timber’s well-established benefits such as high strength-to-weight ratio; design and construction flexibility; general environmental credentials including carbon sequestration; and prefabrication’s suitability for use on brown-field, restricted access and difficult sites and developments. In addition legislative constraints have now been largely removed (e.g. through changes to the 2016 National Construction Code).

An increase in large scale mid-rise prefabricated buildings, and with the increasing nationalisation and internationalisation of the top tier building companies, suggests market acceptance will grow as PTB buildings are seen as ‘normal’.

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Dr David Bylund, Centre for Sustainable Architecture in Wood (CSAW)

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