Global growth in mass wood is now underway
Portland Oregon was host to the International Mass Timber Conference this March. Attracting 1,600 delegates from 30 countries across forestry, building design, development, manufacturing and construction, the event was the largest gathering of cross-laminated timber and other mass wood experts recorded.
From 500 attendees at the first event to a projected 10,000 by 2025, the conference is keeping up with the rising pace of offsite construction using mass wood systems.
This growth reflects the construction industry’s acceptance of mass wood buildings and the rate of conversion from steel and concrete structures in a wide range of building types for residential and commercial developments.
In addition, there has been an expansion in design capacity with architects and engineers developing greater awareness of mass timber requirements in the design of buildings.
Not only is the construction industry expanding, the supply chain is also responding with new manufacturing plants for cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber, glulam beams and panels, mass plywood panels, dowel-laminated timber, and laminated veneer lumber.
The background of manufacturing CLT in Canada and the US is based on production plants starting around seven years ago at a modest level and only starting to expand production within the past two years.
Europe has a different growth pattern than the US with the production of mass timber having been around for decades and steadily increasing production of CLT over the past 10 years.
Projections for CLT production in Europe are to double during the period 2016 to 2020 from 680,000 to 1,250,000m³ per year, which is in direct response to the increase in consumption by construction markets.
Based on previous global trends in engineered wood products it is extremely likely a similar trend will apply in Australia, but at a lower rate of growth commensurate with the population levels here.
These topics will be extensively covered in the sessions program at Frame 2019.
Frame 2019 titled ‘Timber Offsite Construction’ will be held on Monday and Tuesday 17-18 June at Crown Promenade Melbourne. For details visit www.frameaustralia.com.