“Grow” a building in an hour? Yes, we can!

Note: the below information has been reviewed and changed 18/11/2019

In just one hour, Australian softwood plantations can grow enough timber to create a nine-storey building’s worth of engineered timber, according to calculations by FWPA’s Mid-rise Advisory Program.

The Program estimates that more than one million hectares of Australian softwood plantations grow a combined total of around 20m3 of saw logs per minute. Once turned into engineered wood products, that equates to between 11 and 15m3 produced every 60 seconds.

For context, let’s take the nine-storey, 23-apartment block Forte, developed by Lendlease, as an example. The Melbourne-based tower was the world's tallest CLT building upon completion in 2012. Using 970 m3 of timber in total, the Program’s calculations show the required material was grown in approximately just one hour.

In terms of more recent projects, the planned Multiplex Monash Student Accommodation in Frankston will require 1,700m3 of timber, which can be grown in approximately two hours. Meanwhile, Atelier’s 55 Southbank Boulevard, currently under construction in Melbourne, will require 4,300m3 of timber, which can be grown in around six hours.

“Australia’s softwood plantations are big enough to support significant, sizeable and sustainable development,” said Lead Program Development Manager (Mid-rise Construction), Gerry Neylan.