Timber opportunities in the mid-rise market Symposium

Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Australian Timber Importers Federation (ATIF), ForestWorks, and Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) invite you to attend a national industry symposium to discuss the rapidly growing new opportunities in the mid-rise apartment, hotel and office sectors.

Symposium objective:
An opportunity for all timber industry supply chain companies and groups to openly discuss and explore possible market development approaches to the rapidly expanding mid-rise market for wood products and wood-based building solutions.  This symposium is the start of a longer engagement process on this issue.

CEO’s and market development managers of key processing industry companies, importers, and associations.

1:00pm to 4:00pm (workshop)
4:00pm to 5:30pm (networking drinks)

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

AFPA, ATIF, ForestWorks ISC  & FWPA

Library at the Dock – Performance Space and Community Room107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008


  1. Introduction to the workshop by co-hosts;
  2. Tim Woods (Industry Edge) – Market trends in multi-residential construction
  3. Ric Sinclair (FWPA) – Presentation on PfC and other associated FWPA work;
  4. Kelly McClusky (US expert) – Presentation on examples of market development support in US and Europe [by Skype]
  5. Alastair Woodard (TPC Solutions) - Previous Australian timber industry collaboration
  6. Facilitated open discussion by industry participants
      -  Do industry sectors see this as an opportunity
      -  Do industry sectors want to collaborate to pursue this opportunity?
      -  What then needs to be done to ensure success and where to from here?

Background information on FWPA’s research into building costings (timber versus other materials) will be held on 4th August for registered participants. (register for webinar here)

Register here

Symposium Context:

  • Australia, like many other jurisdictions, has seen and continues to see a significant trend towards mid-rise multi-residential construction (3 storeys +) away from detached housing construction.
  • FWPA (supported by industry) has submitted a Proposal-for Change (PfC) for the National Construction Code Volume 1 (NCC) to make it easier to build mid-rise buildings (up to 8 storeys) out of lightweight and massive timber construction. The PfC is a voluntary deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) solution for the use of timber building systems in Class 2 (apartments), Class 3 (hotels) and Class 5 (office) buildings up to 25 metres in effective height (approximately 8 storeys).
  • If the PfC is accepted by the Australian Building Codes Board in November 2015, it will come into effect in May 2016 release of the NCC.  While the PfC is an opportunity to galvanise attention from the building industry and offers a window of opportunity for the timber industry. 
  • If the PfC is not accepted, then other mechanisms will need to be explored to ensure that timber can gain better access to mid-rise markets.
  • The mid-rise market opportunity will be characterised by a greater evolution to ‘systems based’ solutions and supply arrangements (both lightweight timber members & plasterboard, and mass timber products).
  • A number of major builders have already tested internally a range of new timber systems in this mid-rise market and found the approach to be highly cost competitive against current alternative solutions.  There is a rapidly increasing demand by these builders as well as architects, engineers and designers to know more about these opportunities.  At the recent Frame Australia a panel of building professionals from Australand, Grocon, Lend Lease, PrefabAus, Fitzpatrick Architects, Norman Disney & Young all extolled the benefits and opportunities of these new timber systems. When asked what the timber industry need to do to assist them in their success they provided the following clear and succinct advice, that if the timber industry wanted to successfully develop, supply and service these future markets, it needed to:
  • These new building types offer a totally new market opportunity.  The competition here is clearly other building materials such as steel and concrete. Interested industry stakeholders may wish to consider the best mechanisms for capturing this opportunity.
    • act collectively and collaboratively
    • look at new supply chain dynamics for ‘systems based’ delivery, particularly prefabricated systems
    • add true value along the supply chain, and
    • make the process ‘simple’ for designers and builders.

Register here