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8 reasons why you might want to consider timber for your multi-storey project.

Increasing numbers of multi-storey timber structures are being constructed around the world as people recognise the benefits of this renewable resource. In fact, multi-storey timber design is now very advanced with numerous cutting-edge examples around the world, including:

• The 14-storey Treet block of flats in Bergen, Norway

• Brock Commons, an 18-storey wooden dormitory at the University of British Columbia, Canada

• Lend Lease in Australia have built a series of timber buildings, including the 10 storey 25 King Street, Brisbane

• Many examples in New Zealand, including the university of Canterbury’s new Science precinct 4 storey building


In New Zealand, Structure Design is one of those leading the charge. So, what are the benefits of multi-storey timber structures?

1. They are quick and economical to construct, typically taking between one-third and one-half the time of a conventional building.

2. Site costs are drastically reduced. For example, we recently considered a 4-storey apartment building in Auckland. Conventional construction would take between 12-14 weeks whereas, using our timber method, the building could be complete in just 4 weeks.

3. Foundation costs are typically lower because timber structures weigh significantly less than a conventional structure, requiring smaller foundations and sometimes obviating the need for piling.

4. Components can be kit-setted offsite and transported to site to be assembled by semi-skilled labourers, overseen by an experienced supervisor. This is good for projects in locations where materials and/or skilled labour are hard to come by.

5. They are a good, sustainable resource. Wood is readily available in New Zealand and is sourced from FSC certified forests.

6. They have proven seismic performance, backed up by substantial research. Fire rating and acoustic issues have also been solved.

7. If you like the timber look, the kitset can come with the finishes attached. If not, it can be easily covered up.

8. Multi-storey timber structures have been proven to withstand the test of time.

For example, the five storey pagoda of the Temple of the Flourishing Law in the Nara prefecture of Japan is one of the world’s oldest wooden buildings. It has withstood fire, rain, wind and earthquakes for 1,400 years. Analysis of the rings in the central pillar supporting the 32-metre structure suggests the wood it is made from was felled in 594 and construction is thought to have taken place soon after.

If you’d like to explore the option of using timber to construct your project, contact us on 09 302 0205 or email info@structuredesign.co.nz

Want to know how timber stacks up against conventional construction for your multi-storey project? Send us your chosen architectural concept and we’ll compare the time and costs of using timber with conventional construction so you can see the advantages.



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