Mid-Rise Apartments Right for Wood & Timber Building Systems

In a busy week for the IndustryEdge team, we delivered three significant presentations, on completely different topics.

First, on Monday, we delivered some detailed preliminary research findings on polymer-coated fibre packaging. We will have more to say about this in future months.

Second, on Tuesday, we presented material on mid-rise apartment developments and wood and timber building systems at a fantastic symposium organised by the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), ForestWorks and the Australia Timber Importer’s Federation (ATIF). We will say a little more about this shortly, as it was the stand out event of a highlight filled week,

Third, on Friday, our ongoing and comprehensive program of market research and analysis in the pulp and paper sector was delivered to DANA’s annual Wood Fibre Outlook Conference. We focussed on why virgin fibre is so sought after in boxes and paperboard delivered to Asia.

The second and third presentations are available from our website.

Returning to the mid-rise apartment issue, as we outlined at the symposium, all the emphasis is on apartments that account for close to 50% of housing approvals over the last year or more. This can be seen in the chart below.


However, the assumption that all of these apartments are high rise, is a significant exaggeration.

Over the year to the end of May 2015, apartments of 4+ Storeys accounted for 63.1% of the total of all apartments, with the remainder made up of townhouses and flats up to 3 Storeys. This is depicted in the chart below.


As the ‘Mid-rise’ (lets say up to 8 Storeys) apartment boom continues to provide ‘infill’ to increase the density of Australia’s most sprawling urban environments, wood, wood products and timber building systems may be able to play a unique role. There is little doubt that humans benefit from more organic buildings, including those made from natural materials, especially wood.

The Symposium was conducted at the Library at Docklands, a recently constructed four storey timber building, a great example of the opportunities for timber building systems in more than just residential buildings.

With more than 1.1 million new mid-rise apartments expected to be built by 2030, there are plenty of opportunities for wood, especially as part of timber building systems.

For further details on this topic, click here.

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