First CLT manufacturing in southern hemisphere
A NZ$7 million factory producing cross-laminated timber panels is to be established at Tahunanui, Nelson, with its backers saying it provides a ready-made solution for the rebuilding of Christchurch. The first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and 18 months in the planning, the factory is expected to start production in January 2012 and employ 15, mostly local people.
Chris Edmonds, general manager of XLam NZ, the Stoke-based company behind the venture, said it had already generated “enormous” interest from architects and engineers keen to use the prefabricated panel system. “We’ve had up to 500 hits a day on our website.”
The factory, which will be housed in an existing building 100 metres long and 20m wide, containing sophisticated computerised machinery imported from Germany, will have the capacity to produce 10,000 cubic metres of panels per year - enough to build 100 standard-sized homes. It will use locally sourced pine and douglas fir.
Unlike other engineered wood products, XLam would be able to produce panels measuring up to 15m by 3m, which would create fresh prefabrication opportunities, Mr Edmonds said. He and his business partners - who include Nelson architect Ian Jack and his brother Robin, who owns a machinery supply company - were convinced that it offered big advantages over traditional building systems, was an easier option for home builders and could play an important part in the Christchurch rebuild.
Details on this new manufacturing facility and options for CLT in this part of the world will be covered as part of a one-day conference being run for the forestry, timber and construction industries being held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre. Participation is limited to 100 attendees. More details and on-line registration are available at http://www.forestevents.co.nz/
Full details of the one-day program highlighting Innovative Products, Designs & New Developments for Timber Building in Rotorua on Wednesday 7 September can be downloaded here:
Source: The Nelson Mail