Building material manufacturer XLam has set the pace for a timber revolution in Australian construction, with production officially under way at their newly opened Cross Laminated Timber plant in Wodonga.
The facility measures 12,000sq m and was announced in 2016, when the $25 million project was originally conceived to fill a gap in the industry responding to the demand for a sustainable, easy-to-use and fast building solution.
The Australian government provided financial backing for the factory, issuing a $2.5 million Next Generation Australian Industry Grant, on top of a $450,000 grant from the Victorian Regional Development authority to support job development.
XLam chief executive Gary Caulfield said the facility was already experiencing demand for product.
“We have seen a steady flow of orders for the new facility and production is well under way, however, we are taking more orders for projects of varying sizes,” he said.
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“With project number six now under way, we are confident of maintaining more reduced lead times when compared to European supply.
“The Wodonga facility will produce 60,000sq m of CLT each year, which is enough to construct the equivalent of Melbourne’s 10-storey Forte Living green apartment block every week,” Caulfield said.
CLT is part of a new wave of pre-build construction technologies and is produced from timber, a renewable and sustainable material. CLT is often manufactured as large-format structural building elements, including walls, floors and roofs, created by bonding together timber boards in orthogonal layers.
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The facility is located in the Logic industrial estate north of Melbourne, enabling XLam to deliver product to 80 per cent of Australia within 24 hours.
“It’s a game changer for the local market and will enable us to meet the significant demand for CLT,” Caulfield said.
“Our product is made in Australia, from Australian timber, by Australians.”