Cross-laminated timber used in Otara prefab redevelopment

A redevelopment in Clayton Ave in the Auckland suburb of Otara utilises prefabricated building technology, as well as cross-laminated timber – the first time Housing New Zealand has used this sustainable building material and methodology for an entire house.

Miles Construction is building the three-storey walk-up, which will yield 8 one-bedroom units on a 793 sqm site. Frames went up in October, with just one crane, and a small number of people using just drills and ladders.

“Cross-laminated timber is almost silent during the assembly process as there are fewer nail guns, drop saws or jackhammers and it’s a lot quicker to erect,” said Alastair Miles of Miles Construction. “It’s very neighbour friendly which is important when building housing in an established residential neighborhood, as we are in Otara.”

The development will eventually house up to 16 Aucklanders once it’s complete in the first quarter of 2018. Each apartment will be about 55sqm, excluding a 9.7sqm balcony.

Clayton Ave is the first cross-laminated timber project for Miles Construction, an innovation introduced to it by regular partner and designer RM Designs.

The timber, which is supplied by Xlam in Nelson, has undergone a process where panels are stacked at right angles, bonded together over their entire surface and then vacuum pressed. This delivers a material that can withstand the same pressure as prefabricated concrete, and has lower carbon emissions.

Cross-laminated timber comes in packs in which each component is numbered and assembled in order. The timber pieces are pre-cut accurately so doors and windows can be ordered in advance, saving time and guess work on-site. Structural walls take about 3 weeks to put up.

Clayton Ave will deliver a healthier, more natural, living environment for Housing New Zealand tenants. As it’s designed to be thermally efficient it will require less energy to heat and cool than a typical code-compliant apartment complex.

Cross-laminated timber used in Otara prefab redevelopment

The CLT structure going up at Clayton Ave takes just three weeks to put together.

Cross-laminated timber used in Otara prefab redevelopment

The sustainable material is as strong as pre-fabricated concrete.

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