CLT and MORE - As Australia Leads in Sustainability
Australia's green revolution in home building refers to the growing trend of constructing sustainable homes using eco-friendly materials and practices. The team at LF Construction Services welcome the use of renewable materials that help sustain our planet.
One of the most popular materials that is now available on the market for both construction companies and homeowners is Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).
CLT is a different type of carpentry that is an engineered wood made from layers of lumber boards stacked crosswise and glued together.
It is a sustainable alternative to traditional building materials such as concrete and steel as it requires less energy to produce, generates less waste, and has a lower carbon footprint.
It is loved in the construction industry from top to bottom as it is a highly versatile material that can be used for building walls, floors, and roofs. CLT house building has literally had LIFT-OFF, but it is now being used in much bigger construction projects, too!
CLT homes are eco-friendly, energy-efficient, durable, and aesthetically appealing and, therefore, also loved by real estate agents as they are an EASY SELL! They can withstand extreme weather conditions and provide excellent insulation, which means that homeowners can save money on their energy bills.
CLT’s Influence in the Current Construction Industry
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a relatively new material in the building industry, but its influence has been rapidly growing on a global scale. CLT has already significantly impacted carpentry and the construction industry in Australia and other countries like Canada, the United States, and Europe.
Its popularity is due to its eco-friendliness, energy efficiency, and versatility, among other benefits we’ve just mentioned.
Additionally, it is lightweight and easy to transport. CLT walls, floors and roofs can be prefabricated off-site, saving time and money during the building process and on transportation fuel, so there are numerous benefits, not just the obvious ones to CLT.
LF Construction Services recently worked on building a house where the walls were all pre-fabricated panels of CLT from XLAM. Even the stairs were built from CLT. This allowed the 2 level house to be built in 7 days, and what's even better is that all the CLT material came on one truck. Easy assembly and easy transportation.
In addition to being more cost-effective, CLT is a surprisingly strong and durable material that can withstand extreme weather conditions, making it ideal for buildings in areas prone to extreme weather conditions.
With global warming becoming more prevalent by the year, many composites used in the past will swiftly disappear from use in construction altogether, but this has longevity.
CLT In the Coming Decade and Beyond
Looking ahead, it is clear that the use of CLT in the building industry will continue to grow. CLT walls are now a go-to for the industry.
In fact, some experts predict that CLT will become the mainstream building material over the coming decade in some countries!
This is due to the increasing awareness of the need for sustainable building practices and the growing demand for energy-efficient homes and large commercial buildings EVERYWHERE! And given inflation and energy price increases around the world in 2023, there’ll never be more momentum than now!
Australia’s Eco Turning Point
Australia's eco-turning point can be traced back to the 1970s when the country began to realise the importance of protecting its natural resources and environment.
This was driven in part by the global environmental movement, which was gaining momentum during that time.
The Forests and Timber Enquiry
One of the major events that led to the eco-turning point in Australia was the decision to protect the country's forests. In the 1980s, there was growing concern about the impact of logging on Australia's amazing array of trees and other natural resources.
This led to a series of protests and campaigns, which eventually resulted in the creation of the Forests and Timber Inquiry in 1988.
The inquiry recommended that large areas of native forests be protected, and this set the stage for a new building and construction culture in the country, and we’ve never looked back!
The Government Steps it up!
Over the years, the Australian government has implemented various policies and initiatives to promote sustainable building practices and protect the environment.
For example, the Green Building Council of Australia was established in 2002 to promote sustainable building practices, and the National Construction Code has been updated to include energy efficiency requirements for new buildings.
It’s Not ALL About CLT!
Apart from CLT, construction companies are increasingly using several other eco-friendly materials. Some of these materials include:
Bamboo is a highly sustainable building material that grows quickly and can be harvested without causing any damage to the environment. It is also a strong and durable material that can be used as scaffolding and for building walls, floors, and roofs.
Rammed earth is a construction technique that involves compacting soil into a sturdy and durable wall. It is a low-cost and eco-friendly option that provides excellent insulation and is resistant to fire, pests, and weathering. Pests are of particular interest in Australia!
Straw bales are another eco-friendly material that is gaining popularity in the construction industry. They are made from agricultural waste and can be used for building walls and roofs. Straw bale construction is a low-cost, energy-efficient option and top insulator.
Hempcrete is a bio-composite material made from the hemp plant's inner woody core mixed with lime and water. It is a lightweight, eco-friendly, remarkably fire-resistant material and an insulator.
These are just a few examples of the many eco-friendly materials that are being used by construction companies today. As the demand for sustainable building practices continues to grow, we can expect to see more innovative ideas and materials coming on the scene.
Australia has come a long way in the last 50 years and is now at the forefront of the sustainability model for the construction industry equal to any first-world country. CLT house building is here to stay. It has significantly influenced carpentry and the building industry in Australia and globally. Its benefits have made it an attractive alternative to traditional building materials, and its usage is predicted to increase in the coming years as the industry moves forward and tackles global warming HEAD-ON!