MPI: Mid-Rise Wood Construction

The programme aims to encourage the use of New Zealand grown timber, mainly in the form of engineered timber products particularly cross laminated timber (CLT) panels, in the construction of mid-rise buildings using pre-fabrication.

Overview

Red Stag Investments Ltd, a company with its roots in forestry, wood processing, prefabrication and property development, has partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to deliver Mid-Rise Wood Construction.

This is a 4-year, $5 million Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme.

The programme anticipates delivering economic benefits with a net present value of $155 million by 2023 and $330 million by 2036.

Benefits will go beyond financial

In addition to direct economic benefits, the programme will deliver important industrial, social, and environmental benefits through its potential to: 

  • substantially increase the demand for wood products in buildings in New Zealand with flow-on benefits to the forestry and processing sector
  • significantly speed up construction through off-site pre-fabrication to help meet New Zealand’s acute need for more accommodation
  • lower building lifecycle costs, construction workplace injuries, construction building waste, disruption to traffic, noise and carbon dioxide emissions
  • provide regional jobs and investment in CLT manufacturing and pre-fabrication.

The challenge

New Zealand is a small user of wood in commercial and institutional construction and it is only growing at an estimated 1% p.a. As a country, we are lagging behind in the use of wood in mid-rise construction compared to Austria, Germany and North America. There’s potential to accelerate the construction industry’s use of wood to capture a range of benefits but we need innovation to do this and this is what Mid-Rise Wood Construction aims to do.

The solution

The programme has 3 interrelated projects:

Project 1: Reference buildings

Red Stag will construct 2 mid-rise wooden buildings, one residential, and one commercial, to act as showcases, reference sites, and case studies. The programme will share costs associated with the design and construction documentation of the wooden buildings compared with conventional steel and concrete equivalents and the production of a case study from this.

Project 2: Promoting

The designs, details, reports, lessons, costs, and feasibility on a freely available basis and arranging site visits of the 2 showcase buildings by New Zealand architects, engineers, quantity-surveyors, constructors, real estate agents, manufacturers, urban councils, developers and investors.

Project 3: Building a Collective of Excellence

A pool of professionals experienced in mid-rise wooden design and construction and extending the knowledge and systems to the broader industry through free technical manuals, textbooks, open days, conferences, and supplier models.

KEY PROGRAMME FACTS

Programme start: 2018
Length: 4 years
PGP funding: $5 million
Industry funding: $3 million
Commercial partner: Red Stag Investments Ltd
Estimated potential economic benefit to NZ:  $155 million p.a. by 2023 and $330 million p.a. by 2036.

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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

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