A Sydney CBD timber office. Image courtesy of Fitzpatrick + Partners.

A new timber design guide for mid-rise buildings aims to help designers, architects, engineers and other built environment professionals to act on the recent changes to the National Construction Code.

The changes from 1 May 2016 made timber construction systems suitable for the Deemed-to-Satisfy pathway for class 2, 3 and 5 buildings up to 25 metres in height, which is generally between four and eight stories, depending on the floor-to-ceiling ratio.

The provisions cover both traditional lightweight timber framing and engineered timber systems including cross-laminated timber and glulam.

As part of the changes, the code specifies the use of fire-protective plasterboard and automatic fire sprinkler systems. Another requirement is for adequate acoustic performance.

The new design guide by WoodSolutions sets out the details of how to ensure projects achieve compliance with the NCC requirements.

“The opportunities offered by the code change are exciting and have the potential to benefit many projects, especially in the mid-rise multi-residential sector,” Forest and Wood Products Australia national marketing and communications manager Eileen Newbury said.

“Designing and constructing these buildings in timber will be unfamiliar to some of the professionals involved and this is the first of a series of guides we will be publishing to assist them understand the Performance Requirements, the available design options and to make the transition to using the new timber systems as efficiently as possible.”

  • Download the design guide here

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