Frame Australia 2018 has been done and dusted for another year. In its 20th year since its inception, it was worth noting the change in direction for Frame, which initially started out focusing on the frame and truss sector and now covers the wider timber offsite construction with a key focus on mass timber.
The event was attended by architects, builders, developers, timber suppliers, machinery suppliers, foresters and a handful of fabricators and as always with these events, the networking across the supply chain was excellent.
There was a heavy emphasis on Mass Timber whereas it was highlighted by many that there is great growth opportunity with lightweight timber frames & trusses. In my honest opinion, the frame and truss sector has stood up where asked and is working collaboratively to address issues of concerns and the best way for the industry to jump in to this space.
Sure there are some that have already invested millions, but for family owned businesses to ignore the current busy markets, and invest heavily without knowing the real impacts would be irresponsible and the Timber Mid-Rise Market Implementation Group is addressing these issues to enable more frame and truss fabricators to enter this new market.
Unfortunately, some developers thought there wasn’t enough interest from fabricators in the Mid-Rise Markets but in my opinion, this is due to laziness in contacting the right people. There are only three nail plate companies and one national association, and these comments highlighted the need for greater communication across the supply chain.
The strongest message for me at the conference was the need to get in early concept and design stage to maximise the opportunity of changing things from a concrete or steel structure to timber systems.
Andrew Dunn of Timber Development Association who was recognised at Frame Australia for his outstanding commitment to the industry and Frame over the past 20 years, highlighted just how far our country has come in Timber Construction over the past five years. From the initial Forte building, Australia has continued to embrace this new technology and construction and with the jobs already completed and those in the pipeline Australia is amongst the leaders worldwide when it comes to mid-rise timber construction.
As a proud woman in the timber industry, the lack of women presenting or chairing sessions was disappointing and something that needs to be addressed by all Associations and conference events moving forward. There are many capable women across the supply chain and it is time to give the ladies a voice at these events.
Kevin & Katie Ezard have one again organised a professional and informative event and even though Frame has moved in new directions, as always FTMA will continue to support initiatives such as Frame in to the future.