The team of experts behind the Mid-Rise Advisory Program have developed a reputation for providing impartial advice and support to professionals and decision makers in Victoria’s and Queensland’s construction industries.

The initiative is led by Forest and Wood Products Australia’s WoodSolutions mid-rise program. Made up of technical specialists with experience in architecture, structural engineering and costing, the team uses information based on the most up-to-date research findings to accelerate the adoption of timber in mid-rise construction.

Since 2016, the team has worked to ensure decision makers are fully aware of the many advantages of wood as a construction material, while dispelling timber-related myths and misconceptions.

In under three years, the efforts of the team have resulted in:

  • Timber being selected in place of conventional materials in 36 substantial building projects across the nation, from government housing to hotels and offices.
  • A further 30 pending projects reporting the timber option is strongly supported by their design teams.
  • A total of 580 projects expressing a strong interest in making the switch to wood.

These achievements have been made possible by support and commitment from a number of valued industry sponsors:

Gold sponsors

Silver sponsor

AKD Softwoods

Department of Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH)

Bronze sponsors

Bowen & Pomeroy

Boral Timber

Mayflower Enterprises (Hyne)


ITW (Pryda)


Meyer Timber

Nelson Pine




Ta Ann Tasmania

Timber Queensland

Tim Gibney & Associates Engineers



Parkside Building Supplies




Impresa House

Encouraging & Inspiring the Use of Wood

The team’s work has focused on promoting the merits of both lightweight and engineered timber, including cost savings, faster delivery, less disruption, improved safety and environmental benefits.

Gerard Neylan, Lead Program Development Manager Mid-Rise Construction at WoodSolutions, said the Program aims to provide a free, independent advisory service for construction’s key players.

“Our mission is to offer encouragement and inspire the confidence needed to commit to designing mid-rise projects using engineered timber. We help industry members optimise their project’s use of timber, ensuring the right material is selected for the right application.

“The Program has been enthusiastically supported by industry, not just through the contributions of our sponsors, but also through feedback from the marketplace, engagement over supply capacity and product development, plus a real willingness to work together,” Mr Neylan said.

Impacts of NCC Changes

In what the team views as a highly positive development, the 2019 update to the National Construction Code (NCC) expands the opportunities for mid-rise timber construction to schools, retail, aged care, and hospital facilities. This change is scheduled to come into effect in May 2019.

Christine Briggs, National Marketing Manager at industry sponsor AKD Softwoods, said as a major producer of light weight plantation pine framing, the company saw the changes in the NCC as an opportunity to grow the market for structural timber solutions, alongside support from the Program.

“The code changes have reinvigorated the interest of builders and developers in seeking out timber prefabricated solutions. We could see the benefits of a professional timber-based field force promoting timber solutions against more traditional non-timber solutions.

“It is exciting to see the Program evolving with additional resources being employed, as well as the pilot being considered a good ongoing investment and now transitioning into a national program,” Ms Briggs said.

Given the 2016 NCC change led to an increasing number of mid-rise projects adopting or considering engineered wood products as their primary building material, there is every reason to be optimistic about the potential for the most recent change to further boost growth.

Working with Industry

Denis Cullity, Marketing Director at Wesbeam, said their participation as a sponsor places them right at the centre of the conversation.

“A core belief within Wesbeam is that education is the highest form of leverage. In the rapidly emerging and complex market of prefabricated mid-rise timber buildings, education of decision makers is needed and wanted,” Mr Cullity said.

David Meyer, Managing Director at Meyer Timber put it quite simply when he said the company supports the Program because the company supports the industry.

“If the industry does well, then Meyer Timber also expects to do well. We have great expectations that Australia, like other countries, will embrace mid-rise timber buildings. But it will not happen without a push, so this Program ensures we have people actively promoting timber buildings as a viable option,” Mr Meyer said.

Above: Monash University Student Accommodation Project

Spreading the Word

Initiatives the Mid-Rise Advisory Program team has been involved with range from traditional seminars, to in-house presentations, and speaking engagements at conferences. A technical help desk responds to industry enquiries, and the team has even conducted a number of international tours, enabling Australian-based decision makers to witness first-hand what has been achieved using timber in buildings overseas.

Daniel Wright, National Marketing Manager at ASH, said sponsoring initiatives like the Mid-Rise Advisory Program helps continually improve the industry.

“The overwhelming beneficiary is the average Australian. Timber is a superior product aesthetically, thermally, from a biophilic perspective, environmentally and sustainably. There are added benefits in safety, prefabrication, cost and delivery efficiencies.

“From ASH’s perspective, it will create opportunities for our specific timber species that technology and the market had not quite been ready to utilise to its full potential.

“I can only see the program evolving with time until this construction method becomes the norm. I can also see the program aiding in the investment and increase of the forest and plantation estate,” Mr Wright said.

Realising Timber’s Potential

A number of the substantial timber building projects influenced by the Program to choose timber as the major construction material are listed below:

Melbourne Central Tower, Melbourne CBD, VIC – The team has been called upon several times to provide information, feedback and solutions to specific issues associated with the delivery of a fully exposed, glazed 11-storey tower. This project is now confirmed to be proceeding with a timber solution.

19 Merrivale St, South Brisbane, QLD – An 11-storey timber or hybrid building, which is still under design, will include 132 apartments, a rooftop pool, restaurant, car park, gym and conference facility.

25 King St, Brisbane, QLD – A nine-storey mass timber building on a concreate podium that will be the world’s tallest commercial timber structure once completed.

Monash University Student Accommodation, VIC – Featuring five storeys of massive timber structure over a first floor concrete podium slab, the completed development comprises 150 student rooms which will be filled over the next month as students resume classes.

Forest and Wood Products Australia is delighted to share the many achievements of the Mid-Rise Advisory Program and the positive impact of this work on the industry. With support from sponsors playing a vital role in the Program’s success, this initiative demonstrates the positive outcomes that can be achieved when our industry works together.