​Cross-laminated timber used in Housing NZ redevelopment

·The CLT structure going up at Clayton Ave takes just three weeks to put together.

A redevelopment in Clayton Ave in the Auckland suburb of Otara utilises cross-laminated timber – the first time Housing New Zealand has used this sustainable building material and prefabrication technology for an entire house.

The three-storey walk-up, which will yield eight one-bedroom units on a 793 sqm site. Frames went up earlier in October, with just one crane, and a small number of people using only drills and ladders.

“Cross-laminated timber is almost silent during the assembly process as there are fewer nail guns, drop saws or jack-hammers and it’s a lot quicker to erect,” said Alastair Miles of Miles Construction. “It’s very neighbour friendly which is important when building in an established residential neighbourhood, as we are in Otara.”

The development will eventually house up to 16 Aucklanders once it’s complete in the first quarter of 2018. Each apartment will be approx 55sqm, excluding a 9.7sqm balcony.

Clayton Ave is the first CLT project for Miles Construction, an innovation introduced to it by regular partner and designer RM Designs.

The timber, which is supplied by XLam, has undergone a process where panels are stacked at right angles, bonded together over their entire surface and then vacuum pressed. This delivers a material that can withstand the same pressure as prefabricated concrete and has lower carbon emissions.

Cross-laminated timber comes in packs in which each component is numbered and assembled in order. The timber pieces are pre-cut accurately so doors and windows can be ordered in advance, saving time and guesswork on-site. Structural walls take about three weeks to put up.

Clayton Ave will deliver a healthier, more natural, living environment for Housing New Zealand tenants. As it’s designed to be thermally efficient it will require less energy to heat and cool than a typical code-compliant apartment complex.

Housing New Zealand’s prefab panel

Housing New Zealand in 2016 established a Modular and Prefabricated Panel, aimed at getting access to a greater range of innovative construction methods and build partners to work with. The panel already has a strong membership of 12 prequalified supplier delivery partners and is open for additional members to join.

To find out more about how to apply for Housing New Zealand’s panel, visit

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