Mid-Rise Switch from Steel to Timber

The rise of timber in Australia, both metaphorically and literally, continues to gain momentum as the building industry acknowledges the environmental, quality, handling and cost benefits in mid-rise residential and commercial construction.

RGD Group, like Hyne Timber, is an award winning, privately owned success story, known for its integrity, innovation and high level expertise.

Nothing confirms this more than their impressive and diverse portfolio of work over the last 35 years including commercial, retail, high, mid and low-rise residential, health care, aged care, education, childcare and industrial projects. As a company not afraid of change for the better, their latest projects in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast have seen the steel internal framing replaced with Hyne Timber T2 Blue, termite resistant, finger jointed framing.

RGD Group Director, Steve Hopes said the switch to timber is realising many benefits but was predominantly driven by quality assurances for their clients.

“As a carpenter originally, I personally prefer working with timber and as a Director of large scale construction projects, I have to consider all options to deliver the best result for the customer. I’ve worked with both timber and steel and find timber framing provides a stronger, cheaper and easier to use building material. Slam a door in steel frame and it seems flimsy whereas a timber frame provides a solid, quality finish for example. The tradesmen prefer it. In fact, they once asked to go back to steel, so we did. But then they immediately wanted to change back to timber which we have now used ever since. The final fit-out can all be nailed into timber as opposed to screwed so all the trades involved at that stage prefer working with timber also. It’s also cheaper meaning savings from using timber can be redirected into other quality finishings!” Mr Hopes said.

With over 600 residential units either underway or planned all using timber internal framing, RGD Group is at the heart of the South East Queensland ‘multi-res’ boom. By using timber, they also use their own qualified carpenters and plasterers, achieving more quality control throughout the stages of construction.

Peter Tregaskis, Hyne Timber’s Customer Manager for Sunshine Mitre 10 who supply RGD Group, met with Steve Hopes at one of the Brisbane job sites to gain further insight.

“As Steve Hopes, an industry expert said, the actual handling, cost efficiency and quality benefits of using timber for their internal structures leaves me wondering why others aren’t using timber also. Russell Maher, the Commercial Sales Rep for Sunshine Mitre 10 joined me on the visit to one of RGD Groups sites and we were both impressed with the focus on using timber deliberately and specifically to improve the quality of the finish. Maybe the selling points of timber in this type of construction have been overlooked in the past, or the industry more broadly is shy of change for the better. Construction companies wanting to know more about the use of finger jointed, treated timber in this kind of application, should contact a supplier of Hyne Timber products.” Mr Tregaskis said.

In addition to its world class softwood, sawmilling and treatment operations, Hyne Timber specialises in Glue-laminated Timber (Glulam) for portal frame structures, providing structural timber solutions and custom design features.

The environmental benefits of using sustainable grown, Australian plantation pine should not be overlooked. It’s renewable, recyclable, waste efficient, biodegradable, non-toxic and it locks away carbon. These environmental credentials help to protect our environment for future generations.

Hyne Timber prides itself on having no wasted timber; all of the processed pine tree stems are used. The chips produced from the sawing process are sold as fibre, the sawdust is used in their own kilns and the bark ends up in potting mix.

Hyne Timber is one of Australia’s largest, privately owned timber manufacturers and a historic icon, now in its 134th year of business.