Rotorua-based timber products company Red Stag is about to embark on several building projects to showcase the potential of timber as a construction material in large-scale building projects. Red Stag is New Zealand’s largest saw miller, employing 300 people with annual turnover of NZ$220 million.
The building projects come ahead of plans to build a NZ$35 million Cross-Laminated-Timber plant near its Whakarewarewa plant at Rotorua to be operating in 2019 and producing laminated panels up to 16.5m in length and 4.9m wide.
The first project will be five-level apartments at Clearwater Resort on the northern outskirts of Christchurch using cross laminated timber, and other panel products. The Ministry of Primary Industry through its Primary Growth Partnership is covering about 8 per cent of the NZ$20m Clearwater project.
After completion of the Clearwater project there will be two in Auckland – a retail and office complex, and a hotel. The Government was already building three-story timber structures in Auckland as part of Housing New Zealand projects, managing director of Red Stag wood solutions, Jason Cordes, said.
Red Stag is also planning to expand its truss and frame operation located in Hamilton Airport’s industrial park which produces frames and trusses, floor cassettes and wall panels – designs which bring floor and wall construction together in components to speed up construction.
Cordes, said the New Zealand industry was on the verge of providing large scale laminated timber construction. The opportunities offered in large-scale timber construction had already been demonstrated overseas, he said.
“In Christchurch we will showcase good architecture, good engineering and the best in acoustic properties and fire-resistance. We will make the whole process transparent so everyone can see how it is done and how economically viable timber can be.”