Company and History
Timberbuilt was established by Bruce Hutchings in 1982 in response to a declining use of timber for commercial scale buildings. Since the 1950’s the decline in the use of timber paralleled a reduced availability of engineers interested and knowledgeable in timber engineering design and tradespersons with the understandings necessary to fabricate timber structures other than houses. It was apparent that timber systems had the potential to fulfil many building needs beyond housing scale but that new structural systems, materials and a technology based fabrication approach would be required. The integration of factory based prefabrication into the same entity as the timber engineering design would build competencies in both areas; it would also provide efficiencies and ensure control of quality in order to achieve appropriate levels of structural reliability for the completed structure. Timberbuilt was born from this understanding.
In the past 30 plus years Timberbuilt has participated in the development of new materials, material property characterisations, design technologies and software development. We have designed and prefabricated literally 100’s of timber structures with clear spans up to and in some cases exceeding 40 metres and with plan area as large as 2.6 hectare. Projects have been located all across Australia including in South Australia, the south of Western Australia and in the north-west at South Hedland, at Horne Island at the very tip of Cape York, Mt Isa and all down the east coast through Brisbane, northern and inland NSW, Sydney surrounds, throughout Victoria and Tasmania and as far south as Macquarie Island. Overseas project locations include Kiribati in the Pacific, Fiji, a number of projects in New Zealand and at the Venice Biennale Architecture 2012. These projects have included a substantial use of laminated veneer lumber but also hardwood and softwood glued laminated timber, sawn timber and structural plywood. All have been designed and extensively prefabricated by Timberbuilt and successfully installed with virtually no on-site requirement for skilled carpentry, specialised installers or a Timberbuilt presence.
Timberbuilt continues to be a leader in the current renaissance for the use of timber for large span and multi-level structures. In 2007, Timberbuilt purchased a German Hundegger K2 CNC joinery machine and simultaneously invested in developing BIM capability. The Hundegger K2 machine is able to process large section, long length engineered timber to intricate detail and precision and provide a breadth of jointing options ranging from traditional mortise and tenon, dovetail joints and large moment resisting dowelled connections and suchlike. The effective use of BIM and the high level CNC capability sets Timberbuilt at the forefront of timber engineering in Australia as has been recognised by recent Architectural and Engineering Innovation & Excellence Awards.