OSM is the construction of buildings and components in a factory which are then transported to the construction site. Last year 155 Kāinga Ora homes throughout the country used OSM construction methodology and this number is expected to increase to over 450 in the next 12 months.

One OSM component that Kāinga Ora has used on several developments is Cross Laminated Timber, or CLT.

“CLT is a wood panel system widely used in Europe and gaining popularity throughout the United States and Australia” says Nick Howcroft, Kāinga Ora Director of Delivery.

“The panel system is used for its strength, stability and rigidity in mid to high level apartment buildings. Timber is layered perpendicular and glued together, it can be used for walls, floors and roofing. The panels can be manufactured to custom dimensions and delivered to construction sites with services penetrations cut and ready to install.

“We’ve been using CLT panels in some of our three-level walk up developments and now we’re applying this method of OSM to one of our six level apartment construction projects” says Nick.

In Auckland’s Avondale Kāinga Ora is developing Highbury Triangle, a complex consisting of 236 apartments across five buildings on a 9,433 sqm site. In the development, one of the buildings includes a six level building for senior citizens using CLT panels for the walls and floors.

Working with build partner CMP Construction the precision involved in the coordination of design before CLT panels are ordered is critical.

“One of the key success factors in this method of construction is design precision and coordination due to strict tolerances. In advance of commencing manufacture the design must be fully coordinated and complete so that when the panels arrive on site they fit together perfectly, with for example, penetrations for services in the correct place. ” says Dom Fleischl, CMP Construction Contracts Manager.

“With the use of OSM panels the time savings will be realised through the construction process. There’s no waiting for formwork to be assembled, reinforcing to be fixed and then concrete poured. We expect the floor cycle on this mass timber building to be considerably quicker than convention methods which will deliver construction time efficiencies” says Dom.

Dom says the scale of the building in Highbury will be something they can leverage for other construction projects. “This project is highly collaborative with CMPs construction team, the design team, engineers and manufacturers. We all want this project to be a success and implement to apply the learnings to future mass timber construction projects.”

The CLT panels for the six level mass timber construction building are expected to be onsite at Highbury Triangle in November this year. The first building in the development will be completed and ready for seniors to move into in the second half of 2023, with more buildings completed over the following 12 months.