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Futurebuild LVL Supports Kaikoura Island Project

The ambitious Kaikoura Island (Motu Kaikoura) project is now in its final stages. A collaboration between Architecture+Women NZ and Strachan Group Architects (SGA), the project involves designing, building and installing a prefabricated lodge for the Motu Kaikoura Trust, to replace their community building that was destroyed by arson.

The lodge, located on Kaikoura Island, off Great Barrier Island is part of a crown owned scenic reserve, and is used for outdoor and environmental research and education with policies based around sustainability. Given the island's remote and hard to access location, the majority of the build has been completed prefab-style in Auckland.

When designing and building prefabricated projects, lightweight, economical and easy to work with materials are paramount to increase productivity and efficiency. Futurebuild LVL and Ecoply Barrier by CHH Woodproducts were used across the build for their ability to meet these requirements. Produced in New Zealand from renewable plantation pine, these engineered wood products were also able to meet the sustainable vision that was encompassed in the lodge's design.

As well as meeting the sustainable requirements of the project, Futurebuild hySPAN and hyCHORD were utilised for the precision and consistency these products are known for. The precise manufacturing of Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) creates a product that is straight, true, strong, and dimensionally stable which was used to ensure this build is accurate to the nearest degree — critical in prefabrication construction.

“We love the fact that LVL is straight, comes in long lengths and with prefab, precision is required so panels, cassettes and cartridges fit together well,” comments Dave Strachan (SGA).

The strong yet lightweight nature of hySPAN and hyCHORD was also important to keep the weight of the build to its minimum while still achieving the strength requirements necessary for a very high wind zone. With the need to helicopter the prefabricated cassettes from a barge to the final site, lightweight timber is not just easier to work with, but advantageous to reduce the weight to counter in the transport requirements. Using hyCHORD for studs enabled SGA to increase the stud centres to further keep down the weight of the panels.

The Kaikoura Island project encompasses many elements that illustrate the benefits of engineered wood products, and in particular LVL, in prefabrication construction for achieving a build that is sustainable, economical, accurate and lightweight.

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