Laminated timber combines strength with beauty
From residential to commercial construction, Techlam Ltd’s glulaminated structural timber solutions feature in numerous award winning buildings and structures throughout New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.
From Pacific resorts to New Zealand educational and sporting facilities, Techlam’s structural laminated timber designs have brought strength and beauty to many large scale projects.
Wellington’s International Airport Terminal building and the Fiji Marriott Resort in Momi Bay are stunning examples of engineered timber products designed, manufactured and supplied by the Levin based company.
In essence, glulaminated timber is engineered wood—structural posts and beams—comprised of many pieces of wood laminated together giving it a far higher strength to weight ratio than alternative materials such as steel or concrete.
Established 25 years ago by Andrew and Anna Hamilton, Techlam is a showcase of a kiwi business success story.
What started as a one-man joinery and laminating business operating from the Hamilton’s garage developed into a multi-million dollar enterprise employing over 40 staff, designing, manufacturing and supplying products throughout New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.
Techlam has recently made two large extensions to its factory with new machinery currently on the water and some already installed to accommodate the increased demand for its products.
Remaining a family run business and retaining the same values of trust and integrity that have been the cornerstones of Techlam’s success, Andrew and Anna’s son Brett now fills the General Manager’s seat.
Passionate about the timber industry and the business established by his parents, Brett says that the company has seen significant growth over the last five years, aligned with consumer confidence in timber as a structural building material.
“The timber industry has definitely taken off and architects and structural engineers are starting to use it a lot more in the low to mid rise buildings—be that residential or commercial. We do anything from bridge structures to low – medium rise commercial and residential buildings, gymnasiums, swimming pools, maraes—you name it we can make it. We can do whatever size the client wants—we have manufactured beams over 35 metres long.”
Reflecting on the many advantages that laminated timber has over alternative materials, Brett points out that every time you chop one tree down another gets planted—but once ore is taken from the ground it is non-renewable.
“Timber is a sustainable resource and an ethical option, laminated timber provides the advantage of very good fire ratings, it’s environmentally friendly and it stores carbon.”
Brett says that Techlam has just finished manufacturing and supplying the laminated timbers to the Hutt Valley Health Hub building—New Zealand’s first IL4 (Importance level 4) engineered timber building.
“IL4 means that it will remain operational during a seismic event—it’s designed to withstand a one in 2500 year earthquake. That building is just coming out of the ground now. That’s another project we are very proud of and it’s exciting being involved in those sorts of projects, which are very innovative in New Zealand.”
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