Timber panel system a game changer

Timber panel system a game changer
Chris Bell Construction has been involved in the design and in pioneering the use of a ground-breaking PLT panel system technology produced by TARANAKIPINE.

Admitting he had no clear plans when he stepped out on his own in 2006, Chris Bell says the journey has gone very well.
The New Plymouth-based builder found himself busy enough to start employing staff within 12 months of establishing and since then he hasn’t looked back.
Nor has he had any ‘down years’ as many builders experienced and today the company has 28 on board.
“We have three project managers, one quantity surveyor, two office administrators with the balance a mix of qualified carpenters and apprentices.”
Chris thinks the apprenticeship system needs to be reviewed.
Those apprentices, he says, that are academically capable, can get through to becoming qualified without necessarily enough practical time on the tools.
“We make our apprentices go for 3 ½ to 4 years. We’re really fortunate because the range of projects we take on provide them with a really good grounding.”
Chris Bell Construction has been involved in the design and in pioneering the use of a ground-breaking panel system technology produced by TARANAKIPINE.
Woodspan® PLT (Parallel Laminated Timber) Panels offer a number of benefits and Chris Bell Construction has been using the product on a number of projects.
“We’ve been providing professional feedback to TARANAKIPINE on the performance of the product and have found it an excellent technology to use.

Timber panel system a game changer
The stunning Hinton residence at Oakura was built using PLT panels.

 
“They are as simple to work with as they are strong and efficient, cutting down construction time by as much as 30%.”
Using PLT can impact significantly on foundation sizes and is ideal when challenging ground conditions present.
“Because the product is structurally extremely sound yet lighter than concrete or steel options benefits can be achieved in the structural costs and in the time it takes to apply the panels.”
The Hinton residence at Oakura, 15 minutes drive south of New Plymouth, was built using PLT panels.
Work on the two-storey architecturally designed home began last August and was completed in time for the owners to move in by Christmas.
Chris says the modular flooring and ceiling system is a ground-breaker and when Business Central spoke with him his company were building their seventh house using the system.
Currently Chris Bell Construction is the only building company using the technology and Chris says he wouldn’t go back to using other conventional timber systems.
Chris is interested in looking at applying the PLT system to building Tiny Houses.
“They are just big slabs of timber that butt into each other so they would be ideal to apply to building smaller dwellings.”
The company is still involved in testing the fixing and insulation of the panels and providing this feedback to TARANAKIPINE.
With plenty of work on his books, ranging from residential new builds, alterations and additions, commercial and industrial work Chris says he’s satisfied with the size and capacity of his company.
“We’re at a size where I have control of quality. We do have a very good reputation we’ve gathered through delivering consistently high quality and, now 13 years since starting the company my priority is to ensure that remains.”
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