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    Lend Lease’s $1 billion prefab start-up to manufacture CLT building components in Sydney factory

    Nathan Johnson

    Lend Lease will open a factory in Sydney next year dedicated to manufacturing pre-fabricated building components, including cross-laminated timber (CLT) framework.  

    The construction heavyweight will commit $1 billion over the next five years to the start-up company which will prefabricate a range of building components including entire wall sections fit with glazing, plasterboard and high-tech CLT.

    The business will be called Design Make and will devote a large portion of their 15,000sqm purpose-built factory to the creating structural elements out of CLT, a material currently not manufactured in Australia but one Lend Lease has experienced much success with.

    The firm has used the material in the past, most notably for the award winning Forte apartments in Melbourne, but previously had it shaped into building components overseas.  As reported by the Australian Financial Review, Lend Lease will not actually be manufacturing CLT, rather importing the material and using it to manufacture components that can be transported to site for rapid building assembly.

    Lend Lease's Australian property chief, Tarun Gupta told the AFR that shifting  a portion of their building production from the construction site to the factory floor will mean increased safety, lower costs and better productivity.

    "You get very precise products that are flat-packed and then delivered on site," Gupta says.

     "They can be put up efficiently. In a very sustainable way you reduce a lot of waste that normally happens in the production cycle."


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