Termites cause over $80 million damage each year in Australia. They cost us more than fire, flood and storms. Yet you cannot insure against termite damage.

For years, the building industry has been asking for a solution to the havoc termites wreak on timber products. Until now, the best they could get was surface treated or pressure impregnated timber, which often required additional treatment on-site. In many instances chemically treated timber requires the resealing of cut, bored or drilled pieces making life difficult for a tradesperson.

Enter futurebuild . futurebuild has been developing engineered building products and solutions for the building industry for nearly 20 years. Hybeam Engineered I-Joists are a perfect example. They’re strong, light and easy to handle and have proven to be a highly successful product. And now they’re even better. An H2 treatment has been added to the Hybeam glue line providing effective, safe protection from termites and other insects in above ground, interior flooring and framing applications. Hybeam H2 is perhaps the most ingenious development in recent years. In addition it is sealed with a bright yellow water resistant coating for moisture protection and easy identification on-site. Denis Tosin, futurebuild’s Australian Market Manager gives an overview, “Our latest innovation in the Hybeam H2 treated I-Joist comes from many years of requests from the building industry to provide a solution for termites.”

Denis continues, “There are several great innovative solutions available such as Granitgard, Termimesh, even reticulation systems, along with several chemical barriers with most requiring careful attention to installation or maintenance. Unfortunately termites can enter from the most unusual areas and it is common for them to enter via service penetrations made for pipes and wiring.”

Denis adds, “Our Hybeam H2 treated I-Joist is not so much a brand new invention but given that it has the preservative added to the glue line, it is treated to the core, so to speak.” Jim Creffield, scientist for CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products confirmed the good news when he recently conducted a series of laboratory and field trials on Hybeam H2. Jim explains his findings, “Hybeam performed exceptionally well against Coptotermes acinaciformis, Australia’s most economically important species of subterranean termite, in both the CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products laboratory as well as in the field in the Tropics of the Northern Territory. The glue used in the manufacture of Hybeam H2 contains the insecticide bifenthrin. After manufacture of Hybeam H2 the insecticide is ‘locked up’ in the glue line and is highly effective as a repellent against termites.” Jim adds, “Bifenthrin has already proven to be a successful soil termiticide, is used in some household insect sprays and in many commercial agricultural applications, so to see it now being applied as a glue line treatment of wood products is an exciting development.” H2 treated Hybeam is manufactured to provide termite resistance equivalent to AS1604 Hazard Level 2 for all of Australia south of the tropic of Capricorn. It also conforms to the NSW Timber Marketing Act and the Queensland Timber Utilisation and Marketing Act.

What does this all mean for the builder? Hybeam H2 does not require any resealing or follow up maintenance, making it easier for the builder, plumber, electrician or heating/air conditioning tradesman to install any services. And then there’s the peace of mind for builder and owner alike.

Denis Tosin enthuses, “In general, I believe that we mould and shape ourselves closely to the building needs of the builder, architect and designer as well as making it easier for stockists to handle our products. We are excited by this new initiative and whilst Hybeam H2 is not a new product, it is a new solution.” One that termites will find highly unappetising, no doubt.