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The magnificent 7

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Discover innovative products that are flying off the shelves. Don’t miss out on these best-selling favourites and must-have essentials in the building and construction industry.

Anne-Maree Brown

General Manager of Content

After a turbulent two years of dealing with lockdown orders, shortages of labour, supply chain disruptions and financing strains, the building and construction industry now sees a positive future on the horizon. These issues have challenged the industry to innovate and produce competitive new ideas and products.

Looking forward, new technology continues to change the construction site, improve the ability to win projects, and increase profit margins. Read on to discover seven visionary trends for 2022 that can help you stay competitive. 

 

Splitting airs 

Over the past two years, homeowners have experienced life indoors more than ever before. So, it’s no surprise that a comfortable and healthy home life is high on homeowner’s radar in 2022.

Daikin has been heating and cooling Australian homes for over 50 years, which makes them experts in dealing with the extremes of our harsh climate. 

Alira X is the latest addition to Daikin’s comprehensive range of split-system air conditioners. It delivers the perfect fusion of whisper-quiet comfort, industry-leading energy efficiency and indoor air-quality technology.

A highly effective three-layer filtration system, including Daikin’s patented Streamer technology, offers advanced air purification that takes home comfort and health to the next level. This system removes bacteria, allergens, mould, pollen, traffic pollution, dust, odours and indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde from the indoor environment.

To further ensure optimal indoor air quality, its Mould-Proof Operation mode activates at the end of cooling or drying operations to dry and sterilise the unit before powering off to prevent mould growth on internal components. 

Other advanced features include:

  • built-in wi-fi
  • 2-Area Intelligent Eye that enables energy saving operations when the room is unoccupied
  • Coanda airflow which streams air upwards along the ceiling for rapid cooling and uniform temperature distribution. 

With health in mind, Daikin’s split-system air-conditioners are approved by the National Asthma Council of Australia’s Sensitive Choice program, and are identified as best suited for people affected by asthma and allergies. Daikin is the only split-system brand to be recognised by this program for its air-filtration and purification technology.

With local manufacturing, over 550 employees, a specialist dealer network and quality after-sales support, it’s no wonder its mission to make an environment feel like ‘home’ is true for many Australians.
 
Daikin's Alira X air-conditioning takes home comfort to the next level

To be sure, be assured

When building, you need to be confident in the products you specify and select. To provide this level of assurance, certification and compliance are required.

Dincel Structural Walling, an Australian engineering-led manufacturer, is committed to solving the industry’s permanent polymer formwork needs. Most importantly, its ‘Quality Assured’ initiatives have been established to remove the risk of error.

Its patented accessory, the Dincel Vertical Reo Clip, is an easy solution to ensure vertical bars are installed in the right position with the right amount of concrete cover. This eliminates the risk of mistakes during the pour.

However, that’s not the only risk of missteps that can take place in the pouring process. There’s also the risk of air voids being created if conventional concrete vibration is not adequate. Voids can lead to issues with structure, fire, and acoustics. As a solution, Dincel is championing the use of self-compacting concrete. This solution overcomes improper concreting practices, and the need for vibration for compaction purposes.

Product development is not the only way in which Dincel champions quality assurance. The company is also passionate about continuing off-site support. Whether you’re an architect or installer, the Dincel Academy provides free workshops suited to both new and more experienced users. From compliance to installation and finishes, the interactive, hands-on workshops show how Dincel Structural Walling will benefit your next build.

Post off-site training, Dincel provides a 31-point comprehensive Installation On-Site Checklist, included with each delivery. In addition, its team of after-sales service managers can assist you throughout your build. The team will touch base prior to installation starting, guiding you through the build methodology and assisting with on-site training.
 
Dincel Structural Walling is committed to solving the industry’s permanent polymer formwork needs

Paint range achieves eco accreditation

Sustainability is always at the forefront of Dulux product research and development. Over recent decades, it has led the way in shifting from solvent-based to water-based paint products with no reduction in quality or performance.

That effort was recently rewarded when the Dulux envirO2 range achieved certification under the prestigious Global GreenTag program. This makes Dulux the first major paint brand in Australia and New Zealand to hold this internationally recognised eco-accreditation. 

To be specific, Dulux’s new envirO2 formulation has achieved a PlatinumHEALTH and GreenRATE Level A certification with Global GreenTag’s Product Health Declarations.

‘Some low VOC paints compromise on performance, but envirO2 delivers a premium finish that’s washable and stain-resistant,’ says David Adams, Dulux senior brand manager. ‘It helps to prevent mould growth without compromising on quality and application properties, such as opacity and finish.’ 

Dulux envirO2 has been tested for high levels of washability to ensure it goes the distance. And when it comes to stain resistance against common household products, the formulation ensures it’s extremely easy to clean. 

David notes that the health and safety of consumers, customers and the environment form a core element of Dulux’s business. ‘We’re committed to ongoing research and development of innovation that reduces the environmental impact of our products, without affecting their outstanding performance,’ he says. 

Dulux envirO2 also has an independently verified and registered Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). According to David, ‘EPDs, much like a nutrition label, provide objective, science-based environmental data and other information, including the environmental performance of a product throughout its life cycle.’ 

Dulux envirO2’s premium range includes water-based enamel, semi-gloss, acrylic sealer undercoat, ceiling flat, and interior low-sheen and matt paint. It’s available in colours tinted off a vivid white base, but Dulux plans to expand the range in future. 
 
Sustainability is always at the forefront of Dulux product research and development

Fresh venting 

There’s no doubt about the benefits of roof ventilation, especially in countries such as Australia with its extremely hot temperatures. Just a few days of moderate-to-high temperatures can result in heat build-up. That heat becomes trapped in the roof cavity as the sun beats down, while warm air from inside the house also rises. 

During the cooler months, humid air can get caught in roof cavities. If there’s no escape, it can condensate clinging to timber trusses and moistening insulation and plaster, which can lead to damage. 

VENT-A-ROOF® is a concealed, cost-effective, easy-to-install roof ventilation system that uses the power of natural airflow to ventilate residential, commercial and light industrial buildings with metal roofs. It’s installed under traditional ridges, hips and barges, making it extremely versatile while providing clean rooflines. And because VENT-A-ROOF has no moving parts, it’s completely silent. 

It uses the same principles as other natural ventilation systems. ‘As the roof space heats, hot air is drawn towards the highest natural point. This naturally escapes through the integrated louvre, creating a passive, natural and continuous flow of air,’ explains Tony Jamieson, Lysaght’s national specification manager.

‘At the same time, any positive airflow across the ridge of the roof creates a negative pressure on the leeward side which pulls air out from the ridge vent and brings in fresh air from intake vents in the eaves or below. Basically, the two thermal effects create a continuous flow of air, allowing cool air into the roof space and extracting hot air.’

As with all products from Lysaght, builders and installers can rest easy knowing VENT-A-ROOF has been developed for demanding Australian conditions and extensively tested here. The system is BAL- and Cyclone-rated, has Form 15 compliance and is compliant with 2019 NCC ventilation requirements. 
 

Reducing the carbon footprint

There is increased demand for quality products that deliver real performance and promote circular economy principles that reduce the impact on the environment. As the world moves towards ambitious energy targets, the focus is on producing less carbon. Knauf Insulation is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of buildings by producing innovative smart insulation solutions that save energy and are sustainable. 

Up to 40 per cent of the energy used in buildings is generated from heating and cooling, making it the most effective area to make energy savings. Installing Earthwool® insulation increases the thermal efficiency of a home by maintaining a more comfortable temperature inside and reducing the energy output. By saving energy, you’re saving on energy costs as well. 

The benefits of installing Earthwool go beyond saving energy. An area of construction that’s often overlooked is the acoustic performance of a house. Earthwool greatly reduces outside noise, such as traffic, aircraft and noisy neighbours, but is also highly effective in reducing the transmission of noise through internal walls around the likes of media rooms and bathrooms. This is especially important now as more people are working from home and need a quiet space.

The natural, earthy brown colour of Earthwool is a result of using ECOSE® Technology, a sustainable, bio-based binder that contains no added formaldehyde, along with no artificial colours or dyes added to the process.

As part of its commitment to lowering carbon emissions, Knauf Insulation has opened a new, high-tech production facility that allows the type of innovations that will continue to produce more sustainable solutions.
 
The natural, earthy brown colour of Earthwool is a result of using ECOSE® Technology, a sustainable, bio-based binder that contains no added formaldehyde

Lumber support

Multiple factors have coincided to bring about the current problems in timber supply, in ways that are unlikely to ever be repeated. The Black Summer fires in 2019–20 removed 130,000 hectares of commercial plantations, as well as destroying nearly 3000 homes. This was followed by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This kicked off before most of those homes were rebuilt. Then came the seemingly sweet sugar hit of Homebuilder.

On the global market, the US started competing internationally for wood, which drove up prices. Just as that distortion began to ease a little, the disruptions to global shipping became apparent. Along with exorbitant price hikes and port jams, competition for space on shipping boats became a pressured race with no winners. Locally, importers have always operated with practical just-in-time models, holding large inventories, which have been eaten down to nothing over the past 12 months. The perfect storm, perhaps? The thunder just kept on rolling.

Leon Quinn, national sales and marketing manager of Tilling Timber, says, ‘The leading distributors are good at what we do, but we’re all in the same boat: we have supply chain issues we’ve never faced before. This took place at the same time as having a boom in demand – this comes from across the sector and across the country. So we’ve had to think differently to control what we could.’

One approach Tilling has taken is to look at speed of supply. By installing specifically designed freight container slip-sheets at their Kilsyth site in Victoria, the ability to unload faster than ever is now a reality. Sydney and Brisbane’s slip-sheets will follow shortly. 

‘We feel the pressure everyone is under. However, by seeing a container unload in 10 minutes, we know we’re getting stock to our loyal customers as soon as we can,’ say Leon. ‘We look forward to easing the strain in 2022 and beyond in any way we can.’

 
By installing specifically designed freight container slip-sheets, the ability to unload faster than everis now a reality for tilling timber

Modelling the future

Australia’s building industry is very familiar with constructing low-rise timber-framed homes, but go above three storeys and, for most, the familiarity fades. WoodSolutions Mid-rise Timber Demonstration Model is a simple way to become informed of the requirements of taller timber projects.

As timber, both traditional stick framing and the newer mass timber systems, becomes more popular for cost and environmental reasons, builders who are familiar with the requirements of the material will gain a competitive advantage. 
The WoodSolutions Mid-rise Timber Demonstration Model shows a range of NCC compliant solutions that optimise the benefits of timber. 

The three-storey model is based on the requirements of a seven-storey building and details virtually every feature of the construction. Where there are multiple options, the most common one is usually shown. Cut-away sections and details expose the design and construction solutions.

The ground floor shows a staggered double LVL stud wall, laterally restrained by OSB. The wall is lined with two layers of 13mm fire-resistant plasterboard. Look up and you’ll see an example of a cassette floor, as used between two sole occupancy units. Other features shown on the ground floor include a nib wall, hold-down and shear brackets, corner details, an intumescent cavity barrier and various external wall and cladding options.

The structural core of the model has been designed as a stair shaft but could be a lift core or services rise. Finishes are purposefully kept to a minimum to show the connections between the elements. The CLT elements in this section are perfectly cut to size and held together with high-capacity screws and connectors. The stair flights are completely prefabricated.

At a higher level, the LVL option is shown. Structural cores have also been designed with stud frames in some mid-rise projects.

Examples of connector types, services installation, wall truss braces and fire-rated penetrations, bathroom floor set downs, acoustic solutions, balcony details and roof cassettes are also shown.

 
The WoodSolutions Mid-rise Timber Demonstration Model

This article was compiled with contributions from Daikin, Dincel, Dulux, Earthwool, Tilling Group, VENT-A-ROOF® and WoodSolutions.

For more information, go to:

Alira X

Dincel

Dulux

Earthwool

Tilling Group

VENT-A-ROOF®

WoodSolutions