Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions planning big growth after moving into new Avalon facility

    17 JUNE 2019

    John Fitzgibbon is the managing director of CLOS

    A company trumpeted as a game changer in the Geelong construction industry is set to ramp up employment as it swings its new Avalon factory into operation.

    Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions will start frame and cassette fabrication for its first project in central Geelong, a prefabricated four-level apartment building, in the next few weeks.

    Taking the keys to its 3000sq m home at the Avalon industrial precinct in April, the company intends to extend its footprint to become Australia’s second cross-laminated timber producer within five years.

    The use of cross-laminated timber is more sustainable for the environment than other methods of construction, most notably concrete, and in conjunction with off-site production can reduce building costs.

    Managing director John Fitzgibbon said CLOS, which would ¬initially import the cross-laminated timber, had projects lined up and was starting to employ people, including for roles on the factory floor.

    “We are looking at about 10 people over the next four months, and by the end of the year another six on top of that,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

    There are also plans to add a 2000sq m canopy, at a cost of about $800,000, early next year to give its factory greater storage and operational capacity.

    Additional space to build a new factory at Avalon have been identified to house automated production lines in the future.

    Mr Fitzgibbon said the company’s position in the market would be as ¬designing prefabricated solutions for custom projects whether that be ¬single or multi-level, industrial, commercial or residential builds.

    “We want to be solutions based,” he said.

    “Come to us with a design proposal and we will show you how to do that with prefabrication.

    “Whether that’s a prefabricated single-level dwelling, a four-level dwelling or whether it’s 15 levels.”

    Quintessential Equity, the diversified commercial property group that delivered the WorkSafe building in Malop St, is exploring opportunities to partner with CLOS on projects in Geelong and around the country.

    Executive chairman Shane Quinn, who has described CLOS as a game changer for the construction industry, said using cross-laminated timber was aligned to Quintessential Equity’s commitment to green design.

    “We’re excited about CLOS ¬because Quintessential Equity has been eyeing our first cross-laminated timber building for some time and it also kickstarts advanced manufacturing in Geelong, which will create jobs in that area which has been so good to us,” Mr Quinn said.

    He said a recent report suggested the global CLT market would double in value over the next six years as ¬demand in Asia Pacific and North America started to catch up with parts of central Europe already using CLT to great effect.

    CLOS has been pushing the case for advanced manufacturing with various community projects in Geelong, and Mr Fitzgibbon said he ¬wanted to establish long-term ¬relationships at The Gordon in off-site and advanced manufacturing, and working with Deakin University to promote innovation in mass timber use within the university.

    “We want the uni students to come here and learn about off-site manufacturing and mass timber, whether they are construction, architecture or engineering students,” he said.

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