Supporting the frame and truss sector

Timber has used extensively throughout this beautiful Queenstown home

Timber has used extensively throughout this beautiful Queenstown home

Dedication and commitment to ensuring New Zealand builders and building owners get the very best quality finished product is the aim of the Frame and Truss Manufacturers’ Association of New Zealand (FTMA), says chairman, Robert Grimmer.

“We represent the majority of the prefabricated timber framing industry in New Zealand, and are leading the way to ensure that prefabricated timber wall frames and roof trusses remain the preferred choice for building in New Zealand.”

He says the well-established industry sector has been around for more than 50 years, with the manufacture off site of timber wall frames going back to around 1960, and roof trusses from around 1964.

“Timber framed houses have been the norm since then with probably 90 percent of standalone residential buildings constructed using timber framing. One driver of change in the current climate is the rise of more multi-unit residential buildings, apartments and duplexes, which tend to use much less timber framing.”

FTMA has been promoting timber and raising the standards of the frame and truss industry since it was formed in 1998 by a group of proactive frame and truss fabricators.

Today FTMA has around 70 members, and an executive of 12, who meet every two-and-a-half months.

“We have a voluntary membership base with very good takeup, representing around 80 percent of the total number of fabricators in New Zealand,” says Robert.

In June 2015, FTMA ended its six-year association with the Wood Processsors and Manufacturers Association to become a standalone organisation, following the restructure of the WPMA.

“We are a relatively small association so at the time it made sense for us to have an alliance with another organisation to share administrative resources, along with some lobbying and advocacy functions. We acknowledge the WPMA board for their support during this mutually beneficial partnership.”

FTMA has since appointed a private Auckland company to provide administration and financial services, and has become a member of the Building Industry Federation (BIF), which is responding to the government on issues that affect the construction sector, as well as advocating on the promotion of industry standards, development and engagement of key research issues, reviews of timber treatment and grading, and the resolution of issues arising from recent amendments to the Building Act.

“We are confident of a positive, meaningful and effective association with BIF, which is covering the access to government we previously enjoyed via WPMA.”

Robert says common interests between FTMA and BIF has led to strong interaction between the two organisations already.

“We are seeing a greater intertwining of what our members do with broader building disciplines. One example is the rise in prefabricated products being imported from overseas, which can be treated in quite a different way to New Zealand made products in terms of demonstrating meeting the requirements of the NZ Building Code. This is an issue BIF is wrestling with across the entire building sector.”

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