Guest Post: Alpine Lakes

June 15th, 2014 at 7:27 am by David Farrar

A guest post by Paul Lindsay at Alpine Lakes:

Alpine Lakes is building its first house featuring cross-laminated timber floor and roof structure.  Cross laminated timber panels are made out of timber glued together in layers that are at right angles to each other, like a giant panel of plywood except it each layer is made out of timber planks rather than veneers.  They are available with a visual grade if the timber will be visible or standard grade if that side of a panel will not be seen.

The panels replace the traditional floor joists and rafters, allowing the building to be closed in very quickly.  The floor was installed on Friday the 13th of June in about two hours, ready for framing to be put up.  The ceiling panels will also be installed very quickly this week.  There is also a time saving at the end of the project since the panels require much less preparation than a conventional plasterboard ceiling.

The costs of construction have begun to increase dramatically in the last two or three years, with labour costs and compliance becoming a larger part of the overall build cost.  One answer to this is to pre-fabricate building elements off site.  Although this will mean the cost of materials is higher, it also reduces the cost of labour on site and there is an overall reduction in the build cost.  The cross laminated timber allows for a time saving of at least two weeks, saving money on labour and construction finance.

The house will be handed over after it has been lined, ready for the owner to decorate it and install the kitchen.  Delivering a short form house to a handyman who will do the work that does not need a licensed building practitioner is another means for people to save on building costs.

The timber panels were manufactured by XLam NZ Ltd  Alpine Lakes Ltd provide building kitsets and a custom plan service in the Wellington and Manawatu regions.  They can also arrange for a builder to build the kitset to completion or to a stage where the owner to take over.  They will be writing a weblog about the build so that interested readers can follow the progress at  

For more information contact Paul Lindsay on (06) 364 0301.

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6 Responses to “Guest Post: Alpine Lakes”

  1. Colville (3,123 comments) says:

    Someone actually doing a bit of value added with wood rather than just shipping it over to China as logs.


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  2. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    I stayed in a factory built house in Japan. Everything was perfect.

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  3. jcuknz (697 comments) says:

    If you labour yourself, as I have done twice now, you save even more money … House building is not rocket science and until the regulations were changed and simplified for the benefit of trade builders there were good ‘How to do It’ sources.

    If you are not feeding the banks you have the cash for a better standard of living for yourself and your family.

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  4. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    In the past some people built their own houses and neighbours got together to pour the concrete for the driveway. What happened to all that?

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  5. arkhad (78 comments) says:

    Interesting enough but just want to say that if the site moves in the direction of infomercials / advertorials like this I will be much less inclined to visit.

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  6. Jack5 (9,299 comments) says:

    Douglas fir CLT panels, yes! But are Pinus radiata panels any good? Down the road is there likely to be any possibility of something like leaky homes syndrome with radiata CLT panels?

    Douglas fir (Oregon timber) wildings are spreading around parts of the South Island high country, and there are even volunteer work groups out grubbing it and wilding radiata and scotch pine. Douglas fir could be planted over much of the accessible high country, but DOC wouldn’t like that as it wasn’t here a thousand years ago.

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