The construction industry is in the midst of a paradigm shift which promises to revolutionise the way we design, engineer and build. This is according to Jamie Smylie, architect and founder of Xlam.

Timber is the building material of the future. Image credit:

Timber is the building material of the future. Image credit:

According to Smylie, the concept of ‘Design for Manufacturing and Assembly’ (DfMA) is at the heart of this paradigm shift. This methodology embraces the use of technology and an advanced manufacturing process to allow for more precisely fabricated structures.

“With the tools that BIM software, CAD, CAM and industrial fabrication have given us, we can now manufacture large components of buildings in an ‘off-site’ factory environment, and then assemble them on site,” says Smylie.

Smylie adds that this modern approach to construction has an incredible partner in the timber industry, and particularly in mass timber (CLT, XLAM, Glulam, NLT) as an alternative to traditional concrete, masonry and steel.

Mass timber is a sustainable material which is easily customised and machined to very high tolerances, making it perfect for DfMA.

“This integrated process allows for structures to be built cheaper, faster and more sustainably and has lead some to refer to this as the construction industry’s Uber moment,” says Smylie.