Australian programme to invest $300 million in mass timber buildings

Image: Clean Energy Finance Corporation

On behalf of the Australian government, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will be investing in a $300 million programme to encourage mass timber construction across the property sector in Australia.

The Timber Building Programme aims to cut construction-related emissions, providing a greener alternative to conventional construction materials. The CEFC determined through research the need to transform the approach to construction to achieve an economy-wide transition to net zero emissions.

The $300m will be invested in projects Australia wide, including commercial offices, retail, industrial, healthcare and education. Finance may also be available for multi-residential apartments, seniors living and student accommodation projects. Concessional finance may be available under certain circumstances. 

According to CEFC, eligible projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may include those which: use low carbon engineered wood products in large-scale construction; have secured appropriate materials source, accreditation and embodied carbon outcomes; require $20-75m in CEFC debt finance; are commercially sound, reflecting the rigorous investment requirements of the CEFC; and comply with the CEFC Investment Policies, Guidelines and Risk Approach. 

Ian Learmonth, CEO of CEFC, commented: “Timber has been used in construction for generations. Innovations in engineered wood products have created new opportunities for mass timber construction to be used in larger projects, creating the potential for immediate and long-term environmental benefits.  

“Our new Timber Building Program will help finance this transition by encouraging owners, developers and builders to use lower carbon engineered wood products in their projects.  The CEFC has a strong track record in financing new market developments, from large-scale solar to cleantech start-ups. We are excited to bring this expertise to sustainable construction.”

Founded in 2012, the CEFC is an Australian government-owned establishment, dedicated to accelerating investments in Australia’s transition to net zero emissions.