While the vast majority of New Zealand residential homes are built out of timber framing, the same cannot be said for commercial high rise buildings. Timber framing is a very renewable resource, but the concrete columns and beams that are used in high rise buildings are absolutely not renewable. The cement used in concrete requires a vast amount energy to manufacture.
Almost every new residential building in New Zealand does use at least some concrete, weather for fittings or pilings four wooden floored building, or for the entire floor or for the driveway and garage flooring. While the volume of concrete in a standard concrete floor looks enormous when finished, most of the volume is made up by large polystyrene blocks, and the concrete is really a series of crosshatch steel reinforced concrete beams with a thin layer of concrete for the floor.
The timber used for the framing is very renewable as it is quickly growing in New Zealand and the processing required to turn trees into framing is minimal compared to the processing required to manufacture cement and concrete products. The timber is easy to work with and is very quick to erect and to nail. Most framing is delivered completed on site on the back of a truck, as it was assembled using highly automated techniques and a nearby Factory. Price of timber in the New Zealand domestic market reflects the international prices that can be obtained, but the cost of the finished framing is more a result of the degree of automation and scale at the assembly plant.
Modern house building can happen very quickly, the frames can be assembled offsite very accurately, so that when they are moved on site there is little to no onsite adjustment required when the frames and Trusses are being erected. 1 competent and energetic builder 10 erect a two story house frame and trusses over 3 days, yes he has the assistance of labourers and a crane.
Once the roof trusses are on then the roof can be completed, and this should only take 2 to 3 days for a brand new roof. The wall cladding can then be installed, and depending on the cladding type this work can also take 3 to 5 days at most. The window Joinery can then be installed as can the doors, and at that point the house can be locked and secured handmade weatherproof. At this stage the internal work on the house including the plumbing and electrical work and then the linings can all be carried out independent of every weather situation.