Ortech Industries Pty Ltd is a 100% Australian owned company established in 1985, that specialises in the manufacturing and marketing of sustainable building products and construction systems throughout Australia and overseas – Durra Panel and Durra Steel Sections. Manufactured using innovative Australian developed technology, Durra Panel is produced using a unique dry extrusion process that converts a natural and renewable resource; wheat or rice straw fibres (biomass) into durable construction panels. Durra Panel and Durra Steel Sections may be used separately as general purpose construction materials or be combined together to form a wide range of panelised roof, ceiling and wall systems.

Ortech Industries’ vision is to be the leading manufacturer of the world’s most sustainable building material and see it used extensively across the globe, with a purpose of  changing the way the world thinks about building; to start with the end of the building’s useful life in mind. Our mission is to drive saliency and brand awareness for Durra Panel by strengthening  its credentials in the market. We want to improve Durra Panel’s relevance so that it is top of mind for architects, builders and homeowners when it comes to key decision making during building and planning. Our team strive to achieve this through core values of sustainability, quality, growth, focus, tenacity and trustworthiness.

Durra Panel roof, ceiling and wall systems have set the industry benchmark for safety, sustainability, cost efficiency, high performance noise control and fire resistance. Our building materials have been used in landmark projects across the world and are ideal for use in commercial, industrial,  residential and acoustic studio projects. Ortech Industries also provides an innovative lifting frame installation method for Durra Panel roof, ceiling and wall cladding systems. 

The success of Durra Panel and Durra Building Systems is the result of over 50 years of product testing, development and innovation.


1933 – 1945

The Ortech Industries story goes back to the original invention of compressing agricultural fibre into boards. The method was discovered in Sweden in 1933 and the product was called Stramit Board – Stramit being a derivative of the Swedish word for straw. The original primitive invention was refined to produce a rough board that was mainly used for thermal insulation purposes in roofs and walls.

In 1945 the Tomo trading Co Ltd headed by T.J. Mosesson acquired from Sweden the Stramit Board manufacturing rights for the United Kingdom – British Stramit.

1953 – 1980

In 1953, John Hobart an Australian businessman, while on a visit to Europe, became interested in the process for manufacturing a board from wheat straw fibre.  John recognised the potential of the product and bought the original Stramit manufacturing rights and technology to Australia in 1954.

Stramit Industries Australia became a successful publicly listed company, which concentrated on the development of building systems to compliment the Stramit Board product including the roll forming of metal deck roofing and steel beam sections.

The British Stramit operation experienced some difficulties and in 1980 the UK business was acquired by Stramit Australia under the Chairmanship of Edward Green.  Stramit Board production in the UK continued under the control of Stramit Australia.

Following a construction and economic recession in Australia in the late 1980’s the public company Stramit was taken over by BTR Nylex Australia and the UK operation was sold off to Eleco Holdings.

1985 – 1991

In 1985 an experienced group of Australian Stramit personnel headed by Derek Layfield and Neil Williams left the public company and incorporated Ortech Industries Pty Ltd. This company was formed to specialise in the site installation of the Stramit range of products – commercial, industrial and residential product applications.

Ortech Industries grew quickly and soon became one of Stramit’s largest clients in the Australian construction industry. Following the take over of Stramit by the BTR Nylex group, Ortech Industries Managing Director Derek Layfield put forward a proposal to purchase the complete Stramit Board, Stramit Beam operation including the 27 acre manufacturing facility in Bendigo Australia. The proposal was accepted on the 17th May 1991.

The Ortech group set about re-engineering the old Stramit Board manufacturing process which had not progressed beyond 1960’s technology. Industry demands had virtually rendered the old manufacturing technology obsolete.


Years of extensive research and development have been carried out by Ortech Industries in conjunction with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The result is a new and vastly improved reliable panel manufacturing process with machinery built by Ortech Industries in Australia.

The company continues to grow and export with a reputation for delivering a high quality product on time to many remote locations around the world.