mass timber building Atlassian Lee Street Sydney

Australia leads the world in tall mass timber buildings

Mass timber solutions inspire trio of tall timber buildings.

It’s suggested the argument for offsite construction will be won on a case-by-case basis, but innovative builders and developers are increasingly embracing modern methods of construction that’s redefining and, advancing the case for tall timber (mass timber) buildings in Australia.

From high strength to a lighter environmental footprint than concrete or steel, the benefits of mass timber buildings are proven with their ability to create unique, visionary and carbon-neutral outcomes. It’s a message that’s further underscored by the public’s clear appetite for change with quantifiable environmental benefits.

At this year’s Timber Offsite Construction 2022 Conference & Exhibition in Melbourne, June 21-22, Jo Lees, Construction Manager from Hine’s Australia will be presenting 36 Wellington St (Tall Building 1), and Ninotschka Titchkosky, co-CEO, BVN Architects will be presenting the Atlassian building (Tall Building 2).

Tall Timber Building 1

36 Wellington St, Collingwood, Melbourne

Global investment manager Hines have begun construction of a $200 million, 14 level prefabricated timber office tower in Collingwood. It acquired the 2,120 square metre corner site in 2019, and is set to become the tallest of its kind in Melbourne.

It will be built in accordance with their ‘Timber Transit & Technology’ (T3) strategy. The strategy is a unique and highly successful global program where their construction methodology replaces traditional systems such as concrete and steel with prefabricated solid wood systems to create best in class projects in a fast, clean and sustainable manner

Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, the tower will offer 18,200 square metres of net lettable area and floor plates ranging from 900 to 1500 square metres.

Hines expects to complete the prefabricated timber building by the third quarter of 2023, and is targeting 5.5-Star NABERS and 6-Star Green Star ratings as a minimum.

Interestingly, a key consideration for the development is to create a ‘biophilic environment’, which according to studies found that employees in offices featuring natural wooden surfaces reported higher personal productivity, mood, concentration, clarity, confidence and optimism. What’s more, over 80 per cent of workers exposed to eight or more wooden surfaces in their workplaces reported being ‘satisfied or very satisfied’ with their work.


Tall Timber Building 2

Atlassian, 8-10 Lee Street, Sydney

When the development was announced in June 2021, Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar said if you want to work in tech, “this is the place you will want to be”.

“Technology can turbo-charge Australia’s recovery. That’s why we’re building this precinct. We want to create jobs, ideas and innovation,” Farquhar said at the time.

The building was designed by the same New York-based architects that designed Uber’s headquarters – SHoP – with Australian practice BVN as the design team.

“It’s an amazing design. We’ve searched the world to find the best architects and engineers to put it together,” Farquhar said last year.

It will be built using mass timber construction, and the tower is scheduled to be the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world at 40 storeys tall, and will target a 50 percent reduction in embodied carbon and energy compared to conventional construction.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a flythrough of the building.

They’ve also committed to operating on 100 percent renewable energy with zero emissions, by using energy efficient design, such as natural ventilation and planted terraces throughout the building, as well as generating green power on site through solar panels integrated into the building’s facades, which will be a glass and steel exoskeleton tied to the structure.

In March this year, Australian-based real estate group Dexus announced it will fund 100 per cent of the project, oversee development, and will retain a long-term equity interest in the asset.

The total project costs are expected to be $1.4 billion, and it’s due for completion in 2026.


Tall Timber Building 3

C6, South Perth, Perth

Grange Developments, a Melbourne-based property developer clearly isn’t shy about pushing the boundaries of their developments. With their mission statement, “We believe in creating landmark projects in a way that adds value to both the environment and humanity,” this development, called C6 (named after atomic number 6, Carbon, on the periodic table), if approved, will catapult the building into the numero uno position of tall mass timber buildings.

They’ve submitted plans with the City of South Perth for the 50-storey hybrid timber building which will include 245 apartments.

If they’re successful with their planning application, the building will be Australia’s second carbon-negative building after the Atlassian tower. It will achieve this through an embedded power network with wind and solar power, and a biophilic design featuring 3500 square metres of floral, edible and native gardens.

And, standing at 183 metres, the $350 million development, will assume the mantle of tallest mass timber building by a mere three metres over Atlassian’s approved tall building.

Designed by architecture firm Elenberg Fraser, with timber structural engineering by Melbourne-based mass-timber specialists, Vistek Engineers, the mass timber building will be built from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (GLT).

According to company sources, construction of the mass timber building’s core will sequester over 10.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide compared to a traditional concrete structure of similar scale. All the necessary timber, 7400 cubic metres, required to build the apartment floors, columns and beams will be able to be regrown from just 580 seeds.


Book your tickets HERE for Timber Offsite Construction 2022 Conference & Exhibition.

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