The race to make the eco-friendliest and sustainable buildings has always warred with modern innovation and needs. However, Landlease’s “giant” timber office tower features a remarkable blend of all these factors. The floors, walls, 33 columns, and 552 beams in this building have been constructed from sustainably sourced timber that help make it absolutely carbon neutral.
The building, which has been recently opened for business, is located in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, and is considered to be Australia’s tallest engineered timber construction venture. It is comprised of a whopping 9 stories (14,965 sqm) including the ground floor, and is 45 meters high.
Designed by Lendlease, the building stands to complement the Brisbane Showguard precinct’s 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating. It was sold to Impact Investment Group (IIG), and is currently ready for tenants to move in. Approximately 43.5% (6510 sqm) of the total lettable area would be occupied by the global engineering firm, while the rest will be secured by tenants. The design of this building is targeting a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating and a WELL Core & Shell rating!
The timber used in the construction of this ‘smart’ building is actually cross-laminated timber (CLT), which is more sustainable then concrete and steel. All of it was sourced from fast-growing spruce pines. Lendlease claims that 100% of the used timer was actually authenticated by a forest certification scheme and meets the Green Building Council of Australia’s criteria for forest certification.
This building was designed on the basis of a pre-formed construction method, which actually reduces waste and saves around 40% energy in the process. The idea was to make this building completely recyclable at the end of this life, according to Dale Conner, Lendlease chief executive.
Everybody knows that mankind has a strong and inherent connection. The term ‘biophilia’ as been officially coined to demonstrate this connection in man-made buildings. John Burton, the managing director of Lendlese’s urban regulation explained how the design of the building emphasizes the strong link between the use of timber and the built environment. This is precisely the reason why much of the timber structure has been left exposed, and the spaces inside been labeled ‘open and flexible.’
Burton further said that, “…the building demonstrates a greener and healthier way of working.” According to him, this helps create a culture of collaboration and belonging amongst the workers.
While all this may seem to shine a positive light towards the timber industry, things still stand to look grim on the other end with the recent fall of the prefab and lightweight timber builder Strongbuild. Only time will tell what kind of an impact this all might have on the design and construction genre.