Plans for world’s tallest timber skyscraper in Melbourne, AU revealed
June 01, 2012
By: Architecture Source
The city of Melbourne has been revealed as the location for an architectural world first. New plans have been unveiled showing that the city will receive a unique addition to its iconic skyline – the world’s tallest timber high-rise building.
Major industry leaders Lend Lease have revealed that they have begun work on a flagship project, the Forte building, which will consist of a 10-storey structure completely built out of cross-laminated timber (CLT). The decision to build out of CLT could drastically change the green building – and larger industry – landscape.
The Green Building Council of Australia has predicted that the project will lead a whole new trend in green developments throughout Australia, sentiments echoed by Lend Lease chief executive officer Mark Menhinnitt.
“CLT will transform the construction industry by introducing a more efficient and environmentally-friendly construction process that has never been undertaken in Australia before,” says Menhinnitt.
The development company predicts that more than 1,400 tonnes of carbon emissions will be reduced due to the use of the specific timber material when compared to the environmental impacts of traditional high rise materials of concrete and steel.
CLT is specifically designed in order to be far more durable than untreated timber, with the wood manufactured in such as way that it performs like reinforced concrete and when burnt – a valid fear for anyone considering living or working in building that is built strictly out of timber. Unlike traditional timber, CLT chars rather than combusting. Lend Lease are not the first developers to consider a building of this nature in Melbourne. Grocon’s Delta building has received rave reviews for its very similar environmental principles and design elements, but will miss out on the title of the first, biggest and best in Victoria, as plans remain shelved. The Forte on the other hand is expected to be completed in October this year, approximately nine months after its start date.
The building, which will be located on Bourke Street, is expected to become Australia’s greenest multi-storey residential development, aiming for a 5 Star Green star rating as awarded by the GBCA.
While the building is planned to be a world leader in timber developments, and highly environmentally responsible, it will also stand out as a highly stylish residential development. The site will house 23 boutique apartments and four townhouses, designed outwardly as what Menhinnitt describes as a ‘showpiece’.
“Forté is a showpiece for natural and new, where modern architecture meets a natural building material,” says Menhinnitt. “It will offer a different way of living through reduced energy costs due to better thermal performance, an abundance of natural light, ventilation, sweeping views and a healthier living environment.”
A new era of building design and delivery is upon Melbourne. In taking these first steps, a way can be paved for an industry trend that is environmentally responsible, durable and largely untapped.