According to The Australian Financial Review, Lendlease and Liberman-family backed Impact Investment Group sealed a $140 million deal to develop Australia’s largest timber building. The new timber office tower called “5 King Street,” will stand 45 meters tall and will be built in Brisbane. It is part of the $2.9 billion worth of projects that focus on the renewal of Brisbane Showgrounds precinct in Fortitude Valley.
Aurecon, which will also lease 6,500 square meters at the tower’s anchor for 10 years, will be the lead engineer of the iconic project. Meanwhile, Bates Smart designed the tower, which will be made of cross-laminated timber and glue laminated timber. Both of these materials are as durable, heavy duty, and resilient as the conventional materials like concrete and steel. Apart from that, the timbers would be sourced from certified a sustainably-managed forest and the project’s production process would produce zero-waste. Furthermore, the tower would yield lower carbon footprint compared to other structures made from traditional materials.
Bates Smart Director Philip Vivian said timber buildings would be the next generation of workplace that would support and improve the wellbeing and productivity of employees. The tower will have 10 levels and a total of 15,000 square meters of space. The tower will offer a retail space on its ground floor. The structure also aims to acquire a 6 Green Star Design &as Built rating. Meanwhile, Lendlease Chief Executive Property Australia Kylie Rampa said 5 King would become one of today’s high-performance workplaces. Rampa believes that the timber office tower will set new benchmarks for environmentally-friendly and sustainable buildings.
5 King will surpass the Forte timber apartment in Melbourne and eclipse the six-storey International House Sydney at Barangaroo, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald. Both of these existing structures were also among the many projects developed by Lendlease. The timber office tower will be funded by IIG, which will own the property once it is completed by 2018. Chief Executive Chris Lock said IIG expects the Brisbane office market to continue to have a strong demand for A-grade offices particularly within the Fortitude Valley and Urban Regen precincts. He also said in an interview with The Fifth State that IIG’s approach in developing structures offers great benefits to the environment, the community, and the company’s investors.
Various entities, companies, developers, and industry experts are advocating the use of timbers to develop high-rise buildings. Among them is Dr. Philip Oldfield, a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales. According to Eco-Business, Oldfield discussed the great opportunities of creating building designs inspired by climate, culture, and context and encouraged the reinvention of towers in the country using sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. A report by The Urban Developer also explored the role that timber plays in creating efficient and sustainable developments. It noted that Australia has started to recognize the benefits of using timber and has begun to increase its utilization of timber in many development sectors.