Project: 55 Southbank Boulevard
Builder: Atelier Projects
Architect: Bates Smart Architects
Location: 55 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
55 Southbank Boulevard, a defining new landmark for Melbourne, sits between the bustling CBD, the vibrant art precinct of St Kilda Road and the parklands of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Utilising the latest in timber construction technology this project will attain new levels in sustainable design.
The existing commercial office building built in 1989, is able to accommodate a future extension of 6 levels with the use of concrete framed construction. The design challenge we faced was how surpass this in order to deliver a hotel with 220 rooms.
The solution involved the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction which means the building will be able to support an additional 10 levels, thereby achieving the target room number. When complete the project will be one of the tallest timber buildings in Australia. In addition to being significantly lighter than concrete, CLT use results in lower transport costs and therefore reduced carbon emissions.
Due to the quantum of offsite fabrication, the time spent on site is significantly reduced. Most importantly, sequestered within the timber itself is approximately 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions of 130 homes. The predominant use of this carbon negative material represents an opportunity for the creation of a new paradigm in sustainable construction.
Due to the CLT construction method of the project, many traditional passive fire stopping systems that would be normally used for apartment entries, had not been certified for use in CLT. Like most construction projects, cost and time of installation is also a key driver in decision making of many facets of the build. Firestopping of services is not exempt from this criteria.
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