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Australia’s first engineered timber office wins NSW’s top property honour

Australia’s first engineered timber office, International House Sydney, has received the Property Council of Australia’s Rider Levett Bucknall NSW Development of the Year award.

“International House demonstrates that mass timber construction is a viable alternative to conventional construction and stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainable design excellence,” said the Property
Council’s NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald.

International House Sydney was designed by Tzannes architects and completed in April 2017.

Standing at six storeys high, each floor was constructed entirely from cross-laminated timber and glue-laminated timber, including the floors, columns, walls, roof, lift shafts and stairs.

The timber structure is supported by a ground floor retail level of conventional concrete.

Timber is renowned as being 30 per cent lighter than concrete or steel, potentially cutting crane, scaffolding and foundation costs.

Meanwhile, economic modelling undertaken by Forest and Wood Products Australia has found timber construction can cut schedules by 15 per cent.

Engineered timber also has a carbon footprint up to 60 per cent lower than other materials such as concrete and steel.

“The well-documented health and sustainability benefits of using timber in the built environment have contributed substantially to its market appeal, securing a single, well-known financial services tenant for the entire building,” Ms Fitzgerald noted.

Ms Fitzgerald also applauded International House’s “outstanding green credentials”, including a 6-Star Green Star rating.

“Around 3,500 cubic metres of sustainably-grown and recycled timber was used in construction, which saved thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions by cutting down on concrete,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“The use of natural materials makes International House a warm and welcoming building that also promotes an innovative approach to sustainable growth.”

The NSW Development of the Year award was announced on May 9 and is part of the national 2019 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards program.


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