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Five-storey Queensland building up in 26 days

The latest five-storey mass engineered timber building to be constructed in Queensland topped out this week as the final prefabricated Glue Laminated Timber beams and Cross Laminated Timber panels were craned into position. Source: Timberbiz

The NIOA facility extension in the Brisbane Airport precinct is the first mass timber structure of its kind for builder Besix Watpac, and site manager Ben Rowlands has nothing but praise.

“We forecast the structure to take 36 days for completion, but we are on track to be complete in just 26 days in total,” he said.

“Part of the construction brief from the client was to ensure we do not hinder the day-to-day operations of the busy NIOA facility so the quicker we can construct and cleaner we can keep the site, the better.

“Using all prefabricated engineered timber for the structure means we have minimal waste on site, less trades on site, faster, quieter construction and a far cleaner site than what we see with a traditional construction project.

“We spent more time reviewing the shop drawings and preparation for construction but in doing so, we can deliver on our commitment to minimise disruption to our client during construction.” Mr Rowlands said.

The progress tour of the mass timber structure was led by the project Architects, Richard Kirk and Dr Andrew Magub of Kirk Studio who are very familiar with designing and specifying mass engineered timber, priding themselves on delivering projects which showcase sustainability.

Dr Andrew Magub said the building is a new typology, column free space to enhance the experience for those working within it once completed,

“We’re anticipating from the research we’ve seen that this timber building will produce a better work environment than a traditional office environment,” Dr Magub said.

While the load bearing ground floor is made of traditional concrete, the four storey walls, floors, roof, stairwell and lift shaft are all Cross Laminated Timber supplied by XLam, while the columns and bracing are all Glue Laminated Timber supplied by Hyne Timber.

The timber is all Australian grown and certified plantation pine. The volume of timber used in this building will grow back within Australian plantation in just 45 minutes.

Rob Mansell, Technical Sales Representative and Business Development – GLT AUS said this is the second mass engineered timber building both Hyne Timber and XLam have supplied to for NIOA with the new Rheinmetal NIOA factory in Maryborough nearing completion at present.

“This building and the factory in Maryborough have been specifically procured and built entirely from Australian grown and manufactured, engineered timber products, supporting local jobs.

“It has been great to supply this local project and work with the professional team to see this showcase come to fruition.

“It is also great for our employees who manufacture the engineered timber see their work coming together for an exceptional office space for the future.” Mr Mansell said.

The new offices are expected to be completed in April 2021.

A video supplied by Besix Watpac can be viewed at