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La Trobe mass timber student project on track

Multiplex has topped out the largest mass timber construction project of its kind in Victoria, La Trobe University’s $100 million student accommodation project at its Bundoora campus. Continuing the trend to mass timber construction, 4500 cubic metres of cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam (glue-laminated timber) will be used to deliver a mix of one, four, five and six-bed apartments supported by study areas, student kitchens and large communal spaces. Sources: Urban Developer, Timberbiz

Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows, the development comprises two six-storey arc-shaped buildings surrounding a central courtyard, purposefully shaped to respect the existing campus gum trees.

Multiplex regional managing director Graham Cottam said the company was proud of its involvement in the project.

“We are passionate about sustainable design technologies, so we are thrilled to utilise mass timber and be the largest new development in Victoria doing so,” he said. Innovative construction techniques, including the use of pod bathrooms and prefabricated concrete, will ensure the construction of the facility will be completed as quickly as possible. La Trobe University project director Kimberley Wilkinson said the two apartment buildings have been designed with sustainability at the forefront.

“With La Trobe already having a six-star Green Star Communities rating, creating a modern and innovative building that showcased La Trobe’s continued commitment to sustainable building design and construction was essential.”

Part of the University’s $5 billion multi-precinct “City of the Future” plan, the project is scheduled for completion in July, with students beginning their studies in the second semester of 2020 able to move into the new accommodation.

By using a mass timber structure, it is estimated that 75% in CO2 emission was saved in construction over a traditional concrete design.  To put that in perspective, that is equivalent of taking 1600 cars off the road for a year.

On completion, the building will combine to be the second largest completed mass timber project in the Southern Hemisphere.