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Lendlease’s 5th engineered timber building

Fire and termites will be no threat to a nine-storey all-timber office block to be built in inner Brisbane, according to the construction team. Source: ABC News

Taller wooden buildings exist in Australia and around the world but 25 King, now underway at the $2.9-billion RNA Showgrounds redevelopment site, is touted as the tallest engineered-timber office tower on Earth.

The Brisbane building is due for completion in late 2018.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) – layers of wood glued together under high pressure with the grain of each perpendicular to the one before and glulum – glued-laminated timber – will be used to erect the 45-metre tall structure.

Once completed 7900 square metres of office space will be available for lease.

Acting Premier Jackie Trad, who turned the first sod, said it was a breakthrough for a building of its size.

“These materials are sustainable, strong and light, with a structural strength akin to the traditional concrete and steel,” she said.

Lendlease said CLT had a lower carbon footprint than other building materials, the production process produced zero waste, and timbers were sourced from certified sustainably managed forests.

Lendlease managing director Mark Menhinnit said pre-fabricated engineered-wood was faster to work with and more environmentally friendly. But what about fire?

“We’ve done a lot of testing over many years, burnt a lot of wood with CSIRO,” Mr Menhinnitt said. “The building just gets a char on the outside, the structural integrity is maintained through an intense fire event.”

And termites? “Everyone asks that question. It sits on a concrete podium to isolate the timber from the ground so we don’t have that problem,” Mr Menhinnit said.

25 King will be Lendlease’s fifth engineered timber building in Australia.