Parklea’s Timbertop Estate in Melbourne’s southeast will be home to an innovative commercial and retail hub that puts sustainability at the forefront via the use of a combination of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue Laminated Timber (GLT), an underutilised and sustainable resource that is making waves in the property industry.
Designed by i2C in collaboration with Timber Design Studio, the hub will service the 700-residence Timbertop Estate in Officer via a retail offering and will also be home to Parklea’s new commercial office.
Given the Parklea team will be spending their office hours on the top floor of the new building, the developer was eager to explore the increasingly popular CLT and GLT as part of the build, given the warmth and environmentally friendly nature of the material.
With similar characteristics to that of a precast concrete panel, CLT is a timber panel product that sees layers of cross laminated timber glued at a 90-degree angle in order to create large panels. GLT on the other hand, sees pieces of laminated timber layered and glued on each other in the same direction, increasing the strength. While CLT can speed up construction time frames on site, the design process is often very meticulous.
“The industry has been reluctant to move into CLT and GLT design largely due to the upfront communication required to get the project outcomes right, as well as reservations around fire. These risks can be readily mitigated by adding char ratings to the timber and setting clear PPR outcomes with the consultancy team from the start, making for a much smoother on site construction phase,” said i2C Senior Project Lead David Hendy.
“After these initial specificities have been worked out with the off site production, the use of CLT and GLT will usually speed up the construction process,” he said.
i2C, known for its dedication to best sustainable and community outcomes, has been campaigning for the use of CLT for some time now, with the commercial hub for Parklea signalling i2C’s first CLT design.
The material seems fitting for Timbertop Estate, with residents welcoming the idea of a new warm and inviting commercial and retail hub, which also features a clean glass and brick exterior that further grounds the build in a residential setting.
Furthermore, with the sustainability outcomes being so great in a community setting, a build such as this paves the way for future CLT usage among developers, says Dayne Davis, Managing Director of Timber Design Studio.
“CLT is now cementing its stance in the construction world due to the cost effectiveness and positive environmental benefits it provides. Not only is the timber used in this project sustainably sourced, but it continues to sequester carbon throughout the operational lifetime of this building.
“What this means for the building as a whole, once complete, is that not only will the client have a fully sustainable and biophilic design, but through the work of ADP and i2C this will also be a high-performance building which will be reducing the overall operational carbon required to run the office annually. A build like this puts Parklea at the forefront of sustainability and innovation with this breakthrough design.
“We’re honoured to have had the pleasure of collaborating with i2C for the new Parklea commercial centre, which marks i2C’s future in being able to provide more innovative solutions when it comes to sustainability,” he said.
The Timbertop Estate commercial hub is due for completion in early 2022.