Australia's Largest Commercial Timber Building Completed in Sydney
Located near the historic heart of the city, the International House is a beautiful all-wood design. With the exception of the single ground retail level, which is made out of conventional concrete, the striking building was constructed with engineered or cross laminated timber, including the floors, columns, walls, roof, elevator shafts, etc. The building is the first timber commercial building of its size in Australia. The project used a massive 3,500 cubic meters of sustainably grown and recycled timber.
The architects chose to go with timber for its many sustainable features, but were also determined to create a design whose all-wood aesthetic would serve as an iconic landmark for the city. According to the architects, International House Sydney demonstrates that the commercial real estate market will accept mass timber construction as a viable and exciting alternative to conventional concrete construction, increasing opportunity for architecture to contribute more effectively to a lower carbon and more sustainable future for urban development around the world.
Earlier in 2012 Architect Michael Green, one of three principals at McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design (mgb), has plans for a 30-story wooden skyscraper in Vancouver. He predicted that instead of concrete jungles our cities can become urban forests of wooden skyscrapers.
He was right. Last month in Australia, Brisbane held groundbreaking ceremony of world’s tallest wooden office building. When complete in 2018, 45 meters of the 52-meter office tower will qualify as the world’s highest to be held aloft not by steel and concrete, but timber and glue.