South Australia’s trendy city fringe suburb of Kent Town will soon be home to the state’s first timber apartment building. The building, Verde, has slowly started to take shape as the huge engineered timber structure is put into place.
But this building is not only noteworthy in South Australia. While it is set to become the first timber apartment building in the state, Verde will also become only the second Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) multi-level apartment building to be constructed in Australia.
CLT consists of multiple layers of softwood, oriented at 90 degree angles to each other, which are glued together under pressure to form large pieces. CLT is prefabricated in a factory before then being assembled on-site.
Last month, more than 620 tonnes of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels arrived from Austria into Port Adelaide for Verde, with 32 semi-trailer loads needed to transport the timber to site in Kent Town. The cross laminated solid timber is being used for all the load bearing walls, floors and ceilings of the residential apartments.
The $27 million, five storey apartment development, incorporates 47 generously proportioned apartments and seven SOHO Apartments (SOHO). The development also features six ground and first floor retail and commercial offices.
Verde is a joint venture between South Australian family owned developer FA Mamac Pty Ltd and building company Morgan and Hansen.
Morgan and Hansen Managing Director Andrew Morgan said CLT had been chosen for Verde as much for the lifestyle benefits as the construction benefits. Australia’s first CLT manufacturing plant has already been announced for Albury-Wodonga with operations scheduled to commence in 2017. Manufactured using European technology, cross laminated timber is lightweight (25% of the weight of concrete) and exceptionally strong, shortens construction time and enables quieter construction to lower the impact on local communities.
At Verde, the CLT will take around 10 weeks to be assembled to create the structure for the apartments. CLT has been used around the world mainly for low and mid-rise buildings, with the tallest wooden building in the world in Bergen, Norway – a 14-storey apartment building called Tree (“the Tree”).
However, a 24-storey building is now under construction in Vienna and the world’s first wooden skyscraper, an 80-storey, 300 metre high building called The Toothpick, is planned for London.