A new timber building has opened at a Melbourne University. Source: Supplied
  • New student accommodation has opened at La Trobe University in Melbourne
  • The unique building's structure is almost completely comprised of timber
  • Students have already begun moving in with more expected throughout the year

Victoria’s largest mass timber construction has been opened delivering on-campus accommodation to an additional 624 students.

Premier global construction company Multiplex are behind the new addition to La Trobe University.

The accommodation is the first to be built on campus since the 1970s and is a part of the university’s plan to transform its Bundoora campus.

The new building’s timber interior. Source: Supplied

The structure is comprised of almost entirely cross-laminated timber (CLT) as well as glued, laminated timber (glulam) beams and columns. This has the benefit of being a non-toxic, fire resistant, renewable resource with a long-life cycle.

Utilising timber materials has the capacity to halve embodied carbon in the building in comparison with a concrete structure

The building has achieved a Five Star Green Star design rating but has also set its sights on achieving a  Five Star Green Star as-built rating.

The building features a modular façade’s thermal envelope which dramatically improves energy efficiency by stopping heat transfer from its exterior in winter and vice versa in summer.

The design considered the surrounding environment in its placement and shape with most of the existing trees being retained.

A new timber building has opened at a Melbourne University. Source: Supplied

The masterminds behind the design are architects from Jackson Clements Burrows Architects.

The construction is comprised of two separate six-level buildings linked by common amenities and landscaping.

Multiplex Regional Managing Director Graham Cottam said Multiplex takes pride in the high level of sustainability featured in the project.

“We are thrilled to complete this innovative student accommodation for La Trobe University and pave the way for future sustainable design and construction.”

Graham Cottam, Multiplex Regional Managing Director

“It’s wonderful to see La Trobe encourage sustainability on its campus and we are proud to deliver the largest new development in Victoria using mass timber,” Mr Cottam said.

Multiplex faced the challenges of tight scheduling in their aim to minimise disruption to the busy campus environment.

Multiplex is also behind Australia’s first mid-rise, mass timber, passive house student accommodation building. Which was Monash University’s Gillies Hall accommodation in Frankston.

Students have already begun moving into the new housing and more are expected throughout the year.

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