Bates Smart Designs Australia’s Tallest Engineered Timber Building
Australian design firm Bates Smart designs Australia’s highest engineered timber building. Located in the Showgrounds of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia, 5 King will be 52-meter-high commercial and work space. In addition to being the highest, 5 King will also have the world’s largest gross floor area for an engineered timber office building.
5 King’s structure system employs a combination of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (Glulam) to be on par with the strength of a concrete and steel structure system, but with a lower carbon footprint. The timber structure system, along with inspirations from Queenslander architecture, the vernacular architecture of Queensland, and the historic RNA pavilions, comprise the innovative, contemporary, and context-related office building. According to Bates Smart: “The next generation of creative workplaces have a great emphasis on wellbeing and productivity, and creating connections to the natural world via the use of natural materials such as timber are a key element of wellbeing in all its forms.”
The building’s ground and first floor will feature a 54-meter-long timber colonnade which will act as a welcoming entrance. It will, also, contain cafes and restaurants to serve as a creative workspace outside the offices. The office spaces on the upper floors feature a “contemporary studio environment that balances well-being with creative collaboration space,” according to Bates Smart. The exposed timber structure can be seen from the inside, as well as the services like the ducts and the hanging lighting units. The large glass surfaces on the main south elevation provide the workplace with sufficient natural light, and the sunshades on the other elevations reduce the building’s heat intake caused by the unwanted sun rays. As a result, the energy consumption of the building is lowered, and its carbon footprint is further reduced.
The design firm will be taking further measures to enhance the performance of the building and to achieve a 6-star Green Star rating and a NABERS Energy 5 Star rating. These measures include rainwater harvesting, energy efficient lighting, optimized air conditioning, and 152 bicycle parking stands. The new building is part of a revitalizing plan of the RNA Showgrounds 1.5 km north of Brisbane’s Central Business District, and it is scheduled to open in 2018.