The sky's the limit for sustainable wooden skyscrapers

November 23, 2017, University of Queensland
The sky's the limit for sustainable wooden skyscrapers
5 King St in Brisbane will be the world’s tallest timber commercial building. Credit: University of Queensland

Australia will soon hold the record for the world's tallest timber office building at 5 King St Brisbane, and with the help of The University of Queensland's new research hub, wooden skyscrapers could become the norm.

ARC Future Timber Hub (Australian Research Council) which launched today will be Australia's leading timber research collaboration, bringing together experts from industry, government and academia.

Structural engineering expert and Hub Director Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai from the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology said the research facility will draw on strong industry support to make significant changes to the building design, materials manufacturing and construction industries.

"This Hub represents an opportunity to transform not just our ability to design and construct healthy, resilient, sustainable tall timber buildings; but to engage and transform the entire industry – from the sustainable forests that provide the raw timber, right through to assembling the building safely on site," he said.

"The environmental benefits to using timber as a construction material are overwhelmingly positive, with engineered wood acting as a carbon sink instead of producing greenhouse gas emissions like its alternatives, steel and concrete.

"Using sustainably managed plantations to produce engineered wood products, and developing prefabricated construction technologies, allows engineers to minimise waste and enhance quality and performance.

"Timber is also a fantastic natural insulator and is a quick and simple material to use in construction."

The diverse team will include product manufacturers, construction managers, fire safety engineers, architects, and structural engineers.

They aim to develop new wood products that are custom-designed for the Australian context, hybrid (eg. concrete-timber) construction systems and to address fire safety considerations in .

The ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme engages Australia's best researchers in issues facing the new industrial economies and training the future workforce.

The Hub was founded as an interdisciplinary partnership between the School of Civil Engineering, the Queensland State Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Arup, Hyne Timber, Lend Lease, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Scion NZ, Griffith University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Canterbury.

Explore further: Timber buildings growing in a city near you

Related Stories

Timber buildings growing in a city near you

December 11, 2013

UTS expertise in timber engineering has contributed to world-leading timber technology now used in a number of designer buildings in New Zealand and Europe.

Timber and construction, a well-matched couple

July 7, 2015

The IT 781-13 group (UPV/EHU) has for the last ten years been conducting research into building structures and materials (concrete, steel and timber). According to its latest research, timber is a very light, tough material ...

Timber skyscrapers could transform London's skyline

April 8, 2016

London's first timber skyscraper could be a step closer to reality this week after researchers presented Mayor of London Boris Johnson with conceptual plans for an 80-storey, 300m high wooden building integrated within the ...

Constructing buildings with re-useable components

November 2, 2017

The Institute for Civil Engineering and Environment (INCEEN) at the University of Luxembourg have signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Suisse Federal Laboratories of Materials Science and Technology (Empa) of the ...

Recommended for you

A novel approach of improving battery performance

September 18, 2018

New technological developments by UNIST researchers promise to significantly boost the performance of lithium metal batteries in promising research for the next-generation of rechargeable batteries. The study also validates ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.