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Tall Timber: The World's Tallest Wooden Office Building To Open In Brisbane

Cover by 2017-07-29 05:47:34   The famous Queenslander tradition of building houses upon wooden stilts is escalating to a whole other level on Thursday – or 10 levels, to be exact. The sod-turning ceremony at 5 King Street in Brisbane will be a groundbreaking event in more than just in the literal sense. When complete in 2018, 45 metres of the 52-metre office tower will qualify as the world's highest to be held aloft not by steel and concrete, but timber and glue. The project is the latest of a flurry of engineered wood towers in Australia using solutions such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), the load-bearing material on projects such as StrongBuild's The Gardens Macarthur affordable housing project in Campbell town. Sydney's International House at Barangaroo is constructed from CLT and the similar Glulam method. According to Chris Ammundsen, the Aurecon lead structural engineer behind 5 King Street, the CLT process involves glueing thick layers of wood together with the grain alternating at 90 degree angles. Ammundsen has a lot riding on the answers he came up with – his company is setting up office within the building in order to enjoy the benefits of working in timber surrounds, which a study indicated can lead to a lower heart rate and blood pressure. There are also environmental benefits – where every tonne of cement creates 900kg of greenhouse gas emissions, engineered wood acts instead as a carbon sink.