Lend Lease's wooden Forté in Melbourne Docklands reaches halfway sales point

Alistair WalshMarch 19, 20130 min read

Lend Lease’s wooden residential tower construction Forté has sold half of its 23 apartments with another few deals in the pipeline.

Two owner-occupiers have settled and moved into the groundbreaking tower, situated in Melbourne's Docklands, while a mix of investors and owner-occupiers are in the process of settling.

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The marketing campaign for the building began on February 22, well after the building’s completion in December 2012.

Most of the 10-storey construction is made from cross-laminate timber – a material billed as very quick to work with and environmentally friendly.

According to Lend Lease, by using wood, Forté reduced carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by more than 1,600 tonnes when compared to concrete and steel – the equivalent of removing 400 cars from the roads.

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Lend Lease’s Daryl Patterson says the technology allows for a more efficient and environmentally-friendly construction process.

“Designed and produced in a factory environment, Forté was 30% faster to build, safer and with higher precision than traditional construction materials. It also resulted in reduced construction traffic to and from site, caused less disruption to the community and produced less waste,” Patterson says.

“Unlike Europe where the revolutionary material has been used for more than a decade, Australia is only at the beginning of its CLT journey and still has a way to go to recognise the enormous potential in our market.

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“While we are in the early stages of developing environmentally-friendly apartment buildings, we are noticing a changing perception among consumers towards the long-term value that sustainable housing offers.”

He says cross-laminate timber offers better thermal performance and requires less energy to heat and cool, reducing energy and water costs with average savings of $300 per year or up to 25% less than a typical code-compliant apartment.

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Forte is the tallest timber building in the world, claiming the title from the eight-storey apartment block Stadthaus, Murray Grove, in London.

The $11 million timber tower comprises approximately 760 panels, measuring up to 16.5 metres by three metres, shipped from Austria.

Mr Patterson says the quick construction of the tower is mainly due to its similarities to that of an Ikea flat-pack.

Prices in the tower start at $424,000 for one-bedroom apartments and $579,000 for two-bedroom apartments.

Property Observer followed the constuction through a series of photos.

Meanwhile, Lend Lease has just started work on a new Docklands library and community centre, using cross-laminate timber and reclaimed hardwood.

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Lend Lease, along with Places Victoria and the City of Melbourne, hope the project will be Australia’s most modern library.

Designed by Clare Design and Hayball, the $13 million project is due to be finished in late 2013.

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter
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