Lend Lease’s Docklands project Forté will be world’s tallest residential timber building

Lend Lease’s Docklands project Forté will be world’s tallest residential timber building
Lend Lease’s Docklands project Forté will be world’s tallest residential timber building

A 10-storey timber building, the tallest of its kind in the world, has today been launched in Lend Lease’s Victoria Harbour precinct.

Known as Forté, the $11 million will be built at 807 Bourke Street in Victoria Harbour and will be Australia’s first first timber high-rise building.

The building will rise to 32 metres and will be built with prefabricated wooden panels made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and will feature 23 apartments.

The multiple timber layers are glued and then pressed given them the structural strength similar to concrete or steel, allowing the building to bear the load of the 10 storeys.

There will be seven one-bedroom apartments (59 square metres) priced from the mid-$400,000s, 14 two-bedroom apartments (80 square metres) priced from the late $600,000s and two penthouse apartments with two-bedrooms (102 square metres) priced from $800,000. The ground floor will be for retail space.

In addition there will also be four townhouses.

More pictures on page 2.



Work on the site commenced in February with a targeted completion date of October – quicker than it takes to build some single-family houses.

The project was officially launched by Lend Lease’s CEO for the Australian Business Mark Menhinnitt along with Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, who says Forté will be a driver for "a new environmental footprint in Australia".

"It means less energy and fewer emissions and will put Victoria at the forefront of sustainable design," says Baillieu.

It will also seek to be the first five-star green star as built certified residential building in Australia. Forté will reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,400 tonnes when compared with concrete and steel – the equivalent of removing 345 cars from Melbourne roads.

The Forté apartments will require 25% less energy to heat and cool than a typical apartment.

Menhinnitt says the project will “unlock a new era for sustainable development by offering a viable alternative to traditional construction options, which are carbon intensive”.

He says Lend Lease will look to establish a "viable supply chain" for the CLT product and will also look for other applications for the product. Lend Lease is aiming to develop 30% to 50% of its apartment pipeline using CLT.

It will rise 2.42 metres above the current highest timber building, a nine-storey, 29-apartment residential building in Hackney, London called the Stadhaus (below), which was completed in January 2009 at a cost of £3.5 million ($5.6 million).

The Stadhaus was designed by architects Waugh Thistleton in collaboration with structural engineers Techniker, and timber panel manufacturer KLH.

It was the first high-density housing building to be built from pre-fabricated CLT panels, the same technology that will be used to build Forté in Docklands.

Forté won’t be the tallest timber high rise for long, with Grocon planning on building a timber high rise on the old Carlton & United Brewery site called Delta and due to be completed by 2014.

Using the prefabricated panels means a timber building can be built very quickly, explained Grocon building manager David Waldren following the launch of the project last year.



{module Would you buy an apartment in a timber building?}

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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