Grocon launches timber apartment project

Mar 3, 2011
  • Article by Online Editor

Grocon has announced it plans to build an apartment building constructed entirely from timber on the Carlton United Brewery site in Melbourne.

Called Delta, the ten-storey building will be carbon neutral and built using pre-fabrication technology first developed in Switzerland.

The project will be built using high technology cross laminated timber from sustainable sources, and will be the first building in Australia to use this type of technology. The building will rise above the heritage-listed bluestone walls facing Bouverie Street.

Delta will be Grocon’s next step in exploring the possibilities of green construction methods. The company is also the developer behind the Pixel Building, an office building completed in 2010 that has achieved a perfect score of 105 from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

Delta will be built together with Melbourne-based studio 505 architects and sustainability consultants Umow Lai – the same team responsible for the Pixel Building.

The timber structure will be built to the “Passive House” standard that has been common in projects in Austria, Germany and Scandinavia for 20 years. The timber design will minimise the building’s energy consumption by incorporating passive heating and cooling into the design, with features including an airtight building envelope and triple glazed windows.

Although the Passive House system is already common in areas of Europe, Grocon General Manager Carlton Brewery, David Waldren, believes the project signals a “quantum leap” in the Australian building and construction industry. “Buildings like Delta will bring a new standard of comfort and quality to Australian residential settings,” he said.

Delta will comprise 50 apartments over 10 storeys, and Grocon hopes it will become the tallest timber residential tower in the world once completed. A similar structure called the Stadthaus in East London built by Thistleton architects – believed to be the tallest building of its type – is nine storeys high.

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