First look inside Australia’s tallest timber tower

Lendlease has released images of the inside of its engineered timber office building under construction at 25 King Street Brisbane, which is set to become Australia’s tallest engineered timber building when complete.

The 45-metre, nine-story building – constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT) floors and walls, and glulam structural beams and columns – is also set to have the largest gross floor area for an engineered timber office building in the world – for now. Global competition is fierce as the benefits of the technology become better understood.

Releasing the images on Monday, Lendlease said six of the building’s nine floors had been completed in less than 12 months.

“25 King is setting a new benchmark within Australia and internationally for the delivery of office buildings that are more sustainable from an environmental perspective while also delivering cost, time and waste efficiencies.” Lendlease Building chief executive Dale Connor said.

“This is a very compelling combination.”

He said the building would be carbon neutral through its construction phase and “completely recyclable” at end of life.

“Compared to a traditional concrete and steel construction, the pre-formed engineered timber construction means no waste and an energy saving of at least 40 per cent,” Mr Connor said.

Aurecon will become anchor tenant, taking up 43.5 per cent of the net lettable area, with building owner Impact Investment Group (IIG) and Lendlease working to secure tenants for the remainder of the building.

In total, the building is using 4824 cubic metres of CLT and 1415 cubic metres of glulam. Lendlease said that amount of wood could be regenerated by the Austrian spruce forests it is sourced from in as little as six hours, as spruce trees were “an exceptionally fast-growing species”.

The building is targeting 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built and WELL Core and Shell ratings, and is due for completion in late 2018.

IIG announces co-investment plan

Corresponding with the first look inside the building, IIG announced an opportunity for wholesale investors to buy into the trust that will own the building on completion.

IIG head of funds management – real estate Darren Brusnahansaid it was a “rare opportunity” for wholesale investors to access a property of 25 King’s calibre with a committed blue-chip anchor tenant.

“We’re looking forward to co-investing with new clients in the unlisted IIG unit trust that will own 25 King upon completion, which is targeting an internal rate of return of 11.1 per cent a year,” he said.

“The trust is also targeting a 7.4 per cent average yield post-completion, with 100 per cent tax deferral for at least three years post-completion.”

He said IIG believed engineered timber would be a drawcard for tenants wanting to offer staff attractive digs.

“And the Brisbane Showgrounds has exceptional transport connectivity, with road hubs, nearby train hubs and bus lines, and a very fast trip to the airport.”

Source: The Fifth Estate