Almost the entirety of La Trobe University's new student accommodation structure utilises cross-laminated timber and glulam beams and columns.
The new student accommodation adds 624 beds to the campus across two separate six-level buildings, linked by amenities and landscaping.
The use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) has the capacity to halve the embodied carbon in the building relative to a concrete structure. A similar concept to plywood, CLT instead adheres thick layers of timber with the outer layers' grain running lengthwise, for optimum strength to be used in the place of concrete slabs. As a timber product it is lighter and easier to work with than concrete. It is also a non-toxic, fire-resistant and renewable resource with a long life cycle.
The building has achieved a 5 Star Green Star design rating and is targeting a 5 Star Green Star as-built rating, with its modular façade's thermal envelope dramatically improving energy efficiency.
Designed by Jackson Clement Burrows Architects and delivered by Multiplex, the building's design incorporates other distinctive environmental features. Its placement and shape is designed to enable most of the existing trees to be retained on-site.
It is the first student accommodation to be built at La Trobe University's Bundoora campus since the 1970s and forms part of the institution's plan to transform the space.
"It's wonderful to see La Trobe encourage sustainability on its campus and we are proud to deliver the largest new development in Victoria using mass timber," says Graham Cottam, Multiplex regional managing director.