New research hub at UQ could lead to more sustainable wooden skyscrapers
Australia will soon hold the record for the world’s tallest timber office building at 5 King St Brisbane, and with the help of the University of Queensland’s new research hub, wooden skyscrapers could become the norm.
ARC Future Timber Hub (Australian Research Council), which launched this month, will be Australia's leading timber research collaboration, bringing together experts from industry, government and academia.
The research facility will draw on strong industry support to make significant changes to the building design, materials manufacturing and construction industries. The diverse team will include product manufacturers, construction managers, fire safety engineers, architects, and structural engineers. They aim to develop new wood products that are custom-designed for the Australian context, hybrid (eg. concrete-timber) construction systems and to address fire safety considerations in timber construction.
Hub Director Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai from the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology said: "This Hub represents an opportunity to transform not just our ability to design and construct healthy, resilient, sustainable tall timber buildings; but to engage and transform the entire industry – from the sustainable forests that provide the raw timber, right through to assembling the building safely on site."
The Hub was founded as an interdisciplinary partnership between the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland, the Queensland State Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Arup, Hyne Timber, Lend Lease, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Scion NZ, Griffith University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Canterbury.