Works have been completed on a five-storey extension to 276 Flinders Street, a landmark moment for sustainable development in Australia underlined by the fact by using Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and a lightweight steel grid frame added to the existing building.

This is the latest in a clear trend in Melbourne, with Frame, the premium office tower that will sit above Melbourne Central, also set to receive a CLT and glulam vertical extension.

According to Ross Snowball, regional director new business, Multiplex says developers are turning to the properties they already own to give them more value.

“Given the lack of land available in Melbourne’s CBD, it makes sense developers are looking up to their rooftops to give them more bang for their buck,” says Snowball.

“Innovative construction methods such as CLT lend themselves to these types of projects, because they are up to 80 percent lighter than traditional structures. It is also a more sustainable solution.

“Timber has lower embodied energy and the benefit of carbon storage. From a construction point of view, there is less disruption to the surrounding buildings and roads and a faster building process.”

Jules Tribuzio, senior design manager, Multiplex says that architects are promoting this type of architecture and clients are increasingly interested in sustainability.

“276 Flinders street has recently achieved a 5-Star Green Star rating and building with timber was certainly a part of achieving that,” he says.