Multiplex has completed a student accommodation project for La Trobe University, that doubles as the largest mass timber project in Victoria.

Located at the university’s Bundoora campus, the structure is derived of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam beams and columns. It is the first student accommodation project to be built at the campus in over 50 years and is in line with La Trobe’s vision to transform the campus.

Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, the project has delivered an additional 624 student accommodation beds to the campus across two separate six level buildings linked by common amenities and landscaping. Students have already begun moving in, and more will call the buildings home by the end of the year.

Multiplex Regional Managing Director Graham Cottam says the company is proud of its efforts in completing the highly sustainable project.

“We are thrilled to complete this innovative student accommodation for La Trobe University and pave the way for future sustainable design and construction. 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,” he says.

Approximately 1,223 people worked on-site throughout construction and over 2,700 individual mass timber elements were used. The new student accommodation has achieved a 5 Star Green Star design rating and is targeting a 5 Star Green Star as-built rating, with the modular façade’s thermal envelope dramatically improving energy efficiency. 

The use of cross laminated timber (CLT) has the capacity to halve the embodied carbon in the building relative to a concrete structure. CLT is also a non-toxic, fire resistant, renewable resource with a long-life cycle.

The building design incorporates various sustainable design traits with the placement and shape of the buildings designed to enable most of the existing trees to be retained on site. Innovative construction techniques used by Multiplex in the delivery of the project include the use of pod bathrooms, ensuring fast delivery and minimising the impact on campus. 

Throughout the timber construction period, three cranes were used on site to ensure maximum lifting capacity for the structure, prefabricated pods and facade.

Multiplex recently completed construction of a a $470-million, 58-level high-rise residential apartment tower in Melbourne’s CBD, dubbed Melbourne Grand. To read our article about the apartment, click here.

Image: Supplied