The Macquarie University Incubator project designed by Architectus and constructed by Lipman features timber by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods Australia. Iron Ash by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods was specified for the award-winning prefabricated timber structure built to embody the vibrant ethos of Macquarie University.

Featuring a striking and welcoming facade, the Macquarie University Incubator was built as a collaborative project involving Lipman, Architectus, Strongbuild, Taylor Thompson Whitting, Arup and Against the Grain. A key objective of the prefabricated structure was to enable future dismantling, relocation and reassembly. Though it wasn’t an easy project, the building was erected in just 37 days and the entire project completed within six months.

The structure was built using prefabricated timber floor cassettes, supported on screw piles. Iron Ash treated Masslam V-columns support 22 roof glulam and CLT (cross-laminated timber) cassettes, exposing the timber both internally and externally. The building also contains 44 prefabricated facade panels incorporating 118 timber windows.

Iron Ash was specified for the V-columns and decking because it provided the assurance of longevity in an external application in addition to the appeal of being a native Australian timber. Iron Ash uses innovative technology to deliver a transparent combination of water-based additives deep into the core of Masslam, providing a beautiful and durable external timber solution.

The mass timber construction provides high strength, high appeal and high affordability in comparison with other construction systems.

According to Lipman’s Phillip Tondl, the Incubator was a pilot project in mass timber prefabrication for both Macquarie University and the delivery team. The project confirms that mass timber buildings can deliver strength, functionality and beauty with speed and quality outcomes that surpass conventional construction methods.

The Macquarie University Incubator has received recognition on several platforms with awards including the 2018 Green Good Design Award in the Research and Technology category, and the ACSE Award for excellence in structural engineering in the Medium Building Projects category. The 2017 Australian Timber Design Awards saw the Macquarie University Incubator win in the categories of Innovative Structural Design, Timber Panels, Timber Windows and Doors, and Engineered Timber Products.