Construction has begun on Australia’s first ‘mass engineered timber’ Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) complex in Maryborough.
Representing a journey of innovation and collaboration, this project has been made possible through the partnering of two iconic Queensland families in the construction industry – Hutchinson and Hyne Timber with the support of the Queensland Government.
Hyne Timber’s strategic relations manager Katie Fowden said the building was unique as the first fire station and regional headquarters for emergency services to be constructed from approximately 500m³ of mass engineered timber.
“From the day a mass timber fire station was first mooted during an innovation forum held in Maryborough through to today, everyone involved in the project has been passionate about creating a sustainable building that’s great to work in for our emergency services personnel.
“With the first sod turned, the community will now start to see this project come to fruition.
“From the seedling’s nursery all those years ago, to the mature plantation pine through to the sawmills, glue laminating plant, many local Queenslanders have had a hand in this project.
“It’s exciting to be able to showcase the innovative solutions of the talented, Cross Laminated Timber experts at XLam, to find the best way to showcase Australian mass timber designs and the fire performance credentials of mass engineered timber buildings.
“I would like to thank the teams within the Queensland Government who have supported us from the initial State Development assistance and support of Maryborough Member, Bruce Saunders, the Market Led Proposal team through to working more recently directly with QFES."
The new engineered timber complex will be constructed on the existing site, replacing the current building while retaining and restoring the heritage valued façade.
Scott Hutchinson, chair of Hutchinson Builders said this was their first mass timber project in Queensland. “What better way to deliver such a sustainable and contemporary building than two historic companies coming together, supported by a project team of experts including another Queensland icon, the University of Queensland.
“Together, and working closely with the client, this building is not only a highly specialist design to meet the operational needs of the fire and emergency services personnel but will be a showcase of local capability and products sourced from renewable plantation forests.
“The team at Hutchinson Builders are excited to work on this project and we thank the Queensland Government for this innovative opportunity,” Hutchinson said.
The QFES Complex replacement project is due for completion in the second half of 2022. The $12.1 million building contract has been awarded to Hutchinson Builders with the engineered timber supplied by the Hyne Group. The Hyne Group includes both Hyne Timber and XLam for the glue laminated and cross laminated design solutions.
The project is highly innovative and considered an exemplar project by the University of Queensland Centre for Future Timber Structures (CFTS) who carried out a full 3D scan of the existing structure and have brought a range of intellectual property to the design team.
During construction at the existing site on Lennox Street, firefighters will operate from an alternative location on Lindah Road.
Image: Representatives from QFES, Hyne Timber, Hutchinson Builders and Maryborough Member, Bruce Saunders