The Queensland Government has announced that the replacement state-of-the-art Maryborough Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Complex will be built using engineered timber solutions from Hyne Timber. The design will retain and restore the existing heritage valued brick façade.
Welcoming the announcement, Hyne Timber executive director James Hyne said the project would support regional jobs while showcasing the many qualities of glue laminated and cross laminated timber.
“Hyne Timber has been a proud part of Maryborough’s history since 1882 with a strong focus on innovation,” Hyne said.
“We know the existing building has local heritage value, so it was important to us to retain and even restore the iconic façade as part of the design.
“From the local plantation forest through to the Tuan sawmill and ending in our new Glue Laminated Timber plant, this building in the heart of our hometown will be a showcase of contemporary, mass timber capability, proudly grown and processed right here in the Wide Bay.
"There are so many sustainable, environmental, structural, aesthetic, safety, health and cost benefits to using engineered timber products in contemporary construction, which this project will demonstrate. This will be Australia's first contemporary, engineered timber fire station and regional headquarters, fully supported by fire engineering experts.
“I would like to thank the Queensland Government for giving us this opportunity and our project partners, Hutchinson Builders, Baber Studio, XLam and the University of Queensland who have worked and will continue to work collaboratively with us to bring this sustainable building design to fruition,” Hyne added.
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 to be supplied by the Hyne Group.
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.
Professor Carlo Prato, head of the UQ School of Civil Engineering, emphasised how the project embodies the immense potential for success that the CFTS pursues.
“I cannot think of a better example of the heights that industry and research institutions can achieve when they join forces to pursue their dreams of making sustainable buildings a reality. And similarly, I cannot think of a better symbol of the importance of having architects and engineers work together to the design of the future of sustainable built environment,” said Professor Prato.
The principal architect for the project, Kim Baber of Baber Studio said international benchmarks of similar facilities built using mass timber in Europe and North America were researched ahead of the design getting underway.
“It was important for us to understand what has worked well overseas with a number of similar use facilities already demonstrating mass timber as a sustainable and ideal building solution.
“We then considered the brief from QFES and the current site limitations in order to design a replacement facility, which will meet the very specific needs of the first responders and coordinators of emergency response for the region while protecting the heritage value.
“It has been a collaborative and fascinating journey to date and I am delighted to learn that building contracts are now in place and this showcase of innovation and sustainability will be constructed in the heart of Maryborough,” Baber said.
The complex will be built on the existing site on Lennox Street, which means firefighters will operate from an alternative location on Iindah Road during the construction phase.