Aveo Norwest at Sydney’s Norwest Business Park ‘Circa’ precinct is a multi-residential development that delivers high levels of amenity, social, and environmental sustainability within an innovative design and build. Discarding convention and pushing the boundaries of mass timber technology, this multi-storey, luxury retirement village represents one of the largest applications of cross laminated timber (CLT) in Australia, winning the Sustainability category at the 2018 Australian Timber Design Awards. 

The client’s brief was for an efficient, high quality construction that went beyond a ‘standard box’ design. ‘Waratah’, the resulting flagship 10-storey residential building, certainly achieves this, featuring distinctive curved and seemingly cantilevered balconies constructed from approximately 3,000m3 of CLT. While original plans called for conventional design and construction methods, Aveo was guided by architects Jackson Teece and builders Strongbuild to utilise CLT in the design, resulting in significant time and cost savings. A hybrid construction approach utilising CLT slabs and walls, glulam beams and structural steel allowed the project to be completed 13 weeks earlier than if conventional methods and materials were used. 

Representing industry-leading design and construction for vertical retirement living, this multi-residential building contains ten levels of luxury retirement living apartments, nine of which are made out of CLT, including stairs and lift shafts. 

Aveo Norwest highlights how sustainability objectives can be achieved through innovative design and construction methods. Using PEFC-certified CLT instead of traditional construction materials and methods reduced the project’s CO2 emissions significantly, resulting in a reduction of about 2,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared to conventional construction. Adopting off-site prefabrication methods minimised water and energy consumption. These non-conventional methods resulted in a 70% reduction of on-site waste during construction. Furthermore, the lower mass of CLT ensured that the requirements for transport and heavy machinery were decreased, resulting in further savings in construction costs and overall energy consumption. 

Energy efficient design has also been core to the project’s ambitious sustainability goals. Natural ventilation is achieved throughout the entire building via the building’s articulated facade. Residential corridors are bathed in natural light. Zonal control of mechanical ventilation allows for strict control of energy use. The high levels of airtightness achieved in this build result in additional reductions to heating and cooling costs.

This luxury senior living development provides a seamless transition from the northern commercial district in the Circa precinct to the low-density residential area located on the south of the site. With various communal facilities including a ground-floor retail area, food and beverage areas, and a multi-level conference centre, Aveo Norwest provides ample space for social interaction and public amenity. The 60,000m2 site will eventually be home to 449 independent living units, multi-storey buildings and a 144-bed residential aged care facility.