Artist impression of new engineered Timber Building for UNSW

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has lodged a new development application for the construction of a new timber building designed by Tzannes and Lendlease.

Currently named the D14 Redevelopment, the new multi-purpose building will primarily be built with a mix of glulam for the beams, columns and bracing, and cross laminated timber (CLT) for the floors and core walls.

“The building’s grid is derived from the spanning capacity of the timber structure. It spans 9m in the north-south direction and 6m in the east-west direction,” the application notes. 

All external timber elements of the proposed structure will be made of recycled Australian hardwood for durability and resistance to weathering, while the internal timber structure is wrapped in a low iron double glazed, high performance glass curtain wall. 

According to the team, this maximises the visibility of the timber structure, allowing the wood to be the hero of the design with its “simplicity, efficiency and clarify in expression”.

“The use of engineered mass timber as a construction material maximises the benefits of prefabrication, and leverages the efficiency and precision of CNC fabrication for rapid assembly,” they add.

Render of new Engineered Timber Building of UNSW

A concrete base lifts the timber off the ground plane, at the same time providing a stiff structure for the connection of the mass timber elements above. This base allows the lower levels to be set back from the building above, creating space for covered walkways that flow into the adjacent public spaces, including the university’s main thoroughfare, College Walk. 

Render of new engineered Timber Building for UNSW
The eastern face of the building is splayed to allow the 2pm mid-winter sun to continue shining on the Quadrangle.

Targeting a 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built rating, the project will feature a 30 KWp rooftop solar photovoltaic array. The application also notes the use of external shading, low energy LED lighting, low temp variable air (VAV) distribution systems, and high efficiency cooling and heating plants. Borewater will be used for non-potable end water uses such as irrigation. 

If approved, the D14 Redevelopment will replace the existing UNSW Hall, which was built in 1959 and serves as student accommodation. The new building will contain retail and student-led areas, as well as classrooms and faculty workspaces. 

Images courtesy of UNSW, Lendlease and Tzannes.