Construction innovation heralds new era for building industry

Lend Lease today has unlocked a new era for the construction industry by introducing a more efficient and environmentally-friendly construction process that has not been undertaken in Australia before.

Already proven successful in Europe for more than a decade, the company will build the first high rise apartment building in Australia and the tallest in the world using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

By using CLT, the project, Forté, will reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by more than 1,400 tonnes when compared to concrete and steel – the equivalent of removing 345 cars from our roads.

CLT is an engineered mass timber product and very different to a traditional wood frame. Mass timber - dense solid panels of wood engineered for strength through laminations of different layers – provides significant benefits and has the equivalent structural integrity to concrete. CLT on a weight to strength basis meets, and in some cases exceed, the performance of reinforced concrete, resulting in a very stable and durable structural outcome.

Designed and produced in a factory environment means it will also be built 30 percent faster than its material counterparts, while being cleaner and more efficient.

Chief Executive Officer for Lend Lease’s Australian business, Mark Menhinnitt said CLT is the most significant form of innovation in construction technology that Australia has seen in many years.

“CLT will transform the construction industry by introducing a more efficient and environmentally-friendly construction process that has never been undertaken in Australia before.

“In 2001, we introduced the innovation of chilled beam technology to the Australian market which has now become the industry norm.  CLT is another example of how Lend Lease is leading the way with innovations that will create value for consumers in the industry.

“With an increasing number of people moving to urban areas, this innovation is timely given the urgency to create liveable, sustainable cities that are climate positive. The adoption of green technologies, materials and construction processes, like CLT, means we are closer to achieving this,” said Mr Menhinnitt.

Aspiring to be the first 5 Star Green Star As Built residential building in the country, Forté in Victoria Harbour, Melbourne will rise over 10 storeys, offering 23 boutique residential apartments and 4 townhouses.

Designed and built by Lend Lease, the building will reflect the contemporary inner-city lifestyle of Victoria Harbour while combining environmental initiatives such as better energy efficiency in terms of heating and cooling.

“Forté is a showpiece for natural and new, where modern architecture meets a natural building material. It will offer a different way of living through reduced energy costs due to better thermal performance, an abundance of natural light, ventilation, sweeping views and a healthier living environment,” said Mr Menhinnitt.

“Building with CLT is becoming increasingly popular overseas with other residential building developments such as Bridport House and Stadthaus Murray Grove, both in London being built successfully with CLT. It proves that the appetite is there for this kind of living.”

Following on from Forté in Victoria Harbour, due for completion in October 2012, the company is aiming to develop 30-50 per cent of its apartment pipeline using CLT and sees application elsewhere across the Lend Lease Group.

“Lend Lease has a proud history of landmark innovations in sustainable construction and this project demonstrates how we are, once again, leading the way,” said Mr Menhinnitt.

For further information, please contact:

Kate Rogers
Lend Lease
Communications Manager, Victoria
Ph: 03 9643 0103 / 0467 707 115

Leonie Beach
Lend Lease
Media Advisor
Ph: 02 9277 2755/0422 188 744

About CLT

Sustainability and a lowered environmental footprint have been the key drivers behind the wide use of engineered timber, referred to as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), in Europe for more than a decade. A building material that has been around for centuries, timber, enables the permanent capture of carbon so buildings become essentially ‘carbon sinks’.

Using innovative technology, timber panels undergo a process whereby they are stacked at right angles and bonded together over their entire surface and then hydraulically pressed. This process delivers a viable alternative to concrete and steel that can withstand the same pressure as prefabricated concrete. Being designed and produced in a factory environment means it is also faster to build, cost effective, cleaner and has a higher quality finish.

CLT is a mass timber product and it is important to note there is a major differentiation between Mass Timber and light wood frame. Mass timber is defined as solid panels of wood engineered for strength through laminations of different layers. Very large very dense solid panels with significant benefits over light wood frame techniques in terms of fire, acoustic performance, structural performance, scale, material stability and construction efficiency.

On a weight to strength ratio, engineered wood products match and in some cases exceed the performance of reinforced concrete.

About Lend Lease

Lend Lease is a leading international property and infrastructure group. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and with circa 17,000 employees worldwide, Lend Lease’s capabilities span the property and infrastructure spectrum.

In Australia we offer development management; investment management; project management & construction and asset & property management. Our expertise covers multiple sectors including commercial, residential, retail, retirement and infrastructure.

We create innovative and sustainable property solutions, forging partnerships and delivering maximum benefits to clients, investors and communities. Sustainability has always been an integral part of our culture and through design and investment in new technologies, we are delivering the next generation of sustainable property solutions. Safety is our number one priority and Lend Lease is committed to operating Incident & Injury Free wherever we have a presence.

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