Sir Bob Jones to build NZ’s tallest tim­ber tower

New Zealand Logger - - Timber Talk -

REAL ES­TATE EN­TRE­PRE­NEUR, SIR BOB Jones, will start con­struc­tion of one of the world's tallest wooden build­ings in cen­tral Welling­ton next year.

The new of­fice tower, which will go on the cor­ner of Feather­ston and Bran­don Streets, will stretch to 12 storeys high – about 52 me­tres – and bring New Zealand into the ex­clu­sive club of na­tions that have tall struc­tures built with en­gi­neered wood.

The build­ing will fea­ture Cross Lam­i­nated Tim­ber, or CLT, to pro­vide a strong struc­ture that will with­stand dam­ag­ing earth­quakes.

"This is of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance to New Zealand as lam­i­nated tim­ber is far more earth­quake re­silient and fire-re­sis­tant than steel or re­in­forced con­crete, both of which buckle in earth­quakes or fires," Sir Bob says.

"Lam­i­nated tim­ber stays in­tact. It will also save on the cost of im­port­ing steel and is more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly."

Among other rea­sons quoted by Sir Bob for se­lect­ing tim­ber for this build­ing is the speed of con­struc­tion, which he com­pares to “as­sem­bling like a Meccano set”. He also be­lieves it will be more cost-ef­fec­tive to con­struct than tra­di­tional meth­ods due to the speed.

Sir Bob says other ma­jor cities in North Amer­ica and Europe are adopt­ing en­gi­neered tim­ber for tall build­ings and says it is time New Zealand fol­lowed suit. He has de­signed the build­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a Welling­ton ar­chi­tec­ture firm.

As an in­ter­est­ing ex­er­cise, the num­ber of Ra­di­ata Pine trees that will go into the new build­ing works out to 1,500. Wood Pro­ces­sors and Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Dr Jon Tan­ner, cal­cu­lates that the amount of tim­ber used in the tower would take about an hour to grow in New Zealand’s forests.

Whilst it might be the tallest tim­ber build­ing in New Zealand, it isn’t the largest struc­ture to be built from wood. The old gov­ern­ment build­ing that sits near Welling­ton’s Bee­hive is the big­gest wooden build­ing in the south­ern hemi­sphere.


New Zealand’s tallest tim­ber tower will be con­structed in Wellington next year.

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