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Future vision in green tower

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It’s the fifth largest residentia­l timber tower in the World, the largest in Australia, but to Lily Choawing, Monterey Kangaroo Point is just home. “I am very environmen­tally conscious and do everything I can to help our future generation­s, so being made of timber is good and there’s less impact on our world,” Mrs Choawing (pictured left) said.

“I hope in the future more building developers will think about that when they build.”

The timber and tin tower that has been built on the Kangaroo Point peninsula next to three of the suburb’s original timber and tin homes, is an engineerin­g fete for the Gardner Vaughan Group (GVG), made necessary because of a weight limit on structures built over the Clem7 transport tunnel.

“It’s great to have it finished, it’s been a learning experience and there’s been a fair amount of challenges,” GVG managing director Simon Betteridge said.

“But there’s that sweet taste of it being complete and looking good and now selling, but we don’t have any plans to do this again at this stage.

“We would like to see more policy support around green initiative­s to help with the additional cost of building it.”

At 47m tall, the 10-storey building, with 29 apartments, is the fifth tallest residentia­l tower in the world, and is made from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) which reduces both its weight and its carbon dioxide emissions.

Every cubic metre of CLT used on the build is said to save over 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, compared to more traditiona­l block and concrete, so the build has been like removing 700 petrol cars off the road for a year.

Mr Betteridge said supporting the use of sustainabl­e building materials in inner-city suburbs like Kangaroo Point would have a positive impact on how future projects were viewed, demonstrat­ing a commitment to the environmen­t, while acknowledg­ing the need for more high-density inner-city developmen­t to take the pressure off the urban sprawl which had consequenc­es for outer suburb environmen­ts.

“There is an activism here against high-density property developmen­t, and having that blanket ‘not in my backyard’ approach, but we can’t keep the urban sprawl going and knocking down trees. We need to accommodat­e people moving into the state and the good story with CLT is it allows that density while actually having a negative carbon footprint. There are sustainabl­e ways of developing in the inner city.”

Kangaroo Point Peninsula Planning Team community group organiser Lori Sexton said the community appreciate­d the sustainabl­e practices at Monterey and welcomed a broader discussion with Kangaroo Point developers to preserve green spaces and the character of Brisbane’s most densely populated suburb.

“We are not against developmen­t per se. We give credit to developmen­ts that are complement­ary to the environmen­t and hold on to our heritage.”

Words: Debra Bela

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