The Courier-Mail - Home
Future vision in green tower
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