Aucklands Potential for new skyscraper made entirely of wood

News
24 May 2018
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Auckland could soon be home to the country's first timber high-rise tower. Click here to view News Hub item

Building experts are currently discussing possible locations for the skyscraper, which they believe is a safer and more environmentally friendly option.

"We're talking about columns, beams and floors that all made out of renewable timber," Tallwood director Daiman Otto said.

He has plans to take the timber industry to new heights - specifically 25 storeys-high - in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter.

Thanks to new technology, many manufacturers believe working with wood is now faster, safer and just as cost-effective as conventional construction.

"Better for fire performance with engineered timber than with steel [and it's] lightweight - it has that over concrete," said manufacturer Owen Griffiths.

"There are less truck deliveries, there are lighter deliveries on the road... you don't have the same waste that you have in these multi-storey projects."

Timber is 80 percent the weight of concrete, and given the majority of Auckland's waterfront is built on reclaimed land, the lighter materials are ideal when it comes to laying foundations.

In Tokyo, a 70-storey skyscraper is planned, and building experts here agree it's time for New Zealand to join the green movement.

"There's no reason why we couldn't be world leaders," Mr Griffiths said.

"We should be, we've got huge large resources of material; [timber] is the only natural and renewable construction material that we've got in New Zealand, so why shouldn't we be doing it?"

Wellington is no stranger to the timber trend; the Old Government Building is the biggest wooden structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

Property mogul Sir Bob Jones wants to build a wooden office block.

"[It] may that be the start of many things - and surely we don't want Wellington to get ahead of Auckland with that," Mr Griffiths said.

An industry confident it'll be adding timber to the skyline sooner rather than later.

Newshub. 23-5-2018

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