Australia's largest Residential Timber Building is an Affordable Housing Project
Author: David Rowlinson
Article first appeared in Fifth Estate
An affordable housing development made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) has opened in Campbelltown, making it the largest residential engineered timber building in Australia and the first in NSW, according to community housing provider BlueCHP.
The development, known as The Gardens, comprises three towers with 101 apartments, 56 of which are available for affordable rental. The remaining 45 dwellings have been sold on the private market.
BlueCHP head of property services Marcelo Steimbeisser said there was no distinguishable difference between the affordable and private housing, and that all apartments were specified to comparable apartments in Campbelltown, including two bathrooms, stone tops and stainless-steel appliances, floor to ceiling tiling in wet areas and instantaneous gas hot water units.
Built with about 22,000 square metres, or 962 tonnes, of CLT the project saw a 35 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from onsite construction, as well as a 60 per cent reduction in waste. Each apartment was designed in accordance to BASIX requirements, achieving an average five-star NatHERS energy rating.
Construction noise was also reduced because only five carpenters were used for the CLT installation, and the project saw minimised high-risk activities and zero construction-related injuries, Mr Steimbeisser said.
Other sustainable initiatives in the project included a 15 kilowatt solar system for lighting common areas, a 20,000 cubic metre rainwater tank reticulated back into common landscaping, and an embedded electricity network that offers residents significant discounts of up to 20 per cent savings on power bills.
The Gardens was built in a highly sought-after location, in close proximity to the University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown Hospital, Macarthur Square shopping centre and the Macarthur Railway Station.
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