Author: Chris Philpot
The Australian Timber Design Awards is a national competition to promote and encourage outstanding timber design in both residential and commercial applications. The winners were announced at the annual dinner held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.
Library at the Dock is constructed primarily from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and recycled hardwood and is Australia's first six-star green star as built building under the public buildings rating tool from Green Building Council Australia.
The unique contrast of reclaimed old timber with the latest innovation of CLT construction celebrates history while embracing 21st century technology.
The project has been delivered through a unique tri-partnership between the City of Melbourne, Lend Lease and the state government through Places Victoria. The design architect is Clare Design, with Hayball engaged as architect of record.
The three storey, 21st century library is situated on the waterfront of Victoria Harbour in Melbourne's Docklands. As well as a holding traditional library collection, the library offers an interactive learning environment, an impressive digital collection, multi-purpose community spaces and a performance venue that holds 120 people.
The use of CLT for the library's structure significantly reduced the building's carbon footprint. Library at The Dock is Australia's first public building made from CLT.
CLT is prefabricated by gluing together layers of plantation spruce timber at 90 degrees to each other, resulting in a structural panel of similar load-bearing capacity to concrete.
Certified wood has the unique ability to help tackle climate change by keeping carbon locked away in the wood structure rather than in the atmosphere. Amazingly, Library at the Dock stores 250 tonnes of carbon in its wood structure.
Its construction position - just eight metres from the edge of the waterfront - was possible because CLT is 30 per cent lighter than traditional structures, significantly reducing the requirement for new substructure. The history of the 75-year-old wharf has been preserved and serves as the building's substructure.
The building's passive design promotes natural ventilation, daylight and fresh indoor air quality, resulting in reduced energy consumption and an improved indoor environment.