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International House Sydney has been awarded “Australian Development of the Year” as part the national 2019 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards program.

Australia’s first engineered timber office, International House Sydney, has picked up the nations top property award. The “Australian Development of the Year” award is part of the national 2019 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards program. International House Sydney also received the ”Award for Best Office Development” and ”NSW Development of the Year”.

“International House demonstrates that mass timber construction is a viable alternative to conventional construction and stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainable design excellence,” says the Property Council’s NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald.

Designed by Tzannes architects and completed in April 2017, International House Sydney stands six storeys high. Each floor was constructed entirely from cross-laminated timber and glue-laminated timber, including floors, columns, walls, roof, lift shafts and stairs. The timber structure is supported by a ground retail level of conventional concrete.

The building delivers an open, flexible floorplate, with a total floor space of 7,000 sqm and a striking design featuring recycled hardwood colonnades and an exposed timber structure.

Timber is around 30 per cent lighter than concrete or steel, potentially cutting crane, scaffolding and foundation costs. Economic modelling undertaken by Forest and Wood Products Australia has found timber construction can cut schedules by 15 per cent. Engineered timber also has a carbon footprint up to 60 per cent lower than other materials such as concrete and steel.

“The well-documented health and sustainability benefits of using timber in the built environment have contributed substantially to its market appeal, securing a single, well-known financial services tenant for the entire building,” Ms Fitzgerald adds.

Ms Fitzgerald also applauds International House’s “outstanding green credentials”, including a 6 Star Green Star rating.

“Around 3,500 cubic metres of sustainably-grown and recycled timber was used in construction, which saved thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions by cutting down on concrete. The use of natural materials makes International House a warm and welcoming building that also promotes an innovative approach to sustainable growth,” Ms Fitzgerald adds.

Jonathan Evans, Tzannes timber technology director, said “International House Sydney comprehensively demonstrates that expressing and celebrating the authentic mass timber structure delivers a highly desirable and nurturing workplace environment. We appreciate the recognition from the Property Council of Australia / RLB and support from Lendlease to further our ambition of establishing new standards for a low-carbon future with Australia’s commercial building stock.”

Words Property Council of Australia media release 9 May 19