Timber structure delivering toward climate-positive games

by | Sep 5, 2023

The recently opened National Throws Centre of Excellence in Brisbane recognises the carbon sequestration benefits of timber, and serves as a proven test case for the economical delivery of timber infrastructure to achieve climate-positive Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032.

The Glue Laminated Timber structure was taken from HQP’s Queensland pine plantation before being sawn at Hyne Timber’s Tuan Mill near Maryborough and further manufactured into Glue Laminated Timber at their Glulam plant in Maryborough. With 141 years of timber manufacturing in regional Queensland, employing hundreds of people in the industry, it does not get more Queensland than that.

The structure was designed by Brisbane-based Architecture firm, Phillips Smith Conwell, and built by the highly regarded and long-standing Queensland builder, Hutchinson Builders with project consultants including Brisbane-based Bligh Tanner.

Winning the 2023 Queensland Architecture Award for Public Architecture, the client, Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) stated:

“The National Throws Centre of Excellence is a high-tech, high-performance training centre that will help Queensland and Australian stars of discus, shot put, javelin, hammer throw, decathlon and heptathlon achieve international success.”

“The carbon neutral facility, funded through the Queensland Government, QAS, Athletics Australia and the AIS with support from Stadiums Queensland, provides consistent conditions for throws athletes to train no matter the weather conditions.”

“As the QAS looks towards Paris, Las Angeles and Brisbane 2032, it is critical that we provide high-tech, world-class, high-performance environments for athletes to train and we are delighted to have this centre open for business.”

Stadiums Queensland, who managed the design and construction project, required a zero-carbon building while controlling the cost of the project.

A team of expert stakeholders were able to deliver on this vision with the pavilion being the only known facility of its type in the southern hemisphere, and only one of several worldwide.

Coinciding with National Forestry Day, Shane Robertson, General Manager of XLam is one of several panel members attending the Timber Queensland ‘Timber 2032 Forum’ being hosted at the University of Queensland’s ARC Advance Timber Hub.

The forum, which will be attended by Government executives and Olympic decision-makers, will directly address how Queensland’s timber industry can help deliver climate-positive Olympic and Paralympic games.

“From carbon sequestration to locally grown and manufactured timber, mass timber solutions for Athletes Villages, stadiums, and other Olympic infrastructure are the perfect solution to deliver carbon-positive games with a lasting legacy,” Mr Robertson said.

“XLam and Hyne manufacture and supply sustainable CLT panels (cross-laminated timber) and GLT beams and columns (glue laminated timber) that are used in mass timber construction.”

“Timber needs to be specified from the onset followed by the engagement of experts in the field. You can’t design a building in concrete and steel and then attempt to convert it to timber and still gain the many benefits including design and cost efficiencies which largely come from the prefabrication, lighter weight material and speed of construction,” Mr Robertson said.

“With XLam and Hyne Timber having the same owners, XLam has guaranteed supply of timber to meet all clients’ needs with full confidence.”

“Working with Stadiums Queensland to supply the National Throws Centre of Excellence from Glulam beams certainly sets a standard of what can be demonstrably achieved, and we thank them for the opportunity to be part of this award-winning building,” Mr Roberston said.

For more information on the project go to www.architecture.com.au/archives/awards/national-throws-centre-of-excellence-phillips-smith-conwell.