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March Studio, Bond University students design new high-rise timber model

SOURCE: Anders Vestergaard Jensen/Unsplash
High-rise timber structures will soon be the new norm in sustainable construction.

The Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University recently worked with Melbourne architecture firm March Studio to provide its students with hands-on experiences in designing a futuristic timber high-rise model. 

The project involved designing a 1:15 scale model of a timber tower that features individual modular apartments which are designed to be constructed offsite and fitted into the timber frame. 

This method of construction was developed to address the issue of housing affordability. The external production of flat-pack modular individual apartments could be made in a cost-effective way in factories before they are deployed at the construction site or any other area. 

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According to March Studio director Rodney Eggleston in a report by Architecture & Design, this design could become feasible in reality thanks to the advances in the construction of tall timber buildings. 

“We’ve now extended that idea so that potentially you could bring them together to create a tower or a vertical village,” he said. 

“We’ve invited the students to imagine how they might fit out the modules in different ways.”

The event, which is currently in its seventh year since inception, involves architecture students from first-year to Masters levels teaming up and thinking of creative ways to make use of the modular space. 

Bond University
The modular design can be produced in a more cost-effective manner. Source: Greyson Joralemon/Unsplash.

The hands-on project enables students to see the outcome of their work from a practical and realistic perspective such as how families will live in these apartments and if there are commercial uses for these spaces as well. 

“We’ve found that what students learn in these three days, they keep using throughout the year,” said Bond University head of the Abedian School of Architecture, Professor Chris Knapp. 

“It’s a great way for us to bring new energy and new knowledge into the school really quickly and have it permeate the entire student experience.”

According to architecture student Blake Mills, this design concept could revolutionise apartment living by allowing people to build their own unique house in an apartment setting. 

This is merely the beginning for sustainable high-rise timber structures in Australia’s architecture and construction industry. 

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These structures are generally constructed using sustainable and cost-effective methods which result in an approximate 46 percent reduction in energy use compared to conventional construction methods. 

Structures such as this will soon be joining the likes of other similar sustainable high-rise buildings across the world such as an 18-storey tower in Norway and Australia’s current tallest timber building, 25 King, a 10-storey office building in Brisbane. 

According to Eggleston, these timber towers could possibly go as high as 200-300 metres with the advancement in glues. 

The completed scale model for the Bond University project will be displayed at the Melbourne Design Week from March 12 to 22.