World’s tallest wooden residential building in Melbourne

London’s Stadthaus in Murray Grove has achieved global recognition as the world’s tallest wooden residential structure. Now Melbourne’s Victoria Harbour at Docklands is poised to take the mantle with Forté.

The tip of a woodberg, Forté is Australia’s first large CLT (cross laminated timber) building, however Lend Lease’s Australian CEO, Mark Menhinnitt anticipates that 30% – 50% of their residential projects in the pipeline could be executed in CLT. He salso expects it to be used in other applications, including educational, community and commercial buildings.

The advantages of CLT are particularly relevant to the location and the Victoria Harbour precinct. CLT’s light weight generated substantial below-ground savings and the fast build suits the compact site and the environmental advantages alight with Lend Lease’s corporate stance.

Forté aims to be Australia’s first five-star green star as built certified residential building. By using CLT Forté will reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,400 tonnes, compared with building in concrete and steel.

The advantages continue to residents too, Forté apartments will require 25% less energy to heat and cool than a similar apartment built in concrete and steel.

Looking to the future, Mark Menhinnitt said the project will “unlock a new era for sustainable development by offering a viable alternative to traditional construction options, which are carbon intensive”.

Site work commenced in February, Forté is scheduled to be completed in October – a faster build than many stand alone homes.

Forté will comprise seven one-bedroom apartments (59 square metres) priced from the mid-$400,000s, 14 two-bedroom apartments (80 square metres) priced from the late $600,000s and two penthouse apartments with two-bedrooms (102 square metres) priced from $800,000. The ground floor will be for retail space.

Speaking at the project launch, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, himself an architect, said that Forté will be a driver for “a new environmental footprint in Australia”.

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