The Docklands Library

20 August 2013 — Australia’s second cross laminated building, Docklands’ $13 million library and community centre, is on its way to completion in Melbourne.

The first CLT building was Forté, also in Docklands, and also built by Lend Lease.

CLT is a wood building material consisting of bonded, cross-laminated single layers. Formaldehyde-free and environmentally friendly adhesives are used for bonding. The cross structure of CLT components guarantees stability.

The library complex is being developed through a tri-partnership comprising Lend Lease, Places Victoria and Melbourne City Council.

The developers of the library and community centre have a vision for high environmental standards targeting a public building pilot for the 5 Star Green Star rating under the Green Building Council of Australia.

To optimise sustainable performance of the library there will be a range of initiatives including a CLT structure that uses a combination of engineered timber and reclaimed hardwood.

The project has also seen Finland’s Stora Enso Building and Living developing its Building Solutions business with the delivery of its first CLT shipment from Europe to Australia.

Matti Mikkola

Matti Mikkola

Senior vice president Matti Mikkola said in a media release that the Australian construction industry was “well used to working with wood, and CLT has recently been gaining a lot of attention from construction companies due to its many advantages”.

“CLT can reduce construction time by one-third, and wood has the advantage of being a sustainable construction material,” he said.

Because of the light weight of CLT, only a limited amount of additional piling and repairs of the old timber posts were required, which considerably reduced the cost of the project.

The major structural components of the three-storey library are made from more than 500 cubic metres of CLT, which was produced at Stora Enso’s Austrian workshop and shipped to Australia in February.

The centre is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013 and to open its doors to the public by March 2014. It was designed by Clare Design and Hayball architects.

Andrew Nieland

Andrew Nieland

Lend Lease’s Timber Solutions business development manager Andrew Neiland said CLT was one of the most significant forms of innovation in construction technology that Australia had seen in many years.

“It is transforming the building and construction industry by introducing a more efficient and environmentally friendly construction process.”


  • Three-storey building 55m long x 18m wide
  • CLT Volume: 574 cubic metres
  • Glulam beams: 140m3 with lengths up to 10-18m
  • Shipping from Europe February-March 2013
  • Delivery to site and CLT erection started April 2013
  • Estimated building time six to eight weeks
  • Project completion in late 2013

Key features:

  • Interactive, high digital learning environment
  • Community multi-purpose meeting rooms
  • Outdoor reading area
  • Culture and exhibitions
  • Technology hub
  • Design conducive to the surrounding waterfront landscape

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