One of the world’s tallest wooden buildings is being built in Wellington next year, says the man behind the project, real estate mogul Sir Robert Jones.
The office building, planned for the corner of Featherston Street and Brandon Street, would be 12 storeys high and about 52m tall.
Sir Robert said the foundations of the building would be conventional reinforced steel, but the rest would be composed of timber.
“This is of particular importance to New Zealand as laminated timber is far more earthquake resilient and fire-resistant than steel or reinforced concrete, both of which buckle in earthquakes or fires,” he said.
“Laminated timber stays intact. It will also save on the cost of importing steel and is more environmentally friendly.”
The building will be solely luxury office suites, Sir Robert said, and had been designed to a very high standard with significant earthquake proofing measures in place.
He said he did not have an exact figure on the cost of the project but said it would be more cost effective using the laminated timber.
“All of these (wooden) buildings are going up everywhere,” Sir Bob said.
“There’s one planned for Vienna, Norway, Canada, it’s happening everywhere and these are commercial developers so we can assume that cost-wise it’s not an issue,” he said.
“It’s faster as well because pouring concrete on each floor takes a long time, but we’re not doing that. It’s like assembling a Meccano set.”
Sir Robert said he had designed the building in collaboration with a Wellington architecture firm.