A full refurbishment of levels 8-10 of Monash University’s Building H at the Caulfield Campus saw an opportunity for the first CLT vertical extension used in an Australian University. A function pavilion and connecting stair well into the existing building saw the perfect opportunity to utilize an XLam CLT system. The vertical extension, located on the existing level 8 concrete terrace, was made possible by the lightweight aspect of mass timber as compared to a traditional steel/concrete structure. The architects, NH Architecture, along with Monash University, also chose to express the natural beauty of XLam CLT in the hallways, pre-function areas and the stair well. This new structure is expressed boldly with textured, gold zinc cladding to all sides and showcases spectacular 300 degree views from the Mornington Peninsula out to the Dandenong mountain range, including front row seats to the Melbourne skyline.
The existing level 8 concrete slab terrace was unable to support additional load from a vertical extension, therefore a steel grillage was used to transfer the lightweight CLT structure directly onto the columns below. The high load floor in the function pavilion saw a 175mm thick 5-layer XLam panel used. The remaining floors are 5-layer 145mm panels. All roof panels are 5-layer 130mm panels. All XLam panels used in the project were constructed from untreated radiata pine boards. Large glue laminated beams span the 11m over the function pavilion and carry the load of the raking XLam roof. The Tasmanian Oak hardwood beams were manufactured and supplied by Hyne Timber. The three-story stair walls are full height panels over 10m tall. These walls were erected prior to lowering in the landings and XLam Air Stairs.