Analysis and Commentary

World’s tallest timber hotel for Adelaide spurs local industry

Analysis and Commentary

By Peter Roberts

You couldn’t get a site more central to a capital city CBD and you couldn’t get a vision as big as the $300 million project property developer Barrie Harrop has unveiled for Victoria Square, Adelaide.

One of two new hotels announced by Harrop’s Thrive Construct, the Adelaide building will be constructed of cross laminated timber (CLT) and green steel, and will reach a height of 31 levels or 100 metres.

Harrop told @AuManufacturing: “When it is completed it will be the tallest international hotel in the world constructed of CLT.

“The structure is completely carbon neutral and constructed from renewable plantation pine and green steel – all supplied from Australian industry.”

The timber for the Cox Architects-designed building will be produced by Queensland manufacturer XLam, which manufactures engineered timber for prefabricated mass timber construction.

(A second $80 million CLT factory is currently being built by Timberlink at Tarpeena in south-east South Australia.)

Meanwhile the green steel will be made from recycled metal in one of GFG Alliance’s Australian electric arc furnaces.

Harrop also announced a second timber hotel, to be built on the foreshore at the industrial city of Whyalla in South Australia, which is undergoing something of a revival with green steel and green hydrogen projects in development.

Harrop’s Victoria Square hotel will include 324 hotel rooms and 22 apartments, Sky Terrace and a roof top bar, while the Whyalla property will include 164 hotel suites and 49 apartments.

Barrie Harrop is well known in the property development sector, having opened the giant North Haven Marina property development in Adelaide in 1977, and in 1991 the Melbourne Central shopping centre which included the preservation of a historic shot tower under an 80 metre tall glass roof.

While Harrop’s latest building is not the largest timber building being planned – larger projects are mooted for Sydney and Perth – it does suggest that CLT technology which is widespread in Europe is becoming more mainstream in Australia.

Harrop said: “We are 20 years behind the rest of the world on this.

“But the technology really is the new concrete – CLT or engineered wood is stronger than steel.

“And it is stored carbon – it is made from plantation forest material which is renewable.”

Picture: Thrive Construct

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