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Timber innovation in new NIOA HQ

10 February 2021

BESIX Watpac has topped out the main timber structure of NIOA’s impressive new headquarters expansion project in Brisbane.

After an intensive planning process, the construction team has assembled the structure of the five-storey engineered timber building in record time. BESIX Watpac Site Manager Ben Rowlands said it’s been exciting for the entire team.

“Because all the provisions for services are pre-cut at the factory, we had to do a lot of groundwork with the shop drawings to make sure everything was right so when the panels arrived onsite they were right to go up.”

“We’re really proud of the way it’s come together,” Ben said.

A key feature of the Australian-grown and manufactured Glue Laminated Timber beams and Cross Laminated Timber panels is the relative ease with which they can be assembled.

NIOA CEO Robert Nioa said minimising disruption at the existing facility was a top priority.

“We've got an operating site here, it's very busy, so this product, the innovation in this product, was about reducing disruption and minimising the time on site. The Watpac team has been wonderful to deal with, very professional team, certainly hitting all of our schedule, and working with our team,” Robert said.

The working environment created by the timber building was also a major part of its appeal.

“We thought this timber product certainly showcased how we thought about and took care of our people and visitors,” Robert said.

Architect and Principal at Kirk, Dr Andrew Magub said it’s a special building. “We think this will become a new typology of office buildings, column free space, smaller floor plates, but stacked vertically.”

“We're anticipating from the research we've seen that this timber building will produce a better work environment than a traditional office environment,” Dr Magub said.

The NIOA Brisbane building joins the Rheinmetall NIOA building in Maryborough as the first in Queensland to be built from engineered timber grown and manufactured in Australia.

Hyne Timber and Xlam have supplied the sustainable engineered product sourced from plantation grown timber.

Rob Mansell, Technical Sales Representative for XLam said the project is a brilliant milestone for the industry.

“It’s great for our employees who manufacture the engineered timber see their work coming together for an exceptional office space for the future.” Mr Mansell said.