the Clancy

Unveiling The Clancy: A Six-Storey Timber Marvel

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Unveiling Sydney’s ‘The Clancy’: A Six-Storey Mass Timber Construction Marvel

Welcome to this video case study where we delve into the intricacies of a unique construction project, featuring a six-storey, mixed-use development with 40 boutique hotel rooms atop a concrete podium. This case study is presented by Sean, representing Xlam, and Connie from Wood Solutions Australia, who were integral to the project’s success.

Throughout this video, we will explore the various aspects of the project, including product details, location, and the extent of the Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) used. We will also touch on the structural and fire engineering solutions that were required, the logistical challenges that arose, and how they were overcome.

We will delve into the installation, manufacturing, and delivery processes and wrap up with a brief summary. This case study is not just about the technical details, but also about the collaborative effort and innovative solutions that made this project successful.

In this case study, we will focus on a unique building that combines Class 3 and Class 6 usage, featuring a hotel section with a reduced Fire Resistance Level (FRL) from 90/90/90 down to 60/60/60. This project was located in the heart of Sydney, with its logistical challenges due to its location on a main thoroughfare and a boundary-to-boundary construction site.

The use of CLT and the innovative solutions developed in partnership with key players such as Meriton, MNG, Scientific Fire Services, Vision Group, and Top-notch played a crucial role in the project’s success.

So, join us as we walk you through this fascinating case study, shedding light on the process, challenges, and triumphs of this unique mass timber/CLT construction project. There’s also a Q&A session included.

Unveiling The Clancy: A Six-Storey Timber Marvel

Video Transcript

Good morning everyone. Thank you for tuning in and learning about the case study we’ve got before you prepared today.

Firstly, I thank you for Wood Solutions and also Connie for having or going with Xlam on this particular job which was, yeah, certainly a great one to be a part of. So running through a few items today.

We’re not going into too much technical detail, so we’re looking to sort of cap it around the 20-minute mark. We’ll just run through some of the product details, the location, the extent of the CLT, touch on the structural and the fire engineering solutions that were undertaken, and the logistical solutions that were required for this particular project. And then touch on the installation, manufacturing, delivery and then just a brief summary at the end.

So the particular job we’re looking at today, Connie will go through a bit more in-depth detail around the selection of material and and the like. But what we’re looking at today is a six-story building which is a Class 3, Class 6 mixed-use development with 40 boutique hotel rooms on top of a concrete podium. So this overall building had an effective height of less than 25 meters and a Type A fire-resistant construction requirement.

And a key point here, the FRL for the hotel section was reduced from 90/90/90 down to the 60/60/60. And a quick acknowledgement here of a few of the key players on the projects: Meriton as the builder (unless you design a build), MNG are the structural engineers, the fire engineers Scientific Fire Services, architect and Vision Group, installer was Top-notch and excellent of course, and the CLT supplier.

Following probably around six months’ worth of early supplier involvement there. So as Lauren’s alluded to, the project 202 Elizabeth Street is very much on a main road in the center of Sydney, with close proximity to Central Station for those that know Sydney quite well. And Elizabeth Street itself is very much a main thoroughfare through the sort of north-south direction of the city.

So this particular job, more or less boundary-to-boundary construction on three sides of the project site. And unfortunately, due to I guess the nature of the site and the road out the front, actually no work zone was permitted to the street front. Here’s a Google Maps image of the particular job site we’re talking about. In between those two trees there, you can see the hoarding and the access into the job site there.

So next we look at the extent of the CLT for this particular job. Here we see a cross-section through the main part of the building. You can see the level one concrete podium above the ground floor, and all those blue walls that you see in this zone here, level one through to five, floor and wall plates are all CLT.

So here’s some snapshots of the particular model that we developed for the project. So as I mentioned, predominantly CLT from the level one podium, floor walls and cores. So that’s the stairwell and the lift shaft.

Additional materials were some localized steel beams for some minor load transfers. And as part of the overall building system, we utilized a site-fabricated LVL boundary wall which utilized the TBA Firefly approved wall system using the Index board, which I’ll briefly touch on again later on.

This particular job opted for a traditional roof frame, so LVL framing and traditional roof sheeting over the top. So briefly going into the structural and fire engineering solutions.

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So as required generally with mass timber buildings, the structural engineering certainly does take the lead and the parameters are set up by the fire engineer. So this certainly extends to the FRL, of course. So as mentioned before, the FRL for level one, three to five achieved a rationalized FRL of 60/60/60 down from the generally required 90 minutes.

So this was, uh, undertaking or this analysis and achievement was undertaken by Scientific Fire Services prior to the engineering getting underway. Throughout the project, generally there was a DTS approach of encapsulation of the CLT. So the Xlam certification and testing involved a single layer of 16-millimeter fire-rated plasterboard applied to both sides of the walls generally, and also the underside of the floor plates.

[Music] In certain locations on the project, we did look to expose the CLT as a feature. On the typical floors for the sole occupancy units, this involved, in some of the units there as you can see highlighted in green, single walls exposed to certain extents. And this meant that those particular walls actually were increasing thickness to allow for the charring requirement to help assist with the FRL achievement.

And also with the fixings and bracketries located, we’ve located those on both sides of the walls essentially to create a level of redundancy within those fixings, if a fire did get underway within one of those fire compartments.

Also exposed timber involved the inside of the lift shaft and also the stairwell. So all the stairwells, as you’ll see in some of Connie’s photos later on, are all exposed – the inside walls and the stair runs themselves – as well as the lift shaft.

So it should be noted that the sprinkler system and drenches and the like were actually installed within those elements as well to assist with exposing the timber. And as alluded to before, the boundary wall system, it was a requirement to have a tested system to AS5113, which is the external wall rating. For this instance here, we utilized as mentioned before, the LVL framed, site-fabricated frame.

So what we what was undertaken here was Top-notch installer pre-fabricated 1200 millimeter wide elements. And they they were pre-lined on deck with the breathable sarking, a fire blanket, and then the non-combustible Index board to the external face.

So obviously with boundary-to-boundary construction, we just had no access to the outside face of the building, so this system allowed all the elements to be fixed and connected from the inside face through the alveolar frame and screwed through into the outside boards. So we just couldn’t achieve that with the CLT otherwise it would have been great to have these elements with the CLT as well.

And some additional requirements here, of course, four or more systems tested with AS1530.4 and also the penetration firestops and the like, all of which Xlam had previously undertaken a plethora of testing both of our panels and various different products. So all in all for this particular job, no additional testing was required to certify the project.

So now we have the design parameter set by the fire engineer, and panel thickness is utilized for the project as follows: So generally for the floor with an encapsulated soffit, we utilized a five-layer 160-millimeter panel. The walls, when they were encapsulated, 105 mil. Where they were exposed, they were increased to 145 between the rooms. And for the cores, we were able to achieve a 125-millimeter thick panel going up, so they were encapsulated on the outside face but exposed on the inside.

And the airstairs, as we call our stair product, overall thickness of about 266 millimeters. So as briefly mentioned, this particular site essentially locked in on three on three sides, and of course, no work zone required or allowed out the front of the building. So it certainly becomes a logistical challenge to get our panels up on deck and the like. And of course, being a quite a key site within the city, the design itself looked to optimize the street frontage. So it was side-to-side as well.

So this then left only a zone to the rear of the block here, where we could lift the materials up above the podium slab. And with the crane placed within the lift shaft, the end result was that we could actually only lift panels to approximately 2.5 meters wide, 4.5 meters long, through that rear penetration.

So now the challenge essentially remains: you know, how do we easily and safely deliver the materials to that location on the ground floor, up to above the podium deck, to be lifted? So Connie and the team, not so much Xlam in this instance but certainly the project team as a whole, came up with a quite an innovative solution to install a turntable onto the ground floor.

So here you see the turntable actually overlaid the the typical floor plate. This is from above the podium, but the turntable itself was applied onto the ground floor. So the diameter needed to be wide enough to allow for a small rigid truck to access the site.

And here’s just a very brief animation of…me, sorry. Just a quick note, sorry, the theming and design and construction of the temporary state of the podium and temporary transfer truss over, to allow this to happen, is probably a topic for another presentation in itself. So just a quick comment there because it was a bit of structural gymnastics to make this happen at the end of the day.

So here we see a very rudimentary animation of the floor, of the panels coming in off the street. So the trucks would enter frontways, driving in direct off Elizabeth Street, driving directly on to the turntable. Take a bit of a 180 trip around on the turntable and reverse back into position to the loading zone.

So this then allowed our clt panels and other materials to be lifted from that rear penetration. So now with our panel size there, noted two and a half to about four and a half meters. So what does that floor panelization look like. So here we see an overlay of the actual panalization of the typical floors onto the architectural layout. So as you can see, quite a number of panels and ultimately the number of panels per floor. 

For the floor plate that is was around 44 per level, so if I wore the wall distance of about 725.92, he room sizes were just too big to have a continuous panel. So we pretty much had each panel as a simply supported element between those walls. The penetrations themselves were very much processed off site.

Where they could be there was a little bit of coordination to take place with some outlets that were caught on site.  But predominantly all the processing was done in our factory down at Donga.  Now the green panels that you see here they’re actually H3 T3G plush equivalent treated so that that signifies panels that are under the wet areas and also the balconies and accessible roof tops.

So another key feature of the design was the sequencing of the panels and the subsetting of the panels to about 30mil to allow for set downs uh in the in the in the actual structure itself.

So Connie may kept touching this later but the topping and so forth was mainly isolated to those set down areas to achieve falls for outlets. Now looking at our walls, so in this instance here because we were restricted to a maximum width of about 2.5 meters and length of four and a half, we needed to have panels that went full height so 2.9 meters floor to floor, and they were max they were limited to approximately 2.5 meter width.

So for a job without any logistical restraints, we could certainly provide a product, a panel to site, you know upwards of 12 meters up to 3.4 meters higher. So there was some sacrifice on this particular job due to restraints about how many panels we needed to incorporate into the job. So number of wall panels, there were about 78 per floor, and that included the windows and lintels window headers and the lenses that you see there on that little snapshot of the model.

So the walls were penalized to minimize the visual grade also. So the way we manufacture, we we utilized a slightly different feedstock to achieve the visual panel uh which actually does come at a very slight premium. So we needed to reduce those areas, and we penalized the product accordingly to reduce that extra over.

So service penetrations over the doors were also prefabricated, and they were sized to receive a standard size of a five kilo from TBA firefly. And another key element of the excellent offering for this job, uh the external walls were pre-lined with vapor-permanent membrane, and the joints were taped on site prior to the cladding going on. So that’s the the front and the rear elevations of the building.

So looking at the manufacturing and ultimately the delivery of the CLT panels. So overall on this particular job, the CLT can was around 360 cubic meters of product, and the total number of panels supplied to site through XLAM was about 511. So that number of panels certainly includes the windows and lintels as mentioned before, and that volume of timber to suit the installation sequence and the like was staggered. The manufacturing was staggered over about a six-week period.

So we certainly could have uh produced this all at once, um, at the time I think we’re doing a double shift in our facility so we could certainly have manufactured it within a single week, but it just wouldn’t have been the right approach for this particular job.

So we had that staggered approach which meant we were able to achieve a just in time delivery for the product, uh thus minimizing storage requirements both at the factory end and also at the site, and where we had no storage but also at the top knot yard where they received our semi trailer deliveries.

So for this particular job we broke it up into nine full semi trailer loads of deliveries. And as you can see the bottom of the screen there, we had about 50 individual packs. So those smaller packs were the packs of panels that were individually delivered to site on a small semi-rigid trailer, and that was microd by a top knot out of their facility.

So some benefits of of this approach for this particular job, certainly the location of the top-notch storage yard being at Mascot, it allowed for easy access for our semi trail loads coming up for Maroonga and also allow for a quick turnaround time as smaller packs were required on site.

So for instance, as a guide, the estimation of the install rate would have been about the 20-25 mark per day, but quite on a number of occasions Tottenham managed to achieve well over 30 panels per day installed for this particular job.

So relatively quick case study, so I’ll quickly just go through some summaries summary points and benefits of the overall solution that we supplied. So a very quick note there, XLAM CLT certainly provided unless you desire to build a sustainable solution for a site that certainly was deemed undevelopable. The main benefits of the X-LAM solution certainly included included that it was a prefabricated system, and this required or negated any requirement for the work zone out the front.

Certainly one of the main benefits of mass timber construction is a superstructure that is ultimately half the weight of the conventional concrete building. So this particular project resulted in two savings for the groundworks, where we had our turntable also the transfer podium, and also the strongback truss which I alluded to earlier which was on level one.

So essentially that full height or 1087.44 meter deep steel truss is picking up the load of the building over to transfer that over the over the turntable. So reducing the overall mass of the building was certainly a key feature and benefit of building the mass timber. The carbon sequestered within the CLT for this particular job was in the order of 300 tons of CO2. So certainly a great sustainable credential for the project.

The XLAM solution to the product certainly allowed a fully resolved certified system for the structural and fire compliance. So this, as mentioned before, reduced any requirement for additional testing and also made the whole certification process much much simpler.

So I didn’t quite go into it here but the extensive R&D on the acoustics both floor and wall build-ups that X-LAM has undertaken along with some industry partners certainly allowed for that component of the building to be easily certified as well. And finally last point here, the local supply of X-LAM certainly assisted with logistical challenges, the storage and sequencing of deliveries.

So all in all, just a few dot points there are the main benefits of the CLT, but generally as Connie will run through further as well, some great benefits and ultimately a really successful job on a very difficult site. So something that we’re very thrilled to be part of right from the get-go. So I’ll quickly wrap up there, the the short 20 minutes case study, but please feel free to drop any questions in the chat box, and also reach out if you’ve got any other projects that yeah, you know for excellent to be a part of. Thanks hi everyone.

Good morning, thank you for joining us. So I’m Connie, as I’ve been introduced from Alessia Design and Build, and we’ve designed and built the Clancy, which is at 202 to 210 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills. Just to start off with, I’ll give you a bit of a history on how we acquired the site, how we’re on the job, and how the project started. Essentially, so the client that I work with, or one of my clients is, uh, Paul Fishman from Eight Hotels. We’ve been working together for 20 years.

So this site came up as a potential site. At the time, it was approved as a boarding house. When we went to look at the site, the main driver in even considering purchasing the site or acquiring the site was the logistic difficulty in actually building anything on this site.

So previous to us developing the site, it has basically been sitting there undeveloped. Uh, there’s been single-story structures, been used as a beer garden, but the site is a case site on Elizabeth Street, basically across the road from Central Station, and no one had come up with a solution for the site.

So in looking at the site, the main factor was we had to build it from the inside, as Sean mentioned. No work zone, no potential from building from the street, road closures were impossible. Uh, it was we only utilized road closures to install the crane and also for the concrete pores on the transfer slab, but apart from that, it’s all been built from the inside. We in doing that, we had to install the turntable. So the turntable that you saw in the plan that Sean brought up, is only there for construction. Once we’ve completed construction, the turntable will go.

So basically the construction methodology was firstly driven by the logistics, and then the construction methodology was developed and driven by the CLT solution. We looked at a few different prefab options. So we also looked at prefab concrete, uh potentially Densel, a number of prefab solutions.

I was always in, I was always pushing for the CLT because it’s something that I am personally passionate about, mass timber construction for sustainability, innovation, uh just the customization that you have with a mass timber construction, you just don’t have with other prefab options. It’s basically completely customizable.

Because we were so restricted in what we could do, the panels had to be sized to work with our site. So it’s not that the site could cater for the panels, the panels had to cater to us. Uh, so we got XLAM on fairly early on once we had decided to push forward with the CLT option. We got XSLAM one early on and started working together on developing a  solution for the site.  

So first step was structural engineers and xlam to on a very basic level. Just to make sure that it would even.  It was even feasible from there once we realized that this was the way we were going to go. We then moved on to design development, a key thing is mass timber construction and clt construction. 

Whether it be a difficult site like ours or any mass timber construction is for the efficiencies to be realized in using mass timber and the efficiencies are mainly time. The design development has to be fully resolved before that first panel comes to site. 

Now that design development is across the board, so there has to be a fully resolved design. There’s no dnc element that you, that you have when you’re doing a mass timber construction because it goes together like a jigsaw puzzle. 

So there was six months of design development which included consultation with brigade, fully resolved fire engineering, structural engineering section, j energy efficiency acoustic.  All of those things need to be resolved because it’s all those things are prefabbed. So six months but then out of that six months of coordination with across the team, we then have a structure of six stories including all load bearing walls, stairs, lift shaft that goes up that went up in eight weeks.

So we realized, uh, the efficiencies because of all the hard work we did in resolving all the issues prior to those panels coming to site. So in developing the design, like Sean illustrated, the 3D model, the working drawings, the panelization of panels, the sizing of trucks, all those things were resolved and finalized before the first panel came onto site. Then each panel went in as per the 3D model, so it was… it was definitely realized as per the 3D model. So as the panels came in, they were installed.

Now the team that worked on the site, and again, I stress that is so critical to get early contractor involvement. So after developing CCD, developing design services design essential services design, uh, it has to all be done prior. So the team that we had: M G Envision Top not, who were the installers, Boss Engineering, who was the structural fabricator, Design Confidence, Acoustic Logic, and Concise Certification, who were the PCAs. Critical to have that team working together to come up with a resolved design.

Now, because we were unlocked and as Sean also illustrated, we did have to utilize a boundary wall system that was tested with the CLT, but could also provide for being able to build all from the inside as well. So it had to be…we couldn’t get to the other side of the wall for waterproofing.

We couldn’t get to the other side of the wall… for…you can see it there in that photo. You couldn’t get to the other side of the wall for fire rating. So the Index Wall System that is tested with the TBA Fire Fly, uh, fire blanket, is the system that was used. And uh, all prefabs on site and then lifted with the crane.

Now, with the crane, we only had the crane on site for the lifting of the CLT. So the crane went in, once the CLT was complete and we had lifted the roof members, we…the crane was gone. So in terms of efficiencies, the efficiencies that you realize with the use of CLT is in time. Uh, prelims are reduced, the down to…management, down to crane. But key thing, it all has to be resolved prior.

As Sean said also, the structure, so this…the…the structure of the building is: uh, piles, then we’ve got slab on ground, block work walls ground to first, core filled 140, and then transfer slab above that, CLT above that including all internal load bearing walls. Uh, CLT floor panels spanned from wall to wall, so every wall internally is load-bearing.

The building is fully sprinkler protected, so deemed to satisfy generally throughout with encapsulation. But where we have the exposed CLT walls, it was an alternative solution, and we had to illustrate from a structural perspective and a fire engineering perspective that the building wouldn’t fail on failure of sprinklers. And that was…that’s what was done for the brigade. But essentially the alternative solution was sprinkler protection, so additional…war weddings, sprinklers on those elements.

Uh, in terms of uh…so then the key elements in terms of construction, we had to look at waterproofing, energy efficiency, how those walls…So obviously the CLT has performed as a material, but to achieve acoustic, to achieve Section J, it was all done through linings.

So generally it was cavity insulation, plasterboard, different solutions for boundary walls to intertenancy walls, all customized because we did nothing is typical about this site, and nothing is typical about our designs. So we have the exposed timber in the fire stair, we have the exposed timber in the leaf shaft.

And again, those solutions are all alternative solutions in a very, very detailed fire engineering report that we…we managed to achieve everything we wanted to achieve. There was nothing that we sort of wanted from an aesthetic perspective or a construction perspective that we didn’t achieve. It just uh…took the time to resolve.

You can see in this picture the strongback that um, that Sean referred to. So that strongback is actually part of the temporary structure that we had to install to allow for the turntable to be installed. So the turntable is basically in the place, in place of where the permanent structure needs to go. So that strongback had to be installed to basically hold the slab up, so to speak.

So the final point, which is one of the most important points, is sustainability. So as a sustainable product, obviously renewable timber, recyclable. But on top of that is the waste that’s generated from the installation of the CLT, is so minor. Like we’ve only got packaging, so the panels come to site, they’re packaged, the packaging is removed, that is your waste.

Uh, if you imagine if you’ve been building in traditional con, in traditional concrete, whether it be blockwork, traditional concrete dense or whatever it may be, the waste that is generated, uh, in comparison to packaging from some, from some timber panels, there is no comparison.

So from a sustainability perspective, and we did do a green star rating on the building, we did study on green star and we do achieve, uh, the structure itself only gains a number of points. So we obviously get all the points on waste generation and on the structure itself. But just as a sustainable product, I really feel like there’s nothing compared to to mass timber construction.

Uh, so that’s on the sustainability. Probably one final point is the facade treatments. So we…we didn’t want to do a…uh, one of the…you know, a cladding on the facade or one of those systems that generally are used.

We couldn’t leave it exposed because it is a hotel use and the class of building. So we did a brick facade, again that was a bespoke solution that again we achieved. So basically what I’m trying to say is that with the XM and the mass timber construction, I feel like really anything is possible.

You aren’t restricted uh, due to the fact that you are using the timber construction. It just takes the time to resolve all those elements, bring them together from all perspectives: uh, engineering perspective, compliance perspective, aesthetic design, bringing all those things together.

But really in terms of a building material, in the 20 year experience that I’ve had, it far outweighs in so many ways, in a multitude of ways, as a building material. Uh, and that’s it, hope you enjoyed it and hope to speak to some of you soon. Thank you.

Well thank you very much Connie, we can…we can finish up just that little section with the quick um, time lapse if you like. Yeah, so just take you through the build process. Yeah, so this is the time lapse that we had. So you can see the concrete podium, and then as the building is going up you can see how the panels are going in. It’s basically floors, walls and internal walls, then perimeter walls as each floor goes up.

All the facade walls are wrapped in Proctor Wrap, they already come pre-wrapped. You can see the supports as the walls go in, as the floors go in they can then come out. And then our roof was a traditional steel and timber frame roof, sheet, which we…on another CLT project I would definitely look at potentially doing a full CLT lid as well.

Uh, it’s just something that when we were looking at it, thought we may have had more flexibility with the roof in terms of falls etc. But definitely would look at doing a CLT lid on future projects as well.

That was amazing, thank you very much Connie, and thank you very much Sean as well, um, for for two really great presentations on what is a very, very interesting project. Um, so we…we’re fortunate, we do have a bit of time for some questions, and it looks like we’ve got a lot of questions which have come in, um, over the uh, over the course of the presentation. Um, so I…I suppose um, yeah, we might as well dive into them, uh, if we’re all okay.

Uh, now the top um, top question, uh, which we’ve received with the most upvotes, which I believe uh, Sean you’ve said, yeah, looking to answer, is uh, it might be a question for the fire engineer really, um, but how was the FRL able to be reduced from 90/90/90 to 60/60/60? Was it an alternate solution or a performance solution, as they know?

It was an outsole, yeah absolutely, yep. So that obviously utilized the fire engineer, Scientific Fire Services. And um, yeah, actually on…on this topic, because it is…it is a really interesting topic, you were saying, um, that the design incorporated some of the…the um, the approaches which are identified in the deemed to satisfy solution in the NCC, being encapsulation of most of the timber.

Um, there’s obviously those other three main requirements of the deemed satisfy solution, being sprinklers throughout the project, non-combustible insulation and cavity barriers where you have a vertical or an opportunity for fire to spread. 

Were any of those or all of those also utilized in the project? All of them, all of them, yeah cavity barriers on the facade as well as floor to floor with the index wall system.  So inchibatum was used on the facade and on the wall to wall. 

Beautiful cool, beautiful and that’s really interesting. It’s something which where we’re well we like to advise for but a performance solution is obviously a great way to go.  But you can always um look to those those guidelines in the national construction code and if you can apply those throughout the project, i think you can give make the fire engineers job a bit easier.

Certainly.  Well the thing with Sean and Xlam is that they already have all these systems tested. So they already have the wall system, the index tested with the tba firefly product.  So it’s you don’t have to go and reinvent anything. They’ve already done it all for you and that includes the multi- service blocks to for the penetrations into from the corridors to rooms. 

For services all those things are tested because that is so critical already.  You’re doing something that is a completely different construction methodology than traditional.  And then to then on top of that have to go and have things tested or try and find things on your of your own accord to make sure that things work. Xlam have those solutions for you.

They’ve got a list of all their tested systems and they’ve got a solution. For my job what I found is they had a solution for everything. The only thing that we had to get had to sort of get creative with and because i’ve done so much lightweight construction and timber construction. 

It was something that i’ve done before is the fire doors.  So the fire sorry not the fire doors, the lift doors being fire rated so the lift doors today are all tested in a masonry or traditional sort of system exam at the moment, and Sean can talk about it. They’re testing them at the moment, but that is just something that we had to come up with. Um, it was just an old soil. So it was nothing crazy. There was no testing, but absolutely everything else, X-Slam had a solution for us.

Yeah, we’re actually to burn some fly doors this month. Yeah, exciting. Yeah, and you know, further to Connie’s point, um, and as I’m sure a lot of their viewers probably saw just a fortnight thing, uh, I had to design Nick Houston. I went into a whole range of different elements and components that we’ve been burning up over the last few months and years. So yeah, it’s certainly always ongoing, and there’s always something new to to put to the flame. Yeah, absolutely.

Um, so our next question is from another anonymous attendee, and it’s been upgraded a couple of times, so it looks like it’s a popular one. Um, essentially saying that it looks like many of the design solutions, uh, have depended on previously performed R&D by X-Slam, obviously that’s what we’ve just been talking about. Um, what level of design was provided uh by MG to X-Lam for the project, and uh, is X-Lam looking to be responsible for early designs in the future?

Yeah, sure. So when we when we start looking at a project, uh, we we basically just utilize our span tables, be it in the structural span tables, and then tie that in. We got our actually fire fire-rated span tails certified assessment reports, so that helps us generate our I guess early stage concepts and and helps out with estimates and budgets.

And from that point, um, for jobs like this, yeah, MG really did take the lead on the structural engineering from that point around the fixings and connections, and and define it into the overall superstructure. So that’s that’s been the typical approach for most CLT products that we’ve been a part of.

Um, with that said, we certainly do have in-house engineering within X-Lam, uh, but it’s relatively small crew. So we are quite selective as to what projects we take on. Um, I think that kind of answered the question.

Last point there is excellent looking response for early design in future projects. I suppose tying back to that comment in the early stage, we’re happy to do concepts and and things like that to help set budgets and and get the job on the right track. Yeah, absolutely. It makes makes absolute sense.

So um, thank you. So maybe maybe Connie, a good one um, looking at the the construction sort of process uh with timber, um, but looking from a weather protection point of view, um, what was your experience there from, um, you know, building with it, exposed natural product, uh, I suppose, um, and you know what was it protected from the weather in in any way?

I I saw obviously you had that um, the self-adhesive um, vapor permeable membrane which was used, um, did you have to do anything else?

We had so facade wall, so there’s treated and untreated, as Sean showed before. We traded all the external facade, we treated the lift shaft, and we treated the walls in the stairs in the um shaft for the stairs.

What I would do in future, if you weren’t doing a CLT lid, so if you had a CLT lid then the building is completely enclosed to the end of the CLT being lifted. Because we had a traditional roof, what I would do in future is treat the floor panels of the upper floor, because we did have some water coming in, um, and those floor panels weren’t treated.

Not that it became a huge problem, because it didn’t, but I would just do that in future. And I would also treat the panels that are on out. We’ve got to transfer on level four where we’ve got terraces, I would also treat those panels. So it’s just a matter of you know those things that you learn along the way.

So there’s just more panels that we would treat for weather for water. And apart from that, no, just you know, closing penetrations, just typical construction stuff like it’s not it’s not unique to CLT, because water coming in when you’ve got windows that aren’t installed yet is an issue with all construction. So not unique to CLT.

Probably the only other issue that is tricky, because you have to have shaper or faces CLT including reveals to windows, you have to line them with fight check, fire check, even if you get your resistance check, it’s not really water distance if it’s in there for a period of time. It will get moldy, uh, so it’s not, it’s a matter of, uh, sequencing.

So you wouldn’t line those reveals before the windows were going in because you will be sitting there and you could pretend you’ll have what it is, but apart from that no, we um yeah, that was the extent of it.

Yeah, that a really really good comprehensive answer, thank you. Um, so I suppose keeping along this sort of wet weather protection sort of theme and moisture most specifically, often a question we receive questions around um, talking about wet areas um and, uh, you know, potential wall and floor junctions. Probably we can talk about wet areas and tanking first, what was your solution in those spaces, uh, did you have a set down or a hob or um?

Yeah, what we put what with our hotel rooms, um, we don’t like to have a step up into the bathroom. So a lot of people have a step up into the bathroom because they’ve got their floor built up, their screen, their tile, etc.

We don’t like to do that, so as Shawn showed earlier, we had setdowns in our floors to allow for the floor build up of 45 mils, so that floor package for the bathroom had – so the CLT was treated, then on top of that was Villaboard, then on top of that for acoustics, we had Vibramat, and then screed.

Now below the screed we do the waterproofing, which is then turned up at the corners, then on top of the screed we do Hydropoxy. So on top of that substrate of, uh, now the Vibramat is for acoustic, so depending on the class of building you may not need the Vibramat, but the waterproofing element is the Villaboard going down first to give you a substrate for the waterproofing to stick to.

Beautiful, that’s great. Thank you. Uh, so we might move away from this topic a little bit just because we’ve spent a bit of time on it, and obviously as a lot of other questions, many other questions we can talk about. Um, I’ve seen a couple of different people um, asking around the floor-to-floor height, and then also the finished floor-to-ceiling height, and you know, the services zone, I suppose. Is there a lot of room for services um, and uh, have they been reticulated? Would you know that um, just off the top of your head?

Yep, so floor um, top of floor to underside, so top of timber to underside 2608.48 uh in the rooms, because you, the acoustics, so you have to line. Everything has to be lined in, fly check including the underside of floor panels, uh, so you’ve got that, then you’ve got 150 ml cavity under that which is for acoustic separation, and then you have your suspended ceiling below that.

So from 2.9 we out in the rooms because then obviously you’ve got your floor build up as well. We achieve 2530 in the rooms. In the corridors 2300, um, and in the bathrooms it varied only because our fan core units are in those bathrooms, so they went from 2.2 to 2.3 depending on reticulation of services. So generally two parts rio in the room is 2300, in corridors.

Beautiful, that’s great. Thank you. So Ethan Jones has a question which I think is relevant to both of you um, asking about BIM uh, building information modeling, and and whether it was involved in design development due to the complexity of the design. Obviously, Sean, you showed some screenshots of a model, um.

It would be really interesting to hear about the level of detail that that model is taken to, it’s, its importance in the project. And then then Connie, um, you know if uh, if that has helped with the buildability, I suppose, of the project. So maybe starting with Sean just to talk about the supply side.

Yeah, sure. From a supply point of view, um, the way we operate, we we don’t necessarily get into the BIM modeling until we are officially engaged as a part of the project. So that’s very much part of the shop drawing process. So those models that I showed you now, my slide there were the X-Lam short drawing models.

So we obviously model that down to the millimeter because we need to obviously detail all the half lap joints, uh, the one or three millimeter tolerances, the running dimensions between panels and things like that. So that’s that’s the 3D model that we get involved with, um, prior to that. Um, Connie, I’m not exactly sure what uh, extent the BIM was used prior to us getting involved, sorry, but uh, you might have some comment there, Connie.

So uh, prior to X-Lam being involved the uh, with resolving the cross-laminated timber and resolving the mass timber construction, the model is absolutely critical. Prior to that, no, we hadn’t really used the BIM modeling in, it was all planned. Yes, we had 3D, but it was more through Revit.

We used the model, but the model that we then used with X-Lam is absolutely critical because we literally sat together with Tyson, that works with Sean who’s their project manager, going through every single panel and how those panels will work, how they would get installed, if there were any details we needed to change – absolutely critical.

And we did that three or four times prior to sign off, and then on site, you used that model to install. So what, not and their boys on site literally had iPads with the model. They knew what was being delivered and it was, it was actually quite amazing because you have this 3D model of the building, which, with each panel sequentially numbered, the panels arrive in that order and they go in as per the model. So from that perspective it’s absolutely critical.

So generally speaking with this type of job with a flat, constant software, I guess from our point of view it’s not as critical, certainly when you go to a post and beam office where you got penetrations through beams and services to coordinate, yeah, probably earlier on, um, prior to the, you know, the X-Lam involvement would certainly be suggested, but would be a model. It depends on your job. It’s when you might want to kick it in.

Thanks. So I suppose continuing on with uh, I guess that buildability theme and the actual construction process, um, Connie, David David Fletcher has asked a couple of questions around the actual program time of the project, uh, of the cons, of the timber section of the project, and uh, the number of people who were working on it for the installation, um, point of view?

Yeah, would you have any of those figures at the tip of your tongue? Yep, the timber onsite, so from when the first panel was delivered to last panel being installed was eight weeks, so six stories, eight weeks. But that includes the stairs, uh, fire stair, lift shaft. In mind, every single wall internally is load bearing, and that also includes the index walls, so the perimeter walls.

So the perimeter walls, you know, have to go in obviously for the building, but that wasn’t the CLT itself. So eight weeks, six stories, including the nx, uh, we had 10 to 12 carpenters on site a day doing the install because we’re really working, it ended up being over two floors because you install your walls and then you put your strut, your um, supports in and then the floor goes on, then those supports come out and brackets are fitted off.

So after the first level of wall goes in and you’ve got your first flooring, you’ve really got teams working on two floors, uh, and then my site foreman, project manager and me.

Beautiful, so pretty small team, yeah. Yeah, that’s good to hear, especially on a confined site or constrained site like this, um. Beautiful, well look, I think that’s that’s just about all we’ve got time for today, so so thank you so much both Connie and Sean, uh, for your time this morning. It’s been an absolute pleasure to hear of your experiences with this project, and we really look forward to seeing you both.

Uh, go on to, you know, deliver many more mid-rise timber projects in the future, um. So please everyone who’s uh, attending the meeting, please show your gratitude in the chat, um, feel free to leave, um, your messages of gratitude there, um, and uh, we’ll we’ll um, leave you both to it uh, for the rest of the day. Let you get back to your busy schedules um, and I’ll just finish up with a few of the admin things in the last couple of minutes. So thank you very much. Thank you.

Okay, so uh, once again, thank you very much to both Sean and Connie um. So as we covered off earlier in the uh, the webinar, which I hope you enjoyed, um, we will be sending an email around um, with a survey which you can fill out with your CPD questions. Obviously there’s those three questions which we identified earlier on, and I think we can like in a second as well, um, and uh, yeah just as I said earlier, please make sure that you uh, download and store this form the first time you get it, because we won’t be reissuing it. So um, just keep that one in mind.

Uh, other resources that Wood Solutions has, um, you may be aware of our relatively new um, YouTube series uh, called Wood Solutions in Focus, which sort of takes you behind the scenes, uh, in a lot of the uh, the timber supply chain and looks in a bit of detail, in a bit.

Of focus I should say at design questions so as you can see here.  We’ve got a few on clt , actually going out to Xlam. But we’ve also got lvl where we’ve got how thorn timber is produced.  And then we started looking at design as well, so this is an ongoing sort of campaign which we worked on for a while. So next week next thursday, we have another great mid- rise presentation from a structural engineer at Rothoblaas who you may know has been one of the biggest producers of connectors and acoustic products and waterproofing products and a broad range of different sort of accessory products.

And these timber projects who are based in Italy, but we’re very fortunate to have Mateo joining us. It’s the topic as you can see is on waterproofing and air tightness designed for timber buildings. And that will be running on next Thursday at 11 a.m.  So make sure you register for that as soon as you can.  Also don’t forget, of course the typical standard Wood Solutions weekly webinars are continuing to happen on Tuesday mornings as well.

So if you’re if you’re enjoying these, make sure to sign up for both,  the Tuesday and Thursday sessions. I’m just keeping in mind that the Thursday session is really focusing on this mid-rise sort of space.  And that’s us.  So thank you very much to everyone for joining us today for this webinar.  I really hope you enjoyed it. I know i certainly did and we really look forward to seeing you in the next one. See you next time 

Yes, We’re Building Skyscrapers Out Of Wood.

Inside America’s mass timber movement

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