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Sydney school uses cross laminated timber for major redevelopment

A New South Wales primary school will be the first ever school in Australia to be redeveloped using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

A New South Wales primary school will be the first ever school in Australia to be redeveloped using cross laminated timber (CLT).

The three-storey extension to Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School aims to transform a 1970s concrete building into a creative space for student wellbeing.

The first stage of works involved the demolishing of internal walls and façade to re-invigorate previously small and dark spaces. The second stage of work included construction of an additional level and a four-story atrium entry, which connects all learning areas, a new hall, arts space, balconies and rooftop playgrounds.

Also included in the construction was glulam, CLT walls and a CLT acoustic ceiling flooring system. The exterior of the existing structure and new additions also use an insulating custom perforated zinc cladding façade with double glazed, airtight, timber and aluminium windows.

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BVN Architects Senior Associate Knut Menden said the project is a model for sustainability through its innovation using engineered timber.

“Using timber in this type of construction provides many benefits. The process is highly precise, productive and environmentally friendly and in the long-term results in increased energy efficiency for the school,” Menden said.

“Part of the impetus to use CLT was the wealth of research supporting timber use in learning spaces. Current research suggests an increase in concentration, productivity and decreased stress levels, promoting wellness and better learning outcomes for students.

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