Podcast: Vertical Timber Extensions on Existing Buildings

The light-weight nature of timber is unlocking a new type of construction: building extensions on existing building.


The world’s largest timber vertical extension is 55 Southbank Boulevard, in Melbourne Australia. The project consists of a 10 Storey Hotel situated on top of an existing 1987, seven storey concrete building.

To carry the additional loads, the existing building had to undergo significant engineering analysis. In this episode we speak with Emma Russell, a Senior Engineer from WSP about:

  • - The works on the existing building, 55 Southbank Boulevard
  • - How to strengthen existing buildings to carry additional loads
  • - What project teams need to consider to determine if their building has existing capacity to build upon

The use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) allowed more additional storeys than concrete options, and will offset approximately 4,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.