Timber was a clear choice for this new school building, set in the Victorian Highlands. The project includes the restoration of timbers in the heritage schoolhouse and a new classroom wing featuring engineered timber structure, deck, external panels, stairs and custom plywood joinery. Timber sleepers also feature in the Landscaping. Throughout the project, timber supports the sustainability principles at the heart of its design and provides a high aesthetic quality.
The proudly visible timber structure is articulated into wedge-shaped elements which are reminiscent of the timber hand sluices used during the town's gold-fields history. The building's layered form also references the layers and folds of the surrounding mountain ranges.
The quality of the finish of the timber was paramount. On-site cleanliness and workmanship were essential to ensure footprints and other marks did not compromise the timber’s quality, which was monitored throughout the project. CAD/CAM fabrication ensured the accuracy and aesthetic quality of the LVL Hyspan structure, with V-columns and beams spanning up to 10.5 metres. This efficiency greatly reduces the building’s embodied energy by eliminating structural steel. The walls and roof are highly insulated timber frames, clad in metal for improved bushfire resistance.
Timber use improves the building’s indoor environmental quality. Off-gassing is greatly reduced by the use of plywood paneling and furniture, and associated reductions in surface finishes.
Innovative planning at the Entry foyer has redefined the external weatherboard cladding of the heritage schoolhouse in a internal space. The Entry space is a fulcrum between old and new buildings, and includes the plywood access stair to new wing.
In every way, this building supports experiential learning and celebrates timber. Building users are able to see timber for the efficient and strong material that it is, a simple fact is so often concealed.