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A sustainable first for WA

Designed with community in mind, De Havilland apartments is the first multi-residential medium-rise development to use timber construction methodology in Western Australia.

Inspiring a new generation of apartment living in Perth, Bluerock Projects’ De Havilland apartments made use of modern lightweight timber-frame construction to create stylish and sustainable residences in this vibrant redevelopment area.

Named after Geoffery De Havilland, a true visionary who in the early 1930’s followed his dream in using wood to build the fastest lightweight aircraft in the world, De Havilland apartments is in the heart of the newly redeveloped area of Midland.

The $1.6 million project is close to local amenities and public transport and comprises four storeys, nine spacious balconied apartments, an office, mezzanine and car park on the ground floor. Other initiatives such as double-stacked car bays, electric car charging bays, large loft style design aesthetics, and quality fixtures provide a unique and environmentally friendly sustainable lifestyle option for De Havilland.

Wood & Grieve Engineers now part of Stantec collaborated closely with suppliers and the architect to ensure its structural design was readily procured and compliant with BCA and Fire Brigade standards. In order to achieve the desired headroom, particularly within the mezzanine floor, Hebel lightweight dry concrete flooring systems were used to facilitate a thin floor design. Industrial chic styling worked to our advantage within the tight building footprint, featuring exposed pipe and ductwork within apartments.

Transfer structures on the first floor formed engineered timber joists and to ensure there was no compromise to the structure, additional steel elements were use used to provide lateral stability and allowing a prefabricated wall to be clad prior to positioning against the boundary.

The acoustic design for the façade mitigates aircraft noise intrusion from a nearby flight path. We also considered the use of timber framing while designing the internal building elements to comply with NCC acoustic requirements. Going beyond minimal NatHERS thermal performance standards, De Havilland also benefits from a solar PV system with embedded network and water-efficient fixtures and fittings.

The innovative environmentally friendly timber construction method is paving the way for sustainable developments in Western Australia says Senior Structural Project Engineer and WGE Principal Alasdair MacKerron.

Using timber provides a number of great benefits; it’s a natural insulator, can help reduce energy needs and allows more space for insulation than that of a traditional brick building.

“As with De Havilland, I believe that the location and the level of timber finishes can support the residential sector, as it tackles housing affordability. If we build apartments at a lower cost, then more money can be spent on features that make apartment living more attractive to buyers,” says Alasdair.

WGE’s multi-discipline approach allowed for all services contributing to a fully coordinated 3D-Revit model, which was crucial to an efficient services integration and to achieve the architect’s aesthetic vision.

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