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Bates Smart

25 King Street Brisbane, the tallest engineered timber building in Australia

The future of making

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25 King Street Brisbane. Image courtesy of Bates Smart.

Sophisticated design technologies underpin innovation in large complex projects

Bates Smart is an integrated architecture, interior design and urban design practice of 300 staff in Sydney and Melbourne. Working on projects across the globe and collaborating with international clients and consultant teams, Bates Smart is recognised for creating highly innovative solutions for large complex buildings. Most recently, Bates Smart set a new precedent for timber building, with 25 King in Brisbane designed using Autodesk’s BIM 360 and AEC Collection.

A high precision design and delivery approach for the tallest engineered timber building in Australia

Standing at ten storeys, 25 King is the tallest timber commercial building with the largest floorplate in the world.

Autodesk’s AEC Collection allowed Bates Smart to achieve a combination of structural, construction and sustainable efficiencies. The project team coordinated design, visualisation and delivery between multiple consultants and stakeholders to create an all-timber structural system that significantly reduces the building’s embodied carbon compared with conventional construction methods.

Watch the design technologies that underpin large and complex projects

25 King is not a demonstration project. It is valuable as a potential catalyst for positive change in the construction of mid-scale commercial buildings.

Bates Smart’s design thinking is underpinned by a focus on research and investment in sophisticated design and communication technologies. Because of the pre-fabricated nature of 25 King, the design approach had to be precise from the beginning. Working with a shared BIM model across the consultant team was critical to this process.

BIM360 allowed the team to collaborate with other designers and consultants, thus integrating the detailed contributions of other innovators at a very early stage. The design team was able to present to the client different design iterations at a quick rate and with a high degree of accuracy.

A high precision design and delivery approach for the tallest engineered timber building in Australia

Standing at ten storeys, 25 King is the tallest timber commercial building with the largest floorplate in the world.

Autodesk’s AEC Collection allowed Bates Smart to achieve a combination of structural, construction and sustainable efficiencies. The project team coordinated design, visualisation and delivery between multiple consultants and stakeholders to create an all-timber structural system that significantly reduces the building’s embodied carbon compared with conventional construction methods.

25 King is not a demonstration project. It is valuable as a potential catalyst for positive change in the construction of mid-scale commercial buildings.

Bates Smart’s design thinking is underpinned by a focus on research and investment in sophisticated design and communication technologies. Because of the pre-fabricated nature of 25 King, the design approach had to be precise from the beginning. Working with a shared BIM model across the consultant team was critical to this process.

BIM360 allowed the team to collaborate with other designers and consultants, thus integrating the detailed contributions of other innovators at a very early stage. The design team was able to present to the client different design iterations at a quick rate and with a high degree of accuracy.

A highly coordinated and collaborative approach

Bates Smart’s design thinking is underpinned by a focus on research and investment in sophisticated design and communication technologies. Because of the pre-fabricated nature of 25 King, the design approach had to be precise from the beginning. Working with a shared BIM model across the consultant team was critical to this process.

BIM360 allowed the team to collaborate with other designers and consultants, thus integrating the detailed contributions of other innovators at a very early stage. The design team was able to present to the client different design iterations at a quick rate and with a high degree of accuracy.

3DSMax was about selling the building and the story of the building to others and allowing them to view it in a way that looked and felt real.

Basil Richardson, Studio Director, Bates Smart.

Watch the design technologies that underpin large and complex projects
25 King’s interior showcases an honest expression of timber.

Visualising the design

3D modelling greatly assists in visualising Bates Smart’s design thinking as it is to appear in reality. For the design of 25 King it was essential to establish a fully visualised and high-resolution model in order to clearly communicate to the client the sort of workplace environment their tenants would be occupying. Having 3D visualisations of the building’s interior also helped to accelerate the design approvals process.

Bates Smart’s interior rendering of 25 King was a powerful tool in visualising the unique timber quality of the commercial floor plate, in which all the services and structure are exposed. 25 King’s interior showcases an honest expression of timber to connect its occupants with nature. Occupant wellbeing is central to 25 King’s design; the timber materiality gives a warm glow, unlike most office environments, which in turn fosters a happier and healthier workplace.

What’s amazing about 25 King is that it’s a completely viable alternative to traditional concrete and steel construction.

Philip Vivian, Bates Smart Director.

The design team developed a highly precise 3D model at an early stage, which led to a speedy construction time.

A commitment to sustainable performance

Buildings account for 25% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Tall timber buildings can play an essential role in reducing emissions, which is crucial to meeting global climate change goals. 25 King achieves 74% saving in embodied carbon, when compared to an equivalent steel and concrete commercial building.

By establishing accuracy and precision in the design at an early stage, Bates Smart was able to coordinate a speedy construction time. The building minimized its environmental impact during the construction phase via off-site fabrication of the timber elements, which helped to cut down waste. Pre-construction of these elements also helped achieve significantly shorter construction times. Each level was built in 11 days, with construction time totalling 15 months.

25 King presented a unique challenge with a new timber technology and set the precedent in a world where we urgently need to focus on environmental building performance.

Bates Smart is excited to be working on a wider range of large and complex projects that represent the future of sustainable urban developments for our cities.

BIM360 allows us to give the client value for money, because the more precision and accuracy we have early on means we can maximise any lettable floor areas for them.

Kelly Burke, Associate, Bates Smart.

The project team created an all-timber structural system for 25 King.

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A version of this article ran previously on website. Photos courtesy of [credit].

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