University of the Sunshine Coast

The University of the Sunshine Coast Futures Engineering Building is now complete, utilising the increasingly popular, contemporary display of the use of timber with concrete.

This project was constructed by Hutchinson Builders and demonstrates innovation fitting for the engineering learning hub for the engineers of our future.

The facilities include cutting-edge learning and teaching spaces, including an interactive lecture theatre, 3D and virtual reality technologies that allow students to see and interact with complex data in ways that they can understand.

Australian owned Hyne Timber produced the portal frame structure using H4 treated glue laminated timber. Never before has H4 treatment been used in Australian produced glue laminated beams, providing a new hazard protection with the associated additional reassurance and confidence to maximise the design life of the structure.

Hyne Timber’s Beam 17 was chosen because no other product gave the structural performance and cost efficiencies required for the long span structure without having to use a significantly larger beam section size.

Beam 17 utilises high grade, structural Responsible Wood and PEFC certified Australian plantation pine, supporting local manufacture and locally grown, sustainable timber resources.

The L-shaped columns dubbed ‘hockey sticks’ by the Hutchies site team negated the requirement for bolted connections in exposed locations thereby maximising durability. They also contributed to the stability of the unbraced columns.

The in-house fabrication capability enabled off-site, close coordination with the steel fabricator, bringing expertise together during production, maximising product quality while gaining efficiencies in transportation requirements to minimise on-site connections.

The structure adopted a steel roof with steel beams to support the shade structure. Timber, being a construction material of choice, could be easily connected with the roof using coach screws in pre-drilled holes.