Docklands Library and Community Centre Building was constructed on top of an existing wharf. The major engineering challenge facing RBG was minimising the weight of the Library Building structure to match limited load carrying capacity of the existing wharf The new building weight reduction was successfully achieved by maximizing use of innovative light weight building materials. Most of the Library Building structural components were built using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). Steel was used to construct façade elements front canopy and secondary structures on the roof level. Use of concrete was limited to the Ground Level Slab.

Project Value:
$22 million
Year Completed:
RBG Client:
Lend Lease Pty Ltd

Primary Contractor:
Lend Lease Pty Ltde
Claire Design + Hayball Architects
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural engineering

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Engineering services provided by RBG for the Docklands Library project consisted of two major components:

  • Structural Assessment of the existing Wharf Structure, Structural Design of the Library Building,

Wharf Structure component included the following:

  • Assessment of load carrying capacity of the existing timber piles, Development of rectification measures to enhance piles capacities. Assessment of the wharf deck capacity and durability.

Library Building component included the following:

  • Polished concrete ground Floor slab, Design of CLT walls and floors, Lateral stability design.
  • Design of timber columns and beams, Design of structural steel and timber elements of façade.
  • Design of secondary steel structures on the roof of the Library Building.

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