The Docklands Library and Community Centre was constructed on top of an existing wharf. The major engineering challenge facing RBG was minimising the weight of the Library to match limited load carrying capacity of the existing wharf. The new building weight reduction was successfully achieved by maximizing use of innovative lightweight 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.

Key technical challenges

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

  • Structural assessment of the existing wharf structure
  • Structural Design of the library building


Wharf Structure component included:

  • Assessment of load-carrying capacity of the existing timber piles; development of rectification measures to enhance pile capacities; and assessment of the wharf deck capacity and durability.


Library Building component included:

  • Polished concrete ground floor slab, design of CLT walls and floors, and 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.

Project Metrics

Project Value:
$22 million
Year Completed:

Project Metrics

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