Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit will discuss potential of tall timber buildings

Forte Building in Melbourne. Picture: Victoria Harbour

28-29 March 2017: Making its Australian debut, the highly acclaimed Smart Skyscrapers Summit comes to Melbourne in March of 2017. Inspired by its Middle Eastern counterpart in Dubai, the Smart Skyscrapers Summit will be the first of its kind to come to the Southern Hemisphere. One of the main topics will be rethinking Australian tall building design inspired by climate, culture and context.

Featured speakers include sustainable building specialist Alistair Guthrie of Arup UK. Moreover, according to, Dr Philip Oldfield, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales will speak about how timber construction could revolutionise skyscraper typology. is presentation will explore opportunities for reinvention in tall towers, looking at how they can play a more generous role in future cities as well as accommodate innovative new functions and provide places of community and recreation in the sky. Dr Oldfield will also feature on a panel discussion regarding Regulations Impacting Height Limits for High Rise Buildings.

“The big advantage is that timber has a far lower embodied carbon than steel or concrete,”  Dr Oldfield told Ecobusiness. Increased use of timber results in a reduced reliance on steel and concrete, which require large amounts of energy to be transformed into useable materials.

Australia is already home to some impressive timber structures, including the Forte Apartments in Melbourne which held the title of the world’s tallest timber building before the recent construction of an 18-storey timber tower in Vancouver by Acton Ostry Architects.

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