Aurecon's 25 King project with Lendlease, Australia's tallest office building.


25 King, Brisbane, Australia

Sustainable timber building design putting people at the heart

  • Aurecon’s role: Structural engineers (in collaboration with Lendlease), building services engineers, acoustics engineers, sustainability consultants, project managers for Aurecon integrated fit-out, anchor tenant
  • Client: Lendlease / Impact Investment Group
  • Project team: Bates Smart, Woods Bagot

Putting people at the heart of our built environment has brought the design of Australia’s tallest and largest* engineered timber office building to life.

Among the steel and concrete buildings in Brisbane’s landscape, Aurecon’s client, Lendlease, offered an opportunity to be part of something special. Lendlease had an aspiration to construct tall buildings made of timber as part of the AUD 2.9 billion renewal of Brisbane Showgrounds in Bowen Hills. Located 1.6 km from the Brisbane CBD, the precinct is one of the largest urban renewal initiatives in Australia comprising 340 000 m2 of new residential, commercial and retail buildings.

Aurecon sought to create a world class working environment when searching for new office space to relocate its 700 people. The timber option submitted by Lendlease gave Aurecon the chance to differentiate itself by creating an environment that puts its people at the heart of its design and thereby supporting the health and wellbeing of its people.

Not only is Aurecon the anchor tenant, but also was part of the creation of 25 King as the structural engineers (with Lendlease), building services and acoustic engineers and sustainability consultants for the building, along with architects Bates Smart, interior architects Woods Bagot and owners Impact Investment Group.

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Using engineered timber

Inspired by the environmental benefits and versatility of timber, 25 King showcases timber from roof to floor. The 9-storey plus ground superstructure utilises a combination of revolutionary engineered cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam (glue laminated timber). The glulam is used for the structural beams and columns, and the CLT for the floors, lift shafts and escape stairs.

The engineered timber has a lower carbon footprint than traditional building materials and is sourced from certified sustainably-managed forests. It also allows for precise offsite prefabrication and safer onsite construction.

Timber was chosen due to its lightweight properties (being built over a tunnel) and to demonstrate to industry that performance solutions for this scale of timber building could be achieved, delivering a highly sustainable development that is low carbon, low waste, aesthetically attractive, highly energy efficient, cost effective, and promotes the wellbeing of occupants.

Structural design approach

25 King features a 6m x 8m timber grid, which enables an open-plan scale while allowing flexible and efficient floorplates to appeal to a range of tenants. Internally, the use of an exposed CLT timber slab for ceiling soffits eradicated the need for a suspended ceiling, opening up the floorplates to a lofty height, creating more natural light and a warmer interior aesthetic, maximising the psychological benefits and connection with the outdoors.

Design for manufacture and constructability

Constructing a timber commercial building requires early documentation to enable prefabrication, a different approach to resolving the design, coordinating procurement and services, and finalising details ahead of construction. Aurecon undertook early, detailed, 3D-digital documentation, delivering the building in a shorter construction timeline and reducing costs through precise digital design and modularisation.

This approach led to a significantly cleaner, quieter and safer construction site with minimal waste and very little disturbance to neighbouring high-density residents. On-floor workers were typically reduced from 60 to 12 with entire levels built in as little as eight days and the building being constructed in 15 months (69 fewer days of impact), representing a reduction of 20 per cent compared to comparable steel/concrete buildings.

Creating a workplace of the future through world-leading sustainable design

Based on Aurecon’s key design principle of providing an environment that supports the health and wellbeing of its people, the challenge was to create a sustainable design that puts people and how they will use the building at the heart.

Infused with the principle of ‘biophilia’, the design of the structure meets the innate human need to connect with nature by featuring exposed timber beams and panelling that fosters a happier, healthier and more productive workplace.

In early 2020, 25 King achieved Queensland's first WELL Core and Shell Certification at the Platinum level. WELL is the leading tool for advancing health and wellbeing in buildings globally and uses an evidence-based system that assesses seven categories – air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The performance of these building features is then assessed in terms of their impact on the health and wellbeing of the people occupying it.

25 King has also achieved the following sustainability ratings by incorporating features such as rooftop solar, rainwater harvesting and re-use, enhanced thermal comfort for workers and a facade that drives energy efficiency:

  • 6 Design and As Built v1.1 Green Star rating
  • Carbon Neutrality by Climate Active
  • 6 Star NABERS Energy Rating
  • 4.5 Star NABERS Water
  • 3.0 Star NABERS Waste

The building saves 74 per cent embodied carbon when compared to equivalent concrete buildings, has achieved a 46 per cent reduction in energy and 29 per cent reduction in potable water consumption.

A fit-out creating innovative spaces that connect to the communities we serve

Aurecon’s tenancy celebrates timber and creates a contemporary and creative studio environment.

At the heart of Aurecon’s wellness culture at 25 King, is a wide staircase at ground level leading to an open, communal space with booths and meeting spaces framed by greenery and bathed in natural light.

Creating spaces where people want to spend time and engage with others, inevitably leads to a more collaborative and innovative workforce.

A world-class building brought to life

25 King is currently the tallest and largest engineered-timber office building in Australia. A co-creation between Lendlease and Aurecon, together with Bates Smart, 25 King is a world-class building of the future and representing the new breed of workplaces of the future.

Construction finished in October 2018 with Aurecon moving its 700 Brisbane staff in early November 2018.


The project has won the following awards:

  • Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) Awards 2021 – Excellence in Sustainability – Aurecon and A.G. Coombs
  • FIDIC Project Awards 2021 – Award of Excellence
  • Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) National Awards 2021 – Environmental Excellence – Lendlease
  • Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 2020 – Overall Category Winner – Best Tall Building under 100 metres
  • Engineers Australia – Australian Engineering Excellence Awards 2020 – Queensland Division
  • Consult Australia Awards for Excellence 2020 – High commendation: Superior Sustainability
  • Property Council of Australia Innovation and Excellence Awards 2020 – Development Innovation – Lendlease and Impact Investment Group
  • Urban Development Institute of Australia (Qld) – Awards for Excellence 2020 – Winner: Environmental Excellence – Lendlease
  • Australian Institute of Building (AIB) 2019 Queensland – Research Development and technology – Professional Excellence award – Lee Walters, Lendlease
  • Australian Institute of Building (AIB) 2019 National – Research Development and technology – Professional Excellence award – Lee Walters, Lendlease
  • Australian Institute of Project Management PMMA Awards 2019 – Small Project (Qld) – 25 King Fit-out
  • Project Management Institute (PMI) Young Professional of the Year 2019 – Zara O’Shea – 25 King
  • Australian Timber Design Awards 2019 – Merit Category: People's Choice – Aurecon, Bates Smart and Lendlease DesignMake
  • Australian Timber Design Awards 2019 – Excellence in Timber Applications: Commercial – Aurecon, Bates Smart and Lendlease DesignMake
  • Good Design Australia Awards 2019 – Gold in Architectural (Commercial and Residential) – Aurecon, Bates Smart and DesignMake
  • Queensland Architecture Awards (AIA) 2019 – Award for Interior Architecture – Woods Bagot
  • Queensland Architecture Awards (AIA) 2019 – Beatrice Hutton Award for Commercial Architecture – Bates Smart
  • Queensland Architecture Awards (AIA) 2019 – Harry Marks Award for Sustainable Architecture – Bates Smart
  • MIPIM Asia Awards 2019 – Best Office Development – Bates Smart

*By gross floor area, as of November 2018.

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