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Project / Completed June 2023

MASSLAM helps achieve significant reductions in embodied carbon at UTAS River’s Edge

/ By Wardle
June 2023
University of Tasmania

The Space

Utilising Australian made MASSLAM columns and beams, UTAS River's Edge can now boast an impressive 32.5% reduction in embodied carbon.


“The River’s Edge design response proposed the use of timber as the super structure on level 4 which supports the roof and acts as a hybrid structural system in conjunction with low carbon concrete slabs and columns on the floors below.”

The University of Tasmania has unveiled its newest learning and teaching facility for students and staff in River’s Edge in the state’s North. And MASSLAM has proudly been incorporated into the upper level roof structure with stunning results.

The building, which is a part of the Launceston campus, is now home to humanities, social sciences, law, education and business whilst offering study spaces, computer labs and a recording studio for students across all disciplines. It also boasts many student services including counselling and hosts the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education.

The success of MASSLAM in previous projects saw project engineers, Gandy and Roberts, engage ASH to detail and supply our MASSLAM 45 columns and beams. In total, 95 MASSLAM components were designed and manufactured ranging from 140×90 up to 650×140 and 240×240 with hidden connection details throughout.

Incorporating timber into the project was a vital client requirement, reflecting their eagerness to support the timber industry, in addition to having ambitious aspirations of a significant reduction in embodied carbon targets.

Wardle explains, “the project team undertook a collaborative process to identify carbon reduction initiatives and the use of a timber structure, (incorporating MASSLAM), was instrumental in achieving minimum 30% embodied carbon reduction targets. – Wardle.


“Remarkably, UTAS River’s Edge has achieved a 32.5% reduction in upfront embodied carbon compared to conventional buildings.”


“As a building material, timber has numerous ecological benefits. Its embodied energy outperforms concrete and steel and it is a truly renewable resource.”


Gandy and Roberts

“Having had a good experience on the Inveresk Campus Library Building with MASSLAM, ASH were selected as the supplier for this project. The Atrium structure (at River’s Edge) looks fantastic!”

The application of timber throughout level 4, which plays host to a mix of work environments, was undertaken to hit the client’s brief to create a warm and inviting work and study environment. Incorporating timber through exposed glulam mass timber columns and beams and soffit linings was a key strategy of Wardle to hit biophilic principles, proven to enhance staff and student well-being and promote healthy and inspiring workplaces.

Speaking to the benefits of incorporating MASSLAM into the design, Wardle said it has “created a healthy environment and warm spaces to be in by exposing the natural textures and natural variety of the timbers, and reducing the need for any additional linings.”

Furthermore, project engineers Gandy and Roberts says incorporating high-strength, glue laminated timbers provides enhanced structural performance and utilising MASSLAM allows the production of columns and beams in sizes to match architectural and structural specifications whilst providing outstanding visual appearance.


Learn more about MASSLAM here.

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