A treasure in the sand dunes – Australian Turtle Centre uses timber for its strength and sustainability
10 July 2020 Sustainable construction
The Mon Repos Turtle Centre in Queensland, Australia, is a sight to behold! Dedicated to marine turtle research, protection and education, it is a must for all that visit Mon Repos. The Centre recently underwent a rejuvenation, using certified glue laminated timber.
Welcoming more than 20,000 visitors a season, Mon Repos is home to the largest concentration of marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland.
Indeed, the success of nesting and hatching turtles at Mon Repos is critical for the survival of the endangered loggerhead turtle.
Strong and sustainable
Embracing sustainability in its design, the new Centre featured a prefabricated Hyne glulam timber structure, certified by Responsible Wood, our national member for Australia. The use of sustainably sourced glue laminated timber was instrumental in meeting the project’s 50-year design life requirement.
“The entire glue laminated timber structure is locally grown, certified Spotted Gum, not only meeting exceptional sustainability credentials, but from a practical perspective, allows large spans with no internal structural walls,” said Richard Kirk, the Centre’s award winning Architect.
“This means the interior can be readily, seasonally reconfigured to meet the educational and conservation needs of the Centre and its year-round visitors.”
PEFC/Responsible Wood-certified Austal Plywood’s Natural Hoop ariaply was used extensively throughout the Centre.
“The ceiling is particularly impressive, consisting of numerous perforated triangles made from ariaply in an Ebony finish,” explains Stuart Matthews, Austral Plywood’s Joint CEO.
“The triangular shapes, representing a turtle’s carapace, were meticulously cut from detailed plans supplied by the architect. The perforations provided both acoustic benefits and an attractive appearance to the Centre.”
The significance of using certified Spotted Gum goes far beyond the environmental credentials and support for the local economy.
This particular timber was specified for its durability, strength, density and appearance to suit the coastal environment, where steel structures are highly susceptible to corrosion.
Photo credits: Bundaberg Regional Council