Responsible Wood announces winner of ‘Australian Certified Timber’ award for the Timber Design Awards

Galkangu construction work in progress featuring timber structure and flooring

Australian forest certification body Responsible Wood has announced the winner of the ‘Australian Certified Timber’ category at the Timber Development Association’s Australian Timber Design Awards (TDA).

The award went to Bendigo’s new GovHub, Galkangu, which featured a mass timber structure with approximately 3,000m3 of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and 1,000m3 of glue-laminated timber (glulam) used.

According to Responsible Wood, the project made history as the “largest live mass timber project” under construction in Australia at the time of commencement.

CEO of Responsible Wood, Simon Dorries, who attended the TDA on behalf of Responsible Wood to present the award expressed his enjoyment:

“We take pride in sponsoring the ‘Australian Certified Timber’ category, and GovHub, Galkangu, represents a great achievement in the sustainable use of timber. This project demonstrates the possibilities of mass timber while adhering to the highest standards of responsible sourcing and certification. It’s a testament to the industry’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation, and lowering embodied carbon.

“This is a well-deserved recognition of innovation. The decision to leave nearly 40% of the CLT soffit and the majority of the glulam exposed not only showcases the structural capabilities of Australian-made mass timber but also aligns with biophilic design principles. It is a fantastic blend of form, function, and sustainability.”

Galkangu Bendigo GovHub – Interior Meeting Room featuring decorative timber call coverings

One of the key aspects highlighted by Responsible Wood in recognising GovHub, Galkangu, was its commitment to using timber sourced from well-managed Australian forests certified under credible forest management schemes, such as the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme.

The judging panel of Responsible Wood commented: “Certified timber is pivotal to the story of this building and its environmental performance. GovHub, Galkangu, reflects not only excellence in design but also a dedication to responsible and sustainable practices.”

The project’s emphasis on chain-of-custody certified fabricators, with CLT from Xlam and glulam from Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, underscores the commitment to ensuring that every stage of the timber supply chain adheres to globally recognised certification standards, endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) International.

The Indigenous design features incorporated into the building’s façade, including the diamond pattern of the shield and other Dja Dja Wurrung symbolism, further exemplify the project’s commitment to cultural and social sustainability.

Dorries concluded: “This project is a noteworthy example of how responsible timber design can contribute not only to sound environmental management but also to cultural sensitivity and community engagement.”

Images: Ned Meldrum