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AXA IM Alts has received planning consent and launched the construction of a timber hybrid office building in the centre of Munich.

Called ‘The Stack’, the 16,000 sq m project is expected to complete by the end of 2025 and is being developed in partnership with German developer Accumulata. 

AXA said the project combined a sustainably sourced timber hybrid construction method with green energy technology and biophilic design features, which will reduce energy demand considerably compared with a typical new-build development. 

Additional smart building technology will regulate indoor air quality and enable efficient local climate and lighting control.

Germain Aunidas, global head of development at AXA IM Alts, said: “The Stack will pair market-leading sustainability credentials with a technology-led focus on workplace wellbeing, delivering new, high-quality office space that meets the evolving requirements of top-tier occupiers and aligns to our global investment convictions.”

Jean-Michel Wilmotte, founder of Wilmotte & Associés Architectes, the project’s designer, said: “Recent advances in timber hybrid construction techniques present exciting opportunities to deliver new sustainable space at scale.”

Real estate developers in Australia are beginning to use mass timber – engineered wood construction materials – to accelerate building times and reduce emissions. Mass timber offers superior weight-to-strength performance compared to steel or concrete and suits offsite prefabrication. 

The adoption of mass timber has been accelerated by recent changes to Australia’s national construction code, which streamlined approvals for structures up to eight stories. Last year, the Australian government introduced the A$300 million ($204 million) Timber Building Program to promote the use of mass timber construction in the office sector.

Projects include Hines’ T3 Collingwood (pictured above) in Melbourne, its first timber building in Australia. The new development uses Hines’ proprietary T3 development blueprint, which prioritises the use of timber, access to public transit and active use of technologies.

Hines predicts the new building will have 40% less embodied carbon from construction compared with a typical building of the same size. It is targeting net zero carbon from operations. 

Meanwhile in Perth, Western Australia, Grange Development is building C6, a 183-metre residential tower, using mass timber. It will also feature solar PV, rainwater harvesting and green walls and is intended to be carbon negative in operation. 

One of the first commercial real estate developments to use timber construction and still the largest timber building in Australia, is 25 King Street, Brisbane, developed by Lendlease and owned by Impact Investment Group. Construction of the 10 storey building involved a 74% saving in embodied carbon.