As sponsors of the “Australian Certified Timber” category at the Timber Development Association’s Australian Timber Design Awards (TDA), we at Responsible Wood are delighted to recognise the well-deserved winner in this category – Bendigo’s new GovHub, Galkangu. The Awards, hosted at The Cargo Hall, in Melbourne, celebrated outstanding timber design in the built environment, and GovHub, Galkangu, truly stood out for its innovative use of certified timber.
Certified mass timber in action: Galkangu construction work in progress featuring timber structure and flooring. Photography courtesy of Ned Meldrum.
Our CEO, Simon Dorries, who attended the TDA on behalf of Responsible Wood to present the award expressed his enjoyment, stating,
“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.”
The GovHub, Galkangu project, featuring a state-of-the-art mass timber structure with approximately 3,000m3 of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and 1,000m3 of Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT), made history as the largest live mass timber project under construction in Australia at the time of commencement.
Galkangu Bendigo GovHub – Interior Customer Service Area. Collaborative Indigenous design for timber columns in the Customer Service area. Photography courtesy of Ned Meldrum.
Mr Dorries emphasised the importance of the project, saying,
“This is a well-deserved recognition of innovation. The decision to leave nearly 40% of the CLT soffit and the majority of the GLT exposed not only showcases the structural capabilities of Australian-made mass timber but also aligns with biophilic design principles. It’s a fantastic blend of form, function, and sustainability.”
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 Responsible Wood judging panel added,
“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.
Galkangu Bendigo GovHub – Interior Meeting Room featuring decorative timber call coverings. Photography courtesy of Ned Meldrum.
The project’s emphasis on Chain of Custody certified fabricators, with CLT from Xlam and GLT 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 PEFC International; the world’s largest forest certification system.
Chain of Custody certification is a crucial link in maintaining the integrity of timber used in projects like this. Galkangu, serves as a model for the industry by showcasing the benefits of working with certified fabricators.
Australian Certified Timber in action: Bendigo GovHub, Galkangu Facage
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. Mr Dorries added,
“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.”
GovHub, Galkangu, is more than a building; it’s a well-deserving TDA winner in the journey toward sustainable, responsible, and innovative timber design. Responsible Wood congratulates all involved in bringing this noteworthy project to fruition, setting a new standard for excellence in the use of certified timber in Australia’s built environment.
We wish to acknowledge as many of the building and design professionals involved in the project.
Architect – Adam Pustola – Senior Principal at Lyons
Engineer (Sructure, ESD, Fire Engineering & Services) – Arup
Builders (head contractors under joint venture):