Royd Clan's House

A sculptural home in the Barrabool Hills outside of Geelong references the rocky topology of the surrounding environment.
Project Name
Royd Clan's House by Level Architekture
Case Study Type

Geelong VIC 3221

Photographer Details
John Gollings


Not only is the building's form in tune with the natural world, but the mass timber structure uses plantation grown timber to create a strong structure from a natural and renewable source.

The timber from the entire structure can be regrown within 17 minutes in Australian pine plantations.

-38.1700015, 144.2262889


Xlam were engaged early in the project to assist with the deployment and production of the emerging mass timber technology. Early contractor involvement is critical when Designing for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA). This type of construction requires more planning at the early stages, to ensure a faster and more accurate construction phase.

Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), which comes in panel format, was specified for the floor, roof diaphragm and walls of each pavilion. CLT makes an excellent carbon positive alternative to concrete for these applications. Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT), which comes in column/beam format, was used as portal frames, which were arranged in one of the primary axes of each pavilion.

The unique faceted geometry of the structure, with its large open spans, encountered some structural challenges, including lateral stability, vertical load transfer, and connectivity. CLT became an important structural aid for the GLT portal frames, providing a lateral shear wall to brace the portals. Similarly, the CLT was used as a diaphragm in the roof structure, providing cross bracing.

The angled nature of the walls not only creates an interesting space internally, and when overlooking mezzanines, but allows a minimisation of slab foundation in relation to internal space.

The CLT panels and GLT beams were fabricated using CNC machines, ensuring all elements could be assembled with a high degree of precision on site. Low tolerance and precise fabrication is absolutely crucial for constructing a structure with such unique and complex geometry.

It took just 10 days to erect the CLT panels and 15 days to erect the GLT beams. The extremely fast construction time of DfMA projects far outweighs the extra time and cost put into the front end of the project.

The total volume of 80m3 of CLT, 40m3 of GLT was used for the Royd Clan’s House. In meeting the sustainability goal, over 220m3 of timber was used throughout the property, which converts to a total of approximately 60,500kg of carbon sequestered from the atmosphere and stored within the timber. What’s more, the thermal performance of CLT also added great value to the property. Due to the thermal mass of CLT the temperature of the home remains stable throughout the day, keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer, thus reducing energy usage and costs.


The interior of Royd’s Clan House is a real celebration of the structural system, and the mass timber materiality. The angled form of the CLT shear walls is made ever more present in the interior spaces. Angled walls pepper the interior, creating unique sight lines through to the environment beyond, and adding a sculptural and considered feel to the home.

The interior is very much a structurally honest interpretation of the form. The great benefit of mass timber is that it is both a structural, and visually appealing material. Chunky glulam members shoot overhead throughout the structure, creating a sense of dynamism to the spaces. Walls and ceilings also remain unlined, with an appearance grade CLT finish on the exterior of the material. The combination of the exposed concrete floors, timber structure, and feature stone walls strikes the balance between a luxurious, but down to earth structure.

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