Timber high rises – could it be the next trend in the building industry?

Timber high rises – could it be the next trend in the building industry?

Use of timber in high rise building - a new trend

Timber high rises – could it be the next trend in the building industry?

April 26 2016

An architect concept produced by researchers from Cambridge University recently submitted to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson could see the UK capital, could soon add timber high-rises to its skyline collection. According to the Sourceable Industry News and Analysis, the high-rise proposal developed by Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture in collaboration with PLP Architecture and engineering firm Smith and Wallwork envisages the creation of a 80-storey timber tower within the City of London’s Barbican Centre, which is one of the largest performing arts centres in Europe.

The high-rise proposal developed by Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture in collaboration with PLP Architecture and engineering firm Smith and Wallwork envisages the creation of a 80-storey timber tower within the City of London’s Barbican Centre, which is one of the largest performing arts centres in Europe.

The mixed-use tower would rise to a height of roughly 300 metres, equivalent to nearly ten times the height of the Australia’s tallest timber high-rise, the 32-metre Forte apartment complex in Melbourne.

Architects around the world are increasingly turning to wood as a safe and viable construction material for high-rise projects, along side with steel and concrete.

A truly renewable resource, timber plantations typically have a 25 year lifecycle, which means there is an endless supply as long as the wood is harvested sustainably and responsibly. Wood absorbs and stores carbon and requires relatively little embodied energy to manufacture.

It’s also a cellular material like bone, so it’s strong and light. Relatively easy to work with, wood lends itself to high quality prefabrication techniques. It’s light to transport to site, reducing transport costs and carbon emissions. And it’s light to lift into place, reducing the size of cranes required and making the process safer.

The University of British Columbia is currently working on the 53-metre high Brock Commons student residence, which will be the tallest timber building in the world upon completion. The project will consist primarily of engineered timber products in the form of cross laminated timber floor slabs and columns made from glued laminated wood.

Sources: Sourceable Industry News and AnalysisArchitecture and DesignARUP

 

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