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The best way to build in wood

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17 December 2017
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Articles & News Articles & News

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The best way to build in wood


The best way to build in wood
Since CLT was invented in Austria 25 years ago and first received serious exposure with Waugh Thistleton`s first timber tower a decade ago, interest in and use of the material has exploded. CLT manufacturing plants are being built wherever there are trees. Timber towers are getting taller. It is marvellous stuff that is displacing a lot of concrete. I like it and I write about it a lot.

Meanwhile, robotic tools like those from Sweden`s RANDEK are revolutionizing wood frame construction so that panels are as precise and accurate as a CLT wall. There is a reason that America was stick-built; it is fast and cheap and material-efficient. But being site-built, it was sloppy and leaky. The new machines change all that. They bring wood framing into the 21st century, and they use about a fifth as much wood as CLT does.

It is fallacy to consider wood only as an agricultural product: While wood may be planted, grown and harvested as any other agricultural crop, this activity should not be mistaken for a forest, because it is monoculture. Just as a field of corn is not a prairie, a valley planted in a single species of tree is not a forest.

Wood dominates everywhere. You notice it as soon as you enter the stairwell. Floors and steps have a real feel that no concrete surface can imitate. Even the acoustics are different a softer, solid, muted effect that only wood with innumerable, tightly packed annual rings can produce.


Article and image source: https://www.treehugger.com
December 07, 2017