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This is the time for timber

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19 April 2018
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This is the time for timber


This is the time for timber
If the 17th century was the age of stone, the 18th was the peak of brick building, and the 20th was built on concrete, then the 21st century, according to Alex de Rijke, should mark "the time for timber". The director of London-based architecture firm dRMM, believes that products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) - a wood panel product made from gluing layers of solid-sawn lumber together - are on course to disrupt the building industry forever. Timber has significant advantages over steel, concrete or masonry construction in terms of its environmental credentials, speed, weight, and structure.

CLT, developed in Austria in the early 1990s, has since steadily achieved mass adoption throughout the international architecture trade. This is partly due to the green building drive and widespread aim to make houses or public spaces more energy-efficient. The material is produced off-site in a factory from sustainably sourced timber. It is also much lighter which allows for reduced slabs. Furthermore, the accuracy with which CLT panels can be cut and routed and the inherent structural properties allow for a huge amount of flexibility.

Some reasons that highlight the importance of wood:
- Mass timber buildings are a potential solution for construction in dense urban situations
- Wood is more energy-efficient
- Wood`s insulating properties also make buildings cheaper and greener to heat
- Timber buildings involve much less waste than concrete construction
- Wood is in contrast to other materials that are heavy in carbon in their production
- The level of quality control is much greater at the prefabricated buildings

Source article: https://www.newstatesman.com
April 13, 2018