CLT and Offsite Solutions grab the spotlight at Materials 2017
On 25-26 April 2017 the ILEC Conference Centre in London hosted Materials 2017.
The first edition of the conference and exhibition brought together architects, specifiers, manufacturers, suppliers from across the building materials sector, showcasing innovative Construction projects and products.
The conference was opened with a keynote speech from Andrew Boff, Chairman of the London Housing Committee, who made a strong case for the potential of pre-fab methods of construction and innovation of materials in this area in disentangling the ongoing housing crisis affecting the capital. “Pre-fab doesn’t equate to bad quality, or bad design,” said Boff “London’s housing density needs to rival that of Osaka or Rio.”
Following on from Andrew Boff’s keynote talk – Craig Liddell, Legal & General CLT (cross-laminated timber) Solutions Manager, gave an introduction to his business’ approach to modular off-site construction solutions. Liddell, making a case for CLT in the context of sustainability, asserted that “the entire population of Europe, which is 750 million people, could live in a CLT home and we would only require 25-30% of Europe’s forests being managed, harvested and used in exactly the same way it is today.”
Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton architects, the London-based practice specialising in the exclusive use of CLT, gave a compelling presentation referencing a number of their projects made from CLT. Waugh argued for the material’s contribution to a new “holistic architecture”, with the design and manufacturing process offering “a much more direct connection between architect and finished project”.
The evening reception brought together FRIBA Daniel Moylan (Co-Chair, Urban Design London), John McRae (Owner, Orms) Russell Curtis (Director, RCKa), and Adam Parker (Associate Director, Greig & Stephenson) to debate the impact of Brexit upon the architectural and construction professions. Curtis opened the debate, positing that “cultural exchange is of great benefit to creative industries, especially architecture.” While McRae argued for the opportunity that Brexit will offer in allowing the architectural sector to regroup, engage with, and influence governmental choices.
[Photo courtesy of Materials 2017]