Industry News

Exploring Lagos Wooden Tower, the groundbreaking project by Hermann Kamte

Hermann Kamte, young Cameroonian architect and founder of Hermann Kamte & Associates (HKA), is the driving force behind the project of the innovative 87-metre high Lagos Wooden Tower.

Originally designed as a submission for Metsä Wood's City Above the City competition, Kamte's design looks to tackle the problem of poorly planned construction in many African cities by pushing the boundaries of contemporary architecture.

In the City Above the City competition, participants were invited to suggest solutions for new housing on top of existing urban buildings, using Metsä Wood's Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) as the main material.

Kamte's highly innovative design used Kerto® LVL to construct a tower on top of an existing concrete building in the heart of Nigeria's capital city, Lagos. Mixed residential spaces, separated by open floors featuring sky gardens and amenities, are shaded and ventilated by a stylised wooden envelope using symbols that reflect Nigerian Yoruba heritage. Remarkably, this experimental building is also developed through natural, recyclable and local material.

Among other awards and nominations, the design project has been shortlisted for the 2017 World Architecture Festival Awards. It was also a winner of the 2017 WAFX Prize in the cultural identity category. 

Thanks to pioneering young designers such as Hermann Kamte, more and more of Africa's new architecture is winning widespread acclaim for its innovation and sustainability.

"The Lagos design project has really caught people's attention and highlighted the potential of wood construction in Africa," reports a note from Metsä Wood. "Seeing wood as a valuable and sustainable resource could benefit African society at large, but right now, for African designers and builders, concrete and bricks are far easier to obtain and a lot cheaper than wooden construction products."

"However, there is still potential for this to change. As we raise the profile of timber-based architecture, the demand will grow and wooden building solutions will become cheaper and more accessible."

For more information about the project, click here.

Read our focus on Mass Timber projects here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/exploring-lagos-wooden-tower-groundbreaking-project-hermann-kamte]

Construction underway for Australia's tallest CLT building

Intensive works are underway to complete 'AVEO Norwest', the tallest timber building in Australia and one of the largest CLT structures worldwide.

Standing at 34.2 metres, the 10-storey, $65 million tower [click on the image to enlarge] will be part of a luxury retirement village being built by Aveo at Sydney’s Norwest Business Park ‘Circa’ precinct.

The construction company Strongbuild opted to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) technology over traditional methods as "it will save at least three months in construction time in addition to associated costs."

Known as Bella Vista, the 60,000sqm Norwest site will eventually be home to 449 independent living units over 10 buildings ranging from four to nine storeys, plus a 144-bed aged care facility.

"The short build-time requirement for this new residential retirement complex made it an ideal development for showcasing the innovative Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) material recently introduced to Australia," explains the project's Engineering Consultant Taylor Thomson Whitting (TTW). "This lightweight construction technique is similar to a ‘prefab’ building, with all wall and floor panels being manufactured in Europe, shipped to Australia for processing, then craned into place on site."

"Using CLT for the design enabled the project to be completed 13 weeks earlier than with the more conventional concrete. Part of Stage 1 of the development, the new residential building consists of 10 storeys and is due to become one of the country’s largest uses of CLT technology. Approximately 3000m3 of CLT, or 4156 panels, have now been installed to produce a complex 9 storey timber retirement resort."

"Implementing this revolutionary new material in the design relied on TTW’s engineering team working in close collaboration with architect, builder, and sub consultants – ensuring the structural integrity, buildability, and desired aesthetics were achieved."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/construction-underway-australias-tallest-clt-building]

Sarawak opts for mandatory forest certification under MTCS

In November, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) welcomed a move by the state government for mandatory forest certification in Sarawak, Malaysia.

The announcement was made by Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, at the State Assembly. Yong Teng Koon, who heads MTCC, welcomed the development noting that forest certification was an important instrument to promote and verify the implementation of sustainable forest management in order to safeguard environmental, social and economic benefits.

He also pointed out that - as forestry and timber industries contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of the country - it is imperative that Malaysia is able to demonstrate its forest sustainability credentials through certification.

Timber concessions in Sarawak will be required to obtain forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) to demonstrate that they are responsibly managed. The MTCS which sets the requirements for sustainable forest management certification in Malaysia, was the first Asian scheme to be endorsed by PEFC Council.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/sarawak-opts-certification-under-malaysian-timber-certification-scheme]

UK consumption of timber and panel products on the rise despite Brexit uncertainty, says TTF Statistical Review

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has recently released its Statistical review 2017.

The publication shows that growth in the consumption of wood products in the UK resumed in 2016, following a small drop in volume the previous year. A near 3% volume increase resulted in the volume of wood products consumed rising to over 16 million m3 for the first time since before the recession of 2008.

Regarding the origin of timber and panel products imported to the UK, Europe remains the single largest source of supply in 2016 by both volume and value. In details, mainland European (including Russia) and UK produced timber and panel products continue to dominate the supply chain in the UK and continue to account for around 91% of all supply.

Talking of types of products imported, the Review shows that UK imports grew by 4.4% in 2016 over 2015. This growth was especially generated by growth in particleboards (+12%), MDF (+9%) and softwoods (+6%). A near 1% increase was recorded for plywood imports but hardwood imports were lower in 2016 by around 2%. On the other hand, the level of UK timber and panel products exports remains quite low, achieving a volume of 0.5 million m3.

Finally, the publication presents a focus on the influence of the housing market on timber consumption along with an insight on the state of the whole Timber Industry. Significantly, the Review shows that the size and growth performance of the UK timber industry – worthy £9.6 billion in 2015 - compares favourably with many other industries, confirming the importance of the sector within the UK economy.

David Hopkins, TTF Managing Director, commented: “In terms of the value of wood products consumed in the UK, the year 2016 was the best since before the recession and indeed was better than the pre-recessionary year of 2007.”

“Although little changed materially in 2016, a high degree of uncertainty for the future was created by the EU Referendum result.”

“Different and new challenges are and will be presented, yet the timber industry has a long and mostly successful history of dealing with change. For our part, The TTF will keep on supporting member companies and new partners, putting programs in place for the benefit of the whole supply chain, and continue looking forward to facing the future together.”

If you wish to receive a copy of the publication, please contact [email protected]

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/uk-consumption-timber-and-panel-products-rise-despite-brexit-uncertainty-says-ttf]

World's tallest timber building 'HoHo Tower' is taking shape in Vienna

Construction of the new 84-meter, 24-storey high 'HoHo Tower' in Vienna, Austria - set to be the world's tallest timber building - has been underway for over a year now.

The lower of the two structures is complete (click on the picture to expland) and installation of the initial prefabricated wooden elements is in full progress.

Around 76 percent of the structure will be constructed from wood. Once finished, Hoho Wien will house a hotel, apartments, a restaurant, a wellness centre and offices.

All included, HoHo Vienna comprises five structures with between six and twenty-four floors. The shell construction of the basement extending under the entire development and that of the underground car park have been completed. The solid concrete core is now being built and timber installation is in full swing. Assembly work is scheduled to take one and a half weeks per floor.

The solid timber walls will never be distinguishable as such from the outside, since a moisture barrier will have been applied to each of the individual elements before they leave the factory to protect against weathering.

The tower that forms part of the HoHo Vienna project has one major strength: lots of building parts are prefabricated in the factory where weather conditions can be left out of account. As a result, numerous procedures are no longer necessary on the construction site itself. The HoHo Wien system, which is kept deliberately "simple", stacks up four prefabricated, serial building elements: supports, joist, ceiling panels and facade elements.

In a recent interview - available in full here - Caroline Palfy, Managing Director of the real estate developer Cetus Baudevelopment, illustrates the peculiarities of such a large-volume timber project.

"The preparations and construction with wood are a tricky business, since ready solutions are not forthcoming in all areas," explains Ms Palfy. "It's all about developing new things and using them – and that's what makes this project so exciting."

"I keep getting asked whether our timber resources are jeopardised by the current timber boom in the construction industry. In Austria, forests produce 30 million cubic metres of timber a year, of which 26 million cubic metres are logged. The remaining 4 million cubic metres remain in the forest, continually increasing timber stocks. In other words, 1 cubic metre of wood grows back every second and thus the timber used for the entire HoHo Vienna project will have grown back in our country's forests in only one hour and 17 minutes."

"True to the motto 'It's time to clock off and no one wants to go home', HoHo Vienna caters to all the wishes of a new generation of blue-collar workers, white-collar employees and self-employed. The office of the future breaks completely new ground. New features are brought into league with wood, a traditional material, creating a relaxed and homey atmosphere. That is precisely our vision."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/worlds-tallest-timber-building-hoho-tower-taking-shape-vienna]

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