Industry News

CTI brings industry and politics together at Labour conference

Left to right: Cllr Hamish MacLeod, Katherine Dunne, David Hopkins, and Cllr Heather Johnson

Both national and local politicians now better recognise the benefits of a stronger partnership between government and the timber industry, following a Confederation of Timber Industries sit down with Labour in Brighton to discuss how timber can help solve the housing crisis.

Politicians present included Chi Onwurah, MP, and Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, as well as Councilor Leo Pollak of Southwark, Councilor Heather Johnson of Camden, and Councilor Katherine Dunne of Hounslow.

Each was welcomed by Hamish MacLeod, Director of Public Affairs with BSW Timber, and David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation, who elaborated on the recent inquiry into housing by the APPG for the Timber Industries, and answered questions.

On a national scale, CTI was pleased to see Ms Onwurah discuss bringing forward an industrial strategy specifically for timber, which acknowledges the importance of growing UK forests and building sustainably in an evolving green economy.

The successful growth of UK Forestry, which accounts for 40% of the volume traded in the UK, was discussed by Mr MacLeod to the politicians who wanted to know what species are being grown, it’s effect on biodiversity, and visions for the future of UK forestry.

He was able to allay some of the concerns regarding biodiversity by both acknowledging the trade-offs made by commercial forestry, as well as to the advancement of forestry techniques, which uses technology, restrictions on monocultures, and is compelled to grow 15% native forests.

Misconceptions regarding the fire performance of timber were also discussed by Councilor’s Pollak, Dunne and Johnson, who raised the difficulty they face post Grenfell in reassuring residents.

Mr Hopkins pointed out that many residents across the UK already unknowingly live in timber buildings, whether they look to their stairs, windows or the furniture in their living rooms, or even to the frame of their house underneath hidden behind a brick façade – all performing well.

When built well, and within the proper specifications, the evidence did not show any increase in risk to life in homes or apartments built with timber over other materials.

Most of the local politicians had been drawn to attend by the sustainability aspects of building in timber, with the impact of major construction projects in their areas top of mind after each had declared climate emergencies.

The timber industry must engage with local councils who are right now building houses around the country, who can be enthusiastic champions, and are able to make a significant impact through their policies – as had been demonstrated by Hackney.

Follow up and engagement opportunities between the CTI and local councils was raised by both parties, with agreement that more needed to be done to highlight the positive tale of timber in the UK. Reflecting on the event, David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation, said:

“We know there is a strong story for the timber industry to tell in terms of construction, skills, and sustainability, and now is the time for businesses to work together to ensure that we align to get a consistent message to all UK politicians – which we will do with this housing report.

“Politicians are interested in building with timber, but it will be up to us to make sure they have the tools and information close to hand to talk to their constituents, and opportunities to work with the housing associations, developers and architects who are determined to change construction.”

Waugh Thistleton Architects launch '100 Projects UK CLT' book

Waugh Thistleton Architects, in collaboration with the Softwood Lumber Board & Forestry Innovation Investment, have recently launched the book 100 Projects UK CLT.

The one hundred projects featured in the book were selected from over 500 completed CLT projects in the UK.

"Over the last 15 years the UK has experienced a quiet revolution in construction," write the authors. "Since the modest efforts of the first small buildings in the early 2000s a blossoming array of CLT projects has emerged across a range of building types and scales. In 2017, three out of the five buildings nominated for the Stirling Prize, the UK’s top architecture award, were constructed from CLT. Engineered timber buildings are now firmly part of our construction landscape."

"This book presents the case for using engineered timber with one hundred studies encompassing a wide range of scales, styles and types. Also included is a compendium outlining the benefits of CLT along with the considerations for designing and building in this revolutionary material."

"We often refer to human civilisations by the principal materials they employ, such as the Bronze Age, Iron Age etc. In this vein, the 20th century can be very much called the Concrete Age and it seems very likely that the 21st century will be the Timber Age."

A digital version of the book can be downloaded for free on ThinkWood website here.

View the photo gallery of the book's presentation held at The Building Centre here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/waugh-thistleton-architects-launch-100-projects-uk-clt-book]

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]

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]

Finland's tallest wooden building works set to start in spring

Construction of the The Lighthouse, the tallest wooden building in Finland, is scheduled to start in April-May 2017.

The 14-storey building - projected by Arcadia Architects Ltd - will be located close to the center of Joensuu in Carelia. It will provide 117 apartments. 

[Photo courtesy of www.arcadia.fi]

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/finlands-tallest-wooden-building-work-set-start-spring]

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