Wood’s beauty, strength and eco-friendly benefits are on display in a wave of new buildings that are constructed entirely out of timber.
Designers, engineers and architects are rediscovering the huge benefits of this natural material. Wooden buildings are greener, quick to erect and safe and secure.
Wood’s revival is partly based on advanced techniques that can create layered wooden pieces that are strong and light.
“Timber, despite being the world’s oldest construction material, is now the most modern,” Alex de Rijke, director of London-based dRMM architects told the Financial Times in September.
The remarkable, nine-storey Stadthaus, in Hackney, east London, is one of the world’s tallest residential timber structures.
It is said to be the first building of this height that uses timber for load-bearing walls, floor slabs, stairs and lift cores.
The team behind this unique building was looking for a material that was durable, tough, easy to work with and aesthetically pleasing.
Crucially, they also wanted the project to be kinder to the environment. They concluded that the production of concrete and steel used vast amounts of energy and created tons of carbon dioxide.
Wood, however, is a renewable resource. This building is said to store 186 tonnes of carbon within its structure over its lifetime.
The key to the project’s success was the use of pre-fabricated cross-laminated timber panels, a strong and highly sustainable material.
Of course, wood is one of the oldest building materials. Wander through the narrow streets of Canterbury or York and you can still see timber-framed medieval houses. Many of Europe’s grandest churches and cathedrals rely on broad timber beams to keep them standing. And timber cladding has been around for years.
Waugh Thistleton, the architects behind the Stadthaus, said building with wood is fast, accurate and healthier for construction workers and those who eventually live in the structure.
The company said the completed building had zero defects and 100% approval ratings from its tenants.
“Solid timber construction is a financially viable, environmentally sustainable and beautiful replacement for concrete and steel in high-density housing,” Waugh Thistleton says on its website.
In Melbourne, Australia, a 10-storey apartment block made out of wood has won a string of awards. A much larger, 34-storey wooden tower is being planned for Stockholm.
Designers say cross-laminated timber is constructed to have good fire resistance properties and that it retains its stability in intense heat, unlike steel.
It supporters point to its excellent thermal and acoustic ratings and say it gives good air quality.
At 1926 Trading, we love wood and have been talking about its benefits for years.
We’re delighted to hear that wood’s centuries-old qualities are still as relevant today as they have been for millennia.
Like the latest wooden buildings, our range of stunning wood floors and doors combine tradition with innovation.
Our engineered floors not only look great, but are also strong, stable and environmentally-friendly. They blend technology and craftsmanship.
If you want to rediscover this ancient, natural material and see how it can transform your house, please get in touch.