21 tim­ber build­ings with a height of over 50 me­tres set to be com­pleted by 2019

Ar­chi­tects in­creas­ingly turn to­wards wood as a build­ing ma­te­rial for its sus­tain­abil­ity, qual­ity and speed of con­struc­tion

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

FRANCE, AUS­TRIA and Nor­way are to be­come home to the world’s tallest wooden build­ings, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port by the Coun­cil on Tall Build­ings and Ur­ban Habi­tat (CTBUH), which has found Europe to be lead­ing the tim­ber con­struc­tion move­ment.

CTBUH con­ducted the study Tall Tim­ber: A Global Au­dit on built, un­der con­struc­tion and pro­posed tow­ers. It as­sessed height, lo­ca­tion and con­struc­tion type, in­clud­ing both all-tim­ber and hy­brid de­signs.

The re­port found that 21 tim­ber build­ings with a height of over 50 me­tres are set to be com­pleted by 2019.

At 35 storeys high, the world’s tallest pro­posed build­ing is the Baobab build­ing that Michael Green Ar­chi­tec­ture de­signed for Paris. The mixed-use tower, which is slated for com­ple­tion in 2019, will be made from a hy­brid tim­ber and steel struc­ture.

But the 24-storey HoHo tower in Vi­enna may just pip it to the post. At 84 me­tres high and with a com­ple­tion date set for later this year it may mo­men­tar­ily be­come the tallest hy­brid tim­ber build­ing in the world.

The cur­rent ti­tle holder for the tallest all-tim­ber build­ing is the 14-storey Treet block in Bergen, Nor­way.

Not far be­hind is the nine-storey Stadthaus build­ing in Lon­don’s Hack­ney, which is the first high-den­sity hous­ing block to be made with cross-lam­i­nated tim­ber pan­els. Also known as CLT, the pan­els are made from lay­ers of wood glued to­gether and are much stronger than reg­u­lar wood.

With projects like these, CTBUH says Europe is “lead­ing the way in tall tim­ber projects”.

But the rest of the world is fol­low­ing suit, and in Van­cou­ver, Canada, the 18-storey and 53-me­tre-high Brock Com­mons build­ing at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia cur­rently holds the ti­tle for the world’s tallest hy­brid tim­ber struc­ture.

The sea­port city will also host Shigeru

Ban’s 19-storey Ter­race House, which will have a hy­brid struc­ture of wood, con­crete and steel.

Other notable projects in­cluded in the study from out­side Europe in­clude the 26-storey Abebe Court Tower that is pro­posed for La­gos in Nigeria, and the com­pleted Fortè Tower in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia.

CBTUH con­ducted the study to catch up with the “ex­plo­sion” of de­vel­op­ments in tim­ber con­struc­tion, as ar­chi­tects in­creas­ingly turn to­wards wood as a build­ing ma­te­rial for its sus­tain­abil­ity, qual­ity and speed of con­struc­tion.

The study in­cluded con­cep­tual pro­pos­als test­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of tim­ber con­struc­tion meth­ods at “ex­treme heights”

“The rise of ‘mass tim­ber’ – en­gi­neered wood prod­ucts that are just as ro­bust as their con­crete and steel coun­ter­parts – has re­sulted in a world­wide wave of re­search, built projects, and dar­ing spec­u­la­tive pro­pos­als,” said the re­port.

“Yet the pace at which mass tim­ber tech­nol­ogy has ad­vanced and tim­ber tow­ers have pro­lif­er­ated has left a gap in their re­port­ing on a world­wide scale,” it con­tin­ued.

To show­case these pos­si­bil­i­ties, the study in­cluded con­cep­tual pro­pos­als test­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of tim­ber con­struc­tion meth­ods at “ex­treme heights”.

Ex­am­ples in­clude the 300-me­tre-high Oak­wood Tower in Lon­don, which if com­pleted would be the sec­ond tallest build­ing in the city, a tower in Chicago de­signed by SOM and Stock­holm’s Trap­top­pen, which is imag­ined to have wood pan­els shaped into the num­ber of the cor­re­spond­ing floors.

Dif­fi­cul­ties en­coun­tered dur­ing the re­search found that the sud­den surge in con­struc­tion has re­sulted in lit­tle of­fi­cial cri­te­ria to val­i­date the world’s tallest tim­ber build­ing. This has been ex­ac­er­bated by the wide range of con­struc­tion meth­ods.

■ Ter­race House by Shigeru Ban will be built in Van­cou­ver with a hy­brid tim­ber struc­ture.

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