Abstract Accepted: 6th International Conference on the Constructed Environment (ICCE)

Sustainable Futures: Solid Timber Applications in Mid-Rise Construction

April 2-4, 2016 – University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Recent advancements in Solid Timber technology and construction practices provide new opportunities that challenge current height restrictions for wood buildings and reimagine the materiality, sustainability, and aesthetics of contemporary building.  The development of Glued Laminated and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) systems are bringing about a fundamental paradigm shift in the architecture and construction industry. These technologies are providing innovative solutions to standardized construction practices and challenging out-of-date building codes in relation to height limitations due to a building’s primary structural system and building type. Another fundamental argument for tall timber / solid timber buildings is environmental. Tall wood buildings have a smaller carbon footprint when compared to similar buildings constructed of steel or concrete and operate as “stores” for massive amounts of CO2. Laminated timber systems are also lightweight relative to their strength and thus prove to be viable solutions for mid-rise development. This study examines the history and future potentials of solid timber construction and identifies the ongoing challenges that face the industry from supply chain to architectural and construction applications.