The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Great Designs in Wood (26) - Forte' of Melbourne

You may remember a Go Wood blog post from about a year ago that introduced the concept of wooden high-rise buildings. Well, the good news is that the momentum of that movement continues to gain strength, one great project at a time.

The latest to be announced is the Forte' building of Melbourne, Australia. It was announced as the tallest building in the world to be built of cross-laminated timber. And while this design still exhibits the boxy squared-edged lines that we saw in the London building of the earlier post, the designers of the Forte' project have incorporate more relief into the external appearance, which makes the building seem more "normal" for high-rise projects of its type.

As we saw in the great presentation by architect Michael Green, tall wooden buildings have a great story to tell from the carbon footprint standpoint. Green's firm has produced a document that makes this case most throughly: Tall Wood: The Case for Tall Wood Buildings.

The project owners tell it quite simply by comparing the value of the project relative to removal of cars from the road:
"By using CLT, Lend Lease claims, the project, Fort̩, will reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by more than 1,400 tonnes when compared to concrete and steel Рthe equivalent of removing 345 cars from our roads."
Whether one believes in anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming or not, it would seem that any certain simple choice of building materials that would have the net impact, from an emissions standpoint, of permanently removing 345 cars from the road would be a good one. Imagine that same decision being made hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands times over. The thought of that has caused one architect to call  Cross-Laminted Timber "the concrete of the 21st century", as you'll hear in the following short video...

I think this is a story, and a trend, that has legs. Time will tell. This is one project I would love to visit for its grand opening this fall. Melbourne, anyone?


Laminated Timber said...

Pretty neat. On any house, its windows are a focus of attention. They seemingly create portals into the mysteries and secrets of what may be inside, and from within, are the only connection the occupants of the house have to the outside world without stepping out the door.

DaryleL said...

This technology was covered by an article in Popular Science magazine at the beginning of 2014. The article really pushed the environmental aspect of wood vs steel and concrete. Great that such a widely read technology gave wood such a glowing review!