Hybrid Timber Makes the Breakthrough to Tall and Large-Scale Projects

Rainer Strauch
Cree by Rhomberg, Bregenz

In the past, urban architecture has been based predominantly on conventionally-produced prototypes with long, complex and resource-intensive construction processes. Building with wood calls for a change. Timber-based prefabricated systems for multi-story and large-scale buildings have been developed in Europe since 2008, disrupting the construction industry. The results are highly flexible, reliably performant, standardized construction methods and new products, which meet all technical and economical requirements of modern real estate markets. Every building component is predominantly based on renewable resources, with additional emphasis on material and energy efficiency. These principles are meant to demonstrate to the building industry that there are new timber technologies and serial processes, underlying a modern approach that can be applied to building construction. The aim is not only to improve the performance of buildings, but also to develop disruptive processes to guarantee that performance.

Besides projects in the heart of Europe, timber hybrid buildings in Asia are now creating a stir: currently under construction, a 12-story, two-block college building uses hybrid timber components, significantly reducing the consumption of concrete and steel. This is just the first stage of a worldwide platform development strategy. Follow-up projects are in preparation. Knowledge-sharing principles are systematically driven forward in Europe, Asia and America. Several completed and ongoing projects, plus many more design developments, demonstrate that hybrid timber systems have the greatest potential to finally make the breakthrough in large-scale and tall building design and construction. In contrast to conventional construction, the very presence of visible wood surfaces of structural and non-structural components makes an extraordinary difference for the client, occupiers, and the public.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation