Thursday, 26 October 2017

A solution to our housing problems: CLT > cross laminated timber

CLT is the future:
5 Myths About Cross Laminated Timber | Building Design + Construction

And it has been for some time now:

As a construction material CLT seems to be the answer to so many environmental, social and economic problems

05 October, 2016

Cross laminated timber is a form of engineered timber that is becoming increasingly popular as a construction material for the residential and commercial property sector. Its rise in popularity accompanies a growth in understanding of its potential safety, environmental, well-being, cost and delivery timeline benefits.

In the UK, residential developers choosing to make use of this highly sustainable construction material include Lendlease, Mace and Telford Homes.

Telford Homes’ nine storey Murray Grove’development in east London was completed in 2009. Taking just 49 weeks to deliver from start to finish, the project saved an estimated five months on delivery time when compared with a typical concrete frame building of the same scale.

As a construction material CLT seems to be the answer to so many environmental, social and economic problems

And it's just won a prize: the prize in British architecture:

RIBA Stirling Prize: Barrett’s Grove by Groupwork + Amin Taha


The architect’s skilful play with material textures at this north London housing scheme calls for a tactile response, writes Manon Mollard. 

Film and photography by Jim Stephenson

The wicker gate at 42 Barrett’s Grove is indicative of a necessary transition between the busy and increasingly anonymous Stoke Newington High Street (while independent coffee shops arrived en masse a couple of years ago, a Costa outlet has just opened here) and a calmer, homely environment tailored to its inhabitants’ everyday. Details here are different. Upon lifting the gate latch, you walk towards the building’s front door, protected on either side by elevated planted surfaces – one covering storage for bikes, the other for bins – and this elongated threshold continues into the entrance hall.

Amin Taha carefully considers future residents’ journeys, from the pavement to the apartment door, and designs bespoke interior spaces catering for the small needs of everyday life: a bench to drop bags while looking for keys, a circular opening for the wet umbrella, a shelf for shoes. The architect’s concern for future inhabitation at times conveys the idea that his projects are designed from the inside out – unsurprisingly perhaps, since his portfolio includes several terrace-remodelling projects where the interior is stripped back to its shell and furniture is part of the architecture. Driven by structural transparency and internal flexibility, Taha’s design approach translates into an unadorned aesthetic – both efficient and homely.

At Barrett’s Grove, the cross-laminated timber (CLT) superstructure is left exposed, eliminating the need for plasterboard walls and suspended ceilings, cornices and skirting, tiling and paint. In the apartments, the doors are full height, so that they can easily ‘disappear’ when open, floor-to-ceiling cabinetry pieces create a comfortable window seat in the bedrooms while providing clever storage compartments, and the spruce contributes to the warm atmosphere. The all-timber interiors, more common in Scandinavia than in the UK, slightly worried the client at first but he was reassured as soon as the units were put on the market. And, for obvious reasons, the name Nordic Lofts was preferred to the original Spruce Apartments.

When shortlisting the project for the Stirling Prize, the jury pointed out that ‘inside, the feeling is of a large house split into many homes’, a sensation heightened by the vertical circulation void and deliberately emphasised on the exterior with the almost cartoon-like pitched roof. Wrapping the CLT superstructure is a protective lattice made of double-stacked brick with an open stretcher bond – a slightly oversized pattern to accompany the oversized windows and oversized balconies on the front elevation. Although it all looks slightly too big when seen from the street, the brickwork’s homogeneous treatment brings together the walls and roof slopes into a single entity.

RIBA Stirling Prize: Barrett’s Grove by Groupwork + Amin Taha | Building | Architects Journal

1 comment:

Eston said...

Here in North America, one might first see these mass timber plates CLT House wooden cross designs and wonder, “Why on earth would I need that big piece of wood to build with?” Well, there are several common misconceptions and myths surrounding the use of wood as a building material, especially these new mass timber CLT panels.

One of the best resources for clarifying the topic is the 2013 US CLT Handbook—in collaboration with the American Wood Council U.S. WoodWorks—published the comprehensive guide Modern CLT construction to provide technical information for building professionals, illustrating CLT applications adapted to current codes and standards. The handbook addresses a number of these common misconceptions about wood and CLT.