Industry News

A look inside Bloomberg’s European HQ in London containing over 39,000 m2 of American red oak

Designed by a Foster + Partners team, led by Norman Foster himself, the stunning Bloomberg’s European HQ in London contains over 39,000 m2 of American red oak.

The massive structure has scored high on the environmental front, achieving a record BREEAM rating for an office development of 98.5%.

Making the building more significant for red oak still, project architect Michael Jones said the timber is not used in any token, decorative way. It’s core to the interior aesthetics and to delivering on the designers’ wellbeing and environmental goals. It’s also used in considerable quantities – 37,160 m2 for the floor alone.

To answer the question why wood in the first place, and so much of it, Mr. Jones tracks back to initial conversations with Bloomberg CEO Michael Bloomberg. “Previously the company has occupied existing commercial space, but establishing their European headquarters, they felt, deserved something bespoke and tailored to the way they operate,” he said.

“As well as expressing this through the architecture itself and while wanting the building to be very much of its own time, they also wanted it to be very contextual and historically rooted in its place through the palette of materials. Hence the extensive use of bronze and Derbyshire stone – 9,000 tonnes of it – but equally timber, all of which you see quite typically around London. The task was to take these materials and use them in a fresh, innovative way.”

Sustainability also led Foster to timber. “By this we mean not only that timber is renewable, energy efficient, carbon rich and all those other good things, but that it helps achieve sustainability in the broadest sense,” said Jones. “The sustainability of a building is also about the wellbeing of people – and people feel better in a place featuring natural materials.”

For more information, see AHEC press release here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/look-inside-bloomberg%E2%80%99s-european-hq-london-containing-over-39000-m2-american-red-oak]

Progress towards establishment of National Timber Certification Council in Nigeria

On 20 January 2018, with the directional help of Remi Sournia, Projects & Development Officer at PEFC, the Nigerian hardwood trading company BlackCamel Energy Ltd organised the first National Stakeholders information meeting on Sustainable Forest Management in Nigeria through certification at Nandas Hotel, Sagamu, Nigeria.

At the meeting, Joseph Olajide, Chairman of BlackCamel Energy Ltd, informed the stakeholders on the critical situation of Nigeria's forests affected by widespread illegal logging and endangered woods' trading.

The meeting's attendees unanimously agreed that Nigeria needs a National Timber Certification Council that will help in managing and certifying the country's forest. Details of the pledge were laid out in a letter to the Nigerian Minister of Environment, available here.

"The awareness of the need for sustainable forest management is worldwide but agreement on the potential role of timber certification in achieving this goal is by no means equally widespread," the briefing underlines.

"Any viable timber certification scheme will need to be seen to be credible, objective with measurable criteria, reliable and independent and, most important, covering all types of timber." 

"Participation must be voluntary, non-discriminatory in nature and adaptable to local conditions, cost effective, practical and transparent. So far, timber and forest products certification has not been applied on a wide enough basis to prove its practicality in application, its effect on the market or its contribution to good stewardship of the forest. The issue remains highly political in nature and will no doubt continue to be a subject of active international and intergovernmental debate for some time before a solution is found."

Finally, the meeting's attendees also committed to form a Forest Product Association of Nigeria (FPAN) with the aim of checking all activities of forest users and promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) across the country. All FPAN members will actively engage in tree planting to be monitored by the Forestry Institute of Nigeria (FRIN).

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), less than 10% of Nigeria’s land is now covered by forests and only 20,000 hectares of the country’s primary forests remain. There have been high rates of deforestation in the country; the annual rate was 5% between 2010 and 2015. Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/progress-towards-establishment-national-timber-certification-council-nigeria]

'County Down Barn' project takes centre stage at Surface Design Show 2018

On Wednesday 7 February 2018, visitors of the Surface Design Show held at the Business Design Centre in London will have the opportunity to hear about The County Down Barn – a stunning home designed by architect Micah Jones (pictured on the left) and featuring PEFC-certified cross laminated timber (CLT).

The project was featured in the latest season of Grand Designs and Micah Jones and Gareth Mason of CLT supplier Stora Enso will provide an overview on this contemporary take on a traditional barn conversion formed of a one-storey CLT structure installed above a restored stone agricultural building.

Built on a limited budget and timescale and located on a tight site with stunning views across the Mourne Hills of County Down, the building features a complementary material palette of CLT, stone and concrete to produce an elegant, yet comfortable and robust family home.

There were several reasons for the specification of CLT including the material’s enhanced thermal and airtightness performance – a major benefit as all the insulation on the house is external. Other key considerations were CLT’s structural ability to achieve the clean, long spans the architect was looking for and the material’s high quality finish which was important because internally the CLT has been left exposed throughout.

The County Down Barn is Micah’s first project using CLT and he has pioneered this method of construction in Northern Ireland. “CLT is a new product in Northern Ireland,” says Micah. “I had tried previously to move forward with it and not got very far so I’d had to look at other options, but I kept going back to CLT. The most important thing to do if you want to build your home with CLT is to work with a quality manufacturer and an experienced and reputable CLT installer.”

Micah made contact with CLT manufacturer Stora Enso UK who introduced him to G-frame Structures, one of their UK delivery partners. “It was fantastic working with Stora Enso and G-frame. I now have a deeper understanding of what can be achieved with CLT in terms of structure and design.”

Gareth Mason, UK Business Development Manager for Stora Enso said: “The County Down Barn is a great example of what can be achieved with CLT from a structural and aesthetic viewpoint. The finished home is stunning and the innovative over truss solution and full length roof panels have optimised room space, taking full advantage of CLT’s engineering capabilities. Stora Enso is very proud to be involved with and supply sustainable projects such as this. The timber used comes from responsibly managed PEFC-certified forests, and more buildings like this will help combat climate change, as well as creating beautiful projects.”

PEFC UK’s Executive Director Alun Watkins added: “It will be fascinating to hear about the approach to the use of timber in creating this wonderful home. Not only does it look great but it a sustainable, low-carbon building that has used PEFC-certified timber as a key element. Responsible sourcing of timber products within the construction supply chain is vitally important, so this high profile statement proves what can be done.”

To register to the Surface Design Show, visit https://sds18-visitor.reg.buzz

For more information about the event, click here: http://bit.ly/1vZDpAb

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/county-down-barn-project-takes-centre-stage-surface-design-show-2018]

Exploring Lagos Wooden Tower, the groundbreaking project by Hermann Kamte

Hermann Kamte, young Cameroonian architect and founder of Hermann Kamte & Associates (HKA), is the driving force behind the project of the innovative 87-metre high Lagos Wooden Tower.

Originally designed as a submission for Metsä Wood's City Above the City competition, Kamte's design looks to tackle the problem of poorly planned construction in many African cities by pushing the boundaries of contemporary architecture.

In the City Above the City competition, participants were invited to suggest solutions for new housing on top of existing urban buildings, using Metsä Wood's Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) as the main material.

Kamte's highly innovative design used Kerto® LVL to construct a tower on top of an existing concrete building in the heart of Nigeria's capital city, Lagos. Mixed residential spaces, separated by open floors featuring sky gardens and amenities, are shaded and ventilated by a stylised wooden envelope using symbols that reflect Nigerian Yoruba heritage. Remarkably, this experimental building is also developed through natural, recyclable and local material.

Among other awards and nominations, the design project has been shortlisted for the 2017 World Architecture Festival Awards. It was also a winner of the 2017 WAFX Prize in the cultural identity category. 

Thanks to pioneering young designers such as Hermann Kamte, more and more of Africa's new architecture is winning widespread acclaim for its innovation and sustainability.

"The Lagos design project has really caught people's attention and highlighted the potential of wood construction in Africa," reports a note from Metsä Wood. "Seeing wood as a valuable and sustainable resource could benefit African society at large, but right now, for African designers and builders, concrete and bricks are far easier to obtain and a lot cheaper than wooden construction products."

"However, there is still potential for this to change. As we raise the profile of timber-based architecture, the demand will grow and wooden building solutions will become cheaper and more accessible."

For more information about the project, click here.

Read our focus on Mass Timber projects here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/exploring-lagos-wooden-tower-groundbreaking-project-hermann-kamte]

Construction underway for Australia's tallest CLT building

Intensive works are underway to complete 'AVEO Norwest', the tallest timber building in Australia and one of the largest CLT structures worldwide.

Standing at 34.2 metres, the 10-storey, $65 million tower [click on the image to enlarge] will be part of a luxury retirement village being built by Aveo at Sydney’s Norwest Business Park ‘Circa’ precinct.

The construction company Strongbuild opted to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) technology over traditional methods as "it will save at least three months in construction time in addition to associated costs."

Known as Bella Vista, the 60,000sqm Norwest site will eventually be home to 449 independent living units over 10 buildings ranging from four to nine storeys, plus a 144-bed aged care facility.

"The short build-time requirement for this new residential retirement complex made it an ideal development for showcasing the innovative Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) material recently introduced to Australia," explains the project's Engineering Consultant Taylor Thomson Whitting (TTW). "This lightweight construction technique is similar to a ‘prefab’ building, with all wall and floor panels being manufactured in Europe, shipped to Australia for processing, then craned into place on site."

"Using CLT for the design enabled the project to be completed 13 weeks earlier than with the more conventional concrete. Part of Stage 1 of the development, the new residential building consists of 10 storeys and is due to become one of the country’s largest uses of CLT technology. Approximately 3000m3 of CLT, or 4156 panels, have now been installed to produce a complex 9 storey timber retirement resort."

"Implementing this revolutionary new material in the design relied on TTW’s engineering team working in close collaboration with architect, builder, and sub consultants – ensuring the structural integrity, buildability, and desired aesthetics were achieved."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/construction-underway-australias-tallest-clt-building]

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