University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > "Stadthaus - the world's tallest timber residential building"

"Stadthaus - the world's tallest timber residential building"

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lorna Everett.

In our paper we will use our Stadthaus scheme to demonstrate that solid timber construction is a financially viable, environmentally sustainable and beautiful replacement for concrete and steel in high-density housing.

Constructed entirely from cross-laminated timber from the first floor upwards, Stadthaus is the tallest timber residential structure in the world. The nine-storey building is the first of this height to construct load bearing walls, floors and cores entirely from timber. The tower houses twenty-nine apartments with a neighbour office on the ground floor.

Stadthaus was assembled using a structural cross-laminated timber panel system produced in Austria by KLH . Each panel is produced from Spruce planks glued together with a non-toxic adhesive. The waste timber is converted to fuel, which powers both factory and local village. As the prefabricated panels arrived on site they were immediately craned into position and fixed in place. Four carpenters assembled the eight-story structure in twenty-seven days. The speed of the construction was especially relevant on the densely populated environment, was the lack of noise and waste, creating far less intrusion on the local community that a traditional concrete frame construction. The entire building was completed within forty-nine weeks of starting on site, estimated to be a saving of five months over a national concrete frame building. This method of construction is also incredibly accurate, and a healthy environment to both work on and live in. Upon its completion the building had zero defects and 100% tenant’s approval.

The unique structure of the building is a result of the practice’s research in reducing the carbon emissions not only of the finished building but of the whole build process. The production of concrete and steel are very energy intensive, pumping tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In complete contrast timber stores carbon as it grows; our research shows that Stadthaus stores 186 tones of carbon with its structure for its lifetime.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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