The return of timber buildings in London!
A new build 51,000 sq. ft co working office building, set in the heart of the start up hub in Shoreditch, is being constructed with cross laminated timber panels and Glue- laminated beams, making this development one of the largest commercial new builds in the UK to take advantage of the construction method. Cross laminated timber which offers environmental benefits through reduced carbon emissions and saves time on site thanks to off site construction. The timber structure will be visible through the glazed skin of the building, giving the building an add sense of depth, as well as connecting people to its construction method. The project is currently on going and in the construction phase.
What is Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)?
Cross laminated timber panels consist of planks of wood which are glued and layered on top of each other, each layer is orientated perpendicular to the previous. This process of orientating the wood layers at perpendicular angles provides structural rigidity in both directions. This process means the CLT is incredibly strong meeting the standards required by modern buildings and can therefore be used to support building structures.
Why use CLT?
CLT is an amazing alternative to traditional building materials, firstly due to it being far more sustainable than steel and concrete and many other building materials. This is because all CLT timber is sourced from FSC or PEFC certified managed forests, which means all trees used are replaced. CLT also removes carbon from the environment as the carbon that is stored by the trees is subsequently built into the project, thus removing carbon from the environment. However, one obvious concern for many clients is how safe is the material especially in regard to is the material fireproof? CLT is fire resistant to up to 90 minutes. This is due to when the outer layers of the timber burns, an outer layer of char forms which protects the internal wood providing it with insulation and fire resistance. Furthermore, CLT maintains its structural integrity when exposed to heat compared to other materials such as steel.
Finally, CLT is an attractive alternative as it offers environmental benefits, whilst costing the same amount as concrete. Additionally, the low weight nature of CLT means that clients can save money in the construction process as there are lower ground work costs and few deliveries needing to be made.