In recent years, there has been an ever-increasing number of large-scale projects worldwide where wood has demonstrated its ability to meet the requirements of high-rise construction. Developers and professionals from many countries have taken up the challenge of using wood to construct buildings that reach unprecedented heights.
In this plenary session, key speakers from several countries will share their experience on projects recently completed or still under development.
Moderator: Eric Karsh, Equilibrium, Canada
Finansparken Bjergsted in Stavanger (Norway) – An innovative timber office building
Speaker: Mario Rando, Degree of Freedom, Engineer, Norway
Finansparken Bjergsted is an office building currently under construction in Stavanger, Norway, for SR-Bank. The structural system above ground level uses timber as the principal load-bearing elements, as it is a natural, renewable, and readily available local resource. Floors are cross-laminated timber panels supported by glued laminated timber beams and columns. For strength and complex geometrical requirements, laminated veneer lumber made of beech is also used. The three basement levels and the four communications and services cores are of reinforced concrete. Mass timber structural elements are engineered for strength and are prefabricated with strict tolerances for a rapid construction process using mainly direct contact timber connections, without metal fasteners. The beams are shaped and fabricated with openings to suit both the architectural aesthetic and service requirements by means of a fully integrated BIM system.
Perspectives of engineered wood in Brazil
Speaker: Ana Belizário, Amata/Triptyque, Brazil
Brazil is one of the ten largest economies in the world, has 54% of its territory covered by forests and is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Its climate and soil conditions provide excellent potential for forest growth. This is why the Brazilian pine is competitive in quantity and cost, and has a huge potential for expansion: its growth is 4 times faster than the European, it is 6 times more productive and the country still has 12 million hectares available for reforestation. Brazil is also a world reference in engineering, concrete, prestressed concrete and structural calculations. Amata is a Brazilian company created 10 years ago that believes in the economics of forests and the value of natural resources as a sustainable development path for Brazil. It has a market share of 30,000 hectares and is investing in serving the construction industry. With the union of the forest potential and the factory, developing a technology complementary to the concrete industry, engineered wood will become a substitute in the best uses, helping reduce residues and environmental damage, and improving the low productivity of the construction site.
The journey of wood in helping big cities grow
Speaker: Carol Bueno, Amata/Triptyque, Brazil
Nature in Brazil, which serves as a source of inputs and well-being, can lower the environmental impact of construction in dense urban areas. It is common knowledge that Brazil possesses unparalleled wealth in biodiversity. However, a lingering challenge to its architectural practice is knowing how to make the best use of the rich nature which surrounds us to bring the urban environment into harmony. What can the country that houses the largest forest in the world learn and incorporate into the way it builds its cities? How do we deal with the challenges imposed by the material regulation process in Brazilian civil construction?
According to the United Nations, 68% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. In order to rethink how city and nature interact and with the belief that the built environment can grow from the natural environment, Triptyque Architecture has been constructing in large metropolises wooden buildings that provide better energy use, intelligent lighting and air circulation solutions, and all the other benefits of sustainable construction methods.
After the success of the INPI headquarters project, the company is about to give São Paulo a building totally made of wood, 100% certified both as to its origin and trajectory. The team has also started studies for construction of Ecotone, winner of the “Inventons la Metropole” competition in France. A biotechnology research centre named after the biologic term for the encounter between two ecosystems, it will be one of European’s largest wooden buildings. Triptyque Architecture is also part of the MKNO project in Bobigny, which received an award at the “C40 CITIES” competition (a network of worldwide megacities involved in the fight against climate change).
Mass Timber project growth in the US
Speaker : Jean-Marc Dubois, Nordic, Canada
In his presentation, Jean-Marc Dubois will talk about the emergence of mass timber projects in the United States, and the growth of the market segment over the past decade with the arrival of cross-laminated timber.
Eric is a founding partner of Equilibrium Consulting, a structural engineering firm recognized internationally as a leader in the field of timber engineering. In 2012, Eric co-authored “The Case for Tall Wood” feasibility study report with architect Michael Green. The report and Michael Green’s TED Talk in 2013 helped give tall wood construction international attention and was featured by CNN, the Economist, the Fifth Estate and National Geographic.
Eric’s projects include the award-winning UBC Earth Sciences Building in Vancouver and the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, BC. Eric is currently working on the design of tall wood projects in Canada, the US, France, and Brazil.
In 2018, Equilibrium was acquired by Katerra, leveraging the firm’s 20 years of innovative timber design experience. Katerra recently opened its cross-laminated timber factory in Spokane, Washington. At full capacity, the factory will produce the highest volume of CLT in North America. The factory also contains the largest CLT press currently in operation globally.
Mario Rando is a structural engineer with a degree from the Polytechnic University in Madrid (1990) and has more than 25 years of experience in many complex projects, including train stations, special bridges, high-rise buildings and roofs with large spans. During ten years, he was the chief engineer of Santiago Calatrava’s office, with direct responsibility for many international projects, like the City of Arts and Science in Valencia, train stations in Lisbon, Reggio Emilia and New York, Turning Torso tower in Malmö, the Olympic stadium roof in Athens and bridges in USA, Italy, Spain and Ireland. In 2010 he started his own engineering and architecture practice (SEED Workshop) and in 2013 he began to work for Degree of Freedom in its Oslo office, where he has participated in many different projects, from singular bridges to innovative new timber buildings, including Finansparken Bjergsted in Stavanger, Norway. Mario Rando is the author of various technical articles and has participated in many international conferences.
Ana Belizário, architect, graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo (USP) in 2006. She received a postgraduate degree in Architecture and Design from SENAC-SP in 2009 and worked for 10 years as an architect in the real estate market, specializing in temporary architecture and dry construction. Ms. Belizário has worked in the sector’s principal companies. Since 2016, she has been part of the AMATA team, where she works as an architect responsible for project management, collaborating with architects, builders, institutions and partners for the development of the engineered wood industry for civil construction.
Carolina Bueno is a founding partner of the Triptyque Architecture firm, located in Brazil since 2001. Born in 1974 in São Paulo, Brazil, she met the other partners (Gregory Guillaume, Gregory Bousquet and Olivier Raffaëlli) during her architectural studies in Paris-Val de Seine (Beaux Arts) in France where she was on a university exchange (1993–1995). She continued her studies in Switzerland and Italy. In 2005 she received a Landscape Certificate from the Instituto Brasileiro de Paisagismo (IBRAP).
Jean-Marc Dubois is the director of business development for Nordic Structures, the building systems division of Canadian lumber manufacturer Chantiers Chibougamau. His career spans four decades in the building products industry with regional, national and international corporations, focusing primarily on value-added and engineered wood products. He has been with Nordic Structures for the past 19 years, working exclusively on Mass Timber development for the past decade. A passionate advocate for sustainability, Jean-Marc serves on several domestic timber research councils, and has been a guest lecturer at universities and a presenter at architectural, engineering, and sustainability conferences across North America, Scandinavia and Japan.