The construction sector plays a major role in the economy of each industrialized country. This industry is increasingly interested in participating in sustainable development, which includes ensuring that materials come from sustainable practices and have a low environmental footprint. Wood, with its ability to store carbon, has every advantage to be used in the construction and development of buildings. This plenary session is intended to explain the benefits and challenges of opting for wood within a forest bio-economy and sustainable development perspective for future generations.
Moderator: Robert Beauregard, Université Laval, Canada
The making of multiply
Speaker: Anthony Thistleton, Waugh-Thistleton Architect, UK
In 2018, Waugh Thistleton Architects collaborated on MulitPly, an architectural installation in the Sackler Courtyard at the V&A Museum as part of the London Design Festival -. We erected a 3-d maze from a series of cubes fabricated from American tulipwood CLT. While the sculpture was playful, the intent was to highlight two critical issues to which the practice is passionately committed—climate breakdown and the housing crisis.
Using engineered timber in construction, we can make a positive contribution toward reducing global atmosphere CO2. As well as creating long-term storage for the carbon absorbed during growth, we are replacing highly polluting materials like concrete and steel. By providing a potential massive market for timber, we are driving forestation to meet the demand.
Through the design and manufacture of MultiPly, we tested methods of jointing and supporting the timber boxes; this has informed our work on developing better methods for delivering housing modules.
The discussion about how we made MultiPly is a springboard for a wider discussion about the roles and opportunities for architects in addressing the climate emergency and how the move to factory-made modular housing, using CLT, offers a solution to the crises of capacity, cost and quality in the creation of new homes.
Speaker: Stéphan De Faÿ, EPA Bordeaux-Euratlantique, France
How Silicon Valley & Vertical Integration are Disrupting the Way We Build
Speaker: Michael Marks, Katerra, USA
It’s no secret that building is full of inefficiencies. We rely on a tangled network of designers, contractors, subs and suppliers to complete our projects. The result—delays, cost overruns, waste and, often, unhappy clients. Enter Katerra, a transformative technology company that is applying successful Silicon Valley principles to construction. Katerra’s CEO and co-founder, Michael Marks, a former CEO and board member for companies like Flex, Tesla, GoPro and Zappos, will discuss how his background is informing Katerra’s approach to vertical integration and technology, including a major investment in mass timber, such as the company’s new state-of-the-art factory in Spokane, Washington.
Robert Beauregard has supervised or co-supervised over 40 master’s and doctoral students, and authored over 120 scientific articles. He has received more than $24 million in research funding during his career. Dr. Beauregard has spent much of his research career developing products, processes, and business models aimed at helping wood product manufacturers add value to their products through secondary processing and services. Lately, the focus of his research has turned to the ecodesign of wood products and the role of forests and wood products in climate change policies. Building on sustained efforts to promote existing programs and to restructure and expand courses and program offerings, during his tenure as dean (2008–2016), student enrolment at the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics rose from 900 to 1,300. As part of the move to streamline program offerings and attract more students, the Faculty collaborated with other Université Laval faculties to create new synergies among departments. This gave rise to new interdisciplinary program options, including an integrated bachelor’s degree in natural and managed environments and a diploma in sustainable development. Distance education also got a major boost—with the number of courses rising from three courses to over forty.
Anthony Thistleton is a founding Director of Waugh Thistleton Architects and a passionate advocate of timber in construction as a significant contributor to carbon sequestration and as a counter to climate change. For the past 21 years, Waugh Thistleton Architects have strived to find the most efficient, aesthetic and ambitious architectural solutions, requiring the fewest resources. Their core ambition: to achieve sustainability in construction.
The firm has completed a diverse range of projects, from cinemas to synagogues, social housing to shopping centres. It works on large and small projects, from master plans to individual private houses. Responsible for the UK’s first CLT structure in 2004, Waugh Thistleton also completed the world’s first high-rise timber building, in London in 2009.
As well as a number of timber commercial and residential developments in the design stages, they recently completed a 10-storey, 121-unit project made entirely out of CLT, the world’s largest CLT building.
Born in Romania in February 1975, Stéphan de Faÿ studied at France’s École Polytechnique (1996) and École nationale supérieure des techniques avancées (ENSTA), auditor at Stanford University (California, USA) and is a Chief Arms Engineer. He launched his career in military naval construction (for the DGN and DGA – Directorate General of Armaments). From 2005 to 2008, he managed the NATO office of the DGA strategy directorate at the time when France rejoined the integrated NATO command structure. In 2008, Mr. de Faÿ became part of the team of Christian Blanc, Secretary of State for Greater Paris, where he was responsible for the economic and urban development of the Plateau de Saclay (France’s Silicon Valley). He then became deputy director of the council of ministers responsible for Greater Paris. In February 2011, he began to work for EPADESA, the public planning and development agency for the Défense Seine-Arche region, as deputy director-general; he was responsible for the development of a zone that includes La Défense business district. Since September 2014, he has been the director-general of the ÉPA Bordeaux-Euratlantique (the public planning and development agency for the Euratlantique district of Bordeaux). He is also a board member of the Invest in Bordeaux initiative, the Bordeaux Université foundation and the French chapter of the Urban Land Institute
Michael Marks is CEO, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Katerra. He is also currently a partner at WRVI, a technology venture fund. Previously, from 2007 to 2018, he was a founding partner of Riverwood Capital, a private equity firm based in Menlo Park, California. Before establishing Riverwood, he was a partner and senior adviser at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in 2006 and 2007. Prior to KKR, Michael spent 13 years as CEO and then Chairman of Flextronics International Ltd., building it into one of the largest technology companies in the world. He is also a director of Schlumberger Limited, The Melt, Enjoy, H20.ai, Whiterabbit.ai, The Mina Group and Berkeley Lights.