New intensities in Wood based structures
This research project seeks to re-examine new potentials for wood construction in the South Florida region. Wood is primarily excluded as a building material within the south Florida construction industry except on the interior of buildings for cabinetry, or as a decorative application. Known problems with wood in construction are amplified as a result of Florida’s climate which is exposed to hurricane force winds, overrun with termites and a humid environment which accelerates rot.
Wood is a renewable resource. While concrete is the primary construction material used in south florida due to its resistance to wind, water and rot, it has a significant carbon footprint, and is not biodegradable. Data suggests concrete is the most abundant manmade material in the world, and with a boom in construction expected to double the amount of built buildings which have ever existed worldwide, over the next 20 years, we must find better solutions which maintain the forests and the landscapes across the planet. Let us begin here in South Florida.
New technologies include Cross Laminated Timber which allow responsibly harvested lumber to be laminated into wood members of incredible size and capability. This technology would permit the construction of highrise buildings with no steel. A few examples already exist, including a product called Therm-wood, which removes the sugars from wood, preventing rot and decay.
Peter Kobelt, (CLT) Cross Laminated Timber construction / Private Sector, Ian Gordon, ECO MADEARA TROPICAL FORRESTRY, Ecuador / Private Sector
How to address termites? How to form new composite combinations of materials…Wood and something else. How to address moisture? Wind?