That Makes Us Smile
Hardwood is a fantastic material: it’s environmentally friendly, decorative and long-lasting, to name just a few of its advantages. But at Danzer, we know that facts alone will not necessarily sell even the best product. That’s why we welcome every initiative that helps to spread the message – like these:
If you have a chance to visit the London Design Festival – it has opened its doors just a few days ago – look out for a simple, but catchy structure: a huge curved rectangular tube called “The Smile”. This friendly looking installation showcases the structural and spatial potential of cross laminated timber (CLT) using American tulipwood. For many years, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has done an excellent job to promote the decorative possibilities of American hardwoods. “The Smile”, not only brings the structural qualities of hardwood into the limelight, but also highlights its suitability as a building material due to its low cost and carbon efficiency (www.thetulipwoodsmile.info).
Top of the Tree
A recent issue of British magazine The Economist cites several studies that show how wood has the potential to effectively compete against steel and concrete as construction material – even for tall buildings (www.economist.com/node//21706492/). The article lists many tall building projects that will be realized with cross laminated timber in the near future. Contrary to widespread belief, CLT is strong and hard to ignite. Wooden buildings have a highly reduced carbon footprint and can be constructed a lot faster and therefore cheaper than when using steel and concrete.
Nature's Stroke of Genius
You might have watched some of the infomercials that elaborate on the benefits of using wood. In case you have missed the ones from the Danish Wood Initiative (www.trae.dk), have a look: Personally, I particularly like the one titled Nature’s Stroke of Genius”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9He_c3HUadY. It summarizes nicely how wood can help solve many of today’s challenges by providing mankind with a sustainable raw material that has many desirable characteristics.
Luckily, all the positive qualities of wood are getting more and more attention. The new AHEC construction “The Smile” adds to this trend. I am very positive that this is a good sign for a promising future of wood as construction material. For those of you who happen to be around London before October 12: “The Smile” will be on display at the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground of the Chelsea College of Arts.
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