Reconciling competing philosophies - Structural Timber Magazine

Martin Self discusses the reconciling competing philosophies that need to be considered with the current trajectory towards engineered wood being a mainstream construction material.

The mass timber revolution is well underway. As Martin writes we must carefully consider how it will play out. As the transition to low-carbon construction is inevitable, architects and engineers must consider the nuances of designing with wood, from its complex behaviour to its variability as a natural material.

While it is possible to limit wood to formalised standards, there is a risk of degrading its complexity. Instead, Martin suggests that architects design with sympathy, creating a holistic approach to consider the material's behaviour, spatial intent, and construction. The best approach depends on the context and goals of the building project, and we should be wary of specifying from a narrow range of standard products.

Ultimately, the timber revolution requires more nuanced thinking about the nature of wood as a resource and material for transforming the built environment.

Read Martin's thought piece in full here.

About the author:
Martin Self
Design Director


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