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Using Engineered Timber as a Sustainable Building Material

All around the world construction is an industry that consumes a lot of energy and is generally renowned for being unsustainable. One solution that is growing in popularity is the use of engineered wood, a sustainable material that is strong enough to support even a tall building.

The world’s tallest wood-framed building currently is a block of boutique apartments in Melbourne, Australia. Standing 106 feet tall the building, known as Forté, was the fruit of Lend Lease Corp. Ltd, the giant development firm famous for building the Sydney Opera House and helping with the construction of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the world tallest building from 1998 to 2004.

The structural beams were built from cross-laminated timber (CLT). A material produced by gluing together, under high pressure, layers of wood, alternating between lengthwise and crosswise grain. Compressing the layers under high pressure results in an incredibly dense material that is far stronger than normal wooden beams; and, whilst fire might be a natural fear to consider with a wooden building, CLT is highly flame resistant due to its density.

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