Timber: a changing material and its effect on the architectural form

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Architects rediscovered timber as a material in the mid-80s. This renewed interest in timber and its marketing as ecological raw material is related to the increased concern for our planet?s ecological balance. Timber, as opposed to steel, glass or reinforced concrete, needs a transformation process with much lower energy consumption. This means that the resource deficit in timber could ultimately translate into an energy deficit. While the availability of good timber for building columns and beams may shrink, the pressure to develop new materials using timber by-products will increase. Supported by the study of architectural examples that show how the more consistent physical properties of the material offer new applications in timber architecture, this work analyses how choosing timber as an ecological material influences the architectural form. Finally, it concludes that the more effective timber-production technology (that minimises the use of energy in manufacturing and assembly) can form the basis for a new form in timber architecture no longer based on the linear member but the panel and can develop new directions in architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEco-Architecture II
Subtitle of host publicationHarmonisation between Architecture and Nature
EditorsG. Broadbent, C. A. Brebbia
Place of PublicationSouthhampton
PublisherWIT Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781845643270
ISBN (Print)9781845641191
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameWIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment
PublisherWIT Press


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