New trends in wood construction
In recent years there has been a significant rise in the construction of larger CLT buildings (Cross Laminated Timber is a wood composite building material that is used for construction in single or multistory buildings). CLT panels have been used to build hundreds of buildings in Europe and, more recently, in North America.
There is now a range of developments aiming to be the largest and/or tallest wooden structures. In Melbourne, Australia in 2012 Lend Lease completed the Forté building, which is Australia’s first, and currently the world’s tallest, timber apartment building. In addition, Lend Lease is currently building Australia’s first public CLT building, a library at the Docklands in Melbourne. Construction of a CLT residential block has commenced in the United Kingdom and when complete, will be the largest CLT structure in the world at its expected completion. As of March 2015, plans to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper emerged. The 84-metre development in Vienna comes with a EUR 60 million price tag and would house a hotel, apartments, offices, a fitness center, and a restaurant.
But we should admit that the construction of CLT buildings has not become a trend yet. The fire safety rules slow down its development. It is only after a compromise is found concerning this issue, we will be able to talk about the establishment of a full-fledged new sector in the construction and about the increase in using wood materials in construction.