After decades in the wilderness it is interesting to see in more recent times the re-emergence of timber in building construction.

Advances in technology have created the opportunity for medium-rise buildings to be constructed out of timber and its use for this scale of development has emerged internationally as well as within Australia.  A ten-storey apartment building constructed of timber in Docklands, Melbourne in 2013 is a local example of the emergence of this type of construction.

It was interesting to read recently that a substantially taller high-rise building is proposed to be constructed almost entirely from timber in London.  The narrow, pointy residential building known as the ‘toothpick’ (image below) is proposed to be 80 storeys in height and if built, will become a prominent feature on the London skyline.

It will be fascinating to monitor the success of timber as a material in building construction as a more environmentally sustainable alternative to materials such as steel and concrete, which continue to emit CO2 and contribute to the heat island effect.

Other less quantifiable benefits to the use of timber, being a more natural material, include that it can provide a more relaxing environment.

toothpick image