A resource-saving synergy: hybrid timber constructions for high-rise buildings

Authors: Hermann Kaufmann, Rainer Strauch
Multi-storey buildings are still rarely built from timber. Usually building codes and fire protection regulations prohibit greater heights than four to six floors, depending on the country. Nevertheless, the heated debate concerning CO2 emissions as well as the rising prices of steel and concrete predestine timber for use as a building material in large-scale buildings. These advantages provided the incentive for the development of a new timber-based building system for high-rises, named ‘LifeCycle Tower’. The first prototype of this system, the eight storey office building, LCT ONE (LifeCycle Tower ONE), was completed in the summer of 2012 in Dornbirn, Austria. While most other timber construction projects attempt to maximise the use of timber, the LCT concept focused instead on the most efficient use of resources. LCT ONE is Austria’s first timber building at this height, where the load-bearing timber elements did not need to be enclosed but remained visible and untreated.
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