Cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction is an emerging technology in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). New CLT mills are being constructed in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. We see this use of wood as a robust alternative to concrete and steel that sequesters carbon rather than spewing it into the atmosphere. Timber can be sustainably harvested in the PNW with local mills, further reducing carbon pollution in the supply chain.
In an effort to increase our Architecture Program’s capacity to deliver the highest quality courses and improve student learning, we aim to equip our students with the knowledge and skills to include CLT in buildings of all scales in their design repertoire. This goal would be accomplished by extending the learning experience of the students enrolled in our study abroad program on “Green Architecture” in the United Kingdom (UK) to include research and design in the use of CLT. This new approach to focus on CLT builds upon insights and contacts made during six previous successful versions of the UK Green Architecture course (initiated in 2006).
The UK has a rich inventory of inspiring CLT projects—over 500 of which 100 are highlighted in Waugh Thistleton’s 100 Projects UK CLT (2018). Our research studio during the summer of 2019 to Edinburgh and London will explore many of these inspirational buildings, engage in interviews with the architects and engineers, and participate in a design charrette in CLT-savvy London architectural firms. This unique experience will enrich the students’ understanding and appreciation of mass timber construction.